When to Change Bedding After Cat Gives Birth: A Guide for New Cat Owners

Cats giving birth to tiny kittens is a remarkable thing to experience firsthand. But this should not distract you from keeping track of their bedding.

So, when to change bedding after a cat gives birth?

You should change the bedding right after the cat gives birth if the smell of blood is too strong. If the smell is not too strong, leave the bedding unchanged for 24 hours. However, if the bedding is clean, leave it for up to 48 hours. 2 days after birth, change the bedding every 1 or 2 days depending on its state. 

Are you still confused about when to change bedding after a cat gives birth? Read this article to learn more.

When to Change Bedding After Cat Gives Birth

The time for changing the bedding after your cat gives birth can vary based on the time after birth. 

Right After Delivery:

Right After Delivery
Source: Discover Magazine

Follow this table to determine when to change the bedding after birth depending on the state of the bedding:

Time for changing the beddingState of the bedding
After the deliveryA strong smell of blood and very soiled bedding.
24 hours after the cat’s deliveryRelatively clean bedding
48 hours after the cat’s delivery The bedding is clean and the mother cat is protective of its kittens

After The Delivery:

If the smell of blood is too strong, replace the bedding soon after the delivery. Otherwise, the mother may want to relocate her kittens away from the bedding. This is most likely instinctual. Blood tends to give out a strong smell when decomposing which can attract predators.

So, if the smell is too strong, replace the bedding. But remember to do this with the least amount of interference. It is best to do this when the mother cat is away from the bed.

24 Hours After The Cat’s Delivery:

It is best to wait at least 24 hours after the delivery to change the bedding. This is because the first 24 hours of a kitten’s birth are very important. During this time the mother cat bonds with her little ones. 

So, try not to change the bedding if you do not have to in the first 24 hours.

48 Hours After The Cat’s Delivery:

If the bedding is clean and the smell of blood is absent, keep the bedding for up to 48 hours. The longer you keep the original bedding the better. The bedding helps them create bonds with each other. Changing the bedding may interrupt their bonding and cause the cat to forget her kittens temporarily. 

Do not keep the bedding longer than 48 hours to maintain hygiene. Keeping the same bedding longer than this can end up infecting the kittens. 

Experienced cat owners often attempt not to change the bedding for as long as possible. Some go as far as up to 2 weeks without a change of the bedding. This is generally not recommended. If you still want to try this, do regular checkups. Check on the state of the bedding and the health of the mother and her kitten every day. If the bedding starts to smell bad, it is time for a change.

2 Or More Days After Delivery:

If 2 days or more have passed since the delivery of the kittens, alter the frequency of the bedding change. You can follow this table to determine when to change the bedding after 2 days have passed:

Time for changing the beddingCondition of the cats
Every dayKittens are sick or have diarrhea, excessive hair shedding, and kittens dragging in dirt.
Every 2 daysMother cat can clean her kittens and the kittens are clean and healthy.

What Bedding Should I Use After Cat Gives Birth

what bedding should i use after cat gives birth
Source: Claws Junction

You can utilize these materials to make bedding for the cat and her little kittens:

Soft Materials:

You may use a soft cloth to make the bedding for the cats. These are some of the things that you could use:

  1. Soft towels
  2. Blankets
  3. Soft rags
  4. Old cloths

Ensure that the cloth being used is clean to avoid causing infections to the cat and the kittens. You may find the cat digging on the bedding. Do not worry as this is normal behavior for cats.

Pro tips:

  1. You can also insert disposable training pads underneath the bedding. This will soak in some of the body fluids discharged during the birthing process.
  2. If the weather is particularly cold, use a heating pad to keep the kittens warm. Put a heating pad underneath the bedding to keep them from getting cold. But be careful when setting the temperature of the heating pad. The bedding should not be too hot for the kittens.
  3. keep the bedding area free of fleas by using flea products. But do not use them on the kittens.
  4. Avoid using synthetic materials for bedding as they can irritate the skin of the kittens.
  5. If the cat is feral and you are taking care of it temporarily, you may use a pop-up camper bed. Pop-up camper beds support substantial weight. and is perfect for temporary bedding. Once the cat leaves you can just tuck it away!

Should I Clean The Cat Before I Change The Bedding

No, do not clean the mother cat or her kittens after giving birth. Bathing will stress out the cat and her kitten. Cats tend to groom themselves and their kittens. So, avoid bathing your cat even before changing the bedding.

If you see your cat particularly dirty, simply wipe off the portion with warm water. Then dry off the spot using a clean and dry cloth.

Cat birth is often stressful for cat owners, especially if this is your first time. It is often best to relax and let Mother Nature do her thing. If the stress is interfering with your sleep, you may want to try something new. Learn to make your bed the right way to get a good night’s sleep. Let the mother do her thing.

How Do I Change The Bedding After The Cat Gives Birth

To change the bedding of your cat after she gives birth, simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Keep the litter box, food, and water for the cat near the bedding.
  2. Wait for the cat to leave her bedding.
  3. After the mother cat leaves her bedding, remove the kittens one by one. Keep the kittens in a safe place nearby.
  4. Remove the dirty bedding material.
  5. Put in the new bedding. 
  6. Put the kittens back in their place.

The bedding has now been changed.

Pro tip:

In step 5, you can put multiple layers of bedding material on top of each other. This way you do not need to put in new bedding material every time! Simply remove the dirty layer when it is time for a change. This will also make the bedding more comfortable and the new bedding will retain its scent.

You may also try to make the cat’s bed more comfortable. There are quite a few DIY cat bed ideas that are surprisingly cheap and effective.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Should I give my cat water after giving birth?

Yes, you should give your cat water after giving birth. This will ensure that your cat does not get dehydrated. Keeping your cat hydrated ensures that she can produce adequate milk for her kittens. Place a bowl of fresh water near her bedding at all times.

How many kittens will my cat have for the first time?

Your cat may have 2 to 3 kittens when giving birth for the very first time. But the total number can actually vary depending on the breed of the cat. If the cat is purebred, it will have more offspring than a mixed-breed cat.

Will a mother cat reject her kittens if you touch them?

No, a mother cat will not reject her kittens if you touch them. This is a common misconception among people whose cats are giving birth for the first time. But it is still better not to touch the baby kittens often to avoid damaging them.


So, now you know all there is to know about when to change bedding after a cat gives birth. Giving birth is a stressful time not just for the cats but also for their humans. I hope this article helped you remove all your confusion regarding the change of your cat’s bedding.

Thank you for reading this article. Goodbye, and good luck with your cat and her kittens!

About The Doers Firm

The Doers Firm is a Web Agency Providing Digital Marketing and Web Development Services. Bedroooms.com is the latest project of The Doers Firm which is helping in Buying Best Furniture.

Leave a Comment