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Old 07-12-2009, 05:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mother cat chasing and biting her kittens

Our young (ginger!) female cat, Oscarina, has recently started being very aggressive towards her three kittens. They are six weeks old and very playful, and when they run around like the little loonies they are, their mum gets very agitated and eventually chases one down and bites it on the neck and belly, often hard enough to make the kitten yowl in pain. I haven't noticed her break any of the kittens' skin yet, but it seems a possibility.

Does this seem normal to those of you used to mother cats and her interactions with her kittens? I'm concerned about the way she tracks them, very wide-eyed, and acts very impulsively, as if she cannot help but attack them. It doesn't feel like she is merely telling them off, or that she is only playing, and I'm worried I will have to separate them.

Thoughts and experiences?

Many thanks in advance,

- Oscarina's Owner
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mother cat chasing and biting her kittens

Welcome to CatForum.
I think it sounds like her "mother instincts" are on overdrive. They are at 6wks of age, an age where she could begin weaning them and they are very active, playful and exploring everywhere. It seems like Oscarina is fighting a losing battle at trying to keep them all in one spot so she can keep an eye on them. I've not experienced this myself, only having foster litters and keeping them in a bathroom and eventually the master bedroom during the daytime. By the time I *do* open the bathroom door to the bedroom, mama-cat is always ready for a break from the kittens and they've never chased them down like that...though I think it is normal behavior, if excessive.
heidi =^..^=
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mother cat chasing and biting her kittens

Hi Heidi,

Many thanks for the welcome and for your thoughts. I think you are right - Oscarina* is getting a bit stressed at coping with them all! She is a very young mum - she's only 11 months old herself - and is otherwise very attentive and loving to them. They have started weaning (two of them in earnest), and she never competes with them for food, at all. I think they are just overwhelming her when they go "kitten time!" and she is struggling with how to keep an eye on all of them all at once. On top of that, of course, she might be weighing in and pointing out who's boss! She's quite a feisty little thing.

I'll keep an eye on her. Thanks again for your post.

- Oscarina's owner

* Why is she called Oscarina? Well, she's ginger, and most ginger cats are boys, so we assumed she was. She went to the vets for her injections as Oscar...and came back as Oscarina! I had a hard time at first trying to adjust from loving my handsome little boy to loving my cute little girl! And now she's a mom. It's been a busy year.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mother cat chasing and biting her kittens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarina
* Why is she called Oscarina? Well, she's ginger, and most ginger cats are boys, so we assumed she was. She went to the vets for her injections as Oscar...and came back as Oscarina! I had a hard time at first trying to adjust from loving my handsome little boy to loving my cute little girl! And now she's a mom. It's been a busy year.
OMG! Your story awakened a memory of mine! When our family moved from town to our country property (farm) after our house was completed being built, we were given two 'boy' kittens and my Sis and I named them "Oscar" and "Eon". Well, they went to the vet and came home Eon came home just fine, but "Oscar" turned out to be a 'Tootsie'.
How funny that I didn't remember that until reading your story about *your* Oscar/Oscarina!
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