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Possible Pregnant Stray...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I was going to post this in the pregnant cats forum, but after I read what I wrote, it looks like it'll be better off here. If not, mods please move to the appropriate spot.

OK, last night while I was going out to the alley garbage can to dump the days used litter, I saw a black cat (with white). I called to her and she paused and meowed back at me. I walked through the garage, still calling, and she followed me in. At that point, I ran inside to grab a can of cat food. When I returned, she had walked through the garage and was now in the back yard. She was still a little apprehensive... That is, until she heard the top to the can being pulled open. She let out a hoarse meow and ran over to me! (at this point, I'm thinking she at least once belonged to someone) I put the can down and she gobbled it up. She let me get close to her (though I didn't touch her) and I noticed one that she was definitely a female, and two, her belly was HUGE! She didn't look fat at all (arms, head, tail even spine were all normal). But her belly was extremely bloated. I've never actually seen a pregnant cat close to labor, but I'm pretty sure she is.

I'm in NW Indiana. We've been lucky to have a few days in the upper 40's/low 50's lately, but its been raining like... well... cats and dogs! She didn't have a collar, but after she finished eating she came over to me. I held out my hand and she rubbed me and did that cat thing where they kinda force you to pet them. She even did a little half jump up to my knee (while I was squatting) to rub against me. I left the garage open and I put Dukes carrier out so maybe she could have some shelter. I'm worried about her. I want to get her in to see a vet, but I don't know how to catch her. Heck, I don't even know if she's really pregnant.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! (I'm going to do a search as well, but I just wanted to put this out there)

(ps, shes SOOOOO pretty! If I see her again tonight, I'll try to get pictures)
post #2 of 19
If you can, try shutting her in the garage for the night with Dukes carrier, food, water and a litter box. Put an old blanket in the carrier and one over it for warmth. I did this with my last stray for long enough to get her to the vet. Do not expose her to your other cat(s) until after she is vet checked.

Good luck,
Lin
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lin, I'll try that. I have kept strays in the garage before, and usually I can coax them into the carrier by putting their food inside. I even have a 'Millie' cat bed in there with blankets. I forgot about the litter though. I'll have to do that when I get home. The problem with the garage is that the door makes a lot of noise and the cats get a pretty good scare from it.

I'm also wondering if theres anything special I need to do because I think she's pregnant.

Are there any other things (worms or infection or something) that may cause such a big belly? Her eyes were clear, but her meow was a little raspy. But maybe thats just how she 'talks'? She ran and jumped and otherwise seemed fine, but I know cats are good at hiding health issues from us.

Duke (my 7mo. siamese) is an indoor only kitty. I'll probably never convince my husband to keep her (I had a hard enough time convincing him to let me get the bengal kitten we have coming soon). But he's really a softy, and if it turns out she's pregnant or sick, he'll probably give.

Also, I'm not sure who she belongs to, but I'm going to try to keep her until I know for sure if she's pregnant and if she is, until she has her babies and is old enough for a spay (she's definitely a moggie). I think she's too far along to terminate the pregnancy, but I'll let the vet determine that... IF she comes back and I can catch her.

What can I do to get her to come back???
post #4 of 19
Bless you for looking out for this cat Cats often have routines, so you could try looking for her at the same time and place as when you found her. Also, cats are crepuscular, so it's likely that she will be making her rounds before or around sunrise, too. You might try setting up a "feeding station" in your yard, with a small trail of crunchies from the alley to the feeding spot, to lure her in. If she's preggers, she needs to be getting kitten food. I hope that the kitty has the good sense to return to your yard right away. Sending {{{prayers and vibes}}} and looking forward to seeing happy updates Susan
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyjbt View Post
Thanks Lin, I'll try that. I have kept strays in the garage before, and usually I can coax them into the carrier by putting their food inside. I even have a 'Millie' cat bed in there with blankets. I forgot about the litter though. I'll have to do that when I get home. The problem with the garage is that the door makes a lot of noise and the cats get a pretty good scare from it.

I'm also wondering if theres anything special I need to do because I think she's pregnant.

Are there any other things (worms or infection or something) that may cause such a big belly? Her eyes were clear, but her meow was a little raspy. But maybe thats just how she 'talks'? She ran and jumped and otherwise seemed fine, but I know cats are good at hiding health issues from us.

