Why does my cat reject her kittens?
By nature, cats are very good mothers, even when they have the first litter. It is part of your natural instinct of feline, so it is normal that they know how to take care of their babies perfectly without the help of human hands.
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However, sometimes the mother refuses to take care of one of her puppies or the whole nest, and you wonder if your cat has rejected her puppies ? This question can be desperate for anyone who has cats at home.
To help you understand this situation, in YourCatCareguide we will explain what factors may be causing this situation.
My cat is a bad mother?
Many people when they notice that a cat rejects its puppies, interpret as if it were a bad mother, that the cat does not want to take care of its litter by caprice or lack of love.
However, although cats are able to develop a very deep affection, it should not be forgotten that they are animals that govern their behavior according to instinct and that it is possible that there are factors that lead a cat that had recently to reject them. These factors are related to:
- Broiler health
- Mother’s health
- Ability to care for puppies
Problems with the health of one or more puppies
In animals the most important is survival instinct , and felines are no exception. With this instinct the mother is able to detect if any of the pups, or even the full litter (something rare but possible), was born with some infection or disease.
When this occurs, it is normal for the mother to refuse to waste her milk and care on a litter that thinks she will not survive or, when it comes to only one of the pups, to keep her from getting the healthy litter, as well as to manage their milk only for the puppies that have more chance of surviving.
This may sound cruel, but that’s how the animal world works, you can not risk the health of a full-blooded litter for a sick chick with little chance of living. However, as a human owner it is possible that you can do something. If it is suspected that the puppy being rejected is ill, take it to the veterinarian for a diagnosis and give directions to feed the newborn kitten rejected by your mother.
The health of the mother
It is possible that the cat is sick or feels almost dying , either because of complications that occurred during childbirth (some breeds may have problems during this phase), or because they suffer from something else. When this is the case, the cat will move away from its puppies, both because of the malaise it feels to prevent them from spreading their disease.
If you see the poor parent or who appears to be ill, take her immediately to the vet to ensure her health, as well as the small one.
Ability to care for the litter
Although most cats have the instinct to care for their litter, there are some cases where the cat does not know how to care for them , how to feed them or how to clean them, so they will choose to leave them.
If this happens, you can try to show her what to do by approaching them to nurse or cleaning them around her to see how she should do it. You must have a lot of patience.
Also it can happen that the litter is very big (5 or 6 cats more or less) and that the cat feels that it can not occupy of all or that does not have enough milk for so many puppies, reason why it will remove the one that seems weaker to take care of those who are most likely to grow.
In these last two cases, the feline instinct tells the mother that she should bet on saving all the food, heat and space needed only for the fittest cats, even if it means letting the lesser ones die.
The cat knows that it will give birth, reason why it is normal that before the part tries to obtain a space that seems to him ideal to take care of its puppies, distancing anything that can hurt them.
As with humans, in the last few days the cat will be a little nervous, and if she starts bothering her with caresses, pampering and attentions she does not want, or if she tries to change the place she chose as a nest, it is possible that your stress levels increase and decide not to take care of the puppies when they are born.
You should respect the nest you have chosen and put some blankets in place to be more comfortable. Consider relocating only if it appears the family could take some risk there and let your cat feel good about the new place.
The ideal is to be aware of the mother, but allow her to be quiet. Likewise, once the litter is born it is not advisable to touch the cats much during the first few weeks, since the smell of a stranger (the human owner) can cause the cat to reject the pups.
We hope these councils have helped you to better understand this situation. If you notice that your cat rejects one of the puppies or her complete litter, do not hesitate to speak with your veterinarian . If the puppies are healthy, they should assume the responsibility of becoming their surrogate mother for the first few weeks.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you want to read the similar articles in Why does my cat reject her kittens? , we recommend you to enter our section on Gestational Problems .