Mom with kittens around 1.5 weeks
I brought in a pregnant stray cat (very friendly, mellow)just over three weeks ago. She had a litter of 8 kittens in my spare room. She is eating well and seems to generally be in good health, besides still being on the thin side. She also has some unformed stools (not always) but has tested clear for parasites. Well, and she is a bit spotty on using the litter box to poop. She makes it about 40% of the time. I just added another litter box to give her more choice.
Recently, her behavior seems to have changed. She is crying and siting by the door frequently. I have tried to let her out to wonder around but I have to moniter pretty closely because I have two cats and she has not yet been tested for FIV/FeLV. I have also tried to play with her but that seems to get her a bit too excited - tonight she was agressive with one of her kittens that walked over to her - grabbed it and was using her back legs to "scratch" the kitten. She also seems to be nursing less frequently/shorter duration, although none of the kittens have experienced weight loss.
Any ideas or suggestions sure whould be helpful.
Answer by Kate
well the grabbing the kitten and using the back legs to kick sounds like normal cat play to me. It is often the mother cat who shows the kittens how to play fight etc it is part of their learning experiences etc. So ask long as the kitten did not cry out in pain or there was any blood etc I would that down to normal play behaviour.
Your queen may herself be very young and indeed very playful, so her other behaviours also sound normal for an active healthy cat who is used to being outside where she can use up all her energy etc.
Kittens are normal weaned off of mothers milk between 8 and 12 weeks. As long as the kittens are not losing weight and she is still feeding them I would not worry too much at this stage.
It really does sound to me like a young mother who is trying to bring up quite a large family. All you can do is give her as much space as possible to be able to play etc herself, with lots of toys etc, basically what you are doing now. With such a large litter perhaps around6 to eat weeks you may want to provide small amounts of kitten food in case she starts to run low on milk and energy and may start to encourage some of the kittens to eat whole food sooner than normal.
best wishes kate
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