Does a Cat Forget Her Kittens or Does She Remember?

In January, we gave away one of the kittens from the rescue cat that we took in. I felt so bad taking a child away from it’s mother. When it happened, my husband tried to comfort me and said “Don’t worry, she won’t remember she gave birth”.

“What?” I retorted incredulously, “A mother never just forgets that she gave birth.” It was a ridiculous statement to me.

How could a mother just not remember these cuties?

How could a mother just not remember these cuties?

Much like the first 3-5 years of a child’s life are their important, formative years, I now understand that the cat’s formative time is counted in months, not years. She doesn’t remember that kitten at all. Even more so, she doesn’t remember that the two kittens that she sees every day, are hers.

Some background in case you never caught my other posts. We rescued a beautiful kitten who was only 9 months old herself when she had her own kittens. A neighbour in the area put her out at about 4 months old and just moved away. She survived on her own outside until she came to us the day she had her kittens and another neighbour of mine found them and let us take them in.

When the kittens were born, she was so loving, protective and giving towards them. She cared for them and worried about them for 5 months during the winter. She was with them almost every minute of the day. Then spring came. the snow melted and it was time to set them loose to enjoy the yard and neighbourhood (fixed, chipped, tattooed and licensed of course).

Tess, the orange and white Tabby took her kittens outside for the first time ever. They were born just before the snow flew and we had about 7 months of snow this winter.

Tess, the orange and white Tabby took her kittens outside for the first time ever. They were born just before the snow flew and we had about 7 months of snow this winter.

It was gradual at first. There was some low growling when the kittens came too close to her. I thought she was trying to show that she was the dominant one, but what has happened is that she has remembered being on her own last summer and can’t quite place where these two cats that she is living with fit in to her life.

As for the kittens, they have each other and they are the closest of siblings. That’s all they know and I am thankful that they have each other. I see their confusion at times because I know they remember that they like Tess, they just don’t understand her attitude towards them. Our mom cat is still very loving with us and she does tolerate her kittens, she just gets caught off guard some times.

This is Oz at 8 months old (short for Ozzy 'Osbourne', named before we knew they were all girls).

This is Oz at 8 months old (short for Ozzy ‘Osbourne’, named before we knew they were all girls).

And since it is Friday, here is a cute video of our kitten Oz when she first discovered she had a shadow stalking her.

Sheri Landry
Sheri publishes, and writes at This Bird’s Day where she shares all of the thoughts in her head without the voices. Sticking mainly with content for Canadians, Sheri shares family stories, product information and anything that fits into her (and her family’s) daily activities.
Found in Pets