If you were a good cat owner, you would do what your pregnant cat wanted. You should also know what to do when the kittens come.
During this crucial time, your ability to think critically is very important. Look for advice on how to take care of the mother cat and her kittens, as well as early signs of health problems and milestones in the kittens’ growth.
There are many reasons why a mother cat might lay down with her kittens. She might not know what will happen because she is new at this, or she might be ignoring her kittens on purpose.
She might also be protecting her kittens from the outside world because she no longer trusts it.
Why Do Cats Keep Laying on Their Kittens?
It’s pretty common to see a mother cat lying on her kittens. When this happens, the owners are always worried that the kittens might suffocate.
We humans might find it strange that a mother would do something like this. She is supposed to keep them safe, after all.
A cat might lay on its kittens for many reasons, such as:
- They have never done this before.
- They want their kittens to stay safe.
- Not enough space.
Inexperienced First-Time Moms
Any woman or animal can find it scary to become a first-time mother.
During this time, there are a lot of changes, and many changes need to be made to daily life to make room for the new family members. At the very least, becoming a mother changes your life.
Momma cats who just had their first kittens may find life hard and overwhelming. Over the years, they’ve only had to take care of themselves, but now they have to look after a whole litter.
A cat can have as many as 12 kittens at once. The more cats a mother cat has, the more stress she has to deal with. Even the instincts of a mother can’t see everything.
In general, cats can be great moms. A cat that is giving birth for the first time has little experience and is often stressed (which is understandable). In this kind of situation, it is common for the mother cat to lay on top of her kittens.
She doesn’t have enough experience to know that this kind of behaviour is dangerous and can lead to terrible things.
Most house cats have never even seen other people’s kittens, so they might not realize how fragile their own are.
People who have never had a cat before don’t have the same level of awareness as people who have had cats before.
To give you an idea, an adult cat weighs between 10 and 12 pounds, while a newborn kitten weighs only about 4 ounces.
The different weights show how dangerous it can be for a first-time mother cat to lay on her kittens, even if it’s not her fault.
Another important reason a mother cat might lay on her kittens is to keep them safe. Cats can be very fierce when it comes to protecting their kittens.
By lying on top of her kittens, the mother cat keeps them safe from harm or bad situations. This gives her kids full protection, and anyone who wants to hurt them will have to go through her first.
When there isn’t an obvious danger or threat, you will see your mother cat lying on her kittens.
It doesn’t always mean that there is a clear danger; it could be because of where she is. If momma cat doesn’t like where they live, she will be mean and watch over them too much. She will lie on her kittens to protect them from the bad energy she is feeling.
This doesn’t mean that she is scared of you or anyone else in the house. It could be as simple as the fact that she doesn’t like where she lives.
It might be too open or too loud for her. You need to pay close attention to anything that could make her angry or upset.
Lack of Space
If there isn’t enough room in the birthing area, it goes without saying that your momma cat will often have to lie on her kittens.
This is not a choice made by mom but a problem that you, as her loving owner, should solve.
Even though the place where the kittens are born needs to be warm and inviting, you also need to make sure it is big enough for all of them and gives them enough room to move around.
This is often a problem if you only wanted a few kittens but got 12 instead. Maybe you thought your cat was just fat and not pregnant, and when you woke up, you were shocked.
You might have even set up the best place you could think of for your cat to give birth, but you didn’t expect her to choose a cardboard box instead. Any way you look at it, these small rooms won’t do.
First of all, a lot of people find kittens outside and think they got lost if their mother is hunting nearby.
Some outdoor or feral mothers send their kittens away so they won’t be eaten.
If the kittens are well-fed, in a comfortable place, and fall asleep after crying, their mother is almost certainly there. You should keep an eye on a nest for a few hours to see if the birds come back.
If she doesn’t get better, she might be too sick to get better, or she might have died.
Kittens will also go out on their own and get lost or stuck in places where their mothers can’t go. This can happen inside or outside.
So if you see a mother walking around nervously or a kitten crying, they may be trying to find each other.
Suffering From Illness
A mother will often turn away a sick kitten so that the illness doesn’t spread to the other kittens. It is not always the case that the “runt” is the sickest.
Experts say that any kittens that don’t want to leave should be taken away so that the mother doesn’t ignore the rest of the litter.
Most parasites that live in the gut feed on kittens. Infectious diseases like respiratory infections and diseases that are present at birth are also a health risk for young kittens.
When the kitten is not doing well, it is said to have “fading kitten syndrome.”
If you notice that one of the kittens is usually more tired and sleepy than her brothers, this could be a sign of the condition. A specialist in kittens needs to look at this kitten right away.
The body of a new mother goes through a lot of stress during pregnancy, delivery, and care after the baby is born.
A new mother’s hormones rise, she starts to make milk, and her body starts to heal. There are some important things you should know about your mother cat.
Any baby can get mastitis, an infection of a gland in a mammal. This could happen on its own or because the tissue is being scraped by the breastfeeding kits.
Mastitis is a bacterial infection of the milk ducts that happens when the mother cat’s swollen mammary glands stop her from making milk.
The kittens’ teats got hot and swollen, and the mother cat didn’t try to get them to feed, so they got “bruising.”
Mastitis is an emergency in the animal world. Most of the time, antibiotics are needed to keep the cat from getting sick. The cat needs to be fed by hand before it can get better.
Hypocalcemia, also called “milk fever,” is another veterinary emergency that can happen to cats.
