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Mother cat can't seem to pick up her kittens

Chama
March 6th, 2009, 12:19 PM
It's the strangest thing but the mother cat I have right now can't seem to pick up her own kittens. It's as if she can't get a grip on the scruff of their neck. Has anyone ever heard of this before? She has been checked by the vet and he didn't mention any issues with her teeth but they do seem a little farther out then most cats so I am wondering if maybe that's what is causing the problem. I'm just worried that once they become more mobile it will stress her out when she can't go and get them.

Love4himies
March 6th, 2009, 12:26 PM
How old are the kittens? Not sure what you mean she can't or that she won't? Maybe she is too afraid of hurting them?

Sweet Pea only picked up her kittens once, and that was when she first arrived at my house (they were 5 days old), she actually pretty much picked them up by the head. She wanted to hide them under the bed. Once I provided her with a box that was sufficient for her to lie down with her kittens in she never moved them again.

Love4himies
March 6th, 2009, 12:28 PM
Momma cats don't generally run after then kittens like a human to bring them back, she keeps an eye on them, and will meow when she wants them to come and will go running when they let out a serious meow, and will ATTACK anything that threatens them.

lUvMyLaB<3
March 6th, 2009, 12:32 PM
yup l4h is right, unless the female is stressed out she will not need to move them, once they can move on their own she wont need to anyway she will follow them around and keep watch for them and call them back when she wants them. If the female is wanting to move her kittens around it is a sign that she is stressed out where they are, and you might want to get her a nice box in a place that she is comfortable being, and don't move them.

Love4himies
March 6th, 2009, 12:37 PM
Now if only human moms could train their children to come when they are called :frustrated: :laughing:

lUvMyLaB<3
March 6th, 2009, 12:52 PM
hahaha!! yeah for some reason I still seem to better at training animals than my kids... true story..

Chama
March 6th, 2009, 08:14 PM
I'm actually relieved to hear you say she only picked them up once (by the head) She has a spot that she seems quite comfortable in but once she tried to pick one up and it was by the head and the kitten screamed at the top of it's lungs. She was trying to pick one up the one time because I had moved her basket because I was changing the towel and I guess I didn't move quick enough so she was getting ready to move them back without the basket but didn't seem to be able to get a grip on them. I moved it back right away when she did that. Right now they are at the point that they are falling out of the basket (they are three weeks today) and she just seemes to leave them there without putting them back into their basket. I guess that's why I thought she didn't know how but maybe it is just because she figures they are safe anyway so why bother...I put them into a different bed now that they can get in and out of as it doesn't have high sides. I'm learning a lot with this litter of kittens :)

14+kitties
March 6th, 2009, 09:29 PM
Momma cats don't usually carry their kittens that much. They are famous for moving them on the fourth day. Don't ask me why. They just seem to do that. Even if it is from one side of the room to the other they move them. Once she feels they are safe she usually does not try to move them again.

Are you fostering the mom and kittens?

lUvMyLaB<3
March 6th, 2009, 11:13 PM
14+ EXACTLY!!! I am so glad to hear yo say that! that always happens! I have had so many mothers that search me or my hubby out when they are in labour, so we usually make a bed of towels and such on the couch or bed where they were born, then like clockwork they'll move to under a bed.. I always thought that maybe that is when the mother feels better, has recovered.. but don't really know..

at 3 weeks, yes don't worry they are not going to stay in one place much longer, they will be everywhere! running around with their tails up in the air, I love that!! now is the time to think about another litter box too, I always put one out for them about that age, as soon as they start eating other food the mom wont be doing the job so it is important that they have one that they can get to, no stairs or anything, and no other cats that think it is their territory, when there are small babies like that I put one in the upstairs bathroom until they are old enough to go down stairs.. just a thought, good luck!

