Yes, they can!
A mother cat does not necessarily attack her babies but as humans too, they tend to carry out motherly roles by teaching the babies the rules of behaviour as they grow. It is called discipline.
This may be done aggressively if the need arises so the kittens must learn to survive the drill. However, those kittens are expected to keep to the training as they grow up and stand on their four paws.
The older they grow, the more they suffer total rejection from their mother telling them to go and explore life on their own.
Why does the mother cat keep biting her kittens?
Different situations may warrant a mother cat attacking her babies.
Mother cat attack her kittens mostly when the kittens start to have teeth and she is making an attempt to inform them that she is done nursing them or perhaps she is going back to heat.
Also, a mother cat may attack her kittens due to her health condition. A sick mother cat that is unable to nurse her kittens may turn out attacking them.
You need to step in at this stage to get kitten formula and cereals for them. But in a situation whereby the mother is trying to kill her kitten,
you need to separate them. Save the innocent kitties, get kitten milk or regular milk for them till they are old enough to eat kitten vet food. Maybe when they clock 4 to 6 weeks.
Is it normal for a mother cat to attack her kittens?
It is normal behavior for a mother cat to attack her feline. Often she gets irritable and develops health issues that cause her temporary distress.
If during this period, her kittens or kitten moves close to her she may attack them involuntarily and cause them severe injuries while trying to scare them away from her to a distant place.
A mother cat may put up aggressive behavior to scare the kittens away if she is expectant of another set of babies.
A pregnant mother cat will need to create space for her coming ones and so distance herself from the grown-ups.
Is it normal for a mother cat to bite her kittens?
I once had a female cat who was very friendly and playful. She gave birth to three kittens. She started nursing them in a way a good mother would.
She took care of them and would not budge when I touched her kittens. So I thought it was okay to take them out of their lounge because I wanted to show them to my friends.
The moment she saw them she started biting them hard, I guess she must have thought they were not hers.
I then took the mother out for some minutes then put her back. She was cool with them or so I thought because she brought them close to her and played with them.
Sometimes later, I began to hear their noises again and rushed there only to find the mother biting them severely and causing them injuries.
I immediately consulted my vet and she made me understand that it is a normal thing for a mother cat to bite her kittens.
It is unlikely that she is deliberately biting to hurt them but teaching them the ways of life.
A mother cat may need to bring back a straying baby and so grab her/him by the neck to bring back home.
It can also be her way of disciplining them. Kittens will cry when their mother carries them by the neck, especially young ones because they are still fragile.
If a mother cat bites or scratch her kitten and growls at the same time, she is probably playing with them so no worries.
Make It a Habit to occasionally check the necks of your kittens for cut wounds.
If there is nothing then you should not bother about separating them from the queen so she can take care of the family and teach them all they needed to know but if you notice any traces of injuries, do not hesitate to change their lounge from the mom.
Cats and their kittens
Cats are domestic species of animals called carnivorous mammals. They are from the Felidae family with the botanical name Felis catus.
Cats are the only domesticated species of the family. This species is referred to as Felis catus to discern it from other wild cats of the family.
There are three categories of cats which are:
- House cats
- Farm cats
- Wild cats
House cats are treasured by humans for friendship and their hunting jobs for rodents. Farm cats are reared on the farm while wild cats live in the forest and avoid human contact.
According to cat registries, approximately 60 cat species are recognized across the globe. Cats have flexible bodies, quick reflexes, sharp teeth, and retractable claws which they use in devouring their victims, and a high sense of smell.
Cats have a special method of communicating among themselves such as meowing, purring, trilling, hissing, glowing, and grunting. They also possess body language.
Cats and their kittens
Female cats have their specific seasons of reproduction. They have kittens from spring till late autumn with different sizes varying from two to five kittens.
Kittens need a lot of time most especially when they are newly born. You may notice the mother walking away for some time leaving the babies all alone, entertain no fear as she will soon be back.
A mother cat will dedicate a lot of time to cater to her babies before gradually seeing them off as they grow to fend for themselves.
It is only paramount that the kittens are allowed to stay with their mother so she can give them all the necessary attention they needed. The ideal time kittens should stay with their mom should be nothing less than 12 weeks.