For many of us, cats’ behavior is difficult to figure out. As cats are not as expressive as dogs, sometimes they leave us wondering what is going on in their heads. Frequently we find ourselves wishing we could talk with our pets and they could communicate their wants and needs to us. It happens especially when our pets go through a significant life event like giving birth.
You might see your cat’s life completely change after such an event. As a result, understanding common behaviors and identifying red flags in your pets may become even more difficult for you. Generally, keeping a close eye on mom and the kittens is a great practice to catch any issues as soon as possible.
One recurring behavior in mom cats is them bringing you her kittens. Here you will find a multitude of reasons why you suddenly find your lap full of kittens. Fortunately, most of them have to do with her loving you and trusting you with her babies.
Why Do Cats Move Around Their Kittens?
The mother instinct of the cat kicks in as soon as the kittens are born. Cats know that their babies are extremely vulnerable when they are born. Hence, they do everything they can to make sure nothing terrible happens to their babies. So, to keep them safe, mom cat might feel like she needs to hide them in different spots. She’ll look for a new, cleaner space where she thinks her kittens will be safe from any predators.
You can help your cat by preparing some cozy, clean places for her and her kittens. If you have a spare room, it is a great idea to prepare it for them. Find places in your home where they can be in peace and quiet, as loud noises might stress the mom. Even if they don’t use the nests you prepare for them, you can adapt them to their preferred spot once they settle.
Why Do Cats Separate Their Kittens?
Animals sometimes separate one or more of their babies for one main reason: there’s something wrong with them. As humans, sometimes it is difficult for us to understand how our cats might leave one of their kittens behind. For us, losing a baby is a life-altering thing, but it is very common for animals to abandon the offspring that won’t survive.
The reason why cats separate a kitten is that mom thinks the kitten won’t live long. She has to take care of the rest of her babies and won’t feed those who her instinct tells her won’t survive. In nature, it is all about economizing efforts, and your cat sees as waste nursing a kitten that won’t survive.
Don’t lose hope, though! Contact a veterinarian if you find your cat has separated a kitten from the rest of the litter. Sometimes human intervention might save those weaker kittens. In case you didn’t know, there’s kitten formula for you to feed the baby until they don’t need it anymore.
Why Does My Cat Keep Bringing Me Her Kittens?
There might be multiple reasons cats bring you their kittens when you don’t expect them. Most commonly, it’s because they trust you and feel like you’re part of their family.
Even if your cat was once feral, she realizes that she now lives in your home, and you provide her with food and shelter. Cats have a bad reputation of being distant, but in reality, they are highly appreciative of everything you do for them. When cats bring you their kittens, it has a lot to do with them trusting that you will take care of them. Also, they might be modeling behavior for their kittens. Your cat has learned that you are a source of food and protection, and she wants to pass on the information to her younger ones. Her instinct is to show them that humans are a great ally to be safe and fed.
There might be many more reasons why you randomly find yourself receiving kittens. Here’s a more in-depth explanation of those reasons to help you understand why your cats bring you their kittens.
To Protect Her Kittens
This is believed to be one of the main reasons why your cat keeps bringing you her kittens. As previously mentioned, domesticated cats are aware that living under your roof is the best place to keep their kittens safe. There aren’t any predators around, and you offer them food, water, shelter, and anything else she might need for their kittens. They are very fragile when they are young, so mom knows that their location must be as safe as possible.
Naturally, your cat would have to keep her kittens hidden while she’s gone hunting for food for herself. During this time, the kittens would be unattended until she comes back and, thus, susceptible to predators. On the contrary, in your house, she trusts that you’ll keep them safe while she eats and explores.
To Ask For Help
Cats sometimes share parenting responsibilities with other cats. That’s why you can give a kitten to a mom cat that has had a litter, and she will take them under her care almost immediately.
Unless you have other cats in your home, you’re the only one she can share her motherly duties with. If your cat keeps bringing you her kittens, it means that she might need your help. Sometimes she just needs a little break, as we all do. Taking care of kittens is a full-time job, and it is common for moms to need a bit of help from us. She might need to take care of herself, eat, and rest, as nursing multiple kittens can be exhausting.
You can help by keeping them entertained and safe. It might be a great time to check on how the babies are growing. Showing your cat that you are taking care of them will help to make her more comfortable with the idea of you helping.
