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Old 21-08-2007, 09:37
bingoes
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My cat gave birth to 4 kittens last week, everything was fine with kittens and mother, she has been very protective of them and loving, they all seemed to be feeding fine etc.

Last night she was getting very restless and moaning constantly, she then took one of the kittens in her mouth and went upstairs with it and hid in a corner behind some boxes, I heard the kitten screaming and when I found where she was, she appeared to be biting the kitten very hard round the neck. I had to pull all the boxes away to get at them, she would not let go of the kitten and I had to force them apart. I put the kitten back with the others and tried to calm down the mother by giving her some food, that seemed to work for about 20 minutes, then she went back to the kittens and again took another kitten away and run upstairs with it up in her mouth and went back to that corner, the kitten was screaming and she was sitting on top of the kitten squashing it in the corner, again i had to force her off to retrieve the kitten. This is at 2 in the morning, I didn't know what to do apart from seperating her for a while from the kittens and shut all doors so she couldnt take them away again. I let her back with the kittens and she again tried to take a kitten upstairs but as the door was shut she wandered around moaning with kitten in her mouth and then put the kitten back with the others and joined them in bed. She seemed to calm down and I stroked her till she went to sleep. I have stayed up all night on cat watch is case it happened again. This morning went to loo at 7.00 and then I heard a kitten screaming again, she had again got hold of a kitten and taken it upstairs, I run upstairs and she again was biting the kitten round the neck so hard. Went through the whole process again and Im on cat watch again, the mother is moaning constantly.

I have never experienced a female cat before and this pregnancy wasn't planned, she became pregnant before I could get her spayed.

Anyone know if this is normal behaviour for a new mother. Ive read that they can come into season soon after giving birth? is this what is making her moan and behave like this towards the kittens?

I'm scared that mother will seriously hurt the kittens and she is obviously distressed about something

Any advice will be appreciated, I will also phone vet to see what he can advise.
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Old 21-08-2007, 09:53
CabbagesAhoy!
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I am no expert and obviously seeking the vet's advice is the right thing to do BUT I wonder if she feels where she is currently 'nesting' is secure enough? Has someone or something strange come into the house?
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Old 21-08-2007, 09:55
StressMonkey
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Where is her bed? Is it somewhere she is undisturbed, quiet and 'secure' like an unused bedroom? Or in the lounge? Are there any other animals/children around?

She sounds stressed/distressed/insecure.
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Old 21-08-2007, 09:58
bilijojimbob
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could she be rejecting them because you keep touching them? sounds like Mum isnt happy where they are at the moment . IS she doing it with all of them or one in particular? If it's just one , maybe isolate it and hand rear that one .. Phone the vet now in case she is rejecting them , if she's trying to hide them all away then I think she's unhappy where they are .. Please try not to touch the kittens too much at this stage either , she will see you as taking over .

good luck.
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Old 21-08-2007, 09:58
stud u like
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Is the kitten she is attacking the runt? Runt kittens often get attacked or have their tails bitten off.
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Old 21-08-2007, 10:21
housewife
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Maybe she'd like to pick on someone her own size? (eg you).

Be fair though and try a passive measure first. Lead by example. Cuddle and generally mother the kittens in front of mommy cat and hopefully it will learn from you. If it does carry on attack defenceless kittens, give it a little tap on the nose, pull it away and say "no!". Then go to the kittens and stroke and cuddle them again. Make sure you do this immediately so that mommy cat knows why she was reprimanded.


Good luck!
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Old 21-08-2007, 10:34
bingoes
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Thanks all for your advice. Ive just spoken to the vet, he just said she probably is fed up with them and will reject them and get prepared for feeding them myself

She is still in the lounge in the bed (cat bed) where she gave birth, its in a quite area and she has been happy there for the past week. No changes have taken place and we haven't handled the kittens much, maybe now and again when she turns in the bed and lays on them have I picked the kitten up put it by her belly. She has tried to take all of them upstairs into that corner, so she isn't selecting any particular one. I wouldn't mind her moving them upstairs but she is agressive towards them, as if she is trying to break their necks.

