So your furball keeps taking one of her children away from the nest? Check out this article to learn why does mother cat move only one kitten repeatedly.


Why Does Mother Cat Move Only One Kitten

Like other mammals on the planets, cats love their kids. Regardless of what happens, the mother cat shall go to great lengths in order to protect her kittens from harm. As a result, it's odd to see your fluffy friend continuously pick up one of her young, run off the nest and drop the puss at a faraway corner. Why does mother cat move only one kitten like that? Is it actually wise for you to put the separated cat back to the litter?  How can you ensure that the pet would not repeat the behavior in the future?   

So you have way too many questions but few answers? If that happens to be the case, this article may have the information you need.  

Comprehensive Analyses Of The Behavior

Why Does Mother Cat Move Only One Kitten

Generally speaking, people have a lot of theories regarding the action of feline moms. However, it's safe to say that the mother cats only take kittens away from the nest because of 3 things.   

  • The mom simply dislikes the current location of the nest 

The eye of the kittens remains shut for a time after being born which leaves them vulnerable to numerous dangers. Therefore, the mother cat must look for a place that is safe, quiet and secure to set up the nest. Normally, people should have an excellent spot in mind for the mom as well as her kids so they proceed to move the family there. If things go smoothly then the pets shall settle in without much difficulty at all.  That being said, a couple of picky cats might still view the pre-designated nest to be less than ideal.  

Most of the time, the mom is going to move the nest elsewhere if she notices unacceptable factors: too bring, too noisy, too stressful,... Usually, the average cats prioritize areas such as behind the sofa, under the bed, inside the cabinet and so on. Once the mother cat finally picks another site to raise her children, she would likely defend the selected territory aggressively.  But then why does mother cat move only one kitten? Well, it's probably because you keep catching the mom when she is transporting her litter to the new refuge.      

Obviously, it's a good idea for pet owners to socialize kittens early but people have to give them privacy. If you frequently invade the space of the mother cat and her young, she could be tempted to just move the location of the nest.  Hence, in order to dissuade the mom from hiding the kittens at random spots, it's strongly recommended that you refrain from disturbing the nest. The vets tend to suggests that you stay away from the newborn cats for at least 8 days before beginning socialization.

  • The mom feels that it's necessary to abandon a kitten to save the litter 

It's common knowledge among cat parents around the globe that the felines have sharp senses, especially female ones that recently gave birth to kittens. Therefore, the mom should quickly notice if one of her kids seems to have contracted diseases that may be contagious. To protect the majority of the litter, the mother cat needs to make the ultimate sacrifice by taking the sicken kitten away from the nest. Needless to say, young felines have extremely low chances of survival without the mom around.           

In addition to health issues, the mother cat might also decide to reject kittens in case the size of the litter is too big. Without enough milk to feed all of her kids, the mom could abandon one or two kittens so as to save milk for the rest. Most of the time, the mother cat shall come to the final decision within roughly 24 hours of giving birth. That is why it's widely advised that you keep a close eye on the mom and the kittens to intervene if the situation required. Again, newborn cats would not live very long by themselves. 

  • The mom is traumatized/confused 

Similar to humans, labor is a challenging ordeal to female cats that strain their physical as well as mental strength. As a result, some feline moms may experience difficulty grasping the situation so they behave in a rather strange way. So if you see your fluffy friend move one of her kittens away from the nest, it's probably disorientated. In that scenario, it's of utmost importance to stalk the mother cat in order to recover the frail kitten. Of course, you have to do that without accidentally stressing the mom in the process. 

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How To Deduce The Exact Cause: Instructions For Pet Owners

Why Does Mother Cat Move Only One Kitten

At this point, you must have known all the possible answers to the question of “why does mother cat move only one kitten”. But is there any surefire way to tell for certain which cause is responsible for the behavior of your furball? Here is a guide to help you identify the culprit.  

  • Step 1: When you see your fluffy friend start moving one of the kittens again, proceed to quietly go after the mom. 
  • Step 2: The moment the mother cat stop, drop her kid and leave, arrange blankets under the kitten to keep it warm. You need to avoid moving the newborn feline around though as you want the mom to find it in case she ever decides to return. 
  • Step 3: If the mother cat wants to move the nest then it's highly likely that she would come back with another kitten within the day. On the other hand, if the mom never shows up, take the abandoned kitten to veterinary clinics for examinations. Once the vets declare a clean bill of health, you may conclude that your pet is having to take care of too many kittens at once. 

What If The Situation Persists

Why Does Mother Cat Move Only One Kitten

Generally speaking, if you know how to answer the question of “why does mother cat move only one kitten”, it's a breeze to think of proper solutions for specific cases. That being said, if the mom keeps hiding her kittens repeatedly, it's necessary to ask the vets to come over to diagnose the situation. Better safe than sorry. 

Read more Cat's Health Guides and find fun stuffs on Cattybox !!


Cattybox team.

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