Your cat just had kittens, great! It is an exciting time in your house with the newborn kittens. You need to make sure the mother cat is all set and has everything she needs at her disposal, including a spacey litter. But some time later you see her trying to get her kittens away from her comfy litter and moving them to another place? What should you do now? Why does your cat keep moving her kittens?
In this article, we will be discussing this topic and giving you tips on what you can do to minimize your cat’s discomfort and allow her to keep her kittens in one place.
Should I be worried if my cat keeps moving her kittens?
Your cat will probably want to relax after giving birth to its beautiful kittens. So if you see it trying to escape its litter box to move its kittens this soon, then there can be a problem.
As new mothers and young kittens, it is probably best if they stay in one place as it is hygienic for them with less chance of any contamination. New kittens are also very prone to getting sick easily.
There is also a safety issue, meaning even though the mother should have a firm grip on her kitten, if she manages to drop the kitten then it can get injured.
There could be a number of reasons why it wants to move its kittens, and one such reason could be that it feels like its kittens are threatened.
We will discuss the reasons why your cat may feel threatened by its kittens in detail. But when you figure out why your cat is moving her kittens you can fix those reasons and get her to stay in one place with ease.
It is worth noting that if you do everything you can to keep your kitten in one place and it still wants to move, then you should let it move.
Reasons why my cat keeps moving her kittens
If your cat is a first time mom, it can be tough for both her and you to care for it. You may even find some of its behavior confusing, but there is a learning curve to it.
In any case, it is important to be understanding with your cat and take extra care to make it comfortable whether that involves letting her move her kittens or stay in one place.
Your cat may want a cleaner place for her kittens
As a new mother, it is completely normal that your cat wants a clean and hygienic place for its kittens.
In fact, this should be taken care of by its owner when the cat is in labor so the kittens have a clean place to stay.
If you have not done this, it is not too late. So your cat is moving its kittens? Maybe you can clean its place up a bit so it feels comfortable to stay here again.
Lay a few towels and disinfect the area. Remove any dirt and keep some clean water and food around the litter. This should be good enough for your cat to keep her kittens in.
However, you should clean the litter often otherwise your cat will try to look for alternative places again.
She is a new mother and is confused
Being a new mother is not easy. If your cat is constantly looking for new places for her kittens, then chances are that it is just confusing.
This is normal behavior and nothing serious to be worried about. Your job is to make sure that you have all the necessities prepared and kept near the cat’s litter.
Just give it space and some time to sort itself out. It will learn and find the best place for its kids on its own and then you can create a proper setup for her there.
She may just want to protect her kittens
It is a norm for mammals to keep their child and loved ones protected from harm and they may do so by hiding them from harm’s way.
Cats exhibit this behavior with their newborn child as well. If they feel like something may harm their kittens, they may constantly move around to find a safe place until they do not feel any harm.
Another safety concern for cats is that when the new babies are born, the predators can tell by their scent and easily hunt them as prey.
Hence, you may find your cat trying to move its kittens every few days to minimize this risk.
While indoor cats are at a lesser risk to face this issue, their instincts may still cause them to behave this way.
Some of the kittens may be ill or injured
If one or two of the kittens are sick, the mother cat may feel the need to separate its kittens from the rest of the litter so the other kittens do not get sick.
It also needs to give the rest of the kittens proper care so they remain healthy, and if it feels like one of the kittens is going to die, it may leave the kitten to die in another area.
Most kittens do not survive more than 3 months and the mother cat knows this, so it takes the necessary precautions.
If you think a kitten is about to die or maybe injured, then you should contact a vet and get medical help to save its life.
She may be overwhelmed with the number of kittens she has
Some cats have 3-5 kittens, but some can have 18-20 kittens too! Of course, the more the kittens, the tougher they are to take care of by the mother.
So in order to feed each kitten properly and make room for others, they may shift the other kittens to another place until it is ready to bring them back.
The kittens your cat will move away from are usually the sick ones that the cat feels may not survive. This does not mean that it is completely abandoning them.
It just means that it is giving priority to the kittens that have a higher chance of surviving and then it will move on to the weaker kittens.
The place is too noisy
A quiet surrounding is vital for mental peace and proper healing after birth. When your cat is in labor it is advisable to set a quiet place away from the noise to ensure a peaceful birth.
If you do not keep a quiet room, your cat will rush to move its kittens in a different less noisy environment as soon as it feels better.
You can also get a hint about when it feels that the room is noisy. Most of the time when a cat wants to move its kittens to another place, it will move 1 or 2 kittens there first to see if it is an okay place.
When it gets the green signal, it will move all its kittens. So if you see it move one or two kittens, you can get a hint and reduce the noise in its current litter location.
How to get your cat to stop moving her kittens?
Now that we know the different reasons your cat keeps moving its kittens, let us look at things you can do to keep your cat in one place.
Try not to touch the kittens unless necessary
We know just how exciting it is to have cute kittens in the house! But unless there is any problem, you should avoid touching them unnecessarily.
This is because the mother will feel that the kittens may face contamination, and they may also start to feel threatened which causes them to keep moving their kittens constantly.
Experts suggest that you should avoid touching kittens for almost a month to 2 months. After this the kittens will grow and become stronger, making the mother cat open to human contact.
Keep them in a quiet and warm area
As mentioned above, you want to set up a quiet area for your cat’s birth and delivery. Your cat will appreciate it and it will help your cat focus on the kittens.
Moreover, if it is the winter season, it is best if you can keep the house warm and especially the litter area with blankets and a heater.
Young kittens will need to be kept in a nice and warm environment as they can become sick and even die in extreme weather.
Hence, if you take care of these aspects, your cat will not try to move its kittens away from this area.
Make sure the nest is clean
Finally, the best thing you can do is lay out a clean nest for your cat and her newborn kittens.
Cats are very clean animals, so naturally, they want a clean environment for their babies as well.
However, it is important that you keep this environment clean by putting out new bowls of food and water for the cats, otherwise, they will try to look for new locations to settle in once again.
Cleanliness is key to stopping this behavior.
In conclusion, why does your cat keep moving her kittens?
A new mother’s first concern is her kids. If she feels that her kittens are not safe or may feel threatened by something in some way, then she may try to move them to a more secure location.
It may also move her kittens if she feels that the litter is not clean enough, or if there are too many kittens to feed and she is just feeling overwhelmed.
Moreover, if the room is too noisy, the cat may get frustrated and attempt to move its kitten to other locations.
But there are ways you can get your cat to not constantly move her kittens!
You must make sure that the litter is always clean and tidy and change the litter often. Keeping the area warm is also important as cold temperatures can make the fragile kittens sick.
If you can limit your contact with the kittens, please do so, as in their early days’ kittens just need their mothers’ touch and love. It also reduces the risk of contamination.
Do find a quiet area to let the kittens stay in. Noise causes a lot of mental stress for the mother cat and it may affect their caretaking of the kittens.
Finally, enjoy, but from a distance! The mother cat is probably taking good care of the kittens, but you can always steal a look at them every now and then! The kittens are safe and the mother is happy, what more is there to worry about?
Cats show strange behaviour such as sleeping between legs, moving its kittens, scratching mirrors, tail hitting, bedroom door waiting, eye sniffing, chin biting, black boogers, foot standing, back jumping, sighing, peeing in the bathtub and toe licking may actually have solid reasons behind. Its important we educate ourselves about possible reasons and then act timely for any fix.