Mother cat aggressive towards kittens

G RichardsG Richards HudsonvilleMember Posts: 23
edited 23 August, 2008 in Behavior & Training
I volunteer at our local animal shelter and this is my fourth litter of foster kittens this year. This is the first litter I\'ve taken in with a mother cat. It\'s a litter of eight kittens about 5 weeks old, all seem healthy. The mother is a Siamese/snowshoe mix and not the most friendly thing in the world. I brought them here about four hours ago and they are in their own room (the four season porch/the cat room). We have other cats and a dog and I\'ve kept them away from the litter/mom. It\'s hot and humid, but there\'s a fan on in the cat room. Since they\'ve been here, the mother cat has not let the kittens nurse and has become aggressive towards them. She will growl and attack them when they come near. All of the kittens are trying to avoid her but they still want their momma of course. The kittens have eaten wet food I gave them and the mother cat has eaten too. They are on opposite sides of the room. The mother cat looks worn out and is sleeping now as are the kittens, away from their mom. I don\'t want her to harm her kittens-is this something that should pass when the mother cat gets used to her surroundings? Or should she be separated from her kittens since they seem to be old enough to eat on their own, although I know more time drinking mother\'s milk is always good for kittens? Has anyone had this issue before? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! Gaye


  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
    edited 23 August, 2008
    It's Stella. The scent of the other cats may have upset the mom cat. In the wild, if another cat comes around their kittens, they can either fight or abandon them and start a new litter. It sounds hard but it's a hard life. Plus these kittens are in a borderline area--they could probably survive on the food you are giving them, so she may have opted to leave them. The only thing you can do is wait and see if she gets used to the situation and will let them nurse again. If not, you need a bunch of kitten milk replacement and a lot of patience. If this is her first litter, she may not be a very good mother. In the wild, mother cats are supposed to drive off the kittens when they get old enough to fend for themselves, so they are not eating off her territory. But it seems more common that the feral moms who are being fed by people just accept the kittens and let them stay, seemingly understanding that there will be enough food to go around. My Momcat had ten kittens and never drove any of them away, and way horribly upset when they disappeared. Even when I got taken inside and she could see that I was inside, she would throw herself against the door. If you are going to get the mom spayed, that will stop the nursing, as she will be too sore and the milk will dry up. Good luck and I hope the kittens will eat your food and grow up to be big healthy kitties like me! [Very big in my case!]
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