How Long Can a Mother Cat Be Away From Her Kittens

How Long Can a Mother Cat Be Away From Her Kittens? Simple Guide

When a kitten is just a few weeks old, it needs a lot of attention and love. Mothers often take a break from their children for short periods, but they always return. As kittens mature and become more self-sufficient, the amount of time, they may be apart from their mother increases. 

Mother cats should have complete access while their kittens are still little because she is the best person for caring for them. At the very least, kittens should spend the first 12 weeks of their lives with their mother.

In the absence of her kittens, How Long Can a Mother Cat Be Away From Her Kittens? It all depends on the kittens’ age. They’ll need to be with her all the time during her first week of life. The amount of time it will take for the kittens to be ready to leave will increase during the next three months.

Here, we answer your questions concerning kittens and their dependence on their mother. You may have recently produced kittens of your own, and you’re concerned about How Long Can a Mother Cat Be Away From Her Kittens. A feral mother may leave her brood unattended while she goes out to hunt. 

What could cause a mother cat to reject or abandon her kittens?

  • Overwhelmed by the number of kittens but short on milk.
  • Premature birth may be a factor.
  • Due to an infection of the mammary glands, the kittens cannot be nursed by a kitty.
  • She may reject an ill or malformed kitten.
  • An absent-minded mother may not recognize a kitten when it returns.

How Long Can a Mother Cat Be Away From Her Kittens?

When a new mother cat feeds herself or litter in the litter tray, robot, or outdoor sanctuary, she will only leave her kittens.

The mother cat and her kittens will build a link outside of the womb throughout the early stages of their development. The kittens would necessitate a lot of time and attention to survive.

The mother cat will lick and cuddle her kittens repeatedly to keep them warm in the face of harsh weather. Because newborn kittens can’t yet manage their body temperature, their mother must remain close to them during this critical period.

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It will be impossible for the mother cat to feed her kittens through milk when they are old enough to eat solid food independently.

The mother cat begins to separate from her kittens at this point. However, the cat will ensure the safety of her kittens in the surroundings they have created for herself.

Isn’t it adorable?

Keep in mind that if you’re considering adopting a kitten, you’ll want to get one that’s at least 12 weeks old. For kittens to learn about the world through the eyes of their mother, they need a lot of time.

Weeks One & Two

It is rare for the mother cat to abandon her kittens for long periods during the first week. To have a bite to eat, use the bathroom, or check for any dangers in the area where she’s raising her babies, she may leave the nest. 

Cats in the wild will leave their kittens if necessary but will return as quickly as possible. Your presence ensures that she has access to food and water at all times, making domestic cats much more comfortable.

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To weigh the kittens and check for disease or pest infestation symptoms, you may temporarily separate the kittens from their mother. Even minor illnesses or common parasites like fleas can cause a lot of harm to a baby kitten. 

Weeks Three to Five

Around week three, she will be able to play for extended amounts of time. Although they still require their mother, the newborns are becoming more mobile and independent. 

They can walk for short distances with their eyes open. They may be intrigued about their surroundings and want to go for a walk around the neighborhood. 

As long as it’s just for a few minutes, it’s OK to play with the kittens a little more now. The kittens will get more socialized if they are handled and petted and sometimes tempted with teaser toys.

Weeks Six to Eight

Mother cats will begin weaning their kittens around this time. Mother cats in the wild would carry prey back to their nests for their young to eat. A small amount of solid food blended with kitten milk can help (you can find this at pet supply stores). 

To keep an eye on her babies, the mother cat will likely spend more time apart from them. Her pups will begin to learn how to utilize the litter box and other feline wisdom during this period. Please make an effort to interact with the kittens regularly so that they develop pleasant associations with humans.

What About Male Cats And Kittens?

The relationship between male cats and kittens is also something that many cat owners are curious about. While the mother cat is devoted to her offspring, the male cat is often left to care for the rest of the pack rather than spending time with the kittens in their early stages of life.

It can lead to a cat showing hostility or dominance over kittens if it has not been spayed. During the early stages of a kitten’s life, mother cats will exhibit defensive behavior toward male cats in general (and especially toward related males).

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Kitten owners may need to make efforts to keep male cats away from their newly born kittens. Catnip can be a temporary deterrent, but in most situations, keep kittens and mother cats (particularly nursing ones) away from males in the early phases of their development.

How Can You Tell if a Mother Cat Has Lost Her Kittens?

How Long Can a Mother Cat Be Away From Her Kittens

You can tell if a mother cat is missing her kittens by how she acts and behaves during the first few days of the absence of the kittens. When a mother cat is separated from her litter of kittens, scientists say she doesn’t show a lot of distress. On the other hand, behavioral changes are signs of grieving in the initial few days.

Mother cats will yowl and scour the house for their kittens, hoping to elicit a response. You may disrupt the resting and eating patterns of particular mother cats. In contrast, the personalities of others may shift when kittens are removed from their mothers before the weaning process is complete.

FAQs – How Long Can a Mother Cat Be Away From Her Kittens?

Is it normal for mother cats to leave their kittens?

As soon as the kittens were delivered, you could see their mother on her way out. The behavior you describe is entirely reasonable and expected. When it’s time for the kittens to be shown around, your mother cat will let you know. She may go on lengthier solo travels or come to teach them the ins and outs of the house at this point.

Will a mother cat abandon her kittens if you touch them?

As far as I know, a mother cat will not “reject” kittens that people have touched. It is only appropriate to remove kittens from a mother cat’s nest if the mother cat has not been seen for several hours or if the kittens appear to be in immediate danger or discomfort.

Will a mother cat return to her kittens?

The cat’s mother will return soon. First, you may think about rescuing and bringing the kittens straight to a shelter. A mother cat, on the other hand, will occasionally abandon her nest in search of prey. Without their mother, You will likely reunite these young cats.


You have to be very careful when taking care of new cat moms and kittens. Observing a cat mother caring for her kittens is often a visual treat. When caring for a new mother and her kittens, be sure to reassure them that they are in a safe and comfortable setting.

Don’t let the new cat mom feel abandoned and lonely, so keep up with her, rub and snuggle with her to keep her confidence in you intact.

To avoid any additional negative scenarios, get urgent basis consultation if you cannot grasp the particular behavior of your cat and new kittens.

It can be difficult, but you must be patient and hopeful that your efforts will positively impact the issue. I see you, sweet paw-rents; keep up the excellent work.

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