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Whiskerless Kittens

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Peanut, my new mother cat, has her second litter of kittens. Her first litter as well as this second one, don't have any whiskers. She bites them and rips them out. I don't know why, but she just doesn't seem to like whiskers on her kittens very much. Has anyone else seen this sort of werid behavoir? Is there a sane explanation for it? I have called vets and asked them about it. They just laughed and said it would be ok. The first litter eventually got some whiskers when they got old enough to get away from the mother, but it's just really weird.
post #2 of 27
My advice, get peanut fixed, don't let her have anymore kittens.

Keep your eye on those kittens incase she decides to EAT them this time around.
post #3 of 27
I second what AnglezOO has said. Not all kitty moms are cut out for the job...and the babies can be injured.

Also, after two litters, maybe it is time for Peanut to retire from the mom rat race .
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
I've called several vets about this behaviour. They all just giggled and said that there was no harm that sha can cause by this. Other than the whisker trouble, she is a very good mother. I think if it was going to cause any trouble to the kittens the vets that I have called would have said something about it rather than just laugh.
post #5 of 27
There is no life threating trouble with pulling out a cats wiskers, but its cruel.. done by cat or by humans.

They are basically long extentions of nerves.
Very sensitive. And they are needed for a cat to properly walk, jump, run through spaces. I don't even think science has a full explination of what wiskers are used for yet.

Were just saying that if she's pulling out wiskers she obviously has something wrong with her, and should be watch and not breed any longer.
post #6 of 27
Mother cats who chew whiskers aren't causing any harm to the kittens. They grow back when they are weaned and away from mom. The reason they do this is because they are being protective. It keeps the kittens close to her.
post #7 of 27
Sandie: It is still not a desirable trait in breeding.
post #8 of 27
Some mamas will nibble on things that resemble the umbilical cord. Ewes will nibble of the tails of newborn lambs as they are licking them dry and cleaning up the fluids. I think cat mamas have been known to nibble on kitten body parts trying to clean everything up, too.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by AngelzOO
Sandie: It is still not a desirable trait in breeding.
This has absolutely nothing to do with desirable traits in breeding. It is simply a measure that SOME momma cats take to keep their kittens close to them. Even at that, it could very well be that to ONLY reason this is happenning is because the mom may not feel secure in the enviroment, room, place, wherever she is.

Your suggestion, to have this mother cat spayed and never breed it again is simply bad advice, im glad she called her vet.


Ken
post #10 of 27
These kinds of behaviors have nothing to do with traits. That's like saying that a mother cat who picks her kittens up to move them to a safer place is a bad trait. It's nature and nothing else. If the mother does not take care of them, has a defect, has killed her kittens, etc, that's one thing, but spaying a cat for doing something natural to them is silly.
post #11 of 27
Ugh. I forgot most of you here are 'pro breeding'.

I think every cat should be fixed, it all needs to be regulated until this outragious population of homeless animals dissolves.

Some momma cats will pick up traits of what their own mothers did.
Perhaps you should try a new location with her and her kits to see if she feels more secure.
If you don't know how to take care of a pregnant cat, then why are you breeding her? You need to keep a closer eye on them and their needs so that things like this wont happen. unbilical cords is one thing but this is over a week later that these cats have been born.
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by AngelzOO

Some momma cats will pick up traits of what their own mothers did.
Perhaps you should try a new location with her and her kits to see if she feels more secure.
If you don't know how to take care of a pregnant cat, then why are you breeing her? You need to keep a closer eye on them and their needs so that things like this wont happen. unbilical cords is one thing but this is over a week later that these cats have been born.
Was this directed toward me?
post #13 of 27
Angelz00,

I am not pro breeding.... I am a breeder, and also a member of the largest rescue agencies in Ct. I think it is irresponsible to give advice to someone where 1) you don't know the facts and 2) the tone in which you take when you give advice is more accusatory then helpfull.

Poeski
You did the right thing asking here AND calling the vet. If you need any other help please don't hesitate to ask.


Ken
post #14 of 27
Imagyne:

If you have a personal problem with me keep it off the board. Its impossible to tell a persons personality, or intentions by a bunch of text on the internet.

Pro - Breeding, a breeder yourself its all the same to me.

