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Momma Cat really aggressive to kittens.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ok so heres my situation. We've had this cat, Ginger, for about a year. She just gave birth to her first litter of kittens. THe kittens are about 3 weeks old. I noticed yesterday that the kittens looked like they were trying to get out of their box, Ginger wasn't in there with them, she was eating. So I thought maybe the kittens were ready to explore outside of their box (they were scraching at the top of the box, meowing, trying to look over the edge). So I picked them up and set them in the floor, well when I did that Ginger went crazy. She would stand over them and then just plop down on them. She was grabbing them very aggressivly with her mouth. She was bitting them on their throats (not the backs of their necks), hug them, then she started kicking them. I dunno know if she was playing or what, I mean the kittens weren't crying out or anything. I don't think she was trying to move them cuz she'd grab one and hold it against her, then start biting and kicking. So I put them back in their box. I've never seen her act that way before. We don't handle the kittens that much, but we have started to pick them up more now that their eyes are open. She doesn't have a problem with that, when we picked one up sometimes she would look at us and sometimes she didn't pay us any attention. That all changed once we tried to let them walk around, she was very agressive towards them. Any ideas?
post #2 of 6
She may be trying to keep them safe and not quite sure how to do that. She is used to them being in their box, then suddenly she finds them outside of their box. Is her behaviour normal towards them when they are in the box? If so, I would not put the kittens outside until they are able to get there on their own power. If this is her first litter of kittens she maybe very protective of them and it upsets her having them away from the 'nest'.

A friend of mine tells the story of one of her cats who got very upset when her kittens started to crawl out of the nest. She would carry them back each time adn was wearing herself thin constantly trying to keep the kittens in the box. One day my friend came home - no kittens. She then heard this small mewling sound coming from the closet - from the top shelf of the closet, in fact. Mama cat was on the floor below, resting and looking very self-satisfied. She had carried each kitten up to the top shelf of the closet where they were too frightened to move and just stayed, mewling. Needless to say, my friend removed the kittens to a safer level, but it did take some time for the mother to get used to the kitten's new mobility.

post #3 of 6
3 weeks is a little to young to go exploring. Mom wasn't being aggressive, she was panicked and trying to get her kids back to safety. If Ginger was a stray she would be acting purely on instinct. If these kittens were outside, they would not be allowed out of the nest. Momcats will sit on kittens to keep them quiet (to protect the family from predators)

Once the kittens are weaned then they can explore. You might consider getting a larger box for the family to stay in. I use a big rubbermaid box with a lid and holes cut in the sides and the top for air, as well as an escape hatch for mom to leave if she wants. You cut the holes high so the kittens don't fall out of them-
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
When the kittens are in the box Ginger acts totally normal. Just the usual Momma stuff, cleaning, feeding etc. I'll take the advice of leaving the kittens in their boxes. I know Ginger like them to be in that one spot. I remember one day about a week and a half ago when I was moving rearranging the room I took the kittens box and placed it in the next room over so they wouldn't be in the way. About 10 minutes into moving stuff arround I see Ginger enter the room carring one of the kittens in her mouth. I guess she reallys wants them in that one spot :-) Thanks guys!
post #5 of 6
The others already answered your question -- mamacat didn't know how the kittens got out of the box and was scared for their safety.

If you want to see really aggressive behavior, see what happens if an animal or unfamiliar human stumbles along and threatens the nesting area. Your cat's behavior was mild compared to what she might be capable of under such circumstances.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yeah I know what you mean Nano. We've got two puppies also. One of them came in the room while I was sitting on the bed. He went up to Gingers box and before I could do anything Ginger jumped out of the box, clawed his face then she CHASED him out of the room and down the hallway. I thought that was pretty funny, and now he doesn't go anywhere near her box, so I guess it worked.
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