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Manx behavior

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have a Manx that actually adopted us. We live in rural north Florida where
feral cats abound.

Anyway, this female Manx got herself pregnant and had her kittens when
we were out of town. She had them at a neighbors house on the outside.

We found 4 of her kittens. 2 of them are bob tailed, 2 are not. When we
let her out, she always wants to go where we found the kittens. We are
not sure if she had more then 4 or not. We have the neighbors keeping

Anyway, our problem is that the mother does not seem to want to have
anything to do with her kittens. We're pretty sure she has had kittens
before because when she showed up at our place, she also had a couple of
kittens with her. We have these new born kittens in one of our bathtubs.
We have to physically take the mother to the kittens and then MAYBE she
will nurse them. When the kittens are crying, she acts like she doesn't care.

We have another cat in our shed that is about to wean her 4 kittens.
She has been a great mother to her kittens.
We tried to see if she would nurse these new kittens. She sniffed them for
awhile then moved away from them. We took one of the kittens and
laid it next to her, but then she growled. So we figure this won't work.

Any ideas why the mother Manx seems to be ignoring her kittens? Is this
normal behavior for the Manx?

post #2 of 4
Welcome to TCS Ray.

You will need to take the mom-cat and close her in the bathroom with her kittens, food and a litter-box. Try and put the food and litter-box as far away from each other as possible as cats don't like to eat where they eliminate. You said the kittens are in the bathtub. Make a nest of soft blankets and towels for mom and the kittens to lay on and then leave them alone in this room for a few hours to adjust.

If the mom-cat is completely rejecting her kittens, you may need to hand-raise them. The web site www.kitten-rescue.com is an excellent resource on hand-raising kittens.
post #3 of 4
You can also do a scent swap with the other cat who was a mother (unless she has been spayed?) and only if the real mom is not going to nurse after the kittens and her are confined into a room together-

Take a towel and rub the substitute mom vigourously, then rub the kittens gently, do this several times to swap scent, then put them together and see what happens- but again, only do this if the real mom is rejecting the kittens. If neither plan works refer to the website about how to raise these kittens by hand-
post #4 of 4
Definitley shut mum cat up with her kittens and give her a chance. I've known a mum or two her don't appear to be really into the whole "mum" thing, one in particular didn't give a rat's arse if I took all her babies, or if one fell out of the "nest" and cried. And she'd often try to walk away while one or two were nursing. But, she was shut in an empty office with them, and then later a large crate (this was at a pet hospital I worked at), and she never attacked her kittens, and generally let them nurse all they like, so long as there wasn't something she wanted to do (eat, drink, go potty)

Keep a close eye though - if she truely rejects them, she could kill them.

If she does reject them and you wish to persue the nurse queen option - it will require a LOT of patience. Doing the scent swap, and carefully introducing the kittens to the nurse mum may have to happen several times to work..or to be given up. Some animals don't mind taking on new babies, some really mind quite a bit, and some fall in between. If she falls in between some time and effort could get her to cooperate. (I tried for over a week to get an orphaned foal on a nurse mare this spring... and could only get her to tolerate the foal if I was in the stall to watch.... but some mare's will let all the foals in the field line up and take turns on her udder, without a care in the world..)

best of luck.

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