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Took in a pregnant stray...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi guys. I am new to the forums. Sorry this is going to be long. I usually only do dog rescue, however couldn't turn my back on this stray. She showed up in my neighborhood about 6 months ago and was always very scared of people. We have a few feral cats roaming around. When no one wanted to claim her I decided to trap her. We have a TNR program here in Tennessee so I was going to get her done. Well before I could trap her, she had a litter. So I waited. I was unaware of how often cats are fertile! Wow! Once the kittens were old enough (7-8 wks) I trapped her and the two kitties from this litter. I have had them in the house for 3 weeks now. I am almost certain mom is pregnant again. While she was lying on her side last night I could actually feel what I think was a tiny kitten wiggling in her big belly. While it was the neatest experience ever, it was also very scary, I wasn't ready for this. The 2kittens from the first litter are about 11 wks as far a we can guess. I would like to take her to the vet, however she is just now used to me. She still freaks out and hides in the litter box for anyone else. I don't want to stress her out by taking her to a vet to get poked and prodded. It will stress her out beyond her limits I think. I also still have one of the first kittens at the house with her. I was able to find a home for one of them. Should I seperate her from the remaining kitten? Will the kitten cause problems for her birth? What are some signs I should watch for as her birthing time comes closer? I have made a 4 foot by 4 foot pen for her using an e-pen. In it I have put a dog house full of towels (beagle dog size), her litter box, and food/water dishes. I really was not ready for this. At all! Any advice you guys could give would be great. I have her on a good kitten food and a multi vitamin. She is still a bit skinny from being outdoors on her own, but her little belly is huge! I will post some photos hopefully later. Any advice you guys could give me or link to helpfull sites would be great. I am just at a loss here. Good news is I will make sure she is well cared for from here on out and will be spayed once these little buggers are weened.
post #2 of 17
Hi Bcberri and thanks for rescuing this cat and her kittens! I have absolutely no experience with pregnant females that are still with kittens they would normally be with. Moms usually stay with their kittens teaching them about "life" until they're about 12 weeks old. My guess is that it's probably best to go ahead and separate mom and the kitten, but I really don't know.

This may sound cruel, but as a long time rescuer, we always just take mom to be spayed, pregnant or no. Many people can't do this, and depending upon how far along mom is, some vets won't do it. There's no right or wrong here - just some of us have tried to find too many kittens too many homes and feel differently about the heartbreak of another litter of homeless kittens vs. the death of kittens that haven't breathed on their own yet.

But given your decision to let mom have the babies, I don't know what advice to give. People in the pregnant cats and kitten care may have better advice, and I think that's where this thread belongs, so I'm going to ask a mod to move this thread over there.

post #3 of 17
Good luck with mom and the kitties. I'm still new here but I woould guess it would be wise to have her checked by a vet ASAP Keep us posted!

Tracy
post #4 of 17
I'll move this to our Pregnant Cats forum where our experts in that area can help you.
post #5 of 17
Hi! Welcome to TCS! Bless you for taking on this challenge!

Read through this and it should answer a lot of your questions.
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80724

As Laurie said there is no right or wrong choice in whether you allow her to keep the kittens or not. You might want to contact your local TNR group they may have some advise as well.

I wish you lots of luck and keep us posted!!!
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCBERRI View Post
Hi guys. I am new to the forums. Sorry this is going to be long. I usually only do dog rescue, however couldn't turn my back on this stray. She showed up in my neighborhood about 6 months ago and was always very scared of people. We have a few feral cats roaming around. When no one wanted to claim her I decided to trap her. We have a TNR program here in Tennessee so I was going to get her done. Well before I could trap her, she had a litter. So I waited. I was unaware of how often cats are fertile! Wow! Once the kittens were old enough (7-8 wks) I trapped her and the two kitties from this litter. I have had them in the house for 3 weeks now. I am almost certain mom is pregnant again. While she was lying on her side last night I could actually feel what I think was a tiny kitten wiggling in her big belly. While it was the neatest experience ever, it was also very scary, I wasn't ready for this. The 2kittens from the first litter are about 11 wks as far a we can guess. I would like to take her to the vet, however she is just now used to me. She still freaks out and hides in the litter box for anyone else. I don't want to stress her out by taking her to a vet to get poked and prodded. It will stress her out beyond her limits I think. I also still have one of the first kittens at the house with her. I was able to find a home for one of them. Should I seperate her from the remaining kitten? Will the kitten cause problems for her birth? What are some signs I should watch for as her birthing time comes closer? I have made a 4 foot by 4 foot pen for her using an e-pen. In it I have put a dog house full of towels (beagle dog size), her litter box, and food/water dishes. I really was not ready for this. At all! Any advice you guys could give would be great. I have her on a good kitten food and a multi vitamin. She is still a bit skinny from being outdoors on her own, but her little belly is huge! I will post some photos hopefully later. Any advice you guys could give me or link to helpfull sites would be great. I am just at a loss here. Good news is I will make sure she is well cared for from here on out and will be spayed once these little buggers are weened.
Welcome to TCS. Since the kittens are now 11 weeks of age...they can be placed into new homes. You may even want to ask your vet if they can be safely spayed/neutered at this age.

