Mother Cat With Healthy Kittens In At Least Two Places?
October 16, 2020 3:18 AM   Subscribe

A stray cat has adopted my mother. She has also had kittens (of course). One kitten is upstairs in my mother's spare bedroom closet, and the other is in the porch. The mother cat seems perfectly happy to be in the high traffic area of the porch and hangs out with the kitten there, and the kitten upstairs is still alive and moving about after two weeks, so presumably the mother visits her as well. A couple of questions below the fold.

First, why would a mother cat separate out at least two perfectly healthy kittens, especially when she seems to be caring for both?

Also, how likely is it that there would be a third kitten stashed away somewhere in or out of my mother's house? The mother cat can go in and out as she pleases as there is a cat door for the cat who actually lives there.

This is the second litter of kittens this cat has had (yes, I've made appointments for the others to be spayed/neutered). My mother lives out of town, so I'd like to bring the mother cat and the two kittens back to the city with me to keep the mother cat in the house where she can't get pregnant again before I can take her in for spaying. This is her second batch of her kittens that my Mom is caring for. Obviously, though, I don't want to bring them in if it would mean one or more kittens that we're unaware of would be left alone.

All comments on these questions, or others that I haven't thought to ask, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
posted by purplesludge to Pets & Animals (3 answers total)
Have you thought about putting the two kittens together, either on the porch or upstairs? If the mother gave birth in both places, she might have left them where they were born. I don't think there is anyway to know about kittens born elsewhere, but you can check for mewling noises in and around the house.
posted by shoesietart at 8:04 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]

The kittens were most likely born in 2 places, maybe the mother got a fright while giving birth, or it came on suddenly and both are safe where they are now so she see's no point in risking them by moving them.

A trick I've seen rescuers use to find kittens, is to to play a recording of kittens mewing in distress on their phone & follow the mother. I'd gather up the 2 kittens you now of for sure, put them somewhere she can clearly see them & then play the recording & watch the mother cat. This doesn't work in all cases but it can work.
posted by wwax at 8:17 AM on October 16 [6 favorites]

The risk with handling kittens is that the mother will abandon them as claimed by you. This mother has had a few hours to bond so the risk is lower. Avoid handling the kittens more than you have to. Move the kitten she is not currently near to very near the kitten she is with, but do not scare her away from the kitten she is with and don't touch that one and then retreat to a safe distance.
posted by Jane the Brown at 5:54 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]

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