Pet owners often try to explain the behavior of the pets by correlating them with human emotions.
Having a cat give birth to a litter can be a sight for most cat owners, and taking care of the mother cat and kittens becomes an essential job for you.
But you probably know that it is better to separate the kittens from the cats after 7-8 weeks from their birth.
It becomes hard for us to let go of the little felines, and we expect the same from their mother. You might ask how long it can take for the mother cat to let go of the kittens.
Many cat owners have reported that they have observed the mother cat crying and looking for her babies in the house.
However, this behavior does not always mean that the mother cat is missing the kittens. There can be several reasons behind it, and missing her kittens may not be one of them.
We are going to discuss everything you need to know about this behavior in the following sections.
How long does it take for a mother cat to forget her kittens?
The time for which the mother cat will be mourning after separation will depend on the time you have given with the kittens.
If the mother cat spends more time with the kittens, it will be easy for her to let go.
However, taking the kittens before the weaning is complete can trigger separation anxiety in the mother cats. In that case, she can take a longer time to recover.
Do mother cats react when their kitten is leaving? If so, how?
Cats react to this separation differently than a human would. Mother cats start weaning after four weeks from birth and finish this process in 10-12 weeks.
The bond between a mother and her kittens becomes weak as the weaning process comes to fruition. In the weaning process, the mother cat makes the kitten independent of their mothers.
It is crucial for a kitten’s upbringing as it learns to live without help from its mother.
Mother cats can get uncomfortable with the presence of their kittens after the weaning process is complete. A mother cat can even growl at the kitten if you keep them with her for too long.
The most usual way a cat can react to the situation may feel heartless to most cat owners. When you put the kittens up for adoption after 10-12 weeks, the cat will look for them everywhere in the house and meow, hoping for a response.
But these behaviors stay only for a few days, and the mother cat will be back to her regular life.
If you remove the kittens from their mother before ten weeks, the behavior remains the same. But it will stay for a few more days.
Although the mother cat does not grieve for the loss of kittens and they are perfectly capable enough to leave their litter entirely.
This behavior seems very unusual to most cat owners, but this is normal behavior for mother cats.
How do you know if a mother cat is missing their kittens?
The relation between a mother cat and her kittens is quite different. While some might expect a deep sense of grief from the mother cat, she may not show the kittens’ expected amount of remorse.
However, you can observe some changes in her behavior for the first few days. These behavioral changes are symptoms of grief.
A mother cat can search around the house for the kitten. She can also yowl more often to get a response from her kittens.
Her sleeping and eating pattern might change due to the grief of losing her young felines. Some might even experience a personality change.
A mother cat can become clingy as they start to value the connections she has with others. These symptoms are more prevalent when a cat owner removes the kitten before the weaning process is complete.
If you take the kittens away after weaning, the mother will be upset for a few days. But, she will go back to her regular schedule soon.
Is it a bad idea to separate a kitten from her mother?
Mothers control the life of the kittens for the first few months of their lives. The kittens learn to live independently at that time.
You should not separate the kitten when they are going through the weaning process. Mothers generally start this process after four weeks and finish it by 12 weeks at most.
If you remove the mother’s kittens in that time, the kitten might not live up to being a well-adjusted cat.
Kittens receive all the nutrients from their mother for the first few weeks, and they cannot digest any other kind of food.
So, if you remove the kitten too soon, it can suffer from severe malnutrition. The mother cat can also go into grief in that case.
If you take the kittens away at an appropriate time, the mother cat will be back to her carefree self in a few days.
It is generally harder for the kittens to adjust to a new setting, and they miss their mother and siblings. If that happens to your new kitten, spend as much time as possible to make it feel at home.
Introducing the new kitten to other felines in the household can be helpful in this situation as well.
In conclusion, we can say that the mother cat can be well-adjusted to the fact that you have probably taken her kittens away from her.
This behavior may seem cold-hearted, but this a natural process for the mother cats, and you should accept it.
However, you have to wait until the kittens are at least 12 weeks old before taking them away from their mothers.
This schedule will help both the mother cat and the kittens to have happy, separate lives of their own.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.