She has just taken another one in her mouth to take upstairs, the door is closed and she has taken it back to her bed, she will get in the bed for about 15 minutes and then repeat the process, she obviously wants them out of the bed.

I was thinking that maybe I should clear away the boxes, and take her bed and the kittens up stairs and placing them all in that corner of the room and keep watch from a distance, or will that cause more distress if I take over the move ?
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Old 21-08-2007, 10:37
claire2281
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Cuddle and generally mother the kittens in front of mommy cat and hopefully it will learn from you.
No! Don't touch them unless you absolutely have to. They're only a week old and if you keep handling them it can disturb her enough to reject them. It's the same with any animal young - you try to leave them to it as much as possible because mothers are nervous and can abandoned their young if they get overly stressed.

I'd agree with what others have said. If she's moving them (different ones, not an individual) then it may be she is not happy where she is. Perhaps trying moving her basket somewhere quieter and more out of the way. If it is one particular kitten she is targeting then I would be concerned that this is the runt of the litter or it has something wrong with it. Animals can often detect this in their young and won't waste their energy as such, rejecting an animal they don't think will survive. You definitely need to call the vets for advice, particularly if it is just one kitten she is attacking.

You could possibly hand rear it if this is the case and there's nothing seriously wrong with it but be aware that this is very hard work and many don't survive.

Hope it works out. Let us know.
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Old 21-08-2007, 10:41
stud u like
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Thanks all for your advice. Ive just spoken to the vet, he just said she probably is fed up with them and will reject them and get prepared for feeding them myself

She is still in the lounge in the bed (cat bed) where she gave birth, its in a quite area and she has been happy there for the past week. No changes have taken place and we haven't handled the kittens much, maybe now and again when she turns in the bed and lays on them have I picked the kitten up put it by her belly. She has tried to take all of them upstairs into that corner, so she isn't selecting any particular one. I wouldn't mind her moving them upstairs but she is agressive towards them, as if she is trying to break their necks.

She has just taken another one in her mouth to take upstairs, the door is closed and she has taken it back to her bed, she will get in the bed for about 15 minutes and then repeat the process, she obviously wants them out of the bed.

I was thinking that maybe I should clear away the boxes, and take her bed and the kittens up stairs and placing them all in that corner of the room and keep watch from a distance, or will that cause more distress if I take over the move ?
Upstairs might be warmer. Too many people in a room with them would put me off. Plus handling them leaves a smell on them,so that is probably why she is moving them too.

I had a think and a friends cat would move her kittens about from place to place a lot especially if left in a place she did not consider safe.
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Old 21-08-2007, 10:43
StressMonkey
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Thanks all for your advice. Ive just spoken to the vet, he just said she probably is fed up with them and will reject them and get prepared for feeding them myself

She is still in the lounge in the bed (cat bed) where she gave birth, its in a quite area and she has been happy there for the past week. No changes have taken place and we haven't handled the kittens much, maybe now and again when she turns in the bed and lays on them have I picked the kitten up put it by her belly. She has tried to take all of them upstairs into that corner, so she isn't selecting any particular one. I wouldn't mind her moving them upstairs but she is agressive towards them, as if she is trying to break their necks.

She has just taken another one in her mouth to take upstairs, the door is closed and she has taken it back to her bed, she will get in the bed for about 15 minutes and then repeat the process, she obviously wants them out of the bed.

I was thinking that maybe I should clear away the boxes, and take her bed and the kittens up stairs and placing them all in that corner of the room and keep watch from a distance, or will that cause more distress if I take over the move ?
If it were me I'd move them, perhaps leaving some of the boxes for 'cover' so she feels more secure.

She could easily kill them if she wanted. Ever seen a cat eviserate a rabbit? So it seems more like she is very stressed & biting the scruffs too hard. This is her first (and hopefully last) litter so she is an inexperienced mum only going on instinct. If her instinct is for some where dark, covered & secluded then she will get stressed unless she gets it.


