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Houdini moved the kittens..what should I do??

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We had some contractors doing work in the house yesterday(and making lots of noise downstairs) so I moved the cat/kitten bed upstairs to my son's bedroom for the day. The contractors finished their work and I moved the kitten bed back downstairs to the kitchen, where it had been since the birth.

This morning I came down to the kitchen and all the kittens and Houdini were gone!! I suspected she had moved them back to my son's room, but they werent there. So I searched the house and finally found that she had moved them upstairs onto a shelf in my husband's closet. SHe can't stay there because my husband has cat allergies (which we control by brushing Houdini a lot and vacuuming a lot).

So what should I do? I want them back down in the kitchen again, but I'm worried that she will try to relocate them again. She moved all 4 kittens up the stairs and somehow jumped up to the sweater shelf with the kittens in her mouth. Can the kittens get hurt by being moved like this? I know mama cats do this in the wild, but it seems risky to me.

She was only upstairs for one day....why does she now perceive the downstairs as unacceptable? In retrospect I wish I'd never moved them, but I was worried that the men trapsing thru the house using power tools would spook her. Does anyone have any ideas? Should I just move them back to the kitchen again and hope for the best?
post #2 of 11
I've had momma cats move litters before, sometimes the solution is as easy as moving their box to the other side of a room. In my example, our foster was in a box on the same side of the room as my bedroom door. Anytime someone came in the room she could hear the commotion of the house, or see the other cats or dog in the hall if they were there. After she moved the kittens (under my bed) we dug them out and moved her box to the other side of the room (on the other side of my bed) and she was fine.

Also, I've noticed sometimes it was as easy as changing their bedding.

I definitely wouldnt leave her them up on the shelf. And unless a closet was clutter-free I wouldnt leave them in there either. I would definitely recommend moving everyone, but change her bedding and maybe find a more secluded corner...

You might have to do it a couple times before she gives up. And try to keep doors shut so she's not getting where you dont want her. Although, dont be surprised if the next time there under the couch or behind the refridgerator. LOL

That's why I like to keep them closed in one room. Good luck with whatever you do!!
post #3 of 11
You need to CONFINE the cat and her babies. They should NOT have full run of the house for this very reason. Put her in a laundry room, bathroom, dog crate, spare room. Just don't leave them loose.
post #4 of 11
Keep them in one room so she cant move them to far! I hope all is well!
post #5 of 11
I agree that they need to be confined. Mine stay in a large dog crate. Sophie is allowed to come out when she wants but the babies are not and when Sophie comes out the door closes. She will let me know when she wants back in.
post #6 of 11
Yes, its very possible she feels the kitchen is not a safe place - probably too open. If your son doesn't mind them in his room and will keep the door closed to confine them, I'd take them all back there.

Either confine them to one room in the house and keep the door closed or buy/borrow a very large dog crate for confinment.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I put her crate in the closet of a downstairs bedroom and now keep the door to the room shut. So the kitten crate is inside the closet with the closet door cracked and the cat has the run of the room plus an adjacent bathroom that has her litterbox, food, toys, etc.

I hated to do it because she is such a social cat and loves to take frequent breaks from nursing to come and sit on someone's lap and get petted. But I can't risk her moving the litter again. It really terrifies me. My husband suggested putting a child gate on the door to the room so she could come and go freely, but I vetoed that idea since I'm worried she;ll try to move the kittens over/under the gate.

She cries very pitifully sometimes when she's in the room, but when I let her out, she cries to get back in I feel really bad and I'm sure she doesn't understand that this is for her own good. Maybe as a former stray, she is just not used to being confined?

The only time she seems happy in that room is when I/we are in there with her, but we can't stay in there all the time. I'm hoping she'll adjust to this situation in time, but I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any.
post #8 of 11
Try going in more often and just sitting with her. The baby gate will not work; she will jump over or crawl under with a kitten and could drop it or hurt it. If you want to take her out for a little one on one socialization for about 5 mins, that should be fine.

As the kittens grow, she will be more comfortable with leaving them longer.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice everyone!!

Houdini is settling into her new room. I brought a bunch of toys and play things in there for her....she's getting very playful again (she stopped being playful when she became noticably preggers). I also started feeding her some premium wet kitten food in her bathroom so she'll have a more positive association with the place. I spend 75 minutes each day (broken up) sitting by her crate petting her and the kittens which she seems to appreciate.

But she does come out of the room for long periods of time (15-30 minutes) to hang out with the rest of the family. When I peek in on the kittens, they're all just sleeping in a heap so I guess its okay that she leaves them for this long? They are two weeks old today

Also, the kittens are just starting to open their eyes. One of them has one eye completely open and the other eye is all squinty. Is that normal or should they be opening uniformly??
post #10 of 11
I'm pretty sure it's normal for them to open sort of haphazardly. If you think about it, it would be pretty miraculous of nature to have managed to make it so that they opened up uniformly!
post #11 of 11
Kittens don't open eyes at the same time - my rex kittens varied from 5-7 or 8 days max. But kittens can take up to 10-14 days to completely open their eyes. Its normal.

And WHERE are the pics?????
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