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Novice Pregnancy Care Sheet-Its long just read it!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Pregnancy is quite simple with cats. Even young inexperienced mothers will know what to do…for the most part. My advice for the first time parent of a pregnant cat is to read as much about “queening†as possible. I would suggest becoming familiar with a few good website. You can start by searching phrases like “pregnant cat,†“queening complication,†and “cat labor†on your preferred search engine. These sites will teach you what to expect. My experience with cats is that there is no “cookie cutter†set of instructions or pregnancies. Each one is different, but they are still all the same. The most important thing is to know your cat. Know her personality. Most good pet owners know what uncommon behavior for their pets is, so be aware of this. A change in behavior can mean one of many things including your cat is pregnant, about to give birth, or having some problems. Uncommon behavior can mean there is a problem you as a parent should asses what it might be. Might is the key word because in birthing you should never jump to conclusions, but be aware of what it might be. Now as I said, become familiar with all the web sites on the internet because they have a breadth of knowledge. I AM NOT A VET. It’s impossible to know what your cat will do when its time because as we all know, all cats are different. So be ready for anything. Plain and simple though, even though you’re a first time, second time, or third time parent and naturally we always worry and think the worst might happen, your mother cat will be fine. I like to think of it this way, hope and pray (god does love pets) for the best, and prepare for the worst. If you’re wrong then you’ve lost nothing and in return you’ve gained a healthy momma and kitties. Below I will lay out what I have found from my experiences to be the best information in helping me figure out the essence of cat pregnancy and labor. I am not a scholar, vet, or master breeder I am a concerned pet owner, in love with his cats, worry wart, and a pet store employee so I do have some accreditation. I am just writing this to help all you concerned parents because I know what it is like. Remember I am not a vet; I just want to share my information in hopes I may help answer some people’s questions.

•\tKnow the size of your cats nipples, if they get larger she is pregnant
•\tIf she has been in heat, has been outside, and has not been in heat for over 3 weeks. If she becomes extra affectionate, a purr box, and needs some extra lovin’ than she is pregnant.
•\tStart feeding your queen QUALITY kitten food asap. This will pay dividends for all you penny pinchers
o\t Cat food is like human food. The most important food is first on the list of ingredients. Within the first three ingredients the following should NOT be present: Corn of any sort, Wheat of any sort, or Animal by products. Diamond makes a good cheap kitten food.
•\t63 days gestation is average. Mine have all been over 66.
•\tIf she lets you, feel her belly very lightly so you can familiarize yourself with her anatomy and get her comfortable with you touching her belly.
•\tHer belly will grow and your will start to see her getting bigger. When you start to think… “geez her stomach is huge. It looks like there is a soccer ball shoved in there†this is when you know time is close.
•\tAll the signs that they list on website about cats preparing for birth and being able to tell days in advance have never worked for me. Although I have never tried the temperature trick.
•\tI’ve made birthing boxes, set them up in ideal places, made them more comfortable than my own bed, but in the end she will have them where she wants. So just be ready to be versatile since her wellbeing is the most important.

Signs of Labor
•\tEven Increased affection
•\tUneasy in behavior
•\t“Talking†more than normal
•\tLicking vagina more than normal
•\tContractions which can be explained as small quivers through the body.. Rest your hand on her back side and if she is shacking or quivering those are contractions. Which means you should be ready within 24 hours.
•\tSquinting or grimacing
•\tActing like they want something from you, like a treat, but way more intense. All my cats have demanded me be there with them through the whole thing. She will probably only want one “parent†there. Go with the one she is closest with. This is where knowing your cat comes in handy because if she doesn’t want you there you need to leave and if she wants you there you need to be there.

