If you notice the mother ignoring specific babies and refusing to let them feed, she is rejecting those kittens. Another symptom of rejection is when a mother takes one or more of the kittens away from the nest in order to isolate them. She may also hiss at the kittens or attempt to bite them.
If a mother cat senses that one of her kittens is afflicted by a viral or bacterial illness, she might abandon the kitten so that it will not infect its siblings. Some veterinarians will not treat newborn, abandoned kittens because chances are high that the kitten is already sick and has a low chance of survival.
Kittens Are Becoming More Independent
Kittens don’t stay little very long. Mothers know when it’s time to back off and allow their little ones to develop some independence. You might see the mom leaving just a few weeks after the kittens were born. That’s perfectly normal and expected behavior.
A newborn kitten can only survive for 12 hours without a mother’s milk. A little grown-up kitten can survive up to 4 days without food. In such cases, keep the alternative of milk which contains almost all the nutrients. A milk replacement formula is one such option.
It is a common misconception that a mother cat will not care for her kittens if they are touched, but don’t worry she doesn’t mind. However, don’t be surprised if they’re moved the next time you check on them! If you find neonatal kittens the best thing to do is leave them alone! Mom will most likely come back.
Leaving earlier than 8 weeks can be done, but it’s best to wait until the kitten is at least 8 weeks old. Kittens younger than that are still quite dependent on their mothers and need her for both nutrition and socialization.
The mother cat will initiate feeding during the first two weeks, and the kittens should appear to have full, plump bellies after nursing. If the kittens are not nursing every 1–2 hours, they’re likely not getting enough nutrition.
Mother cats take good care of their kittens, but after the weaning stage, they will tend to forget about them since the bond between mother and kittens will weaken. At around 10 to 12 weeks, the mother cat will most likely resent the kittens since at this time they are ready to be independent and on their own.
They instinctively know if something is wrong with one of their newborns, whether it’s a birth defect or a sickness that could also endanger the rest of the kittens. The moment the mama cat realizes this, she may move the kitten away and separate it from the rest.
(Kittens younger than four months should not be left alone for more than four hours. Older than that, they can handle another hour or so.
You need to take care of them well to ensure they don’t lack the necessities they would have gotten from their mother. A kitten cannot survive for more than 12hours without the mother’s milk. What is this? That’s why you need to look for an alternative like kitten replacement milk to keep the kitten alive.
Kittens less than two weeks of age require feedings every two to four hours. Kittens two to four weeks of age need feedings every four to six hours. Weaning, as described below, should begin at three to four weeks of age.
Your new kitten is hungry
Kittens cry out if they’re hungry or if they feel it has been too long in between their feeding times. If your kitten is routinely crying out for food (every single day), you might want to look into your feeding schedule and the cat food you’re feeding them.
Should newborn kittens be kept in the dark? Kittens are born blind and don’t open their eyes until somewhere between 7-14 days. They won’t need to stay in a dark room, but it’s best to keep them away from bright lights.
Unfortunately, orphaned kittens less than 4 weeks old cannot live without their mother, and must be bottle fed around the clock in order to survive. Thankfully, most discoveries of newborn kittens do not call for human assistance, and in fact, leaving Mom and her family alone is generally the best thing you can do.
Even so, mother cats also face the same reality as their kittens. They don’t remember their kittens when they are grown up! Since cats rely on scents to remember each other, mothers will forget their kittens shortly after being separated. Once a kitten leaves and is no longer with its mother, it picks up new scents.
Entice the mom cat with a safe, quiet location with food, water, litter, and maybe some treats. That’s totally normal! At 3 weeks, kittens are curious about their surroundings. Just make sure that the mom cat isn’t trying to take them to an unsafe location.
To boost milk production if she doesn’t have an appetite, you may be able to entice her to eat by making some of her own kitten gruel or mixing wet food into her usual dry food. Sometimes the strong smell of moist food encourages felines to eat.
Still, you can know that milk is being produced if the kittens are nuzzling up to their mother’s belly and suckling on her nipples. Kittens intuitively know how to suck. They will spend their time either suckling or sleeping. When there is no problem in the mother’s lactation, the kittens will be quiet and sedate.
Can male cats recognize their own kittens? Most likely not, since in feral colonies cats will breed repeatedly and can end up with a litter from more than one father. This can make it difficult for tomcats to recognize their kittens, but some can recognize their offspring through scent.
To answer the question, cat mother’ forget their kitten in approx 10 weeks. Yes, that’s much it is needed for a cat mother to remove her kittens from her memory lane.
Most cats would prefer to be left alone, and they definitely don’t want to be pet or touched while they are giving birth. It’s best to give your pregnant cat as much privacy as possible while also leaving yourself the ability to monitor the birthing process for any signs of issues or distress.
Nursing mother cats need to eat a high quality kitten formula food. If she is a picky eater, do not hesitate to try feeding her canned tuna, chicken or salmon. Do not give cow’s milk to cats, despite popular belief, it is impossible for cat’s to digest and often causes serious stomach upset.
Cats move their kittens for protection, warmth, and security. Sometimes a cat will move her kittens when she needs a break. Check that they’ve been left somewhere warm and aren’t being subjected to excessive light or noise. Be mindful of how your cat behaves after giving birth.
Vets recommend not touching kittens unless you have to while their eyes are still closed. You can check on them to make sure they’re healthy and gaining weight, but try to limit direct physical contact. The kitten’s mother will also let you know how comfortable she is with you handling her babies.