As a pet parent you may be happy that the cat family is expanding while at the same time it also means additional responsibilities for you. So, how to stop the cat from moving kittens? You should handle the newborns as little as possible, leave mama cat and the kittens at peace, and make sure they are in a place where it is quiet and away from noise and human activity.
Reasons why a mother cat moves its kittens
Mother cats are very protective of their newborns and tend to be aggressive towards people and other animals. This is perfectly normal behavior as mother cats have an ingrained instinct to protect their young. Maternal aggression will eventually subside as the kittens grow.
Here are the common reasons why a mother cat moves its kittens to other areas in the house:
She wants to put her kittens in a safe place
A mama cat will usually move her kittens away from the place where she originally gave birth after a few days. She does this because there may be something that she noticed that may pose as a threat to her kittens’ safety. It could be something as trivial as loud noises or other activity in that area.
To put off predators
Mother cats possess not only maternal instincts but an ingrained instinct to protect herself and her newborns from predators in the wild. Although they are already domesticated, this instinct to protect the young still manifests itself upon giving birth. Moving her newborns is a mama cat’s way to throw off predators from the scent of her kittens.
She is looking for a cleaner nest for her kittens
Another reason why a mama cat will move her kittens to another place is that she does not like the smell and feel of the place they’re currently in. She may be put off by some unusual odors like the scent of rotten food, or strong odor coming from chemicals.
She found a quiet and dim place
Mother cats need a quiet place where they can be left alone with the kittens and if is not possible because of factors like loud noises caused by people, appliances, or other pets, they may move their young to other remote or dark nooks in the house. Again, this is just part of her maternal instinct to protect her kittens and also herself as she recuperates from giving birth.
How to stop cat from moving kittens
As earlier mentioned, moving her kittens is a natural and normal behavior among mother cats. Thus, it is not always advisable to literally stop a mama cat from carrying her kittens to another place. Once you see a mother cat carrying her kittens one by one, it is futile to stop her from doing so, or to return the newborns to the former place. Likely, she will just move them again anyway once you are not looking.
Here is what you can do instead to keep her from moving kittens around too often:
- If you notice the mama cat looking for a new place let her find a better spot and make her and the kittens more comfortable there.
- If you want your cat and her kittens to stay put in the original spot, make sure that the place is peaceful, clean and comfortable for them by making sure that the bedding is clean and the surrounding is odor-free.
The bottom line here is that moving kittens is a normal mother cat behavior, but that you can prevent or stop the mama cat from moving kittens all too often by understanding, as well as catering, to her essentials.
Post-natal care for the mother cat and kittens
Aside from making sure that your pet cat and her newborns are settled in and comfortable in their nest or spot, it is also imperative to look after their health and well-being. A week after giving birth, you should bring your pet cat and her kittens to your vet for a thorough check-up and evaluation. Your vet may administer the vaccination to the mama cat and also give treatment for roundworms to protect her and her young.
As for the kittens, your vet will check for any symptoms or indications of congenital disease, respiratory infection, or illnesses caused by parasites.
For the mama cat, he will check for any indications of postpartum health issues.
Here are some of the common health conditions observed among mama cats:
- Uterine metritis – This is a severe infection of the uterus and considered a veterinary emergency. Its symptoms are foul-smelling discharge, fever, lethargy, and inability to produce milk.
- Mastitis – A bacterial infection of the milk ducts when a mother cat’s milk production gets blocked by inflamed mammary glands. This could lead to a mama cat’s refusal to nurse her young because it becomes painful to her due to the swollen and bruised teats. Treatment of this condition is usually antibiotics and the kittens may need to be hand-fed or bottle-fed.
- Hypocalcemia – This condition is due to a lack of calcium during pregnancy and nursing. Its symptoms are muscle tremors, seizures, restlessness, staggering, and excessive panting.