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Was she pregnant? What could have happened?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
On October 7th, I rescued an abandoned cat and her litter of kittens, estimated to be around five/six weeks old at the time.

About a week ago, Abby (the momma cat) suddenly seemed to pack on the weight. She went from being almost completely dried up, to nipples hugely distended; also, the kittens started nursing again after being weaned for over a week. The day before yesterday, she was so big, her belly waddled from side to side when she walked. All of these, of course, would seem to be clear indications she's pregnant.

When I came home this evening, her belly is suddenly gone. Her hip bones are showing, but she's not floppy in the tummy. I have searched my house thoroughly (all four rooms of it) and can't find any kittens anywhere. Nor is she really acting like she's got a litter hidden somewhere.

I am a new cat person. Please help me - do you think Abby was pregnant? What could have happened to the kittens? She was starving when she was rescued, could she have reabsorbed the kittens (and they "disappeared" that fast?). Or could a fake pregnancy mimic a real one so closely? And why would she have a fake pregnancy anyway?

I'm so puzzled and worried about her! Any calming thoughts or explanations you could send me would be ever so much appreciated.
post #2 of 12
My Tammy-Timmy was a stray when I took her in too, and I swore up and down that that cat was pregnant. I even refused to have her spayed until I was absolutely sure.

Well the little devil wasn't pregnant. However, she showed pink nipples, large belly, I swore I saw movement and felt kicks......and then nothing.

If your baby is not sick, if she is eating and drinking, using the litterbox, I would venture to suggest that perhaps it may have been a false pregnancy. I would also suggest that you check with your vet.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply KittenKiya, I appreciate it. It looks like this is not a frequent event, since so many people have read this thread and didn't have any advice they could give. I did a TCS search on fake pregnancies and only three hits came up, one of them yours (*smile*) and two others that were not helpful. *sigh*

I am fostering Abby through the Humane Society, and they've already told me that they will have their vet spay her, pregnant or not, if I bring her in. I hugely dislike unknowns, especially when they pertain to furkids under my care, and I am very concerned for Abby and any possible kittens. However, I would no more knowlingly spay a pregnant cat than I would drown a newborn kitten, so I am reluctant to utilize their vet to find out what's going on. And I can't take her to my own vet without jeopardizing my relationship with the HS, which I definitely don't want to do. Helping animals provides one of my main satisfactions in life and I don't want to limit my ability to do that, you know?

Hmmmm, I can call my vet, though. I'll let you know what he says. Thanks again for your reply!
post #4 of 12
hmm, your sure she's not sneaking away to a spot all the time? Does she still hang around you? I've heard of several cats destroying box springs to hide their kittens in there, but if she did give birth and the kittens survived, she would be checking on them frequently. Sounds like it could be a false preg. but I'll be interested to hear what your vet says.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy View Post
Thanks for the reply KittenKiya, I appreciate it. It looks like this is not a frequent event, since so many people have read this thread and didn't have any advice they could give. I did a TCS search on fake pregnancies and only three hits came up, one of them yours (*smile*) and two others that were not helpful. *sigh*

I am fostering Abby through the Humane Society, and they've already told me that they will have their vet spay her, pregnant or not, if I bring her in. I hugely dislike unknowns, especially when they pertain to furkids under my care, and I am very concerned for Abby and any possible kittens. However, I would no more knowlingly spay a pregnant cat than I would drown a newborn kitten, so I am reluctant to utilize their vet to find out what's going on. And I can't take her to my own vet without jeopardizing my relationship with the HS, which I definitely don't want to do. Helping animals provides one of my main satisfactions in life and I don't want to limit my ability to do that, you know?

Hmmmm, I can call my vet, though. I'll let you know what he says. Thanks again for your reply!

Our rescue group has had several false pregnancies. There really isn't a way to "know" unless you have 1. passed the date that you expected the cat to give birth or 2. the cat stops looking pregnant.

In most cases, it has been a case of worms...but we've had cats that must have mated with neutered males so their bodies acted "as if" they were pregnant, but no kittens were produced.

Good luck with your vet and let us know the outcome.