Duke (my 7mo. siamese) is an indoor only kitty. I'll probably never convince my husband to keep her (I had a hard enough time convincing him to let me get the bengal kitten we have coming soon). But he's really a softy, and if it turns out she's pregnant or sick, he'll probably give.

Also, I'm not sure who she belongs to, but I'm going to try to keep her until I know for sure if she's pregnant and if she is, until she has her babies and is old enough for a spay (she's definitely a moggie). I think she's too far along to terminate the pregnancy, but I'll let the vet determine that... IF she comes back and I can catch her.

What can I do to get her to come back???
My recommendation is to always use a humane trap...cats can often be scared by sudden movements...and a humane trap ensures her safety and yours. Put some warm KFC (deboned and deskinned) at the very back of the trap and place it where you have seen her in the past....hopefully she will enter the trap and you can then make arrangements to take her to your vet.

If it were me and the vet was willing to spay her, I'd go ahead with the spay surgery. Only you can decide if you are willing to keep her through a potential pregnancy and through the weaning of her kittens. Just be aware, pregnant cats tend to be more affectionate as they are trying to care for their young ones. We have had stories of people who have taken in a pregnant stray and once she went back into heat, became more "feral" in her behavior....so it's definately something to be aware of.

Katie
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks Katie, I didn't know that about them being more affectionate. She was so affectionate with me last night, I was surprized. (my own cat isn't that affectionate!) I'll be honest too, I don't know NOTHING 'bout birthin' no babies! But I also don't want her to not get the care she needs for her and her babies. I'm willing to learn, if thats what it comes to.

A friend of mine had a stray cat that she couldn't keep because her own cat didn't like her. It turned out she was pregnant (though we couldn't tell). Because it was still early, the vet suggested terminating the pregnancy. I was torn about it, but I talked it over with my cousin (who had already agreed to take her in) and we had the procedure done. The vet did mention, however, that at a certain point they won't terminate the pregnancy. I'm kinda thinkin this cat is WELL beyond that point (she looks like she could have them any day now, hence my worry). We'll see what the vet says.

As for a humane trap, where would I get one of those?
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme View Post
Bless you for looking out for this cat Cats often have routines, so you could try looking for her at the same time and place as when you found her. Also, cats are crepuscular, so it's likely that she will be making her rounds before or around sunrise, too. You might try setting up a "feeding station" in your yard, with a small trail of crunchies from the alley to the feeding spot, to lure her in. If she's preggers, she needs to be getting kitten food. I hope that the kitty has the good sense to return to your yard right away. Sending {{{prayers and vibes}}} and looking forward to seeing happy updates Susan
I was thinking about a "feeding station", but we get all kinds of animals in our yard. From opossums to raccoons to foxes to the occasional deer. And of course stray cats (though not many stray dogs). If I set food out, that would attract foxes and raccoons. Would that keep her away? Would they try to hurt her?

I hope she returns too Susan!
post #8 of 19
Quote:
As for a humane trap, where would I get one of those?
You can usually borrow one from the local humane society or from a Feral cat group.

Katie
post #9 of 19
Check to see if her nipples are erect. Molly was two weeks away from giving birth when I found her. The birthing is very interesting. If you are there for it, make sure she cleans their face off. They come out with a googy sack. If she doesn't clean the kitty use a cloth. Don't touch the babies. I did a search years ago but I can't find the site that I used. I even tried cpr on her first little guy who didn't make it. You will also see her tummy move in waves. just before she delivers. Good Luck!
post #10 of 19
Aww, she sounds like a sweety Hopefully you can nab her before the babies are born
post #11 of 19
While she may be pregnant, there could be another reason why her belly is so big, so please get her to the vet ASAP. I once found a cat at work, who we thought was pregnant. She wasn't--the vet found a huge tumor in her stomach, and she had to be put to sleep. I'm happy that at least her last hours were spent indoors, with food, water, warmth and attention from the many employees. I don't want to worry you, but it's best not to assume anything--just find out. I'm betting, however, that little fuzzies are on the way!


Bless you for helping her,

MargeCat
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know its possible it could be something else. I'm just trying to be optimistic until I know for sure. (hope for the best, prepare for the worst) I put food out for her about 5 hours ago and its still there. I'm gonna try to get a trap from the animal shelter tomorrow.

