Post # 1
I know I know very strange post, but I have nobody else to turn to.
I took in my first foster family (from a local shelter) of kittens and mama last night. Unfortunately, two of the babies died last night due to Fading Kitten Syndrome…it was so sad! So, I’m picking myself up and trying to continue on, but Mom is not being so cooperative.
The shelter provided me with a large house for the cats to stay in, but mom is very unhappy with the space. She keeps picking up the babies and trying to squeeze her way out of the crate…I’m getting nervous for the babies (who are only about 8 days old) as she keeps roughing them around while trying to get out.
Anybody have any experience with this? Part of me is tempted to let her out and allow her to nest somewhere where she will feel comfortable (so she can just focus on the babies), but I don’t want to screw this up or have any more losses today.
Oh and just FYI, I live alone — no other pets or kids or anything, so she wouldn’t be exposed to other animals or anything like that.
Thanks you guys, for your advice…
Post # 3
@wbninja: I have only fostered small kittens sans mama, but as long as she would be safe in your apartment– not too many places she could hide, and you keep food and water out and available, I don’t see why this would be an issue.
Post # 4
I’m no expert, but I would definitely let her out. I think stress would be the worst thing for all involved. Do you have a couple of boxes? She might try to use them by herself if you set them up and make em a bit cozy.
Stray cats use whatever they want, so unless she’s special needs somehow, I wouldn’t think there should be a problem.
Post # 5
thanks you guys for the responses — that is what I’m thinking too, so I’ll tidy up our tiny apartment and let her do what she needs…the last thing I want is for any of the other babies to fall ill because of this.
Post # 6
We foster dogs, so I don’t have much experience with kittens, but my guess would be that instinctively mothers’ know best. Let her relocate her babies. She might choose a closet or something that feels safe to her.
Post # 7
If Mama cat seems intent on moving them around, it’s probably because she doesn’t feel comfortable or safe with them where they are. Definitely let her do what she wants to do. A lot of cats like to nest when they have small babies in the backs of closets and other warm enclosed spaces where they can have it dark and warm and cozy. Maybe let her seek out areas where she is comfortable.
So sorry you had two little babies die at your home 🙁 I would be so torn up!
Post # 8
As long as there are no other risks in the apartment like other animals or child I would monitor her closely but let her out to find a more comfortable space. I’ve found few cats really enjoy shelter provided cages.
And you run an even greater risk of the mother injuring the cats by being cooped up in a cage.
Most foster mommies and babies I have had have felt most comfortable nesting in the back of closets so I would suggest clearing out a closet and tossing some warm, cozy blankets in there. If she doesn’t go for the space don’t fret about it. She’ll find the perfect spot for her and her babies.
Post # 9
We fostered then ended up adopting a pregnant dog a few years ago. She came from a bad situation and was terribly fearful. Then she had puppies two weeks later.
She constantly tried to move her puppies.
But she did nearly kill them in the process several times.
Once she left a puppy alone and did not move it, we don’t know how long it went this way as a week old pup we were out of the house and came home to a squealing baby puppy. it was sad, but he was fine after we got him back with mom
then one day (I hadn’t picked up this room in a few days) and she hid all the puppies under miscellaneous stuff in the floor, that was scary trying to find them all.
There were several other incidents.
I am going to go against the grain here, a nervous animal mother does not always know best and we contained her after that.
Within a few weeks it was no longer a problem and this way we were able to monitor the puppies consistently and they all survived and found loving homes.
Domestic animals are not to be confused with wild animals, they have mothering instincts but just the same way they (in general) don’t do well on their own, applies to mothering as well. Baby animals need to be monitored as well as in human contact so they don’t develop skittish issues, animal brains start to develop immediately just like humans. We handled our puppies often and kept them very used to human presence.
This ended up being very theraputic for the mother as well, who is now like a different dog than she was when we first got her.
Good luck with your babies, you are doing a wonderful thing! =]