When I was in the fourth grade, our very pregnant stray cat finally had her kittens.
The only problem was, we didn’t know where they were.
All we knew is that one day our little feline friend Isabella was walking around very pregnant and then suddenly…she wasn’t.
After a few days of still not seeing her kittens were starting to get a bit worried. Isabella was clearly producing milk and it looked like her kittens had to be somewhere…
Then one day after school I came home to a litter of 6 adorable kittens all on the front porch! To say that little fourth grade me was excited would be a MAJOR understatement.
The kittens were only a few days old and still hadn’t even opened their eyes but I was so happy that Isabella finally decided it was time to bring us her kittens!
But why did this little mother cat suddenly decide it was time to bring us her kittens? And why do cats bring you their kittens at all?
Simply put, your cat is bringing you her kittens because she wants to introduce you to her new family. She may also be expecting you to help out a bit and most certainly expects you to help keep her kittens safe.
Reason 1: She Wants To Keep Her Kittens Safe
With that in mind, we can guess that the biggest reason cats bring you their kittens is for safety! Back to our Isabella story, we lived in a wooded area that had plenty of spaces for her to hide her kittens- but also plenty of space for predators.
Eventually, she had to realize that the absolute safest place she could keep her kittens would be with her human family. After all, she’d never seen a predator even near us, right?
So when your cat brings you her kittens she’s saying, “Hey Human! You seem really good at making sure there aren’t any predators around, mind if I drop these little furballs off? They can’t see, they squeak a lot and they need to eat every three hours. Good luck!”
Okay, it might not be an exact quote but that’s more or less what she’s saying and we feel confident that safety is the primary reason your mother cat brings you her kittens.
Reason 2: She Might Need Some Help
Besides safety, your cat mom might just need a break and she’s trusting you to help out. It’s not uncommon for cats to share parenting responsibilities for other kittens.
In the animal sheltering world, we would often have orphaned kittens brought to us. Sadly, many of these kittens should have been left where they found as mom was probably out and about with all intentions of coming back.
Still, we would try to find a mom that was already producing milk to pair with these orphaned kittens. Most of the time, that momma cat’s instincts would kick in and she’d start taking care of these orphaned kittens.
There are also many documented cases of domestic cats sharing the responsibility for the kittens with another mom!
What’s the point of all this?
It’s not usually for your cat to expect you to share some responsibility! So she might be bringing her kittens to you because she needs a little break or just a helping a hand.
Check out this super adorable photo (from the Dodo) of two sister cats sharing responsibility for 12 little kittens!
Reason 3: You’re Family
An even simpler reason is that your cat considers your house her home and you’re part of her family. So, of course, she’s going to bring her litter to you. After all, this is her home too and she wants to bring her family together!
While cats are traditionally territorial and independent creatures, a lot can change in the domestic environment where there are plenty of resources.
Why Do Cats Move Their Kittens Around At All?
It’s normal for a mother cat to move their kittens around to several different locations, especially in the first few weeks of their life. The biggest reason for doing this is safety.
Kittens are extremely vulnerable to predators in the wild. Heck, they can’t even open their eyes so the best thing mom can do for them is keep them safe by hiding them.
Cats may also move their kittens to find a cleaner nest, a better location for hunting or because she needs a little kitten help!
Why Does My Cat Bring Me Only One Kitten?
In some cases, cat moms may decide to only bring you one kitten and leave the rest behind. While this might seem like she’s playing favorites, it could actually be a major point of concern and your cat could be telling you that there’s something wrong with the kitten.
Nature is tough and even though we see our cats as friendly little housemates, their wild instincts are still alive and well. Part of those instincts lead mom cats to abandon kittens that are unhealthy or ill. Not only could these kittens possibly have a lower chance of survival, but in some cases, an illness could reduce the chances of the entire litter surviving.
If your cat is repeatedly bringing you the same kitten, then it’s important to do a close inspection and make sure you let your veterinarian know about this behavior.
Preventing Litters Saves Lives
When Isabella had her kittens I was ecstatic and having kittens in the home is one of the most exciting things a cat owner can experience.
But after a decade in the animal welfare industry, I’ve learned first hand a sad reality: there are already too many kittens in the world and far too many of them are ending up in animal shelters.
Please consider spaying your cat after she’s done nursing her litter of kittens. There are thousands of resources for getting your cat spayed and neutered at no cost at all! PetSmart Charities has a great spay/neuter clinic locator that you can check out by clicking here.
There are many reasons why your mother cat might bring you her kittens but most of the time safety is the primary concern for your cat mom. Of course, she might also need some help or just want to introduce you to her new family!
No matter the reason, it’s awfully cute when you find a litter of kittens in your bed or in my case waiting for you on your front porch!