Mommycat antisocial with her kittens, WHY?

by Donna Greiner
(Riverside NJ)

Hi Carolyn, how's your cat family? As previously written, Mommycat had 4 gorgeous kittens on April 8. Until recently, she would hang out with them, sleep together in an adorable huddle. They would eat out of the same bowls, no problem at all. About a week ago, maybe 2, she started to growl at them when they came near, especially near the food bowl. She even gave a good scratch to one of the females. (Left no mark)

I thought cats would live in a colony, and support one another??? I am sad for the kittens, they seem bewildered by her behavior...I understand that she may not like it when one of her male kittens has begun to try to smell her "privates".

I know she wants them to be independent, and they ARE, at only about 5 months old now. My question is this: Why must she behave this way, growling and swatting? Can they not help one another as outside cats? No one who committed to taking a kitten home as a pet has stepped up. With the cold soon approaching, I will be in the same situation as last year. I took in and kept 2 of last year's litter.

She leaves after she eats, and they are on their own until the next day. I pull their dry food in at night due to an adult skunk that comes out each night.

Is this normal behavior for Mommycat? They all have PLENTY to eat. Daddycat is doing well. He's not the dad, as I had him neutered this year. Mommycat is next, and all kittens!

Best regards,
Donna

RESPONSE:

Hi Donna,

Sorry to take forever to answer you. Mainly, I don't have an answer but just a possibility. Perhaps the momma cat is feeling ill and is taking a more aggressive posture with the kittens to help teach them to fend for themselves. Or perhaps she's got an injury that isn't visible that is causing discomfort and she wants to eat and leave...the kittens are in her way.

Wish I could offer some additional input but I'm hoping one of our readers will add a comment or two that make some sense of what momma cat is doing.

As always, I wish you well with your cat brood and sure hope someone comes up with a viable answer.

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