If you ever had a cat that was pregnant and expecting kittens, it can be quite an exciting experience. Giving birth to her kittens can be a long and tiring period with labor lasting up to 16 hours.
On average a mother cat can have four kittens per litter on average but some breeds can have up to twelve!
That must be quite a pawful and many mouths to feed.
My friend’s cat, Jebba, just had five kittens recently and she helped to deliver them.
I got a call from her one day sounding rather perplexed.
“Why does my cat keep bringing me her kittens?”
It seems that she isn’t the only cat owner who has experienced this before.
Some mother cats will bring their kittens to their owners out of trust. She regards you as one of them and wants you to meet her kittens. It can also be due to her needing help looking after her kittens when things get hectic.
When Will A Mother Cat Bring Her Kittens Out?
When a queen’s kittens are born, they are born deaf and blind making them totally helpless and dependent on their mother cat. However, they have an excellent sense of smell.
The mother cat will imprint her scent signature by grooming her kittens and rubbing her scent glands on them.
Her kittens will do likewise by kneading her with their paws as they have scent glands hidden there. This process will enable both mother and kittens to recognise each other.
The mother cat won’t bring her kittens out until she starts to wean them off her at 12-14 weeks old.
Before this period, she may move her kittens if there’s danger lurking or if she needs to find a better nest.
But if that’s the case, why would mama cats bring their kittens to their owners during this period. There are a few plausible reasons.
You Are Part Of Her Family
When you adopt a new cat, you are now its world. The cat won’t be able to recognize or miss its parents and siblings once their scent wears off her.
Over time, she will start to regard you are part of her family as she gets used to your smell and imprints her own smell all over you. That is how a cat claims its property, by rubbing its scent all over the object.
Mother cats will feel comfortable bringing her newborn kittens to meet her human family as she trusts them and regard them as part of the family.
You should be honored.
To Protect Her Kittens
Cats have amazing senses to help them detect danger. Their sensory organs can detect danger or predators nearby even before seeing them.
This is why some cat owners do notice their cats hissing at nothing as they can sense a predator or another cat outside the house.
When the cat mom feels that her kittens are in danger even though they are in your home, she might bring them to you or your bedroom to help her protect them and keep them safe. If you have another cat that is male, it could be due to the male cat trying to hurt the kitten.
You are her human knight in shining armor.
She Needs Help Looking After Her Kittens
Tell any mom that it must be fun looking after her new kid and she will probably try and strangle you with her bare hands.
Looking after one kid can already be a full-time job, imagine a mother cat having to split her attention between four to twelve demanding and hungry kittens.
This could be her first litter and she has trouble managing too many kittens as she is not an experienced mother. She needs time to figure things out which is why she is needing your help with some of her kittens for the time being. If this is your first time helping a cat give birth as well, you will need to know if the cat’s labor is ongoing or over.
In stray or feral cat communities, female cats will get together to help out new moms with their kittens by assuming the role of a surrogate mother. You will also notice this behavior amongst domesticated cats.
Your cat now regards you as her kittens’ surrogate mother and expects you to help out.
Not to worry though, your cat will stop bringing you her kittens once she starts to get a hang of motherhood.
She Is A Proud Mommy Cat
Your cat brings her kittens to meet you because she is now a proud mother cat. Many new mothers will be gushing about their newborn on social media and to their friends.
Unfortunately or fortunately, cats don’t have access to social media to show off their kittens. So what better way to do it than to bring them straight to you instead.
Make sure to give mama cat lots of love and tell her what a great mother she is.
The Cleanliness Of The Nesting Area
Smell is very important to cats and anything that smells different or bad can cause a change in their behavior.
During the initial stages of looking after the kittens, the nesting area probably won’t smell too good as the kittens are not trained to use the litter box. There will be times when the little kittens will have poo stuck in their anus. The mother cat will lick the kitten’s anus to encourage them to defecate.
If you are looking after the kittens of a stray cat that has created a nest in your backyard or garden, there might be the leftover carcases of small critters that are stinking up the place.
