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Do Mother Cats Miss Their Kittens

Do Cats Get Sad When Their Kittens Are Taken Away

The kittens’ mother is missing. I must be their mother. Part 9: Excited Tiny Kittens.

There is no way to know how a mother cat feels after the removal of her kittens. We do know that most mothers dont seem to mind much if the kittens have completed weaning. In fact, after 12 weeks, some mother cats may become hostile toward their kittens and somewhat annoyed with them. Some may continue to groom a few kittens and cuddle, typically with other females. However, this isnt always the case and seems to depend on the mother cats personality.

If the mother typically gets along with other cats, she is less likely to be aggressive toward her kittens.

Either way, the mother is less likely to think of the kittens as her kittens after they have weaned at around 12 weeks. If the kittens are removed after this point, the mother cat probably wont notice or care much. Having the mother yowl and look for her kittens usually doesnt happen after they have been weaned.

If the kittens are taken away before they are weaned, though, it largely depends on the mother cat and the age of the kittens. Some first-time moms may not act distressed even if the kittens are taken away very young. She doesnt exactly know how everything is supposed to work yet. However, other cats will act distressed for days if the kittens are taken away, even only a short time before they are completely weaned.

Do Kittens Forget Their Mother

Weve mostly talked about kittens siblings, but what about their other family member, their mother? You have to remember that cat dads pretty much arent in the picture when it comes to raising them. Male cats can be dangerous for kittens in some situations, especially when they are very young.

Like kitten siblings, we arent sure how long a kitten remembers their mother. They may remember their mother a little longer than their siblings, primarily since their mother interacts with them more directly when they are young, but we dont know for sure.

We do know that cats usually stop looking for their mothers and show signs of separation anxiety about the same time they stop looking for their siblings.

That may be because the kitten is comfortable in their new home, even without their mother, or because theyve started to lose the mother-kitten bond.

Reasons Cats Forget Their Kittens

Cats are no different when it comes to forgetting their kittens. Like every other animal, they do not recognize their kittens after years. There are several reasons why they forget their kittens after 10-12 weeks after separation. Here we have discussed a few reasons in detail.

Cats love to live in solitude, and unlike humans, they dont hold a type of deep relationship with their babies.

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How Can I Help My Cat Cope With Grief

When signs of grief become evident following the loss of an animal or human family member, concerned owners can help their cats deal with grief in the following ways:

  • Spend extra time with your cat. Try to divert your cats attention by engaging in her favorite pastimes. Play a game. Sit on the sofa and have some quiet time together. Buy her favorite treat or food for her as a special pick-me-up.
  • Be more affectionate. Make a point of petting your cat more often. Make eye contact and talk to her by dialoguing routine household activities, OK, Whiskers, lets load the dishwasher.
  • If your cat enjoys company, invite friends over who will interact with her. A little human variety can pique your cats interest. And if she becomes agitated or bored, she will safely retreat to another area of the house.
  • Provide entertainment while you are gone. Hide treats in favored household locations for her to find during the day or fill a foraging toy with food to keep her busy while you are gone.
  • Think carefully about replacing a lost pet. If your cats grief is due to the loss of a canine or feline companion, dont rush to find a replacement. Give your cat time to grieve and adjust to the loss. Introduction of a new pet may add more stress to an already stressful situation.
  • Contributors: Lynn Buzhardt, DVM

    A Missing Sense Of Belongingness

    Does My Cat Miss Her Kittens?

    Mother cats do not feel belonging, and even though they recognize the smell of their kitten, they still fail to distinguish their kittens from any other kitten. This is because every newborn kitten smells almost the same. It seems unnatural, but it is true!

    Mother cats will treat any newborn kitten as their own and feed them without even knowing the difference. In addition, mother cats can also feed orphaned kids. Mother cats dont know how many kittens they have given birth to, and thus, they can hardly make it if any of them goes missing.

    This lack of sense of belongingness is also a reason why cats easily forget their kittens and vice-versa.

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    Do Mother Cats Know Who Their Kittens Are

    Various studies have been done on whether cats have an innate sense of who their kittens are. Most cats will accept any kitten that suckles on them. You can take kittens with different mothers and give them to the same mother cat, and she will typically accept them. Therefore, it is likely that cats dont have a strong innate sense of which kittens are theirs. They take care of whatever kittens are in their nesting box.

    That said, cats typically use smell to recognize other cats that they know. Kittens that spend time in a specific mothers nesting box will usually be cared for by that mother, as they smell like her kittens. This is true even if the kittens arent biologically hers.

    Therefore, the mother cat doesnt seem to know which kittens she gave birth to. However, there is a sense of what kittens are hers based on which ones are in her nesting box and smell like it. If any of the kittens disappear, she is likely to notice and look for them. However, this isnt always true. Sometimes, cats dont realize that they have fewer kittens.