I'm glad that he asked the questions, but if your going to breed an animal, or house a pregnant mother, at least do your homework.
I am straight and to the point, not acusing anyone.

I know that a cats wiskers are sensitive, I don't care what anyone else 'thinks'. Eating a kitten is also animal nature to cats, should we not stop them doing that?
post #15 of 27
Nothing perssonal about it, but given the fact that Poeski was looking for information as to why her cat was doing this, I found it misguiding at the very least say that they should spay thier cat because of that behavour. And then to go and tell another very experienced breeder what is or is not desirable behavior in breeding cats, probably wasn't the best thing you could have done.
I think that when people post on here for advice or knowledge, making them feel as if they are bad people because of thier lack of knowledge will just make them go somewhere else.

Ken
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by AngelzOO
I think every cat should be fixed, it all needs to be regulated until this outragious population of homeless animals dissolves.

Some momma cats will pick up traits of what their own mothers did.
Perhaps you should try a new location with her and her kits to see if she feels more secure.
If you don't know how to take care of a pregnant cat, then why are you breeding her? You need to keep a closer eye on them and their needs so that things like this wont happen. unbilical cords is one thing but this is over a week later that these cats have been born.
Ok. Maybe I need to explain a few things. First, I do not breed cats. I bought my first kitten from a shelter because I thought it would be better to get one that was in a shelter than one from somebody. Maybe it was just because I visited the shelter and felt very sorry for her to be in there. Anyway, I had no where to keep her so I left her at my parents as an outside farm cat, which he loved. She disappeared for a few weeks and came back pregnant. That was fine. She had her first litter. I kept one of the kittens because it was so cute and then others I found homes for. Before my roommate could get her cat fixed he caught her and that is how she had her second litter. He was fixed within a week of her moving in with us. She had her second litter and all the kittens had homes to take them. The same with her third litter. She has not been fixed yet, but I don't have any unfixed males either. Peanut, who is the kitten I kept from Mazzy's first litter is the new mother of babies that I have now. Peanut's whiskers were never bitten off. It's just something that Peanut does. I only posted it to ask if anyone else had seen this behavior before and if there was an explanation for it. I have called many many vets about it during her first litter. They all said that they had never heard of it before, or that it caused no damage to the kittens. After they are weaned the whiskers grow in just fine. They have no problems with walking, balancing, or anything like that. They are normal cats now. With very long whiskers.
As for taking care of pregnant cats, I have had many pregnant cats while growing up. Living on a farm, cats came and went. The longest we had a cat was about 2-3 years. Most of them would disappear. There was only 2 that were ever hit on the road (for what I saw). Whether I watch her 24-7 or not, she is an excellent mother to her kittens. One of the best I've seen. Super careful and protective. I doubt she would do anything to harm them. I'm sorry for causing so much confusion. I just thought I could post things I have noticed with my own cats and see if others deal with the same issues. If I knew it was going to cause so much uproar, I wouldn't have posted it.
post #17 of 27
Getting back to part of your last question, it was Ken who first suggested that a possible reason for the mom cat to want to keep her kittens close (one reason given for whisker chewing) is if she isn't feeling secure. AngelzOO then suggested that you try a new location for the mom and kittens.

And, I just want to add that the reason I thought that maybe after two litters that Peanut was ready for a break (i.e. to be spayed) is that she is of a stray/barn kitty background. Poeski, if you have the room and love for more kitties, and if you are interested, there are plenty of kittens in shelters who could use your care . Having gotten my last two kitties from 'street gangs,' I feel bad when a cat who could be fixed has a litter and then that lessens the chance of a stray (on the streets or in a shelter) getting a home.

But, you obviosuly care about your purrballs since you came here seeking advice.

Ah, I just see that you've written a new response. Is it possible to get the female cats spayed? Sometimes fixing the boy cats that you know just isn't enough - they can be sneaky...as I guess you found out . Better safe than sorry. And, I think most vets now will tell you of the health benefits of spaying and neutering.

Sometimes things get a bit heated (it's the passion for cats coming through) but everyone does really have a cat's best interest at heart.

Quote:
Originally posted by Imagyne


This has absolutely nothing to do with desirable traits in breeding. It is simply a measure that SOME momma cats take to keep their kittens close to them. Even at that, it could very well be that to ONLY reason this is happenning is because the mom may not feel secure in the enviroment, room, place, wherever she is.

