My cat (who was feral at first but is now a “skittish” pet) had 4 kittens. She has them sheltered but not completely hid. Around 3 weeks of age she let me touch them with no hissing or growling. She would just lay over on her side and purr while I touched/ held/ socialized them. Suddenly out of nowhere she has started hissing at me, even when I wasn’t near the kittens.
She eats on our porch and she comes to the door and meows when she’s hungry. I opened the door and she hissed at me. While I was feeding her treats and petting her, she suddenly jumped back and popped my hand (breaking the skin) and hissed at me again.
She has since then stopped hissing at me but I haven’t tried touching the kittens because I feel like she isn’t OK with it anymore. The kittens are 5 weeks old now, and she keeps them pushed back in a corner and isn’t letting them walk around. If one starts walking towards me, or even in a different direction, she pulls them back. They’re 5 weeks old and can barely walk. They’re up off the ground in a junk shed and I knew one would fall off ... today one did.
I think she’s hurt but I couldn’t get to her so I left her alone to let mom finish eating on the porch and to return to help her. It’s like she’s not letting them grow up any. I want to let nature take its course, but I feel like they’re going to live in there forever never learning cat things. They still crawl completely on their bellies.