As to mom being pregnant again....since she must have become pregnant again fairly soon after giving birth...I would make sure you have a supply of KMR on hand. I would also have your vet number handy just in case there are any issues with this second litter (we will certainly hope for a successful delivery but better to be safe than sorry)

One of the best posts for you to read right now is Gaye's post on how to prepare for kittens:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80724

Katie
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Katie and Eva for the link. I feel better already. I think I was forgeting to breath! I am sorry for posting this in the wrong section. Ok I am going to ask a silly question... what is KMR? Is it a brand of food? Boy do I feel silly... I did talk to my vet on the phone and he agrees that she will probably freak out if I bring her in. He told me to watch her behavior closely and get used to her habits so I can spot a change. He thinks she is more than 45 days along if I can feel movement. He says he wouldn't do a spay if she is that far along. I don't think I could bring myself to do it either. However he and I have planned to fix the babies at 10-12 weeks. I think I might be able to find them homes faster if they are already fixed too. One less cost for the new adopters. I guess you could call it a "selling point". I will also be getting mom fixed as quickly as possible. I have found a low cost spay/neuter clinic that is going to help me out. I know I will have soooooo many more questions for you guys. Thanks for the help! P.S. Katie,On a side note I grew up in No. Va! Some days I miss it, most days I don't.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Ok I am going to ask a silly question... what is KMR? Is it a brand of food?
There is no such thing as a silly question. KMR is kitten milk replacement. You can find it in most pet stores. It comes in powder and liquid variety and there are instructions on how to use it. Also you will want to buy a bottle. I hope you don't have to feed these kittens yourself..but sometimes, when litters are so close together, mom may struggle to have the resources needed to provide her kittens with milk. You will also want to get a small scale to weigh the kittens to make sure they are gaining weight.

Another great site is:

http://www.kitten-rescue.com

Lots of very useful information.

Katie
post #9 of 17
KMR is kitten milk.
http://www.petvetdirect.com/home.asp...=&ovrfd=&ovchn=

You should be able to pick it up at any pet store or Walmart. I couldn't even imagine having a pregnant cat even though I have such a big crew. So ask all the questions you like. We have some of the most knowledgeable people you can ask for on this site.
post #10 of 17
That would be awesome if you could get them all fixed before rehoming! That way you know it will be done.

KMR is Kitten Milk Replacer. In case she rejects them and you have to bottle feed, which in that case good luck with that cuz it's a pain sometimes hehe.

Good job taking them all in though!
post #11 of 17
KMR is great ... but I do like goat's milk much much better. When using it, there doesn't seem to be as much incidence of diarrhea/constipation in bottle babies.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info guys! you have been a big help. I decided it was best and took her in to the vet. They are going to test her for FELV and Leukemia. They are also going to worm her and check her out head to toe. I am starting to second guess if she is really preggers. When we took her in she was pretty skinny around her shoulders and hips with a fat belly. Now that I have had her on a good kitten food for 3 weeks now she has put on a good amount of weight. Her belly doesn't look quite as big, but it could be that she just isn't so skinny now. Her nipples are still pretty pink. I was unsure so I decided a trip to the vet was best. If she is not preggers then they are going to spay her today. If she is they are going to do it after this litter. Keep you fingers crossed for this little girl. She has been thru so much and deserves a good life from here on out. I will keep you guys updated throughout the day. Thanks again for being her for me!
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCBERRI View Post
Thanks for all the info guys! you have been a big help. I decided it was best and took her in to the vet. They are going to test her for FELV and Leukemia. They are also going to worm her and check her out head to toe. I am starting to second guess if she is really preggers. When we took her in she was pretty skinny around her shoulders and hips with a fat belly. Now that I have had her on a good kitten food for 3 weeks now she has put on a good amount of weight. Her belly doesn't look quite as big, but it could be that she just isn't so skinny now. Her nipples are still pretty pink. I was unsure so I decided a trip to the vet was best. If she is not preggers then they are going to spay her today. If she is they are going to do it after this litter. Keep you fingers crossed for this little girl. She has been thru so much and deserves a good life from here on out. I will keep you guys updated throughout the day. Thanks again for being her for me!

Thanks for taking in this girl.....let us know how it goes at the vet.

Katie
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Update: Well she is negative for the bad stuff so we are going to do the spay. It really is the best thing for her. I am having a hard enough time finding a home for he other kitten, another litter is not a good idea. I am a bit sad but I know it is the best thing for her over all health. When she goes back to get her stitches out we will do all of her vax. The good news is now I can take back that KMR. That stuff is pricey! Keep you fingers crossed for a smooth surgery. I get to pick her up at 5:30 this evening. They are going to give her some pain meds too. Next on the list is to get her kitten done. She will be done at the end of the month when I get paid again. Boy those bills rack up fast!
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCBERRI View Post
Update: Well she is negative for the bad stuff so we are going to do the spay. It really is the best thing for her. I am having a hard enough time finding a home for he other kitten, another litter is not a good idea. I am a bit sad but I know it is the best thing for her over all health. When she goes back to get her stitches out we will do all of her vax. The good news is now I can take back that KMR. That stuff is pricey! Keep you fingers crossed for a smooth surgery. I get to pick her up at 5:30 this evening. They are going to give her some pain meds too. Next on the list is to get her kitten done. She will be done at the end of the month when I get paid again. Boy those bills rack up fast!
That is GREAT news...thank you for getting this cat the medical attention she deserved.

Katie
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well as of this morning she was back to her old self. She was eating and drinking and doing great. The spay went wonderful and hopefully she can return to being a barn cat in about 2 weeks. She has hated being indoors. I am going to claim her as mine and add her to my list of free roaming / ferals I care for. She will get a new breakaway collar and Id tag this weekend. Thanks to all of you for your advice on her. I thank you.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCBERRI View Post
Well as of this morning she was back to her old self. She was eating and drinking and doing great. The spay went wonderful and hopefully she can return to being a barn cat in about 2 weeks. She has hated being indoors. I am going to claim her as mine and add her to my list of free roaming / ferals I care for. She will get a new breakaway collar and Id tag this weekend. Thanks to all of you for your advice on her. I thank you.

What a wonderful update.

Katie
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