While you are busy celebrating your cat’s newborn kittens, you suddenly notice that she has relocated her litter to a new location which is under your bed. This will likely leave you questioning yourself, “Why is my cat moving her kittens under my bed?”
Well, there is no specific answer to this question as there are numerous reasons that can make your cat relocate her kittens to a new location and again, you need to understand that cats are lovely creatures with numerous intriguing behaviors. Funny enough, this relocating behavior might just be one of the funny behaviors they exhibit.
In this blog post, we have revealed everything you need to know about cats and why they relocate their kittens. You will also get to know what motivates this behavior and whether or not it is something to be concerned about.
Not to waste a lot of time, let’s begin!
Understanding Cats Behavior – Maternal Instincts
Cats exhibit numerous weird and funny behaviors. For instance, they knead and attack your feet when you walk past them, they make funny sounds when they see birds flying, and they try to hide in a very small space even if it’s obvious it can’t contain them. Weird right? YES, it!
Why is my cat moving her kittens under my bed? Your cat moving her kitten to a cozy spot is a very normal behavior, this act can also be attributed to their instincts.
Before domestication when cats lived in the wild, they have strong maternal instincts. After birthing their offspring, they always ensure to protect and nurture them by creating a safe a secure environment.
This drive to safeguard their kittens from potential threats is one of the primary reasons a mother cat may decide to move her kittens under your bed.
Aside from being an instinctual behavior, there are numerous reasons why cats might hide their kitten under your bed and to be more explicit, we have revealed a number of them in the next heading.
Why Is My Cat Moving Her Kittens Under My Bed?
Mother cats relocate their kittens for numerous reasons some of them include:
1. She Is Feeling Threatened
A mother cat has a heightened maternal instinct and during this period of motherhood all she cares about is her kittens and no one else.
Due to the maternal instinct, your cat might not be welcoming as usual and anytime you or someone in the family visit her nesting area frequently, she might start to feel threatened, thinking you are a predator trying to take her kittens away from her.
In this case, your cat might decide to relocate the kittens to under your bed where nobody will be able to come close to them.
Veterinarians often recommend refraining from visiting your cat’s nesting area for the first 4-6 weeks after birthing, as by this time, the kittens’ eyes are open, and they can move around, reducing their mother’s insecurity.
2. Cats’ Natural Affinity for Enclosed Spaces
Cats have a natural affinity for enclosed spaces, rooted in their evolutionary instincts. Enclosed spaces offer a sense of security and warmth, which is highly appealing to feline mothers when raising their kittens.
They believe that when they are in a confined space, their kittens will be less vulnerable and that they have provided them with maximum protection.
This instinctual preference for enclosed spaces can lead a mother cat to move her kittens under a bed or into other concealed locations where they feel sheltered and secure.
3. Sick or Unhealthy Kitten
Another reason why your cat might move her kittens under your bed is if one of her kittens is sick or unhealthy. If she notices this, she might separate the unhealthy kitten from the others just to get her special treatments for faster recovery.
If you notice that only one of the litter was moved under the bed, it is most likely because the kitten is sick or unhealthy. In this case, you should keep a close tab on the mother cat and the sick kitten because if the kitten doesn’t get well on time or if its condition gets worse, the mother cat will eventually dump her and focus on the well-being of the healthy litter.
4. Uncomfortable Environment
Why is My Cat Moving Her Kittens Under My Bed? The short answer to this might just be an uncomfortable environment.
Mother cats love to nest in an environment free from stressors or anything that can aggravate anxiety.
Loud noises from speakers, stereos, thunderstorms, or fireworks might all make your cat’s environment uncomfortable, hence seeking a comfortable place to stay.
Aside from this, unfavorable weather conditions like too much exposure to sunlight and excess temperature might make your cat move her kittens to a new location.
How To Stop a Mother Cat from Moving Her Kittens Under the Bed
Understanding why your cat is moving her kittens under the bed is only the first step. If you’d like to discourage this behavior, here are some practical steps you can take:
1. Assessing Cats’ Need for Solitude during Nursing
One of the ways you can stop your cat from relocating her kittens is by providing it with a safe and comfortable environment while nursing her kittens.
Cats need solitude during nursing, they crave privacy with their kids to ensure they are not exposed to threats or predators.
In this case, give your cat the privacy it craves by reducing the number of times you go and check on her in a week. If you go visit frequently, your cat will become threatened, and she will feel the need to relocate her kitten to a more private location.
2. Creating a Quiet and Undisturbed Areas
Create a safe space free from external stressors for your cat. Things like car horns, loud noise, people walking around frequently and many more can exacerbate stress in your cat making her want to relocate.
However, if you create a comfortable environment free from any of these external stressors, your cat will feel safe and comfortable.
3. Respecting the Mother Cat’s Boundaries
The joy of having a new litter at home is unexplainable but at the same time, you have to control the urge of wanting to hold or touch the kittens a few weeks after birth. Provide her with a bowl of water with enough food and avoid checking up on her from time to time.
By doing this, you are respecting her boundaries and making her more comfortable.
4. Offering Supplementary Nesting Options
Another way to prevent cats from relocating their kittens is by providing extra nesting choices. Cats may relocate their kittens if they’re not happy with their current spot. However, by offering additional cozy places with soft bedding and treats, you’ve given her some options.
She can then choose a location that suits her and her kittens, reducing the urge to move them to another spot, like under the bed.
When Should You Consult with a Veterinarian?
Cat relocating her kittens is not always something to be concerned about. However, if it’s accompanied by symptoms like aggression, avoidance of her kittens, or if the kittens are not thriving, it is best to consult with a vet.
Below is an explicit explanation:
Sign of Aggression in Mother Cats
If your cat is relocating her kittens and also showing signs of aggression towards you or anyone who comes close, it might be because of stress, anxiety, postpartum depression, or underlying health issues.
We were opportune to discuss with a vet the topic “Why is My Cat Moving Her Kittens Under My Bed?” and he narrated one of his experiences to us.
He said one of his customers brought her nursing cat to him and she said she’s unnecessarily aggressive and that she doesn’t breastfeed her kittens rather she grooms her abdomen often.
After examination, the vet said he discovered that the nursing cat had mastitis – a milk blockage infection causing swollen, painful mammary glands. This health issue was what made the cat not feed her kittens. Mastitis can lead to sepsis (a fatal condition) if not treated promptly.
With that being said, it is important to consult with a qualified vet after discovering that your cat is showing signs of aggression after birthing.
If the Kittens are not Thriving
Seeing a vet is crucial if the kittens are not thriving after your cat relocates them. Kittens should steadily grow, be active, and nurse from their mother.
If you notice any signs of weakness or poor health, or if they’re not gaining weight as they should, it’s time to consult a veterinarian. They can assess the kittens’ health, provide necessary care, and ensure they have the best chance for a healthy, thriving start in life.
Why is My Cat Moving Her Kittens Under My Bed? This question doesn’t have a specific answer as your cat can relocate her kittens for numerous reasons some of which are uncomfortable environment, bad weather conditions, natural affinity for enclosed space, etc.
If you are willing to stop your cat from relocating her kittens, you may provide her with a more comfortable environment free from stressors and also respect the mother cat’s boundaries by avoiding the urge to touch or carry her kittens,
Cat relocating her kitten can also be caused by an underlying health issue. In this case, this behavior is usually accompanied by aggression. If you notice that your cat has moved her kittens to under your bed and at the same time, she’s aggressive and not taking care of the kittens properly, consult with a vet immediately for assessment and treatment.
Before you go, you can also read: Why does my cat’s fur looks separated?