Katie
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, not so good news. The vet I spoke to thinks, from my description, that Abby was indeed pregnant and has either lost or absorbed the kittens, most likely due to a virus. She's thinking either FELV or feline panleukopenia, even though Abby was tested for FELV before I brought her home. The vet says there's a three month window for contracting FELV and having it show up on a test.

I am freaking out. My resident cat is up to date on his shots, but I'm still scared for him. And the kittens from her first litter could have the virus, too! Not good, not good at all. I have to contact the Humane Society and see what they want me to do.
post #7 of 12
I'm sorry! I hope she turns out to be ok. We lost our first foster litter to distemper and now can't foster for a year. But, I guess the silver lining is that our cats, since they were UTD on their shots, didn't get sick.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy View Post
Well, not so good news. The vet I spoke to thinks, from my description, that Abby was indeed pregnant and has either lost or absorbed the kittens, most likely due to a virus. She's thinking either FELV or feline panleukopenia, even though Abby was tested for FELV before I brought her home. The vet says there's a three month window for contracting FELV and having it show up on a test.

I am freaking out. My resident cat is up to date on his shots, but I'm still scared for him. And the kittens from her first litter could have the virus, too! Not good, not good at all. I have to contact the Humane Society and see what they want me to do.
Best thing will be to take her in to the vet to be checked.

Katie
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
Best thing will be to take her in to the vet to be checked. Katie
Er, can't do it; Abby belongs to the Humane Society and needs to go to their vet. I'm a new foster mom for them and don't have any clout I can wave around (nor would I want to mess with our budding relationship). I called them today and they told me to call back tomorrow as the lady that schedules vet visits won't be in 'till then. Hopefully, she'll be able to get Abby in soon. They have an outbreak of both Calicivirus and Rhinotracheitis in the shelter right now and have their hands full.

I feel a touch overwhelmed, I think. I sure am praying hard that everything is going to be okay with everyone.
post #10 of 12
I am sure the shelter is overwhelmed as well, and if you took their cat to your vet, I don't think they would ban you from fostering. Let them know that you were concerned for your cats, and the kittens, and was afraid if mom was in pain then she was suffering, and was afraid to wait. I don't think they would have a problem with a foster bringing a cat to their own vet especially if they are paying out of their pocket (since it was your vet they might not beable to re-inburse vet bills) Just a thought thouigh, but, if she doesn't seem to be in stress or pain, and they told you to call in the morning waiting til then won't matter much now (given the time I am posting, LOL!) I understand your concern and the delema your facing, but when it comes to emergency care for an animal, they will be understanding, I am sure they would rather she was helped then suffer. (but like I said, if you don't feel it is an emergancy, then I understand you not wanting to risk your new fostering status.
I really hope no matter the out come that this doesn't discourage you in the future, bad things don't always happen, and it is so rewarding to know that a mom and babies are off the street and in a home and will be happy healthy and loved, because you cared enough to bring them in your home! Please let every one know the out come, you will have a flood of supporters on your side through this! Some of the most caring people I have ever met are on this site!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
The Humane Society shelter I'm working with appears to be a bit short on personnel. The employee who makes vet appointments was out again today and no one else could help me, so I have to call again tomorrow.

Reading of some of the tragedies our wonderful TCS members have suffered, however, has put this whole thing in a bit better perspective I think. Neither Abby nor the four foster kittens seem to be in any pain or suffering, and my Oscar is stressed but not sick, so I'm going to take a deep breath, rub my face in some kitten fur and relax a bit.

Celestialrags, thanks for the wonderful encouragement! That was really sweet of you.

I don't think I'll be fostering again any time soon, but because I'll be keeping the four kittens, not because of the uncertainty of this situation. Between the five cats, the dog, the rats, and my volunteer work with the Central Massachusetts Disaster Animal Response Team (CMDART), not to mention my regular 9 - 5 job, I think I've got about all I can effectively handle! *smile!*

Thanks again to all of you. I'll let you know what happens once I've taken Abby to the vet.
post #12 of 12
I know this must be frustrating..but keep us informed.

Katie
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