    When the kittens grow, the mother may realize that they are her kittens if they are kept around and not separated. However, she wont develop the same mother-child relationship that humans do. Cats typically dont form family bonds.

    What Behaviors Should Raise Concern

    During the first three weeks, your queen will usually develop any postpartum issues. Every mother is different, so you should continue to monitor her and her kittens.

    With kittens, pay special attention to any that sleep more than usual. It could be a sign of fading kitten syndrome.

    Veterinarians arent sure of an exact cause, but these kittens require immediate medical attention.

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    Before Your New Kitten Arrives

    Kittens are naturally shy animals, and in an unfamiliar environment, it could be amplified. Be patient with your kitten when it arrives. Be gentle, kind, and let it explore all it wants. While it would need a warm area to sleep, you should also note that extremely hot areas can be a health threat even for a young cat.

    Another thing you want to do is schedule an appointment with your vet for a thorough health check and to update your kittens immunizations.

    Shes Rejecting Her Kittens

    The kittens’ mother is missing. I must be their mother. Part 16: Full of Life Tiny Kittens

    Some mothers might reject their litter. Others will reject one or a few of her kittens. It can occur with new and seasoned mothers.

    Vets believe some factors can lead to this behavior, such as taking much human contact with kittens and birth defects.

    Limit your interaction with her kittens until theyre at least four weeks old unless their lives are in danger.

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    How Do I Know If My Mother Cat Has Abandoned Her Kittens

    There are many things to consider when it comes to adoption and you can use the following information to answer the question How do I know if my mother cat has abandoned her kittens?

    If your mother cat hasnt taken in kittens for quite some time, there is no reason to worry.

    She may be putting them up for sale or simply waiting until they mature before taking them home. When your mother cat has abandoned her kittens, there is still hope.

    When you bring home a stray cat from the shelter, it will be very difficult to find out whether or not she has already adopted other cats.

    You should consider offering her food and care but do not hold her responsible for any kitten problems. The cat should at least have a healthy litter box and be neutered.

    If your mother cat has not abandoned her kittens, then you should bring the cat back to the shelter and look through the phone book.

    Look for pet rescues that focus on strays and see if they have kittens available for adoption.

    You should also be willing to take your pet in, even if the shelter has a kitten available for adoption.

    If your mother cat has adopted other cats before, then she has a tendency to adopt more kittens.

    Sometimes, you will be told that she has more kittens than she actually has but if you can adopt an adult cat, and have someone else place the kittens, you will not lose any of your precious family heirlooms.

    You should also contact the local humane society in case you find a stray cat for adoption.

    Kittens: When Is It Okay To Separate Them From Their Mothers

    It is hard to resist the cuteness of a brand new baby kitten, especially if you see one that appears to be a stray. You fear for his safety and want to help, but is taking him in the best option for his health and safety? Taking kittens away from their mothers can actually be quite dangerous for them, even when you have the best intentions. Kittens who have been separated from their mothers too soon are often more likely to exhibit inappropriate behaviors, struggle with interacting with other cats and humans, and are at a higher risk for health complications. In the wild, kittens usually remain with their mothers until they reach sexual maturity or until the mother gets pregnant again. When keeping kittens as pets, it is important to know the timeline of their development before separating them from their mothers prematurely.

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    Cats Love To Stay Alone

    Mother cats also leave their kittens for specific periods, even when they are just born. This is because they like to spend that time in peace, away from the kittens.

    They even leave their kittens so that they can become independent and learn things on their own. This is a clever tendency of a mother cat to help her kittens grow and develop in their way without any help. As soon as they feel like the kitten is no longer a kid and can live independently, she starts leaving her for a more extended period.

    This way, the distance between them increases, and the time spent together decreases, leading to a snapping of the bond between them. They soon begin treating each other the way normal cats do. They can even fight, and this way, they forget their kitten.

    Tnr Scenarios: Mom And Kittens

    When Mom Isn

    Discovering a mom and her kittens during Trap-Neuter-Return can be an adorable yet challenging experience . There are some important factors to consider in this scenario, like:

    • Should you leave mom with her kittens?
    • Are the kittens old enough to separate from mom?
    • What if you find kittens without mom?
    • How can you safely trap mom and kittens at the same time?

    Dont worry, weve got the information you need!

    First, its important to determine how old a kitten is so you can decide how to best help her.

    • For a kitten younger than eight weeks, the best place for her is with her mother.
    • For a kitten who weighs at least two pounds and is eight weeks old, spay her immediately.