I'm prepared for the possibility that she may not come back (but I'm hoping that it will be due to someone else having more success catching her and taking good care of her)

Thanks for the advice and all the well wishes and prayers.
post #13 of 19
I hope I didn't upset you! I guess what I really meant is, either way, a vet's visit would be a good thing for her. If she's a stray, she may have some other (minor) health problems. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and her!

Wishing you all the best,

MargCat
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MargeCat View Post
I hope I didn't upset you! I guess what I really meant is, either way, a vet's visit would be a good thing for her. If she's a stray, she may have some other (minor) health problems. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and her!

Wishing you all the best,

MargCat

Not at all! I understand completely. Thats why I asked about what other ailments might cause her to look the way she does in my first post. I hadn't even thought of cancer. As ugly as the idea is, its a very realistic possibility and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.

I didn't get a good look at her ears, but she may have had earmites (I haven't met a stray yet that didn't! ). She may also have fleas, and therefore worms. I have a flea spray, but if she's pregnant or her immune system is compromised already, I don't want to use it on her.

Just an update as well, I didn't see her last night (though I saw our resident opossum waddling in the back yard). The last time I checked was around 11pm. That was around the time I saw her before. My neighbors probably think I'm crazy because I was walking down the alley at 11pm calling out to a cat that doesn't even belong to me! Anyway, no luck, so I went to bed. When I woke up this morning, the food was gone. I'm hoping it was her that ate it. I'm going to pick up a trap for her when I get off work today. If she came back to eat the food last night, then maybe she'll come back tonight and go in the trap (I put the food in the same spot).

Wish me luck and thank you all for the continued prayers!
post #15 of 19
Best of luck and good catching vibes!

I tamed a little stray about 2 years ago that got pregnant too. I fed her for quite a while first, so by the time she was pregnant she would let me pet her. Then I started working toward picking her up, and I finally just picked her up and took her to my car where the cat carrier was - and she just went right in. I took her to the vet, and she was perfect, and then I took her home (she had been at my work) and she just lay on the floor like she owned the place. Three weeks later she had 8 kittens! WOW! And now she's a happy spayed waterbed cat - my BIG black Elsa, now!
post #16 of 19
I hope you can catch her! I'm also in IN (central) so I know how lucky we've been with the weather, hopefully it will stay this way at least until you catch her! We had a stray at our apartment complex when we first moved in, she had already had her kittens and she would come eat but wouldn't let them near us. We finally decided to trap her and take her to the HS when one of the kittens got run over in the parking lot. We tried to catch the remaining two but they latched onto a feral tom and we haven't seem them since.

Good luck catching her! If she's possibly pregnant I would go ahead and feed her kitten food, even if she's not PG she could probably use the extra nutrients and calories. The humane trap is better for ferals especially if you're taking her to the vet, it makes it easier for them to administer medicine safely (in case her affections wear off at the vets). It's likely she'll have worms (from eating who knows what outside), fleas, and ear mites, but those are all fairly easy to fix.

Again, good luck catching her and please keep us updated!
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
*sigh* Still no kitty. The HS was closed when I got home from work yesterday, but I'm gonna call them this morning and see what we can arrange. I'm still putting food out and its still gone when I check in the morning. Hopefully thats a good sign. And the weather HAS been great! Hopefully thats a good sign too!
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Update:

Still no good news. I went to the humane society and rented a trap. Unfortunately, the only thing I've caught for three nights in a row has been our resident opossum. The poor thing was terrified, but he keeps coming back! (he's still a baby)

I'm gonna take the trap back tomorrow. I don't wanna keep trapping the opossum. I'm at a loss. I'm hoping maybe she just got out accidentally and her family is taking care of her now.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyjbt View Post
Update:

Still no good news. I went to the humane society and rented a trap. Unfortunately, the only thing I've caught for three nights in a row has been our resident opossum. The poor thing was terrified, but he keeps coming back! (he's still a baby)

I'm gonna take the trap back tomorrow. I don't wanna keep trapping the opossum. I'm at a loss. I'm hoping maybe she just got out accidentally and her family is taking care of her now.
If you see her again....I would again borrrow the humane trap and take her to the vet. The other thing is that if she is pregnant, she may have given birth and is staying close to where her nest is.

Katie
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