Pregnant Cat left - Is she coming back?

by Marina


So the story is as follows.

One and a half years ago a cat gave birth to 3 kittens in our back yard, down in the storage room. I would never touch them, but occasionally would leave some food for them, so they kind of got used to my presence around and understood I would not harm them.

One of them (the black one)accidentally got into my house one day as she was sniffing around and got scared and hid. I couldn't find her for a day, and when I did, I took the cat outside again. She was the one that got most scared out of the three cats.

So when the mother cat left and the other two followed, I guess, the black one was left behind.
I heard her cry so I immediately took care of her, provided food and lots of cuddle.

Eventually she wasn't scared of me. The mother cat would come back for a couple of days, but saw that I took care of her so she left and never came back.

So that black kitten (which turned out to be a tortoiseshell - let's call her Zouzou) has been my cat since then and we have had a wonderful cat to owner relationship. She always followed me around, I always let her chill indoors,sit with me when watching a movie, etc.

My cat, Zouzou, lived outdoors in my back yard (I live on the ground floor of a three story building) and occasionally she would relax at the first or second floor balcony where my mother and aunt live. The cat left the yard sometimes, I guess to socialise, but would come back straight to me when she heard me.

Around February, she gave birth to 4 kittens. This was a first time thing for me, as in my 29 years I had never had a cat, but I think I took care of her quite well. They've all been hanging out well, playing all the time, with the mum cat Zouzou as well.

BUT, as soon as she stopped weaning the kittens, she got pregnant again.

I must say that I was at a point where 2 of the future adopters had said to me that they eventually couldn't take the 2 kittens. One will be given to a close friend in August and one I would keep. So I had/still have all four of them.

During her pregnant days, she would still play with the kittens, always let them eat first and then she would eat. I was relaxed that I now knew how to handle the whole giving birth thing. (The only difference is that during her first pregnancy I would let her stay in my house for hours and then would take her out only to sleep, so she gave birth indoors as she felt really comfortable. She even let me touch her and the kittens from day 1.)

But this time they were all sleeping outdoors in boxes with blankets. During the last days, she wouldn't let the 3 month kittens go near her because they were going straight to her nipples, obviously because she has milk again for the kittens that were due to be born. She would also
sleep in the storage room alone sometimes these last days for the same reason I suppose.

On Sunday, I was not at home from 6pm to 2am and I didn't check her out because I was too tired and went to sleep. Obviously this was a huge mistake by me because maybe around that time, or on Monday before 8am, she left..

I was so confident I would know when she is due, I even had a box with blankets indoors so she would give birth far from her 3 month olds.

So my question is, did she leave to give birth away from the 3 month old's so they don't hurt the kittens? she coming back? I am really upset and sad and have been looking around for her every day..

I would like to hear from an expert like you what usually happens in situations like this.. Will she not come back because the 3 month olds are here? Is there a possibility she thinks that she has to leave like her mom cat did? Though I think I have made it obvious to her those 2 years that she is my lovely..

Thank you in advance for your reply!

Hi, Marina,

Your letter makes me sad. I can hear the pain in your voice. It is obvious you have come to love your cat deeply and I have been in your shoes and know how it feels when one of our precious cats disappears.

There is no way of knowing if she will be back or not. My experience tells me that she went away to have the kittens and it's not your fault. Even if there were no other kittens there, Mom Cats often do that. It is instinct.

Usually, they do not go far. She could be very close and she could very well show up again, especially since she has been with you for so long and knows how much you love her.

The older kittens will not keep her away. They are her babies also. She may not bring her newest ones around until they are older, but I doubt that she feels your home is a place to stay away from.

Unfortunately, anytime a cat is outdoors, there are dangers. Other animals, getting lost, abusive people, cars ....and more. Hopefully, she is not wounded or became ill while giving birth.

All you can do is continue to look for her. Let everyone around know she is missing. Keep food out to entice her if she is close by. I really hope for you that she returns. If she does, the best thing to do would be to get her spayed so that she does not have kittens again.

My best wishes are with you,
Dr. Neely

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