Warning: Litterbox-type talk in this section! Skip to the next section for the cute pics and non-gross talk about the babies!
In yesterday’s comments, sourpuss asked:
Not to be gross, but how is it that the pink mat in the box is still so clean? Don’t the babies have accidents?
The babies don’t have accidents because for the first 3 – 4 weeks of their life, their lucky mama gets to take care of their urine and feces. She does this by stimulating them to poop and/ or pee by licking their back ends, and then she ingests the results.
I know, right? Mama cats do NOT get paid enough!
When we have bottle babies, I have to stimulate the kittens to pee and poop by using a wet wipe or a piece of paper towel, not my tongue (thank god). Also, said poop and pee goes into the trash.
I bet Emmy wishes she had a stack of paper towels and opposable thumbs!
That aspect of watching a mother cat take care of her babies is, well, I feel sorry for Emmy because I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but at the same time, the look on her face afterward is hilarious. It’s a cross between “I’m going to throw up” and “So, this is my life. Fantastic.”
When the kittens are around 3 weeks old, I’ll put small litter boxes that they can climb into in the corners of the room and fill them with clay litter (as opposed to scoopable litter; kittens will often eat a little of the litter at first, and scoopable can cause blockages, or so I’ve heard) and they tend to get the picture pretty quickly.
So that’s why the pink pad has stayed so clean! But scroll on down for more info about the pink pad.
Fred put the pink pad in the box under the kittens and Emmy last Thursday (I think?), and it’s stayed relatively clean, but yesterday Fred noticed that she’d tracked litter into the box, so we decided that it was time to do a change. I just don’t like the idea of babies rolling around in litter, even though it wasn’t that much, and I’m sure they’d have been fine.
So Fred took the babies out of the box and carefully placed each of them in a basket. Emmy was less than thrilled by this, but wasn’t willing to come out of the box while we were both in there, so he gently scruffed her, pulled her out of the box, quickly replaced the pink pad with a clean one, and then put her back in the box and put the babies back in with her.
All told, it took less than a minute – possibly even less than 30 seconds – and the first time Fred went into the room after that, Emmy hissed at him, then let him rub her belly.
Look at Razzie, there in the front, with her little stumpy tail!
Everyone’s eyes are slowly opening, but the only one with completely open eyes at this point is Razzie, who is also the calmest when being held. And along those lines, big baby Logie was the last of the four to start opening her eyes, and is a great big drama queen from the moment you pick her up.
They sure do seem to be spending a lot of time climbing up on top of her to snooze. And she doesn’t seem to mind one little bit.
Emmy needs some lotion for her toes, don’t you think?
Alice Mo has decided to hibernate ’til June or so, thank you.
2011: Bless his heart. (That’s Southern Speak for “What an idiot.”)
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: So I got up and got me some kittens.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
There is absolutely nothing gross about anything to do with gorgeous Emmy and her adorable babies! All is super cute and just amazing! Even their litter habits that mum cleans up! Yay!
Big wave to Alice!
Lovely pictures. Emmy is a great mom! I think the kittens should chip in and get her a spa day gift certificate for Mother’s Day!
Emmy certainly deserves a pedicure!
Have you seen this video? http://mousebreath.com/2012/03/08/cats-poised-to-lose-world-domination-battle/ Has this ever happened to any of your cats?
Yay, a bonus Saturday post!!
Mama cats certainly do not get paid enough 🙂
It’s so funny, as someone mentioned a while ago, the babies look pretty big when they’re all lined up by Emmy — but then when being held/moved, they sure do look teeny tiny still!! Darling little baby-heads!!
Thanks for the explanation, Robyn….I think. I knew mommie cats did the stimulation thing…but I did not realize the…other part. Emmy deserves some delicious treats DAILY…and maybe some kitty mouthwash. 😀
*smooches* for Alice
OMG! Cute little kitties in a basket! That just made my day. And Emmy is such a wonderful, beautiful mom.
And Alice, if I had a fluffy bed like that I’d hibernate too.
Natures is strange in our eyes, isn’t it? But the mother cat eating her babies waste is also a way for her to get more calories. It evolved because, in the wild, that can be the difference between life and death.
On a completely different note, I’m glad Emmy forgave Fred for moving her babies and changing her bedding. The wee bebbehs in the basket are adorable!
As is Alice in her color-coordinated hibernation bed!!
Thanks for the weekend treat of wonderful photos and text, Robyn!!
Poor Emmy, she had such a hard life up till you and Fred took her in. I think she is happy to have the beebees to love and surround her with affection…because she didn’t have that in her past life. What a loving momma!
I’ve seen a fair number of baby kittens before- both in real life and on the internets- but there is just something extra cute about Emmy and her babies!
Emmy probably wouldn’t tolerate having her toes manhandled but if she did I guess you could moisturize them with some olive oil or vitamin e oil?
Emmy’s toes look great compared to Meira’s.. I still so totally need to give that girl a bath..
I have always thought that mother cats don’t mind the elimination duties for the same reasons Doodle Bean mentioned. Same reason they eat the afterbirth (and similar reason why dogs eat cat poop.. but I still don’t understand why dogs eat their own poop)
Hey, how much do your kittens weight now? they look tiny in those photos.. I can’t tell if 3/4ths of my kindle are monsters or if the 1/4 is just too tiny..
Aw, they are adorable in that basket!!
Poor Emmy needs a pedicure. But now that she’s indoors, I’m sure they will eventually soften up. It’s all that outdoor stuff that makes them so nasty! MOL
Alice, I think you got the right idea!