TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Mother cat's behaviour
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mother cat's behaviour

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! I desperately need some advice but I'm not sure if this is the right place to be asking for it. I know nothing about cats (having been a dog person all my life) until a few months ago when we found a little stray kitty on our doorstep. We took her in and fell in love with her. It wasn’t long before we discovered she was having kittens (3) and they were born just over 4 weeks ago. We helped her find a safe nesting spot in our garage and until they were 8 days old, she let us handle them and keep them warm and clean. Then on the 8th day she took the kittens and put them right up underneath our house. We cannot reach them, it’s impossible even though my son and I have tried crawling up to just see anyway if they were still alive! We don’t hear them at all. Callie (the mom) does come into the house many times a day and she is eating like a horse and yes, we have wormed her. I checked her nipples and they are all still pink and look as if the babies are feeding.

When Callie comes inside she roams around all over the house, meowing and vocalizing until I open all the doors for her. She checks out every room, but can’t seem to find what she is looking for.

I have read that the kittens should be starting on solids at this age. The last time we saw them they were in excellent condition, little fat furry balls and they all had their eyes open at 6 days. We did manage to get them checked by a vet when they were only a couple of days old and he said they were perfect. What I need to know is should I get my husband to dig a hole at the side of the house to get them out now? We did try bringing them inside at 5 days, but Callie nearly went crazy, so we immediately helped her return them back to the garage. We have a beautiful enclosed sunny back room for them which would be perfect, but she just doesn’t want them there. (I’m in country NSW Australia and winter is very fast approaching, they are very harsh here… it gets down to -14C).

I am so nervous about trying to bring the kittens inside! Callie was being fed by everyone in the neighborhood when she first got dumped so we were thrilled when she chose us to help her give birth. We want to keep her AND the three kittens as we have three blocks of land and there is room for all of them. My son has even made a cat garden for them! It’s filled with catmints and grasses and he has put big rocks for them to sit on and sun themselves. Callie has gone from a very skinny bedraggled kitten herself to a beautiful strong healthy cat with lovely shiny fur. (She is a black tortie) But I am so afraid she will take off with her babies if we try to interfere. She is an extremely protective mother and has even frightened the daylights out of any dogs that come on our property, chasing them like a little spitfire.

What I would really like to know is should we leave the kittens there until they are old enough to walk out by themselves? Won’t it be a bad start if they don’t get used to humans now? I want them out ASAP, but not at the risk of upsetting all 4 of them. I would so hate that! I will be very grateful for any advice and I thank you in advance.

Maggie
post #2 of 22
Maggie,

Were it not for the winter fast approaching, I would say leave the kittens be, as mom will bring them out when they are old enough. But with bad weather on the way, it is to their advantage to come inside with mom. I wonder if mom might of given birth to more kittens then you see, and perhaps one died and that is what she is frantic for?

At any rate, I would go under the house and retrive the kittens, and capture mom and put them all in the same room together. Give them places they can hide, cardboard boxes flipped upside down, weighted and with holes cut it them so the cats can pass back and forth.

Pull and old drawer out of a dresser if you have one, and put that in the room piled high with soft bedding for mom and kits. She will be anxious for a bit, but with all her family around her, she will calm down soon. Just make sure that when you go to get all the kittens, that you get all of them. Don't give mom a chance to hide them from you, you will never find them again.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Oh thank you so much Hissy! We will do as you suggest. We already have a lovely big cardboard box, lined with lots of very soft cloths. Each time we put Callie in it, she just jumped straight out again. The morning she gave birth (10th March) we were with ALL night long. Yep, out in the freezing cold ourselves, lol. She had the first one around 6am, the second one about 1 hour later and the third 1 1/2 hours after that. We were not with her all that time, so you may be right, there could have been a fourth. But I'm also wondering if it could have been her own earlier life that has made her so protective? She was dumped into a very harsh environment and who knows what she went through in those first few months, poor little thing. We will be getting her spayed as soon as the babies are weaned, and them too, as soon as they are old enough. I will try get back here to let you know how "the move" has gone. Thank you again.... from Maggie
post #4 of 22
Maggie-

Ferals are my love, if I can help I will. Here is an article I wrote about ferals, it might help you- although she sounds more like a stray than a feral, but you can use some of the advice inside to help her feel easier about captivity.

Feral cats
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you again,

Yes Callie is more a stray than a feral, but it is an excellent article you have written. My son seems to think there is a chance she might hurt her kittens if we left them in the room with her. She is used to being inside, in the last 10 days of her pregancy she spent a lot of the time sleeping on my bed during the day. Since then though she has made it clear she wants to be an outside cat. It just seems she doesn't want us to touch her kittens and that's why I'm nervous.

