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Question
My cat had her very first litter two weeks ago. She had three kittens. One was stillborn and the runt passed away 4 days after birth. We took her to the vet and tube fed her but she was too weak. My concern is that after the baby died Mama brought the only survivor into my bed. This went on until yesterday when I noticed that the baby was starting to have "accidents" I cleaned the closet where the original box was and replaced it with a thick blanket and put the baby in there. She seems to be content but Mama will not stay with her. She goes in to check on her and feed her but 80% of the day she is on my bed sleeping. Is this normal for her to leave the baby alone so much? Baby is only two weeks old. Mama was very attentive when the baby was sleeping in my bed but now seems not to really care. I am so afraid to lose this baby too. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Answer
Stacey,

For the first couple of days, nursing mamas are very protective of the babies and nurse constantly. If the babies are hungry, they let mama know and she will come running.  Some mamas dote on the litter until they are weaned and some take a more relaxed approach. The one thing I know is that you cannot force the issue.  We usually do not change the bedding until the babies are weaned.

If the baby is squalling, does mama come and tend to it?  If, so there is nothing to worry about.  As long as the baby is growing and relatively quiet all is probably OK. The problem is that if there is a problem, at two weeks, there is very little the vet can do for it!

I assume you are weighing the kitten daily to check that the baby is gaining weight?

Please let me know.

Best regards... Norm.




At age 3-4 weeks, the weaning process can begin.

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Norman Auspitz

Expertise

I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.

Experience

I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.


Organizations
Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Publications
Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

Education/Credentials
I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

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