    Make decisions carefully. Caring for kittens under four weeks old, or neonatal kittens, is not a choice to take lightly. These kittens need special round-the-clock care, and their mom is their best possible caregiver. Be very, very sure any neonatal kittens you find outdoors do not have a mother before choosing to take action. It takes quite a lot of time and resources to care for neonatal kittens yourself.

    Never take cats or kittens to an animal shelter. Many shelters still kill the majority of cats they impound

    With these basics in mind, here are some tips on how to approach common kitten and mom scenarios:

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    Do Cats Miss Their Previous Owners

    Cats arent as enthusiastic about human company as dogs . Because of this, they are deemed cold and uncaring by many. Their withdrawn nature makes people doubt whether or not the cat will miss them if rehomed.

    The truth is that the psychological attachments cats develop for humans are difficult to measure. Studies on the matter constantly contradict each other. According to Current Biology, cats develop different attachment styles in the same way dogs and humans do. Namely, these are secure attachment and insecure attachment.

    The study observed 108 cats of varying ages. It concluded that 64% of the cats had a secure attachment to their owners. In other words, they trusted their owner and had a strong bond with them. However, another study by the University of Lincoln directly countered the claims of the previous study.

    It stated that cats do not show signs of secure attachment to their owners. Instead, it claims that cats vocalize more when their owner was present, which aligns with the finding of this study from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. This third study claims that cats interact with their owners more after a period of separation. This indicates that the felines understand that their owner left them and missed them.

    Signs That Your Cat Is Grieving & How You Can Help


    Little attention is paid to the subject of grieving in cats, largely because they are often seen as independent animals that retain much of their ‘wild’ nature. But cats do exhibit behavioral changes after the loss of another cat and sometimes these can be difficult to understand.

    When animals are closely bonded they are more likely to be upset by the loss of their companion. Even cats that constantly fight can grieve the loss of a feuding partner. While no-one will ever know if a cat understands death, they certainly know that a fellow housemate is missing and that something has changed in the house. The owner’s distress at the loss of a pet may also be communicated to the cat, adding to the confusion it may be feeling.

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    Reasons A Mother Cat Might Abandon Or Reject Her Young

    One of the most heartwarming things to see is a mother cat caressing and feeding her little ones. Even in shelters, abandoned kittens are sometimes put with a nursing mom who will accept and nurture the motherless babies as her own.

    So what would make a mother cat reject or abandon her kittens? Its heartbreaking to think about a mama cat not accepting her babies, and you may be wondering why it even happens at all. The reasons are many, and its helpful to understand them.

    Here are a few of the reasons a mother cat might reject or abandon her kittens before theyve grown.

    Why The Wait Is Necessary

    The kittens’ mother is missing. I must be their mother. Part 12: Cute Tiny Kittens – Eating ASMR

    As mentioned earlier, felines just like other pets, learn the essentials better early on in their life. And this they learn from playing and socializing with their mother and siblings. When separated too early, kittens miss out on this highly important learning stage. Plus, kittens may become insecure about their new surroundings and adapt poorly. Below, Ill outline some major reasons you should not separate a kitten from its mother and siblings prematurely.

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    Why Having Littermates Is So Important During Kittenhood

    The early interactions between kittens and their mom are vitally important for the development of learning abilities, social skills and personalities of the kittens. It is a common misconception that kittens are ready to be separated from their mom and littermates as soon as they are weaned and start eating on their own .

    The truth is, however, that it is generally recommended to keep the kittens with their littermates for at least 12 weeks. The first 7 weeks of kittenhood are marked as the period of socialization and it is during this period when the kittens start grooming each other and interacting. But the period between the 7th and 14th week is the most active play period, and this is when the kittens start more actively interacting.

    Kittens observe their mom and siblings and start playing with objects and animals around them. Through this play, they practice their physical coordination and social skills. They chase each other, pounce, ambush, leap, hug and lick. They behind scooping, tossing, pawing and holding objects. This is the crucial learning period when the kittens are learning how to be a cat and when they’re exploring the ranking process .

    Is It Cruel To Separate Kittens From Each Other

    Cats are naturally fairly independent creatures. While feral domesticated cats will often den together in large families, individual cats can survive independently and dont need others around. Cats that are used to being solitary usually react badly to seeing another cat in their territory, and even cats that live in groups will react badly to a cat that isnt part of their group.

    With that behavior in mind, no, its not considered cruel to separate kittens from one another. The close bonds kittens have with their mother and littermates as kittens would fade some on their own, even if they all stayed together.

    However, it is essential to make sure your kitten is developmentally ready to leave their mother and their siblings and that youre taking your kitten to a home that they have plenty for them to do and plenty of things to keep them entertained and healthy.

    Remember that by adopting a kitten, youre replacing the relationships and environment they would have had without you, so you need to make sure that the environment is as healthy and comfortable as possible.

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