Well, the sooner we get "digging" I guess the sooner we are going to find out. I just so wish I could read her mind :-)!

from Maggie
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello Hissy,

I just wanted to let you know that we got the kitties out this morning. Callie was fine about it. Even though it took nearly two hours to find them, finally my hubby reached them. They were down in a big hole :-). There's only one female and she was hissing and spitting, but now they are all settled in their new "bedroom". Callie still won't go in the box, but she is sleeping on the floor beside them. So it looks like all's well that ends well. I just want to thank you so much for your very helpful advice, you've got no idea how much it was appreciated because I was a nervous wreck. Huuby kept coming back inside and saying he couldn't find them and I really, really thought they were all dead. It was awful! Oh they are so pretty and so cute, VERY healthy too. I am so glad we took your advice.

from Maggie
post #7 of 22
Maggie, I'm so glad you got the kittens, that's terrific. I'm sure Callie will come around and hop in the box to tend to her babies soon enough. Oh, and I'd love to see pictures of mommy and her babies if you can post them.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello Jenn,

Thanks for your reply. I'm going to try to post a pic, and am not sure if it will work cos I mostly use html. I only took the one photo this afternoon and it is a bit blurry.



I do love your little Spike, he is very cute :-) I just read all about him :-). Spike was the name of my very first dog when I was a child - a very long time ago!

Callie will get in the box now, when she wants to feed the kittens, but she still gets out as soon as she's finished. Maybe she just wants a break from them?

Anyway, the little ginger male is called Kaji, and the tabby is Shinji and our little girl is name Katsu - she is very shy and always hides behind the others, although she will hiss the loudest. I think she is very pretty!

Earlier I tried to give them some ground up dry kitty food mixed with lactose free milk, but they didn't want anything to do with it, however when I put some of their mum's food on my finger for them to lick they nearly bit it off :-) And when they don't know we're looking they are playing together all the time. I don't think I'm going to be getting much work done for quite a while, lol.

I am still a bit nervous tho because I'm not sure how long Callie will accept this big change. She is still prowling around the house as if she's looking for a better spot. I guess we need to leave them all alone for a bit.

Maggie
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
And here is a pic of Callie herself. We at first thought she was a calico, but have since found out she is a Bombay Black Tortie!



She was pregnant when this pic was taken and you can see she is really not much more than a kitten herself. I don't even want to think about the person who dumped her, but it WAS a lucky day for us!
post #10 of 22
I would give the wee ones kitten glop- kittens thrive on it-

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1 12 oz can goat's milk
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
3 teaspoons clear karo syrup
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg (optional)

Boil water, mix in gelatin. Add other ingredients and mix with beater or blender. Serve warm or chilled.


But serve it either warmed or to room temperature. The wee ones are adorable! And Calli is beautiful!
post #11 of 22
Maggie - Callie and her kittens are so cute! Well, at least from what I can see of Kaji and Shinji, I'm sure Katsu is just as adorable! I can understand not wanting to do any work, and just wanting to sit and watch them.

And it was sweet of you to look at Spike's page... I'm a very proud mommy.
post #12 of 22
Bless you for your caring for this beautful cats.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
This is such a lovely site!!

Thank you so much for the recipe Hissy, I'm not sure I can make it tho because of the ingredients. No way could I get them in this small town, (one hotel, one supermarket and absolutely nothng else) but next time we go to the city I'll try then. I've never seen karo syrup here in Oz but maybe that's just cos I wasn't looking!! Is there any particular reason you use goat's milk? We haven't tried them with anything new since yesterday afternoon cos I wanted to just give them a chance to settle down first.

When I woke up this morning they were out of their box playing with all their new toys!! When they got tired they just went back in, curled up and fell asleep

I have another pic and I hope it's OK to post here:



I can see I am going to have to make a web page because I will be exactly like Jenn, taking 1,000's of photos but in this one at least you can see Katsu a bit better.

Thank you for your post Sherra146. I have to tell you I believe I am the grateful one here. My eldest son was killed in a car accident at the age of 32 almost 5 years ago. He appeared in a dream to my d-i-l and told her to !"Get mum a dog" !!! We couldn't because our property is not adequately fenced, so even tho some people might think I'm crazy I do believe he is the one who sent our dear little Callie to us. She btw seems to have totally accepted this new situation thank goodness, and at the moment is out playing in the garden. It is an incredible feeling when a cat chooses you isn't it? I love her so much.

Maggie
post #14 of 22
Maggie, Katsu IS adorable! I'm so glad you posted a picture where we can see her better. Let us know when the webpage is ready!
post #15 of 22
your kittens are soo cute! how lucky indeed you were to find Callie!
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you Jenn!!! Katsu IS pretty isn't she? She is grey, white and ginger, but the ginger part is almost a sort of pink. She is very fluffy too, so I think maybe we had three different dad's here?

And Cookie I love your little guys. My fav pic is Piper meets Leo 18, lol. Leo is very, very sweet Piper is almost the exact image of Shinji's dad.

I have just one more photo of my babies I would like to post, cos I think it's sooooo cute.