Calcium deficiency could be caused by not getting enough calcium while pregnant or while giving birth.
Some of the symptoms are shaking, restlessness, and heavy breathing. The kittens have to be fed by hand while their mother gets better.
Metritis is a serious problem with the uterus that needs to be treated right away by a vet. After puberty, the mother cat’s uterus would usually drain on its own.
On the other hand, a red flag is a leak that doesn’t smell. A fever and the loss of milk are also signs.
The mother cat will have to go to the hospital, where she will need to be spayed right away. When your mother cat comes back, you will be fed and cared for.
When the kittens go to the bathroom, the towels will get dirty quickly. It’s easier to take the towel off to get to the clean layer underneath.
Keep the litter box, food, and water bowls for the mother cat close by. To ensure that you feed her (Kitten Milk Replacement), combine premium canned kitten food with KMR.
These specially made diets make sure that a nursing cat gets all the food she needs.
If there is too much trash, it will be thrown away. If none of her kittens had enough milk, she couldn’t tell them to save it.
Most of the time, this would be clear within the first 24 hours of birth if you looked closely.
A young mother who doesn’t know how to be a parent may be confused or not interested. Some moms try to work things out from time to time. Some people do not. Some people do not.
For example, a mother may have been traumatized by the birth if she wasn’t in a healthy place and had physical problems while she was giving birth.
She will get comfortable and sit down so the kittens can suckle because she is very alert and nervous.
Any animal can have a hard time giving birth. Give these cat moms the same love, care, and support you would give a mother who is going through a hard time.
How to Prevent Cats from Laying on Their Kittens
You could try a few things to keep your mommy cat from sleeping on her kittens. It can be hard to stop completely unless you take the mother cat away from her babies, which is not a good idea.
Let’s look at a few things that could be done to stop this from happening.
1. Check the Nursing Environment
As was already said, one of the main reasons why cats lay on their kittens is to keep them safe.
Most of the time, it’s because they are unhappy or restless where they are. Sometimes, their nursing homes aren’t big enough for the whole family to live there.
Make sure that both the mother cat and her kittens have enough room to move around. If they are too confined, they may feel lost and vulnerable.
Make sure the nursing area has a soft spot (a flat cushion or pillow instead of a blanket), is clear of clutter, and is in a quiet part of the house where mom and baby can relax without feeling threatened.
A good choice would be an empty closet with a cracked open door in an unused guest bedroom on the other side of the house from all the noise. Just put some safe bedding on one side, and you’re all set.
2. Install Feliway Sprays in the Home
Mom’s hormones are all over the place during and after birth, to say the least. If she is a first-time mother, she may be nervous and stressed. Feliway sprays are one of the best ways to make a cat calm down.
Feliway sprays are made to smell like a cat’s pheromones, which it would normally spread around the house by rubbing its face.
When these pheromones are around, they can make your cat feel more calm and safe, which can help mom feel less stressed after giving birth.
When your momma cat feels more comfortable in her environment, she may be less worried and scared, which makes her less likely to protect her kittens.
3. Monitor Activity Frequently
If you check on your cat and her kittens often, you can avoid serious injuries. Obviously, this isn’t a foolproof way to stop your cat from lying on her kittens, and you can’t always watch what they do.
But keeping a close eye on what’s going on does help. If you see the kittens getting crushed, you can stop it before they get hurt badly.
4. Provide Safe Bedding
When nursing, it is very important to have safe bedding. A warm, soft blanket might sound like a good idea, but it can also be dangerous. This is especially true if your mother cat often sleeps on her kittens.
The kittens could be laid on, or they could get tangled up in the blanket and suffocate.
Even though it’s always nice to have something soft and cozy, one of the best ways to take care of bedding is to use a soft cushion or pillow that is flat and won’t get rumpled.
So your kittens will have all the comforts of home without getting tangled up in the sheets.
5. Employ a Surrogate
Most of the time, using a surrogate mother is a last resort that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you think your cat is a serious threat to her kittens or has hurt kittens from a previous litter, she shouldn’t be allowed to nurse anymore.
Sometimes, the only way to make sure the kittens are safe and healthy is to take the litter away and put the kittens with a surrogate cat mom.
Never separate kittens from their mothers unless you can find a suitable surrogate.
Before deciding to separate mom and babies, it’s best to try the other things that could help. Before separating a mother cat from her kittens, it’s also a good idea to talk to your vet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my cat keep leaving her newborn kittens?
Your cat’s mom just wants some time to herself, like many new moms do. She will leave them alone for a few minutes so she can go to the bunker or eat and drink. As her cats age, she spends more on them.
How can I stop my cat from moving her kittens?
You should take as little care of small babies as possible.You should also leave Mom’s cat and kittens alone and make sure they are in a quiet place away from people.
Will a mother cat abandon her kittens if you touch them?
A mother cat won’t “reject” a kitten just because it was touched by a person.
Can mom cats squish their kittens?
Cats are already nervous, but after giving birth, they are even more so. They have to take care of kittens, and sometimes they don’t make enough milk to feed them all at once.
Because they are so upset, cats may suffocate or kill their kittens. It’s awful, but it does happen.
Contact your local shelter, rescue group, or vet for help. Keep in mind that even though kittens are cute, over 4 million animals are put down in the United States every year because there are too many of them.
Please get your cats spayed or neutered.
Have you ever seen a cat turn away her own kittens? How did you do something to help? Please tell us what you think in the section below.
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