If your mother cat has started to act aggressively towards her kittens you may be wondering why she is acting like this…
Why does my mother cat hate her kitten?
The main reason for a mother cat hating its kitten is she outgrows it. When kittens reach a certain age it may seem like their mother hates them. Her instincts are telling her that it’s time for the kittens to expand their horizons and start doing things on their own.
So, now you know. But, what can you do to protect your kittens? Will a mother cat abandon her kittens? Could it harm or even eat them? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…
Do mother cats lose their maternal love over time?
Mother cats do lose their maternal love. With time a mother cat no longer feels the need to tend to their every need and likely wants some time to snooze on her own.
Her aggression is likely to simmer down with time. However, since she knows they are no longer dependent on her she will no longer be as motherly to them as before.
3 signs that a mother cat hates her kittens:
An angry-looking cat.
Here are some tell-tale signs that a mother cat has had enough and starting to hate her kittens:
- She’s irritated: If the mother cat doesn’t want her kittens she may seem irritated or distressed when they are nearby. She may even hiss or growl at them to signal that she is irritated.
- She’s more aggressive: She may become more aggressive than just hissing if she’s bothered by the kittens. This could involve swatting, biting, or even fighting.
- She’s stopped caring for them: Mother cats typically will snuggle with their kittens to ensure they’re warm. They’ll also do things to care for them like grooming and feeding. If she has stopped showing her maternal instincts then it’s likely she no longer likes her kittens.
What can you do to protect your kitten from its mother?
If you plan to keep the kittens and the mother doesn’t seem to warm up to them then an option that other cat owners have used is to neuter them. They claim a mother cat is more likely to accept the kittens once they have been neutered.
And, some would argue, if you are not planning on breeding her again it would be a good idea to get her fixed too.
However, if the kittens aren’t old enough to be neutered yet it is a good idea to keep them separate from the mother cat when you are not able to monitor them together.
Will a mother cat ever harm her own kitten?
A mother cat could harm her own kitten. It’s normal to see a mother cat hissing at her kittens. This is their way of communicating and when she’s hissing she has something she’s telling them.
In most cases when this occurs you shouldn’t interfere, but you should keep a close eye on them to make sure it doesn’t go further than that.
Cat behavior is a lot different than how humans act, so some of the mother’s behavior may seem almost abusive to us. In most cases, an upset mother cat doesn’t have intentions to harm her kitten.
Some mothers may get too aggressive so you will need to step in to make sure the kitten doesn’t get harmed.
Is it true that some mother cats have eaten their own kitten?
There have been cases where mother cats have eaten their own kittens. Some mother cats have hormonal imbalances, which is why they might reject their kittens as their own. When this happens they go into a state of mental distress and view their kittens as a threat, which is why they could attack or even eat the kitten.
Sometimes if a kitten is ill or has deceased, the mother has the instinct to eat them as a way to remove that kitten from the living area of the other kittens.
Another reason they may eat their kittens is if they have been moved away from where they gave birth. The mother chose that spot as a safe space to hide her kittens, if she feels they are no longer safe she may kill them.
Do mother cats abandon their kittens?
A scared looking kitten.
It is normal for mothers to abandon their kittens once they reach a certain age because the kittens will be old enough to fend for themselves. A female cat can get pregnant twice a year, and each time she could give birth to an average of 4 kittens in a litter.
If the mother cat doesn’t abandon her kittens then she’ll end up with dozens of cats following her around. Not only would this drain her energy, but they would also take up all the food. For her own survival, a wild mother cat will abandon her kittens when they’re old enough.
This is why it may seem like your female cat hates her kittens, but this is only an instinct of hers. Even if you have enough food in your pantry to keep all the cats fed for months, she will still view them as a threat to her food supply.
How to care for newborn kittens and a mother cat:
Once the kittens are born, the first 3 weeks are very crucial for both the mother and her babies. Here are some tips:
01. Comfortable environment
You will want to make sure they have a comfortable environment because those kittens will be growing quickly, and the mother will need her rest.
02. Give them attention
To make sure the new kittens remain calm, always give them attention at the mother’s pace. Read her for signals.
03. Keep them warm and cozy
Kittens can get cold easily, so try to provide them with items they will find comforting. Soft and warm blankets are always welcome to be snuggled on. If you have any heating lamps or heating pads (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad), they appreciate them as well.
Most mother cats are comfortable keeping their kittens in a large box. You can make one more comfortable by lining it with towels.
04. Get them checked out
Always make sure you take the mother and her babies to the vet for a wellness check, it’s a good idea to try and book an appointment a week after they’ve been born.
Do stray mother cats hate their kittens after they grow up?
Stray mother cats may seem to hate their kittens once they grow up, but this isn’t the case at all. A mother cat knows that she only needs to care for her young until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
Once they are a certain age, they will chase the kittens away for territorial reasons, regardless if she is a stray or feral cat. This is mainly to prevent inbreeding and keep her food supply.
How can you train your mother cat to stop being aggressive?
To train your mother cat to be less aggressive make sure she has her own food and water dishes, and her own litter box. This way she is less likely to view the kittens as threats.
Until she realizes these kittens aren’t a threat to her habitat, try to set your home up so they can be protected. Baby gates (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) and separate rooms help.
It’s natural for the mother cat to be aggressive, but these are simple things you can do to help keep her calm. Firstly, you must understand this is hormonal behavior and a completely natural instinct.
Try not to get upset with her for being territorial, as she is not intending to be malicious.
The mother cat is likely to be less aggressive if she has her own supplies. Once the kittens become more mature, the mother is likely to be more accepting.
Can kittens stay with their mother forever?
It’s not in a mother cat’s instincts to keep her kittens forever. If you plan on keeping one or all of her kittens then you may have to keep an eye on the mother’s behavior with them.
While some people may recommend separating them, the mother could forget the kitten’s scent and become unfamiliar with them.
To avoid this, allow them to spend time together, but always make sure it’s supervised until the mother gets used to the kitten in her territory.