Mom cat has 3 kittens which LOOK healthy. Two big ones and one a little smaller in size. They are 1 week old. The mom is licking the smallest kitten's fingers and toes and it seems she's biting them. I even heard a crack when she bit the fingers or nails. The mom bit the kitten's hand, and when she did not feel satisfied she flipped the kitten in the air.

But it's like she's not trying to hurt the kitten, it's in the licking process. The kitten is also rising in the air when mom licks her tail. It wasn't like this before. It's as if the mom is licking strongly this time. However, the kitten didn't cry when this was happening, nor when the mom bit her hand. I can see blood on the kitten's fingertips and toes but not leaking. Still I'm worried for the kitten. And the other larger kittens' hands are fine. This is only happening to Avalanche. What can be the cause of this? I don't think the mom is trying to hurt the kitten because if she wanted to she would've bit her tummy or any other part in her. It's the cat's first litter. Help me out.

  • The mother is still biting till bleeds, however no infection anymore. The weak kitten is bleeding while strong ones have what look like blood bruises and it's very little with them, but the poor kitten bleeds every now and then. Dec 17, 2017 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


Cats can have mental illnesses as well as occasionally just being poor mothers. The licking you describe seems too rough but does not seem to be too serious. I am concerned about the mother biting the kittens paws and drawing blood.

If you inspect the kitten’s paws and they appear healthy, clean, with no abnormal growths or tumors, then there is reason to be concerned about the mother.

Continue to observe them and see if the mother continues to bite the kitten or neglects it. also ensure the mother is feeding the kitten enough. Kittens should show steady weight gain and should be a little chubby including having a little fat belly.

You have to assess the mother’s fitness to raise kittens. This is a difficult judgment call. Watch the mother closely. If you think the mother is injuring the kitten and is a real threat to the kitten the kitten should be removed from the mothers care.

This is a difficult decision because cats take care of their kittens much better than people can easily do. If the kittens are very young then you would really have to do a lot of research on how to raise the kittens yourself. It is not easy nor simple. Unless the mother is a very clear threat, the kittens are better off with their mother.

Currently i would recommend continuing to observe the mother and letting us know here if you see anything else that concerns you.

  • I know how to take care of 1 week olds thank god. The mother herself was an orphan. She was raised by me. And I think the biting stopped. I still havn't took any of them to the vet, don't know when I can but I'll try soon. I really hope I won't need to take care of another kitten. I don't want to go to the vet and have nothing done to the kittens, it would be a loss then. Vets here are far. I'm afraid the vet'd say that they are still young and the dr can not give deworming nor vaccinations. Can such thing happen? When is the best time for them to visit? At what age? Nov 28, 2017 at 9:21
  • @toothless199 Well it sounds like your kitten is doing OK and the mother is not hurting it. There is no need to take it to the vet right now. 6 to 9 weeks is the normal age for their first vaccinations. That little kitten is very fortunate in getting all of your love and concern.
    – Beo
    Nov 28, 2017 at 20:12
  • Okay she is being rough again, the paws are getting swollen and red. I don't think there is any tumor on it. The mom also licked another kitten the same way but the kitten wasn't injured. The mom still cares for the kittens and licks, feeds and pee them. The cat isn't being aggressive just rough I think(no growling) is there really nothing I can do? I'm pretty sure she'll take care of the kitten better than me as she is with them 24/7, but I'll never bite my kitten's fingers. Can anyone help me out! Nov 29, 2017 at 14:57
  • It sounds like your little kitten has infected paws. Two things could have happened: The mom may have determined something was wrong and tried to treat this by biting / liking the infected paws or her bites/licking may have broken the skin and caused in the infection in the first place. Either way it is time to take the kitten to the vet.
    – Beo
    Nov 29, 2017 at 15:35
  • Ok, I'll try doing that soon. Thanks I'll keep an eye on them. Nov 30, 2017 at 12:48

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