Mom leaving her kittens

Do Mother Cats Experience Sadness When Their Kittens Leave?

It’s common for cat owners to observe and wonder about the emotional state of their pets, especially when it comes to the bond between a mother cat and her kittens. The question of whether or not mother cats experience sadness when their kittens leave is one that many people have asked.

Cats Have Emotions — They Feel Just Like We Do

First, it’s important to understand that cats, like other animals, do have emotions. They can feel happiness, fear, anger, and even sadness. However, the way they express and experience these emotions may be different from how humans do. While we can’t say for certain how a mother cat feels when her kittens leave, we can make educated guesses based on their behavior and what we know about cat psychology.

The relationship between a mother cat and her kittens is a strong one, built on instincts and the need for survival. During the first few weeks of a kitten’s life, the mother cat is entirely focused on providing for her kittens, feeding them, grooming them, and teaching them important life skills. This close bond is necessary for the kittens to grow and thrive.

As the kittens grow older, however, they begin to explore their surroundings and assert their independence. The mother cat often initiates this separation by spending more time away from her kittens and encouraging them to become more self-sufficient. This process is a normal part of a kitten’s development and helps prepare them for life as an independent adult.

When the time comes for the kittens to leave their mother – either because they are being adopted into new homes or the mother cat is no longer able to care for them – it’s possible that she may experience feelings of sadness or loss. Some mother cats have been observed searching for their kittens or calling out to them after they’ve left, which could be an indication of emotional distress.

However, it’s also important to consider that cats are highly adaptable creatures. While a mother cat might initially feel sad or disoriented when her kittens are no longer with her, she will likely adjust to the change in her environment and return to her normal routine fairly quickly.

It’s also worth noting that the experience of having her kittens leave may be different for each individual mother cat, depending on factors such as her personality, previous experiences, and the circumstances under which the kittens left. Some cats may be more affected by the separation than others, just as some human parents experience more intense feelings of sadness when their children leave home.


While we can’t say for certain how a mother cat feels when her kittens leave, it’s reasonable to assume that she may experience some degree of sadness or loss. However, cats are resilient animals, and most mother cats will likely adapt to their new circumstances and return to their normal routines in a relatively short amount of time.

As cat lovers, it’s important to remember that cats do have emotions and may need our support during times of change or loss. By being aware of the emotional needs of our feline companions, we can help ensure that they have happy, healthy lives filled with love and companionship.

Do Mom Cats Miss Their Kittens after Adoption? (Video)

"In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this."
-- Terry Pratchett

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