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Is it okay to touch newborn kittens? pics

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have a cat that had kittens this afternoon and I wonder if it is okay to touch them?
First let me fill you in on the mom, she was a stray that showed up in Feb. We kept her outside because we are not suppose to have pets here. Well, we realized before long that she was pregnant. At first Holstein was terrified of us, but within a couple of weeks she was comfortable with us. Long story short, she became very loving and sweet so we brought her in the house secretly a couple of weeks ago. She has been wonderful in here, a perfect house cat to be honest. So with all that said to prove that she is loving, but hasn't been with us long, do you think she will kill the kittens?
I've heard that cats will sometimes kill their kittens if a person touches them. Being that we haven't had her long, is that a good possibility?
I went in there earlier to change the bedding (still had blood and such on it) so I picked up the babies while she was getting a drink of milk. Of course I had just washed my hands immediately before, but now I wonder if she will hurt them since I handled them.
She immediately cleaned them when she got back, but seemed okay.
Anyone else handled their babies with a fairly new cat and have a bad experience?
Thanks for any help.
Oh and there are 6 beautiful babies, mostly calicos. I just love them to pieces. I've always wanted a calico kitten and she's given me one. I hate the thought of them every going to new homes, but naturally all but one will have to.
Here is a picture of them.


post #2 of 13
Beautiful babies! My daughters cat just had kittens last Wednesday and I touched them right afterwards and she didnt mind at all. we have had her a bit longer though. We got her back in August. To be careful I wouldnt touch them too much.
post #3 of 13
Even though she has been very loving to you up until now, please be very, very careful when handling the babies. While pregnant, some females do become very affectionate, but after delivery, that can turn on a dime. Instinct to protect kicks in - while it is acceptable and even recommended to handle the babies as much as you can, you must let Momma's behavior be your guide. If she seems uncomfortable with it, then simply don't. And yes, queens have been known to kill their babies in order to protect them from perceived threats rather than allow them to be subjected to them. Your touch may be a perceived threat. Just be very careful and observant of Momma's demeanor.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
Even though she has been very loving to you up until now, please be very, very careful when handling the babies. While pregnant, some females do become very affectionate, but after delivery, that can turn on a dime. Instinct to protect kicks in - while it is acceptable and even recommended to handle the babies as much as you can, you must let Momma's behavior be your guide. If she seems uncomfortable with it, then simply don't. And yes, queens have been known to kill their babies in order to protect them from perceived threats rather than allow them to be subjected to them. Your touch may be a perceived threat. Just be very careful and observant of Momma's demeanor.
Okay you have me a little worried now. I have her in my bedroom closet just a few feet from my bed. This isn't unsafe for me while I'm sleeping is it? lol That may sound crazy, but if she turns vicious (like another poster said her cat did) I am afraid of her being in there with me.
I have four young children too, youngest being 2. Is it safe to have her around with them too? I've always worried about her not having shots and such. I have no idea where she came from.

It's obvious I'm worried she'll be mean huh?
post #5 of 13
I wouldn't be afraid of her unless she begins to show aggressive behavior towards you. For now, I think it is the best idea to keep the kids or other visitors away. Try to minimize anything that can be perceived as a threat and don't give her a reason to mistrust.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'll do that. I'm definitely keeping the children away. I've been going in there to look at them every few hours, but I'll be at work today so she'll be left alone for a while then.
Thanks for your help.
post #7 of 13
Those babies are gorgeous! Love them calicos Love Momma's name too I don't have any advice to really give, but to add on to what Gaye said, limit traffic to your room, maybe even keep the door closed at all times.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gottalotagals
Okay, I'll do that. I'm definitely keeping the children away. I've been going in there to look at them every few hours, but I'll be at work today so she'll be left alone for a while then.
Thanks for your help.
Also....it will be very important to keep mom strictly indoors now until her kittens are weaned and she can be spayed. Cats can become pregnant as early as a week after giving birth.

Katie
post #9 of 13
As long as the mom is confined to a smaller area (bedroom/bathroom) and everyone is safe, its ok to handle them. But being a first time mother, you can't just walk off with the kitten. I'd stay right next to her and pet her and the babies and pick them up.

My kittens were always examined and petted/picked up from the time they were born. IMO it makes for healthier and more alert kittens - touch IS important. And besides, the kittens get used to your scent before eyes open so they tend to be less afraid of you.
post #10 of 13
There is a distinct difference between handling cats who are familiar with you and your family, trust you and trust their environment and handling cats who are not any of those things. For those of us who rescue or take in fosters, the best advice anyone can give you is to let the queen's behavior be your guide. If she is hissy and aggressive, back off and do not attempt to touch or handle her babies until they begin coming out of the nest. Socialization is important, but so is your overall health and well-being. The fact is that queens can and will kill their kittens if they perceive a threat to them. A non-trusted human's scent can be perceived as a threat.

While this advice may not apply to this specific thread, it is placed here in the hopes that future visitors will be assisted by it.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your help.
We have Holstein blocked off in my bedroom with a baby gate. That way she can get in and out of the bedroom to go potty and eat. My hubby said that she came out for a good while today and climbed up on him purring. She was wanting some attention. lol DH also said he went and looked at the babies while she was in the next room. He said she watched him walk into the bedroom where the babies were, but she never came in to see what he was doing.
When I got home I went and checked on her and she started purring when I petted her head. She just put her head back down even though my hand was really close to the babies. She is much more chill today. I even brought the girls in to see them (of course they were kept 4 feet away and only for a few seconds) and she just looked at them and put her head back down.
I pray she continues to stay mellow like this. I am not allowing anyone to touch the kittens so hopefully that will keep her calm. I do plan on lightly touching them a little at night to get her use to it, the kittens as well.
I'll really watch her behavior like Gayef said.

Thanks yall for your help!
post #12 of 13
5 little girls!!! Are you thinking the grey tabby may be male? It can be hard to tell at this age, but the cali's you can guarantee are all female.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
There's a black and white one with a tabby head, he's male. I believe one of the tabby ones is too. I can only tell by holding them up to one another and comparing each other. Otherwise I'd be lost.

Holstein is doing wonderfully! She's been so sweet. I was petting her a lot last night. I washed my hands and sat down on the floor to touch the babies a little bit. Holstein saw that I was doing that and put her head down and went to sleep! I guess she trust me...at least at this stage. I imagine she would be more protective of them right now than ever right?

The babies are so precious. I've already claimed two. We are going to name on of the tabby/calico looking ones Odd after the character from Dean Koontz book Odd Thomas because that one's markings are so weird! LOL It's adorable how it's all mixed up. Then we are keeping a real pretty calico one with orange covering one eye. I don't know what I'm going to name her yet. I don't even know what sex Odd is for sure, but it doesn't matter.
Here's the most recent picture of them from yesterday.
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