Cat Moms

RagaMuffin queen and kitten


author Laurie Godshall     High Country Cats

You might think you know cat behavior and assume that cat mothering is a level playing field. I know that’s how I felt, before I started breeding RagaMuffins (I thought I knew a lot about cats before I started breeding, but that’s another blog!)

Here’s what I’ve learned over the years about cat moms. There are good cat moms, where you’ll have to keep an eye on them, maybe assist sometimes.  There are fantastic cat moms, the ones we wish all our females were, the ones who have an abundance of milk, they’re gentle and attentive to the kittens’ every need and no human intervention is needed.  There are the not -great- but -you’ll -do cat moms, where you wonder if they even know what is going on. You’re certain she can hear those babies crying, but why isn’t she alarmed and racing to be with them??  How does she not know she is laying on them?? These kittens generally need a little more supportive care.

Then there are the ones who shouldn’t be moms. These are the one where we must take over and give it all we’ve got in hopes that the RagaMuffin kittens survive. This is a whole other blog!

Unfortunately, we don’t know what kind of moms they’ll be until they are one. It would sure benefit some of them if they had a RagaMuffin version of ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’, but they only have what nature has given them in the instinct department. What we hope for is that if our breeding females had great moms, then the chances are greater that they will also be great moms. While this is often the case, sometimes the genes just don’t get passed on. Sometimes, it takes a less than ideal first litter experience for them to grow into fantastic mothers the next time around. But what if they aren’t? It’s a little like Russian Roulette.

I currently have a first time mom that falls into the ‘not-great-but-it’ll-do’ category. It’s stressful. I’m sleep deprived. A lot of the time, it seems that I am the only one who hears the kittens cry and I worry daily that they’re not getting enough to eat. They are gaining weight and healthy, so she must be doing something right! I am thankful that at least they’ve gotten too big to not be noticed if she accidently lays on one and they’re strong enough to escape. Oh, Lord, please get us to the day when we can start on solid food!


Will she have a 2nd litter? Undecided.