Have a look at them!!! Must be nice to be playing around on soft cushions than existing in that horrible hole in the dirt under the house :-)

Callie is still giving us a bit of trouble, but I'm being very firm with her. She has this little "dring" kind of noise she makes in her throat to call the kitties and she is still determined to get them into my bedroom! There's a battle of wills going on at the moment, lol! Fortunately in a couple of weeks she probably wont worry so much. Katsu and Kaja are now eating solid foods very well.

Maggie
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by hissy
I would give the wee ones kitten glop- kittens thrive on it-

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1 12 oz can goat's milk
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
3 teaspoons clear karo syrup
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg (optional)

Boil water, mix in gelatin. Add other ingredients and mix with beater or blender. Serve warm or chilled.


But serve it either warmed or to room temperature. The wee ones are adorable! And Calli is beautiful!
is it okay for grown up kitties to eat this as a little treat? Moemoe as a thing for plain yogurt and he loves mayonnaise so if i made him this i think he would be in kitty heaven!!
post #18 of 22
Oh.. that picture is so cute! The more I look at them, the more I want another kitten! Not that Spike would allow that or anything... They're all so sweet!
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you Princess Purr. I would love to try the recipe.., but I'm just having some problems with getting those ingredients. Here in Oz we have a brand name Whiskas, I don't know if they are available anywhere else? But they have sachets that are specially formulated for kittens (we have been feeding them to Callie for the last few weeks, even while she was pregnant. These include Tuna & Egg, Lamb & Vegetables, Salmon & Bream, Lamb & Pumpkin,Chicken and there is also a Beef Casserole. They all look very bland and look kinda mushy, but they say they have natural anti-oxidants and are calcium enriched. Kaji just scoffs it down like he's been eating it for years! I do hope it's OK to be giving it to him. I haven't tried them on any milk yet, they still seem to be happy to feed off Callie, but as soon as I can get the goat's milk formula I will try them on that. Today I received a letter from our Vet too, telling me he has some special kitten food available so I will look into that as well.

Today I am having terrible problems with Callie. She is very upset. She still wants the kittens in my bedroom, but they don't want to go - they like their new room. But Callie just won't give up. Even when I close the door she has learned to open it all by herself and she won't stop miaowing! They do follow her in there, but come scampering out real quick back to where things are familiar. Yesterday she would go out and leave them for a few hours, but for the last 24 hours she is not budging from them.

I loved looking at your web pages Princess Purr and the story of MoeMoe and Neo made me cry. Poor little darlings, but I'm very happy to read they are both OK now! I know just how you feel with SnowWhite too, we were like that with Callie. It was nerve wracking when she went into labour - I was posting on a different type site to all my friends saying "HELP I don't know nothing about birthing no kittens", lol! But it went oh so smoothly so we we're lucky for sure. I hope it will be the same for SnowWhite!

from Maggie
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
He he Jenn! We had already made up our minds to keep the kittens before they were born, and as you can see there is no way we could ever change our minds now

Maggie
post #21 of 22
I know I wouldn't be able to give them up... such cuties! You're a good mom caring for all of them.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello again everyone,

Oh what an awful 24 hours we have had! Callie started again yesterday with her strange behaviour. She is trying so hard to get her kittens back outside. As I said before she was trying to get them into my bedroom and finally after much carrying on from her, I did let them all in there. She wanted them under my bed and that's where they went. The space is only about 4" high and the kittens couldn't even stand up. (Callie herself can't get under there) When she went outside I went in to get them and they were all huddled up, very frightened and hissing at me. As soon as I put them back in their room they were running around playing happily.

After 5 mins Callie came back and she kind of lost it! Since then she is doing her utmost to get them out of the house. She does her chirping sound to get them to follow her and is leading them out to our back door. So I have to keep their door shut, but Callie will not stop miaowing - she has been doing it for HOURS. We've hardly had any sleep all night. She does it when she is in the room with them and when we take her out. Matt (my son) has told me that Bombay Black Tortie's are supposed to be one of the most vocal cats, but she is really, truly, wearing us down.

The kittens will be 5 weeks old tomorrow. Everytime I try to feed them Callie comes running and stands over their dish and eats it all, even when she has just been fed herself in another room. She keeps on washing them and hurting them, making them cry AND she is still licking them to get rid of their waste matter, so I have no hope of trying to teach them to use the litter box.

I'm thinking perhaps it might be time to have Callie spayed but am not real sure of this. I wanted to let the kittens have as long as they could with her, but it just doesn't seem to be working. I am feeling such a total wreck and it seems to me that Callie is becoming one too :-) Wow, she is incredibly single-minded!! We did stay away from the kitties almost all day yesterday thinking maybe she just doesn't want us near them, but even that wasn't good enough for her.

I hope this makes sense, I've only had 2-3 hours sleep on and off all night!

Maggie
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Mother cat's behaviour