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Why Does My Cat Lay On Her Kittens?

If you notice that your cat seems to lay on its kittens, it may make you feel concerned and keen to understand why…

Why does my cat lay on her kittens?

Cats are highly protective animals who might lay on their kittens because of instinct. If they sense danger or vulnerability in any situation, your cat might lie on top of their kittens to protect them.

It is the easiest way for cats to defend their kittens because it hides them from predators and stifles their meows without harming them. Any present threats must come through the mother cat if they want to get to her kittens.

Could my cat hurt her kittens?

Three kittens amongst some pillows.

Three kittens amongst some pillows.

Your mother cat cannot hurt her kittens by sitting on them. She is highly cautious of her weight and will distribute it evenly to avoid hurting her kittens. In most cases, there should be nothing to worry about but if you have questions or concerns, consult your veterinarian. They will tell you if there are any concerns.

Many people grow concerned when they see mother cats holding their kittens in their mouths. However, their kittens are not in danger when being held in their mouths. The scruff on the back of their neck sends the cat into a state of paralysis that causes them absolutely no pain.

Should I prevent my cat from laying on her kittens?

There is no need to prevent your cat from laying on her kittens. Preventing your cat from lying on her kittens will keep your cat from performing one of her most natural instincts. If your kittens are newborns, they might get cold or have difficulty finding the nipple to nurse.

Keeping your cat and kittens nearby each other is important, especially in the first few days since your kitten will remain with its eyes closed. Do not prevent her from lying on her kittens unless your cat is exceptionally large and your vet tells you it is problematic. Otherwise, allow them to sleep together, even if your cat is lying atop your kitten.

How long do kittens need to be with their mother?

Kittens should be with their mothers for at least 12 to 14 weeks to get the necessary nutrients from their mothers to grow. Within these first twelve weeks, kittens learn many vital lessons from their mothers, like how to clean themselves, scratch their claws, and much more. If you take your kitten away from its mother before this time, it may not learn all the important lessons they need to know before becoming a cat.

While they are born knowing certain things, you must allow your kittens to learn crucial lessons from their mothers in the first 12 weeks of their lives. For instance, mothers lick the kittens’ bottoms to influence bowel movements. Unless you commit all your time and energy to your kitten, you cannot give your newborn the things they need.

Do cats cuddle their kittens?

Mother cats cuddle their kittens similarly to human mothers cuddle their children. They cuddle their kittens by pulling them close to show affection for their kittens. Mother cats might lay atop their kittens or cuddle them by wrapping around them.

Cuddling is the mother’s opportunity to bond with their kitten and pass on instinctual knowledge. In many cases, kittens will nurse while cuddling because of the convenience, allowing the mother cat to nurture and bond with their young.

Can a cat suffocate a newborn kitten?

Scientists claim that it is doubtful for a cat to suffocate a newborn kitten. They are gentle animals with a negative reputation because they love to snuggle babies, sometimes causing horrific accidents.

However, these stories are rare. Mother cats are lightweight and designed to sit atop their kittens, similar to mother chickens.

Do father cats care about their kittens?

A white kitten and adult cat side by side.

A white kitten and adult cat side by side.

Father cats do not typically care about their kittens like mother cats. They are mainly dismissive of their kittens because of a lack of bonding between father and kitten. Father cats do not nurse their kittens, so they do not get the same opportunity to assist their kittens as their female counterparts.

Additionally, they are more concerned with themselves, hunting, and exploring the local territory. There have been rare cases of male cats assisting mothers in raising kittens, but instinct makes the female cat more attentive and nurturing.

How do you know your cat trusts you with her kittens?

If your cat brings you her kittens, it is a good indicator that she trusts you. Additionally, letting you hold her kittens without her supervision is one of the main ways to identify trust. Usually, you should only hold your newborn kittens for only a few minutes at a time.

So, it is a sign that your mother cat trusts you when your cat lets you keep her kittens in your lap for longer than a few minutes without hovering around you or trying to get them back. Taking a nap or closing her eyes while holding her kittens are direct signs she thinks you are trustworthy because this means she does not need to watch you.

Before your cat trusts you, you must create a trusting environment and become a part of your cat’s colony. To create a trusting environment, keep your cat’s environment stress-free and inviting.

Why do cats purr when nursing their kittens?

Cats purr when nursing their kittens because they are creating a close bond with their kittens. Similar to the mother and child relationship for humans, cats and kittens can bond in many ways. Cuddling, nursing, and playing are only a few ways a mother cat will connect with their kittens.

While interacting with her newborns, you often hear her purring because she is excited to bond with her newborn kittens.

How long after a cat has kittens can you touch them?

Hold your kitten as soon as possible after they are born. Most domesticated mother cats are typically lenient with letting their owners handle their kittens. However, it would help if you hold them no longer than a few minutes at a time and only in your cat’s presence.

Keeping your cat nearby while holding or playing with your kittens will make your cat feel much more comfortable until they trust you. Remember, always prioritize your kittens’ health. If your mama cat wants to take your kitten back, let her.

Lindsey Browlingdon