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Two questions on normal weaning and sibling behavior...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi, everyone! I've got two interesting momma/kitten behavior questions for you...

I trapped a stray cat and three of her kittens last week. The kittens have had no human contact and are, at my best guess (which is poor indeed), about ten weeks old.

Because of their age, and the fact the mom's skittish, too, I've embarked on an intensive desensitizing program for them - i.e., I've spent nearly this entire weekend in the room with them, eating, sleeping, reading, and even, today (sooooo awesome!!!) dangling Da Bird for them to play with.

Spending these hours and hours together, I'm seeing all their interactions with each other and I've become puzzled by a couple of things:

1. The momma cat can't seem to make up her mind on weaning. One minute she's calling the kittens to her, the next five minutes she spends growling if one of them so much as looks in her direction. I've only seen her nurse them twice since Friday night, both for very short (less than five minute) periods. Is her seeming indecisiveness normal?

The shelter thought she might be pregnant again. If so, this will be her third litter since June. I'm not sure she is, however, because today's she's been kinda acting like she may be in heat. Licking herself, putting her booty in the air, that kind of stuff. Could either of these two conditions cause her to act moody toward her kittens?

2. Two of the kittens are nearly identical, black tuxes with sleek short fur, while the third kitten is a gray and brown tabby (similar to the mother) with soft fuzzy long fur. Today, I saw the black and white kittens both aggressively drive the tabby away from them during play time. They flat-out refused to let her play with them - drove her off into a corner by herself where she stayed and watched them chase Da Bird. I thought siblings formed a family bond, why would these two treat the tabby like this? Should I interfere? It was so sad to see her driven away like that.

Thanks in advance for your insight, everyone! This is a most fascinating experience.
post #2 of 3
Can't answer all the questions, but sometimes when a cat/kitten is being rejected by others, they are sick in some way.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for responding, GoldenKitty. I was beginning to think that maybe my questions were so simple no one wanted to answer them!

The tabby kitten is definitely smaller than the others. She also has a very fine body/bone structure, where the others kittens are all solid construction.

Maybe I'll separate her. She behaves differently from them, too. She doesn't run when she sees me now, and this morning, she actually played with my fingers!!

Except for my current cats (who I also rescued as kittens), I don't have any experience in raising kittens or in socializing ferals, but I couldn't let this family starve on the streets, you know? I'll just do the best I can and hope it's good enough to get these guys into good homes.
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