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Can Cats Squish Their Kittens?

If you have kittens, because they are small, you may wonder if it’s possible that a larger adult cat could accidentally squash them, and if so, what can you do to prevent this…

Can Cats Squish Their Kittens?

Yes, cats can squish their kittens, but they certainly don’t mean to. Giving birth is stressful, to begin with, and the large number of kittens that the mom is currently taking care of can lead to a tired mom that doesn’t notice one of the kittens squirming to get out from under her.

The best thing that you can do to help avoid this is to make a new nesting box for mom that has plenty of room and some soft bedding. Line it with plastic bags first, and then put some newspaper on top of this.

That will make the box easy to clean and with more room, the mom will be less likely to accidentally harm one of her kittens.

How could a mother cat accidentally kill her kitten?

During feedings, the mom moves around a lot to get comfortable and to give her kittens the best access for feeding. Unfortunately, she is keeping up with a lot of kittens, and when they move around they can end up under mom accidentally.

Normally, the kitten will mew and wiggle and they can free themselves, but on rare occasions, they can become trapped, and then a tragedy occurs.

Why do kittens like laying on their mother?

Two kittens outdoors next to each other staring.

Two kittens outdoors next to each other staring.

Aside from loving their mom, kittens and adult cats are heavily geared towards scents. This is a common trait in many animals and most especially in predators, who can tell by the scent of an area if any other animals of interest have been there recently.

Cats mark areas with their scent, as they have numerous scent glands all over their bodies (when they rub you with their faces, for instance, you’re being marked!). As such, the scent of mom makes the kittens feel safe and comfortable, so they always want to be close to momma.

Why do mother cats lay on their kittens?

Generally, momma-kitties lay on their kittens to keep them safe, but also this occurs most often with new, inexperienced mothers or with cats that don’t have a large enough nesting area. In the case of the nesting area, mom just makes the best of the space that she has but sometimes it just isn’t enough.

Making a new nesting box with plenty of room for mom and the kittens can help, just make sure that it is lined with plastic, upon which you’ve placed newspaper, and finally that the sides are high enough to keep curious kittens from wandering away from where they won’t be protected.

How can you prevent your cat from squishing your kittens?

Mom needs to be able to completely stretch out without hurting her kittens. The way that you can guarantee this is by cutting up a large cardboard box, leaving a portion of the sides trimmed but otherwise intact so that the kittens cannot easily wander outside of the nesting box.

Line the inside with trash or grocery plastic bags and put some newspaper on top of this – it will keep mom comfy and makes for easy cleaning. While an accident may still occur (because you can’t control everything), a large nesting box will greatly reduce the chances of it.

Why would a mother cat reject her kitten?

If the kitten is not responding to the mom’s attempts to encourage nursing, then she might abandon them. This also occurs if the kitten’s scent leads the mom to believe that it is ill. In such cases, the mom will often carry the kitten away from the rest and then return to her nesting box.

If this occurs with your cat’s litter, then you should contact your Vet immediately. Most likely you will need to nurse the kitten yourself, although if it is very ill then the kitten still may not survive. Check with your vet, however, as this will give that kitten the best chances at survival.

Can kittens squish each other?

Two orange kittens cuddling.

Two orange kittens cuddling.

No, kittens shouldn’t be able to squish other kittens. While it’s theoretically possible, in reality, that would require the entire litter to pile up on a specific kitten, and then stop wriggling on purpose to suffocate the kitten.

That’s not going to happen – kittens are wired for cuddling, not fratricide, and they simply don’t weigh enough to harm each other, even accidentally, at such a young age.

Why does my cat roll on her kittens?

If you’ve been handling the kittens a lot, then mom could be trying to hide them from view. New kitty moms prefer to raise their young with privacy and no outside interference so that she knows that their young are fully fed and safe.

This may also occur if there is not enough space in the nesting box, however, so if the quarters are looking cramped, then it’s a good idea to make a new nesting box for mom which you should place in a nice, quiet corner of the house.

If you have a dog in the house, then put a plastic ‘baby gate’ in the door, too. This will keep your well-meaning pooch from stressing out mom and the kittens.

Why is my mother cat bringing her kittens to my bed?

Congratulations – your cat loves and trusts you! When mom is bringing the kittens to you, she’s proudly showing her young and also suggesting that your comfy bed and assistance would make for the best nesting box ever!

While you probably don’t want your cat nesting there, you can let mom have a little space by watching the kittens for a space, and you should consider making a new nesting box for mom. She might not have enough space in her current one and could be hinting to you that your bed looks awfully large and comfortable!

Can kittens suffocate under blankets?

Kittens will be perfectly fine underneath blankets. Blankets are generally quite permeable, so they don’t have trouble breathing, but if they are with you and you move around a lot in your sleep, then you might want to relocate them so you don’t roll over on one and accidentally harm them.

While blankets are safe, comforters are a different story, as they are thick and insulated. Stick with blankets, though, and your kittens can stay warm, happy, and safe underneath them.

Lindsey Browlingdon