The mother cat will bring her kittens over to you if the nesting area starts to smell bad and uninhabitable for her and her kittens.
Try your best to change the sheets and keep the area clean for the mother cat and her kittens.
Her Nesting Area Isn’t Comfortable Enough
It is important that you not only keep the nesting area clean but also comfortable and conducive for the cats.
If possible, try to isolate the mother and her litter in a room that is quiet and warm. Keeping the room warm is important for two reasons.
Firstly, a warm environment will help the mother cat produce more milk for her kittens. Secondly, kittens don’t have the ability to regulate their body temperature well enough, by keeping the room warm, can help keep their core temperature stable.
Mother Cat Is Tired
If the mother cat is bringing her kittens to you, it could be a sign that she is tired and needs to pass some of the responsibility to you for now.
Looking after and feeding her kittens takes a lot of energy and effort. She needs to rest, recuperate and get her nourishment otherwise she won’t be able to look after her kittens.
It is easy to tell when your cat is exhausted if she goes to sleep after bringing her kittens to you.
Trying To Socialize Her Kittens
If you have a good bond with your cat and she trusts you, another reason she is bringing you her kittens is to get them better socialized with humans.
She wants her kittens to rub their scents on you and for you to rub yours on them.
Her Kitten Is Sick
In every litter, there is usually one kitten that isn’t doing too well. That kitten is called the runt of the litter. It could be the weakest of the smallest of the lot.
Mother cat might be bringing her sick kitten to you to have a look while she looks after the healthy kittens.
If you notice that she keeps bringing you the same kitten all the time, it would be best to take that kitten to the vet for a check. There could be something wrong with the kitten.
Your Cat Has No Maternal Instinct
This is an unfortunate truth and it does happen to some female cats. Once giving birth to them, she will abandon them and leave the entire litter as orphaned kittens.
Or she could be completely clueless as to what she should do as a mother cat and she’s looking to you for help.
How to Help Mother Cat With Her Kittens?
Most cats will know what to do when having a litter. However, as a cat parent, there are a couple of things that you can do to help your cat with her kittens.
Make sure to change out any soiled sheets and litter boxes in the area where the cats are. You want to keep the area clean so that the kittens and the queen aren’t covered in poo and pee.
If your cat is bringing you her kittens as she can’t manage to feed so many at one time, have some kitten milk formula ready from the vet.
Don’t feed the kittens commercialized fresh milk or solid food as they can’t digest those types of food. You don’t want to have four kittens suffering from diarrhea at the same time.
If your cat like bringing her kittens to your bedroom to spend the night, have a nice warm area full of sheets and blankets where you can place them for the night. It should be enough to keep them warm.
Don’t let them sleep on the bed with you as you might end up suffocating them with your body weight. Kittens are so tiny and fragile.
How To Get A Cat To Bring You Her Kittens?
This is not something that you can force or train. Cats are protective of their newborns and usually try to hide them from the public eye until they are old enough.
It is best to let your cat look after her own kittens without any human interference as she knows what is best for her kids.
If she does bring you her kittens to look after, then please be ready to give them the right and proper care that they need.
Stray Cat Brought Me Her Kittens
In some cases, it is not unusual for a stray cat to bring you her kittens to help look after. You might open your front door to find the mother cat with her entire litter waiting for you. Or the mama cat will come to you asking for help and lead you to her kittens.
Please do try and give them a warm safe place to next like in your garage or spare room. In the event that you are unable to, they are support groups who are able to help take in the cat family to foster.
Spay Your Cats
Unless you are a registered breeder, there is no reason for you to allow your cat to get pregnant. There is an overpopulation of cats in the world and every year millions upon millions of healthy stray cats are euthanized as there’s just no space in animal shelters to house them.
It is a very real and sad reality that is happening in our world today.
By spaying your female cat, you are preventing any unwanted pregnancies and orphaned kittens.
It is good to be prepared with the right knowledge and supplies when your cat is having kittens. You’ll never know when you might wake up in the middle of the night and find six hungry kittens on your bed and with mother cat sound asleep.
Time to do your job as the surrogate cat mom.