To Make You a Part of Her Family
Once a cat has been in your house for a while and has learned to trust you, they consider you a part of their pack. Your home is now their home, too, so when they try to teach their young ones about their environment, you are one more piece of that puzzle.
When kittens are a bit older, she might show them around the house, including you. She expects her kittens to trust you as she does. Your cat knows that you are a source of food and shelter for her, so it is important to pass on the information to her offspring. She knows you’ll love them and won’t harm them. Once they get comfortable, the kittens will also trust you and see you as their caretaker.
It is a great moment to bond with the kittens. You should show them some love and play with them. Giving them attention and showing love will ensure they feel comfortable around humans when they’re older.
To Ask For a New Nesting Place
You or your cat might have created a designated nesting place before she gave birth. Many kitties are picky about where they want their kittens, so you might’ve prepared a place she ended up not using. It is quite common for them to find places we think are unusual for nesting and pick them over the carefully crafted nooks we created. The spot needs to be cozy, and she needs to feel like her kittens are safe.
Even after choosing their nesting place themselves, cats can decide that they need a change. Maybe the aftermath of birth left the place humid and smelly. Perhaps it just got dirty, as kittens cannot use litter boxes until they’re older, and mom cannot keep up with the cleaning. Cats are susceptible to smells and can freak out when new smells are introduced in their nesting area. They will probably start to move their kittens to somewhere new unless you eliminate the odor. Regularly check mom’s litter box as they might not want to be near it if it’s dirty.
Regularly checking your cat’s nesting place is the best way to ensure that she and her kittens are comfortable and happy. If your cat keeps constantly relocating her kittens, she might need a new place to nest and take care of them. Find a quiet and cozy place so they can be as comfortable as possible.
To Let You Know Something Is Wrong
As cats cannot communicate with us through words, their body language is how they let us know how they’re feeling. Even when they don’t have kittens, some behavioral changes can be a red flag for health issues or stress.
If your cat feels sick and unable to take care of her kittens, she will bring them to you so you can take care of them. Take a look at mom and the kittens to check for how they’re feeling. If you find any issues, take them to the vet to get them comfortable and healthy as soon as possible.
In case you don’t find anything wrong with mom or the kittens, she might just be stressed. Cats are easily affected by stress, and taking care of the kittens can affect mom significantly. As she would do in other situations where she’s stressed or panicked, your cat will look to you for comfort. You are your pet’s safe place, and she trusts that you’ll take care of her kittens as well. She might hear noises or smell other animals that make her feel like her kittens are in danger and need protection. Paying attention to when the behavior occurs will help you eliminate the source of that stress.
To Show Off
Sometimes, cats bring you their kittens when they just want to share their excitement with you. Cats take pride in their kittens, and they might want to show you how good the kittens are doing.
If nothing seems to be wrong with her or the babies, then she is bringing them to you to show off. She wants to share with you how happy and healthy her kittens are. Being a mom is hard work and deserves some praise.
Why Does My Cat Only Bring Me One Kitten?
You might find that your cat constantly brings you only one kitten. Cats don’t usually favor one of their kittens over the others, but they do treat them differently. As mentioned earlier, your cat might separate and abandon a kitten if they feel they won’t survive. Once you are sure all the kittens are happy and healthy, there might be more reasons why she only gives you one kitten at a time.
If your cat brings you the same kitten over and over again, it could mean that this is the kitten she likes the most. When she brings you a different kitten each time, it could mean that she’s teaching them to get used to you and vice-versa.
It doesn’t matter which of the scenarios mentioned above you might be in; you always have to show your cat that you are trustworthy. Cats have the terrible reputation of being distrustful, distant, and not caring about their owners. But if you ever had a cat, you know that they highly appreciate all that you give them. Pets like to live with you, where there’s always food and shelter. They trust that you will keep taking care of them, and they will even bring you little presents to thank you. Building trust will ensure that they come to you for help, protection, and love.
If you find your cat bringing you her kittens, it means that she trusts you and knows you won’t do any harm to them. The best you can do is show her that you are there to help her and protect the kittens to the best of your ability. Your kitty might be exhausted from taking care of her younger ones and will appreciate you taking some stuff out of her plate.
Always pay attention to any behavioral changes and reach out to your veterinarian if you have questions. They know your case the best and will detect if anything is wrong.