Do Cats Love Their Kittens? (Yep, They Do – In Their Way)

Cats love their kittens, as every mother does. They have a very strong bond with their kittens and they really love them. Even when the kittens are from different cats. Cat mothers can accept them and love them as their own.

Like any mother, cats have that instinct to care for their young.

Thus, mother cats can be quite protective and care for their young until they can live independently.

Let’s get into it more!

Do cats recognize their kittens?

Yes, a mother cat does recognize her kittens. However, it will only last as long as they’re with her.

Felines are familiar with their kittens, not by their appearance but by their smell.

As long as the young kittens stay in their mother’s company, their scent remains. As a result, a feline family tends to snuggle and groom one another.

At the same time, mother cats remember their kittens by their cries. Each baby cat has a distinct sound that her mom understands.

However, if a kitten gets separated from its mother, they’ll forget each other after some time.

Of course, the mother’s instinct would be to look around for it at first.

Both the mother and the kitten may suffer from separation anxiety. But don’t worry, though. They’ll likely overcome it after a couple of weeks.

RelatedDo cats remember their mothers?

Do Father cats love their kittens?

Unlike the mother cat, fathers tend to be less caring and supportive with the kittens.

Still, there are exceptions, as some male cats tend to care for small kittens.

While it’s the mother felines that support the young ones, the fathers may help by looking for food.

Further, most feline fathers often get involved when their kittens can already hunt.

Pet male cats also get to be amiable, but these felines don’t play a vital role in caring for kittens.

Read also: How skinny can a cat get before it dies?

When do mother cats leave their kittens?

Mother cats have the instinct to leave their kittens upon reaching a particular age.

In general, all kittens should be able to feed on solid food upon reaching 8-12 weeks old.

Still, it’s highly ideal that kittens leave their mothers after 12-16 weeks.

The time should be enough for their mothers to teach every lesson they can have.

After that point, mother cats become quite intolerant, as if forcing their young to go away.

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Do mother cats get sad when their kittens leave?

Like all mothers, felines tend to get sad and a little upset when they get separated from their kittens.

When their kittens leave, they might search the house to look for them. They may even release a few meows here and there, expecting to hear a response.

Although it may be stressful for the mothers, they’ll be alright after a few days or weeks.

For the kittens, such separation tends to be a lot more complicated. Getting separated from their mother loses their grasp of things.

For a kitten, transferring into a new place without her mother would be disturbing.

As a result, any separated kitten may refuse to eat and may seem depressed several days after leaving.

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Can kittens stay with their mother forever?

Although kittens can live independently after some time, they can stay with their mother forever if they want.

They should be with their mother until they are 12 weeks old. But, if they wish to stay, it should be fine.

A feline family that stays together is quite fascinating. They can be cuddly and sweet with each other and even grooms one another.

Their wild counterparts, on the contrary, tend to live separately in an early stage of life.

Since they are hunters, the young ones learn how to hunt in their early life and go on their own after some time.

Domesticated cats can live together since they get fed by their owners and has no need to hunt.

Why do mother cats hate their kittens?

Mother cats don’t exactly hate their kittens. When it seems like they do, it’s because they are forcing their young to live independently.

These feline mothers tend to become more intolerant of their young after a certain age. It’s not exactly a hate attitude. Instead, it’s a hormonal thing for them.

After teaching them all the lessons, kittens tend to go and live on their own.

As a result, when kittens decide to stay, the parents can be quite intolerant.

Such behaviors wind down after some time, so there’s no need to worry if you witness such an incident.

Will cats abandon their kittens if you touch them?

A lot of people think that feline mothers abandon their kittens if you touch them. I’m telling you that’s not entirely true.

Mother kitties won’t reject their young if you touch it. Even so, the best thing to do is to keep a distance from both the kittens and the mother.

Thus, if you wonder if it’s okay to touch newborn kittens, the answer is yes, you can handle them.

Even so, it’s best not to do so too much, as it can distress a mother cat.

Let the mother cat do its job of taking care of her kittens. Only approach if you think they need help.


Cats, like us, have that motherly instinct to their young. They also protect, nurse, and care for their kittens.

It’s quite fascinating to see a mother cat grooming and feeding her young. At the same time, it’s also great to see them sweet with each other.

As cat owners, it’s one of our perks to see our pets show affection as we do.


Image credits – Photo by The Lucky Neko on Unsplash

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