I have a mama Maine Coon that is very small in size. A week ago she had 5 kittens, which she keeps dividing into two groups. She spends her time going back and forth caring for each group. They are all very healthy and fat.However, when I put them all together, she divides them back up, and of course moves each grouping to a different location. Any ideas as to why she is doing this?
"Mother knows best" With all animals, I feel that they know best on how to take care of their young.
If mother cat is putting them into 2 groups then, by all means, let her, especially if she is taking care equally of each group. Do you know if one group is female and one group male?
You say she is small, it is possible that she cannot feed all 5 kittens at the same time.
Watch each group and make sure she does go to each equally otherwise, you might have to bottle feed some.
What do you plan to do with 5 kittens?
Some mother cats will separate her kitten into two groups. As long as the kittens are healthy and she is feeding them there isn't much to do. However, if you see her neglecting one group of cats and not feeding them, then you might have to take over.
Nobody can understand why some cats find it easier to take care of their kittens in two groups. She must feel that having all of them sucking on her at once is too much. It might be easier for her to care for her kittens like this.
Just keep an eye on the kittens and make sure they are getting fed. If not you will need to bottle feed the ones she has stopped feeding.
If this was just one kitten she may feel it is sick and she doesn't want to take care of this kitten. If this is the case take the kitten and start feeding it yourself.
It may be possible that she's dividing them by their health status. Here is an article on why mama cats might do that:
I think you should just leave her care for the kittens the way she wants.She probably finds it easier caring for them in a smaller group.