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  • Writer's pictureJan

Why do some cats abandon their kittens?

Just like humans, cats are usually very devoted mothers to their offspring. However there may be several reasons why you have stumbled upon a litter of kittens who appear to be abandoned, or you may notice that your own cat appears to be rejecting one or more of her kittens. Let’s look at why this might be:


  1. Stray kittens may appear to have been abandoned when in fact the mother could have been hit by a car or even died as a result of sickness.

  2. The stray mother may have become lost whilst hunting for food.

  3. If one of the kittens is sick, the mother cat may assume it is going to die and want to save her milk for the others in the litter.

  4. Just like humans, cats have different personalities and she may not be the motherly type.

  5. Mother cats may appear to be abandoning their kittens when in fact they have mastitis which makes it too sore to have the kittens feeding on them.

  6. If there are too many kittens in the litter the mother may find it too difficult to care for them all.

  7. The mum could be too young and as a result, has not developed that maternal instinct. She may have also been traumatized during labor.


There are several organizations you can contact to take in abandoned kittens and as we know they do the most amazing job of caring for these babies. If you have concerns about your own cat do contact your vet for advice.


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