How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Linda Simmon Your Own Question
Linda Simmon
Linda Simmon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 6025
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Linda Simmon is online now

My cat gave birth behind a couch. the kitten are well hidden

This answer was rated:

Hi my cat gave birth behind a couch. the kitten are well hidden but I am concerned about their location. is it safe to touch and move them?
JA: Hi there. We like to be extra careful with pregnancies, so I'll need to connect you with the Vet right away. Before I do, is there anything else you'd like me to share about the situation?
Customer: the queen is an abandoned cat that we befriended so she has a history of not being very trustful
Hello, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet.Cats tend to give birth in an area where they feel safe and where they feel their kittens will be protected.If it is an option, it is best to leave them be. If the mother senses the area is unsafe, she will move the kittens.However, if it is necessary to move them for their safety, this should be done.Ideally, you would set up a comfortable nesting box nearby with cosy bedding, food and water. Then, the mother cat should bring the kittens there herself.
If the mother seems unsettled or you're worried about the health of her and her kittens but aren't able to check them behind the cough, they do need to be moved.However, if they're all settled and doing well, we'd we'd wait until they're a few weeks old.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
okay. we have already set up the nesting box. the mother just came out for food for the first time. she ate a lot and drank some water. however now she comes and goes behind the couch and back and she meows
Ok, sure.It's good she knows where the nesting box and food are and she is likely to move the kittens there when "the coast is clear".
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
how long is it normal for the mother to spend away from the kittens so soon after birth?
At this stage, only for very short periods so she can eat/drink (or in the wild, hunt) and pass poo and pee.They need to eat round the clock at this stage so the mother cannot stay away too long.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
okay. can I contact you with more question later? I have no experience, is the first time we have a cat with kittens. and they are so cute and small, just want to make sure they will all be fine. seems like she gave birth to 4 or 5, cannot tell for sure due to where they are
Absolutely, this window will stay open so you can keep me updated.Typically, cats have 4 though 5 wouldn't be unusual.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
thank you. will monitor the situation and will contact you if anything changes

Thank you!

Hi there, this is just Dr Linda checking in.

Has mum gone back to her kittens now?

Hopefully mum is doing well and kittens are all settled.

Please do let me know if there is antyhing else,

Take care,


Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Linda, the mum is back to the kittens. She comes out for a bit to eat and drink and then she goes back to them. I saw them move while she was out and they seem to be fine. they do not meow at all. hope tonight she will move them in the nesting box as my concern now is with them being in a dirty area since they eat and pass feces.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
should I keep monitoring or maybe give her some space as she might move them if we are not around?

Ok, that's great she is going back to them frequently; that was my concern.

If she is going to move them, she will most likely do this when alone, yes.

So while it's good to keep an eye, do give her a little bit of time 'alone' so she can move them if she wishes.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
okay, will do that, and hope she will move them. If she doesn't how do I go about cleaning the area since is so hard to get there without major disruption?

If it cannot be easily cleaned and is becoming unhygienic, I would just go ahead and move them to the nesting box.

While we don't want to handle them at this age, this would be a siutation where it is necessary.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
when should I do that then?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I confirmed that there are 4 :)

Ah, that's lovely.

If it is not hygienic now and they're getting dirty, move them now.

If they seem ok, I'd give mum the night to do it herself. If she has not by morning, I would do it; calmly and quickly while mum is eating breakfast.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Will giver her the night then. Thank you for putting my mind at ease. Will go get some sleep now as me and my husband were taking turns watching her. have a good night. Take care

And you, take care!

Linda Simmon and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you