New Mom - Questions
My 2 year old cat just became a mom of two adorable little munchkins. There's a story behind how that came to pass. I adopted her as an young adult cat from a bad home. The parents of a college age girl who took rotten care of her gave her to me and told me she was spayed. She is normally a very happy healthy indoor cat, but she snuck out one night when I was tending to the grill and now I've got these two babies who were born in the night Thursday night/Friday AM sometime. One is a gray/black tiger and the other is all gray with white feet.
Despite being adorable and lovable to me, she is not exactly mother of the year. I made her up a perfect nesting box (spacious, luxurious with fluffy towels, etc) she had the little darlings under a chair instead. I moved everyone into the box , she hasn't tried to move them back, and things are generally OK. Babies are gaining weight - I am tracking their weight and they're above average for newborns (128 and 122 grams as of this morning). She cleaned them up well after they were born and she seems to be licking them so they'll go to the bathroom.
The problem is that whenever I'm home she is constantly coming out of the box to visit with me. Shouldn't a new queen be a little more attentive for the first few days? I was concerned that babies would get cold so I rigged a warming pad under the box that will keep the temps up if she decides to wander. When she comes out to visit, I shoo her (nicely) away and she immediately goes back to the box, but sometimes it only lasts 15 or 20 mins or less before she's back at my feet. I can't tell what happens when I'm gone but it seems she stays with them, but I can't be sure. Last night she stayed with them, except when I got up to go the toilet - she was right there to greet me. I always do the same routine - pet on the head and then a nicely shoo back to the box, and she dutifully returns. On one of her visits I turned her on her belly and tested her teats. There is milk flowing so she doesn't have mastitis. She's not uncomfortable or yowling at all - she just sits at my feet or rubs up against my legs and sometimes jumps on my lap.
I know she probably needs a break to stretch and get food/drink and use the litter box (which is less than 4 feet from her nesting box) every now and then. But her visits usually don't entail a trip to the food bowl or litter box. Overall she seems to be doing a good job. I rigged the box so that the lid is hinged, and when I lift the lid of the box to take a peek she gets very nervous and protective (needless to say I haven't done that very often.)
So how much time away from the newborns is too much? At what point should I start to get concerned about abandonment?
Last edited by KittyDaddy; 06-21-2008 at 04:51 PM.