•\tBe ready with the following supplies. I just leave them all in a bag so I can just grab it and have it all there.
o\tNon allergic disposable gloves
o\tIodine solutions for anti bacterial purpose
o\tVaseline in case she needs some help getting it out
o\tPaper towel
o\tSoft Towels
o\tHeat pad
o\tScissors (sterilized)
o\tWater for her
o\tBook for you
o\tInternet sites book marked for quick references
•\tShe will push like she is going poop. Scream. And out will slide a kitten. Have your gloves on and watch from a comfortable distance. If the kitten comes out feet first you will more than likely have to help get the head out. It should just fall out if not give it a few (1 minute) then help by GENTLY taking hold of the kitten and pulling LIGHTLY. Your cat may not be sure of what you’re doing but its ok.
•\tMake sure your queen gets the kitten warm right away if not place the kitten on the heat pad which is under your towels. The mom will go to her. Try not to intervene at all but if its cold the kitten could die.
•\tThe sac and placenta will come out next, one for each kitty. It’s not abnormal to not see the placenta or the sac since the mom eats it right away. The umbilical cord should also be eaten short by the mom right away. If not pinch (hard) the cord with your thumb nail and pull towards the kitten. Its important not to have tension on the cord because you don’t want to hurt the kitten by pulling the cord off his belly. Leave it limp and sever it 1-1.5†from the tummy. Scissors work well but make sure they are sterile. DO THIS ONLY IF YOU HAVE TO.
•\tLabor can occur every 20 minutes. Continue feeling belly to get a better idea of how many babies there are so you know when it’s over. I’ve had kittens be born every hour on the hour and some over 24 hrs apart. Websites will tell you to take them to the vet if you think there are babies left inside. This is hard for me to give you advice on. Just use your judgment if you think something is wrong it cant hurt to get her checked out. But don’t panic if it takes 4 hrs or 5 hrs between births, she is just saving her energy and they will come. If she is still acting “squirrelly†or like she is still showing signs of labor (see above) the next day and you can kind of feel something solid in her stomach than she is more than likely carrying. Although I’ve been wrong and it was just a liver. At that point do what your instincts tell you. If she is eating, pooping(some may not poop within 24-48hrs), drinking, feeding her babies and is not deathly lethargic then she is more than likely ok.
•\tKeep the momma feeding and eating and your work is done….For now.
post #2 of 8
Hi Luke, welcome to TCS.

That's a very informative post. We also have a thread 'pinned' to the top of this forum that contains lots of information and links - not only about pregnant cats but also about kitten care. It's here: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74659
post #3 of 8
Just to add, did you write this? If not, you might have to credit it, as in post where it's from, just to comply with copywrite rules
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Its all original work. Lots of reading. I looked everywhere on the web and that link you sent me is amazing. By far the most informative and well communicated information. I wish i would have seen that earlier. I just wanted to put that out there so that people could learn from my experiences. I know i had a hard time finding information that would actually explain things to me not just say "cats have contractions." This is my first day on the web site and it is the best I've seen. I just had four kitties last night and the momma kept me awake so i wrote that while i was helping/comforting.
post #5 of 8
Good job.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
While your responding.... my queen is leaving the nest every so often to come lay with me. she is still purring a lot and seems like she wants attention. then obviously when one kitten cries for her to come back she leaves. This is a new behavior to me. when she is in with the kittens she is relaxed and sleeps. just curious to hear your input
post #7 of 8
Good job.

But I will add that you don't have to start giving mom kitten food till about 2 weeks before delivery - if they gain too much weight before delivery, they may have a harder time delivering kittens.

After delivery, you can free feed high quality kitten food thru the nursing period.

If the cat is in hard labor and no kittens for an hour, get her to the vet!

And for Heaven's sake, PLEASE DO NOT LET THE KITTENS GO TO NEW HOMES TILL THEY ARE A MINIMUM OF 10-12 WEEKS OLD. YOU should be the one to teach them to use the pan, proper weaning, proper socilization with cats, dogs, household routines.

Too many people are letting them go under 10 weeks and you have a lot more problems that new owners are unprepared for. If you are gonna take on the responsibiltiy of a pregnant cat - then you also take on the responsibility of raising the kittens right!
post #8 of 8
Luke, her leaving the nest for a few minutes or even up to half an hour is completely normal. You are her 'purrson', so she wants to spend a bit of time with you, as well as care for her kittens.
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