Your suggestion, to have this mother cat spayed and never breed it again is simply bad advice, im glad she called her vet.


Ken
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Ken's response is probably why she does do it. It's a good explanation. Moving her to a different place won't make much of a difference. She keeps moving them. I had them in a closet all by themselves. She moved them onto the bed with me. I moved them back to the closet, she moved them back to the bed. I eventually gave in and left them in the bed with me.

I would get my cats/kittens from shelters, but I simply can't afford that. The first one cost me $80. And as of right now, I have enough that I don't need anymore. In fact, I'm getting ready to get rid of some of the older cats and the kittens when they are old enough to go to good homes. Some of my parent's friends are very excited about taking them in. And the ones that they don't take will be become their farm cats. They haven't had any for a couple years and really want some more to help out with mice and things around the farm.

The females will be will fixed as soon as I can afford it. I just moved so I'm busy trying to get all the bills and expenses all settled first. And with no unfixed males here, there's very little/no chance of more kittens.
post #19 of 27
I know cats are expensive. My cats were "free" but have cost me a fortune! They were both strays who had been hanging around. When I found out that they had no homes, I took them in. I had the one a while ago, and I had to find him a new home when the family dog started to terrorize him . But with my current cat, there is no dog around so he is staying put .

I'm starting to think that shelter cats are a pretty good deal. To have a cat spayed/neutered around where I am costs more than getting a cat from the shelter (which covers fixing a cat or at least offers discounted services). Thank goodness for credit cards .

Good luck with placing your cats in good homes.
post #20 of 27
I stated that he should spay this cat out of priciple. It really had nothing to do with the mother chewing off the wiskers.

I believe it should be a law that all cats need to be fixed unless your one of the very few designated breeders.

Where I live it is very expensive for any type of medical treatment, but I bet if you really look you can find a vet that will do a nickle spay since you have so many cats.

Think of all the homeless shelter cats that could have been adopted instead of those 'accident' kittens. Trap em, Fix em, Let them lose.
post #21 of 27
I just wanted to go on record that most everyone here is not "pro-breeding" however, we are all "pro-kitten." Yes, we all like seeing pictures of kittens and watching them grow but that does not mean that we advocate domestic breeding programs! Accidents do happen even to the most conciensious cat owner.

Spaying and neutering is the responsible thing to do as a pet owner. No one will disagree that there are too many unwanted cats that are euthanized every day. But it is expensive and not many vets will give you any kind of "bulk" discount. Not everyone qualifies for the low cost spay/neuter program. That doesn't mean that they are bad pet owners. At least they are finding homes for the kittens and not just dumping them somewhere or worse.

Angel - I appreciate that you have jumped into the forums here and shared your knowledge with us, especially on nutrition and cat foods. I have learned a lot from some of your posts.

There are people here with a lot of experience with cats. We have people with experience with veterinary care, working with ferals and rescues, breeders (of registered cats). Everyone here loves their cats very much and has at least personal experience with some issue or another.
post #22 of 27
I also wanted to go on the record here and say most of us are absolutely NOT pro breeding. We all very much want to see cats spayed and neutered to prevent any more unwanted kitties on this earth.

But I also have to say that people like Sandie and Ken are very responsible breeders and cat owners. And are very respected on this board for their knowledge of cats, and their willingness to help all of us other "ignorant" people who don't know half as much about cat behavior or health issues.

You mentioned something about spaying/neutering being a law with the exception of a few designated breeders. I think that Ken and Sandie fall into this "category" then.
post #23 of 27
Thank you Daniela, that was very sweet of you. I have to say, I would like to shut a few hundred breeders down!!
post #24 of 27
Daniela,

Thank you.

*smiles*
Ken
post #25 of 27
You are both very welcome.
post #26 of 27
Please have her spayed regardless of the whiskers issue You can read all about why she should be spayed ASAP here:

http://www.thecatsite.com/care/spay.html
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Anne
Please have her spayed regardless of the whiskers issue You can read all about why she should be spayed ASAP here:

http://www.thecatsite.com/care/spay.html

I have already stated that she will be spayed.
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