Oh, just incase you didn't know, most of us pretty much ignore housewife's advice especially when it comes to animal husbandry.
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Old 21-08-2007, 10:43
Purity
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I agree with what's been said, it sounds like she's not happy where she is and wants to move upstairs. Hopefully she'll settle down once she feels more secure. Hand rearing is hard work, but not impossible

When it comes to cats, ignore housewife's advice
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Old 21-08-2007, 10:48
Whirliegig
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Can the Cats Protection League help with advice? - or even, take the kittens off your hands if the mother does reject them, and it's not possible due to work, (or you don't feel confident) to hand rear them.

Even if the CPL won't take them, they will probably know "cat person" who will, and who is experience doing such work!

Poor puss. It's difficult being a first time mum.
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Old 21-08-2007, 10:51
anj
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I am no expert and obviously seeking the vet's advice is the right thing to do BUT I wonder if she feels where she is currently 'nesting' is secure enough? Has someone or something strange come into the house?
My cat did that too. Sometimes they do want to move them to where they feel happy. Sometimes they also seem to single out one kitten and bat hell out of it. It should pass.
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Old 21-08-2007, 11:24
balotz
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I had a cat which did this once. I noticed one day that one of the kittens (week old) was missing; we searched but couldn't find it anywhere.

We knew the mother had moved the kitten somewhere, so we kept an eye on her, and sure enough, she picked up another one, kitten screaming all the way; we followed her to the kitchen, and watched as she went though a hole in the floorboard under the sink, and deposited the kitten!

We managed to recover both the kittens and cover up the hole - but the mother cat found another place in the corner of the room to relocate her litter.

The reason she's doing this is probably, as others have mentioned, that she does not feel the current place is secure enough.
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Old 21-08-2007, 11:43
bilijojimbob
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aw, Im not normally full of 'aw' but poor Mum cat and babies and poor you

allow Mum to move them ( or you lift the whole box) and put it where she wants them , then keep a close eye on her to see what she does next .. As someone already posted , if she wanted to kill them she would probably have down it by now .. She sounds more stressed out than anything . Keep talking gently to her and try not to scold her . If she's still 'hurting' them this time tomorrow , you probably will have to hand rear them ( hard work but the rewards when they thrive are emotionally excellant)
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Old 21-08-2007, 12:25
bacchantic enigma
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Yup, I'd say that if it's different kittens that she's moving, then it's not a kitten problem, and if she's moving them to the same place each time, she is desperate to go there. Try letting her move them all to the area she is desperately trying to get them to, and see if that calms her down? You could always stand guard over the moved ones from a distance while her 'operation relocation' is underway.

It looks like she might be trying to move them somewhere warmer or darker to protect their eyes , she doesn't feel secure where they are, or doesn't want them around people

Hope this helps

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cat...970--2,RNFA:en
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Old 21-08-2007, 12:45
Virtuousdream
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Yep, I agree with the above advice (except Housewife's, of course). try moving them all in their bed where the mother wants to move them to, and see if she's calmer.

Poor mummy, you and kittens. I hope it all works out
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Old 21-08-2007, 12:51
orangebird
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My cat gave birth to 4 kittens last week, everything was fine with kittens and mother, she has been very protective of them and loving, they all seemed to be feeding fine etc.

Last night she was getting very restless and moaning constantly, she then took one of the kittens in her mouth and went upstairs with it and hid in a corner behind some boxes, I heard the kitten screaming and when I found where she was, she appeared to be biting the kitten very hard round the neck. I had to pull all the boxes away to get at them, she would not let go of the kitten and I had to force them apart. I put the kitten back with the others and tried to calm down the mother by giving her some food, that seemed to work for about 20 minutes, then she went back to the kittens and again took another kitten away and run upstairs with it up in her mouth and went back to that corner, the kitten was screaming and she was sitting on top of the kitten squashing it in the corner, again i had to force her off to retrieve the kitten. This is at 2 in the morning, I didn't know what to do apart from seperating her for a while from the kittens and shut all doors so she couldnt take them away again. I let her back with the kittens and she again tried to take a kitten upstairs but as the door was shut she wandered around moaning with kitten in her mouth and then put the kitten back with the others and joined them in bed. She seemed to calm down and I stroked her till she went to sleep. I have stayed up all night on cat watch is case it happened again. This morning went to loo at 7.00 and then I heard a kitten screaming again, she had again got hold of a kitten and taken it upstairs, I run upstairs and she again was biting the kitten round the neck so hard. Went through the whole process again and Im on cat watch again, the mother is moaning constantly.

