Mama Cat Keeps Dividing Litter into Two Groups

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?

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September 22, 20171 found this helpful
Best Answer

"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?

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September 21, 20170 found this helpful

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.

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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.

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September 22, 20170 found this helpful

Your suggestion that the smaller groupings being easier for her maybe correct. She placed 2 in one group, 3 in the other. So, it really doesn't seem to b health issues with any of the kittens. Plus, they r all very plump and healthy. Like I said though, although she is full grown, mama is very small in size. So, the dividing probably allows space for all babies to feed. Thank you

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September 21, 20171 found this helpful

It may be possible that she's dividing them by their health status. Here is an article on why mama cats might do that:

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www.petplace.com/.../dr-debras-posts

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September 22, 20170 found this helpful

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.

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September 22, 20170 found this helpful

I have had cats for many years and it seems each mother cat has their own thoughts/ways of caring for their babies. Even the second litter may be cared for in a different manner.

  • I believe this is completely normal and sounds like she is a being good mother.
  • Cats are strange is sometimes an understatement especially where their babies are concerned. One of my cats refused to have her babies anywhere but in a dresser drawer (which had been her napping place before this).
  • As long as she is taking equal care of each group then I cannot see a problem with her behavior.
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She will most likely decide when she wants the two groups to "meet" but it may be a while as she seems to have a very good reason for keeping them apart.

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September 23, 20170 found this helpful

Is it possible there were two fathers? Cats can have litters with multiple fathers.
It's possible she's separating them into genetic groups. This will be apparent by their smell.
Sometimes toms will kill the kittens of competing toms. (They can tell by the smell.) This may be a strategy to save some of the kittens in case one of the toms shows up.
It is probably not really necessary but an instinct.

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