Love4himies
March 7th, 2009, 07:09 AM
14+ EXACTLY!!! I am so glad to hear yo say that! that always happens! I have had so many mothers that search me or my hubby out when they are in labour, so we usually make a bed of towels and such on the couch or bed where they were born, then like clockwork they'll move to under a bed.. I always thought that maybe that is when the mother feels better, has recovered.. but don't really know..

at 3 weeks, yes don't worry they are not going to stay in one place much longer, they will be everywhere! running around with their tails up in the air, I love that!! now is the time to think about another litter box too, I always put one out for them about that age, as soon as they start eating other food the mom wont be doing the job so it is important that they have one that they can get to, no stairs or anything, and no other cats that think it is their territory, when there are small babies like that I put one in the upstairs bathroom until they are old enough to go down stairs.. just a thought, good luck!
Ahhhh the pitter patter of kitten feet :D All over the house, never wanting to go back to their room when you want them to :laughing: :laughing:

Chama
March 7th, 2009, 09:01 AM
Thanks! Yes, I am fostering both the mom and kittens. Two of the kittens are already spoken for and he is coming to pick them out next weekend. I am still having a hard time telling two of the black ones apart so hopefully they will have some more identifying features at that point :)

14+kitties
March 7th, 2009, 09:07 AM
I hope you mean he is just coming to pick the ones he wants. Not that he is picking them up to take them home. They would only be four weeks old. Much too young to be taken from mom.
Thank you for helping mom and babies. They will have a good start to life now.

catlover2
March 7th, 2009, 12:57 PM
Dab a little nail polish on back of neck of one or tie a coloured ribbon around the neck to distingish one black kitten from another.
Kittens should not leave for a new home before 8 wks. old minimum.

rainbow
March 7th, 2009, 01:28 PM
How come we don't have any pics yet? :yell:

Love4himies
March 7th, 2009, 01:43 PM
Please don't let the kittens go at four weeks :eek:. The will still be nursing 50 percent of the time, plus they need proper socialization. It could lead to personality issues for the rest of their lives. I would not allow any of my fosters to go until 12 weeks.

lUvMyLaB<3
March 7th, 2009, 01:59 PM
I agree with L4H 12 weeks is best, that is when the mom starts to wean them, if you leave a mother and kittens together you will find that she actually will continue to nurse for much longer, 6-8 weeks is way way too young imo, they are still fragile babies at that point, I have had some that have left at 10 weeks back to rescue, but that was not up to me..

heehee the pitter patter.. yes! ohh and how I love when they run around chasing eachother and their tails are straight up!! *cute* I just don't like how quickly every single kitten learns to attack my feet when I am making beds.. owwww

Chama
March 7th, 2009, 04:07 PM
Sorry, I guess I should have been clearer! I absolutely will not let the kittens go until a minimum of 8 weeks. So what kind of ribbon do you use? Is there a type that would break if they ever got caught on something?

catlover2
March 8th, 2009, 02:48 PM
To set your mind at ease, I would opt for a little dab of nail polish on the fur, rather than a ribbon. On second thought, if Mom cat is an enthusiatic groomer she may try to lick it off kitty's neck, so better spot would be just on top of the tail.

14+kitties
March 8th, 2009, 05:40 PM
Chama, is there some way you can identify them from their ears? The inside of ears sometimes have spots. Maybe one has more than the other? Or possibly the claws. Or tongues. Sometimes kitties have black spots on their tongues too. Maybe try that. It would be safer. I would hesitate putting anything around a small kittens neck. Would not put anything toxic on their little bodies either.

Love4himies
March 8th, 2009, 06:37 PM
I agree with 14+. Momma will be licking her babies all over too. I know it is hard to tell them apart now, but there must be some other way. Sex and colour maybe?

Chama
March 10th, 2009, 01:30 PM
Thanks for the suggestions! I am getting a little better at telling them apart now that they are moving around. Two of them are still very hard to tell apart so I will definitely use the suggestion about spots in their ears and see if that helps. I will post some pics tonight :)

NoahGrey
March 10th, 2009, 02:08 PM
I have to say that I am concerned about your posts Chama. You say that they are from a fostering and I assume it is from a shelter. How come it seems like the shelter is not that much involved. If you have questions, you should be contacting them and expressing your concerns. Expecially if the mom is not well.

Like I said in your other post that you posted on here. A sick cat can deterate quickly and fast. Even in a week. It could be that mom needs time to herself (like in another foster home), so she can grow strong and healthy, and the kittens will have to be bottle fed.

I just find it strange that you have not mentioned no contact with the shelter.

ACO22