I have never experienced a female cat before and this pregnancy wasn't planned, she became pregnant before I could get her spayed.

Anyone know if this is normal behaviour for a new mother. Ive read that they can come into season soon after giving birth? is this what is making her moan and behave like this towards the kittens?

I'm scared that mother will seriously hurt the kittens and she is obviously distressed about something

Any advice will be appreciated, I will also phone vet to see what he can advise.

First of all - stop handling the kittens! Don't interfere with how they are laying, they'll sort themselves out. All you're doing is leaving a scent on them that the mother does not want - that alone can lead to rejection.

Secondly, a lounge is NOT a good place for a cat who's just had kittens, there's too much 'traffic'. They need peace, quiet and a bit of solitude. Let her take the kittens where she wants them to be. What she's doing may look and sound rough to you, but it's fine - kittens make lots of squealy horrible noises in the first few weeks, that's all they know.

Thirdly - get your cat spayed as soon as you can after she's physically recovered. I can't tell you how angry this makes me - if your cat wasn't neutered for what ever reason, you should not have let her out to get pregnant in the first place. I'm also assuming that the mother is still quite a young cat too? That's abnother reason for NOT letting them get pregnant... I'm sorry if this comes across as harsh, but you've clearly no idea how to keep cats, nor do you seem to have any basic knowledge of primal mothering instincts of a feline.
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Old 21-08-2007, 13:48
eunicelouise658
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Was there a lot of kitten handling by you or anyone else prior to this crisis? At this early stage mum and kittens should have had a safe, quiet place to rest. I feel all the kitchens maybe rejected because human interference has damaged the natural order of things. Did you read about how to support nursing mums before she had the kittens? She should really have had privacy but I know sometimes the cuteness of the kittens means people can't keep away but I think that just leaves mum far too stressed.
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Old 21-08-2007, 13:53
clarets1
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Its natural for the mother to remove the kittens from the place they were born, she is protecting them from predators that might pick up the scent. My cat removed the kittens from the box and put them under the bed in the spare room.
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Old 21-08-2007, 14:44
dooberywotsit
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Just leave the cat to get on with what she wants to do. If she's hiding her kittens somewhere that feels safer, and you go finding her, she'll panic and squeeze harder on the kitten's scruff. She won't hurt them unless people keep disturbing her. Don't move her bed for her. Just leave the door open to the upstairs bit that she so badly wants to go and hide in. Leave her alone with them all the time if you can. If you want to check on them, do it very quietly. Just have a quick look. Don't touch anything at all. Talk to the mummy and tell her she's beautiful and a good girl, and make sure she knows where her food and litter tray are.
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Old 21-08-2007, 17:15
bingoes
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Thankyou all for your advice, which on reflection is all common sense. But at the early hours of this morning, I was in panic, fearing that she was trying to harm them. I would like to say that I did not want the cat to have kittens. I have always owned cats and have always made sure they have been neutered, but a mistake happened. She was older than I thought she was, and she will be spayed as soon as possible.

I have taken her bed up to the area, and surrounded the area with boxes so she's in a closed, dark area. She definetly seems more settled. I hope this does the trick. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again for all advice.
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Old 21-08-2007, 19:24
Cassini
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And in a few weeks when hopefully all are more settled and happy - don't forget to post some pics!
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Old 21-08-2007, 20:37
bilijojimbob
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Glad Mum is feeling a bit more content with her kittens .. keep us posted .
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Old 21-08-2007, 20:44
jackol
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Google is your friend
http://www.messybeast.com/kill_kit.htm
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