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Tomorrow is a big day and I need advice, please!  

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Tomorrow I'm going to the shelter and I'll take back home a mother with her baby kittens or a pregnant cat that will deliver soon. I'll be their foster home until the babies are 3 months old. I don't know yet how many kittens there will be neither how old they will be. I'll post the info as soon as I get them. But, is there anything basic I should know regarding how to take care of the little family? I never did such a thing, but they will help me at the shelter by giving me advice. Still, I'm anxious and I want to do the best for them.

Where should I install them? How much space to they need? Does the mother needs any specific food? Should I keep them separated from my two other cats (two 8 months old female) for the whole time or just at the beggining? What temperature should the room be? Is there anything special a little kitten might need? I will search on this forum for other threads related to all my questions, but a little help would be much appreciated (even if it's just a link to another thread).

Thank you for your help and I'll be back tomorrow to tell you the age and number of kittens or, if it's a pregnant mother, when she is due.

post #2 of 40
Okay. First of all congratulations on being a foster meowmy. I wish more people were like you.

First thing you need is a comfortable bed for you new kitty mommy so she can nest easy. While she is nursing it's best for you to feed her kitten food. The room doesn't need to be a certain temperature but make sure it's not too cold. I would say around 72 degrees would be fine. You might want to get a can of KMR Milk replacement for Kittens. Make sure you get the powder because the already mixed stuff will go bad real quick. I got a 6 oz. tin for about $12.00. That's just to make sure the kittens are getting fed well. Some kitty mama's aren't really good at feeding their babies.

I would keep them separate for the first few weeks to give the new mama a little bit of privacy as she might be very protective over the newborns. I hope this helps. If you have any more questions feel free to PM me. I raised Snicky from 4 weeks of age. She was still so tiny that I had to stimulate her little hiney so she would eliminate herself. But luckily you will have a kitty mama to do that. Plus, keep me updated!
post #3 of 40
Originally Posted by Mawilouwl View Post
Tomorrow I'm going to the shelter and I'll take back home a mother with her baby kittens or a pregnant cat that will deliver soon. I'll be their foster home until the babies are 3 months old ...
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

You asked:
  • Where should I install them? In a room away from the normal high-traffic areas of your home, such as an infrequently used bedroom or a large bathroom. If you have access to a large dog crate, I like these for new families. They are roomy enough, yet can contain the growing family for their own safety. If Momma has issues staying with them, it is nice to be able to contain her with the kittens and a crate is a good way to do that.
  • How much space to they need? Depending upon age of the kittens, the large dog crate is roomy enough until they are ready to begin exploring on their own, usually at around 3 to 4 weeks old. At that time, you will want to start introducing them to solid foods and the litter box so a lot more space will be needed than a large crate can supply - so a bedroom or bathroom, again away from the high-traffic areas of your home is best.
  • Does the mother needs any specific food? The highest quality you can afford in both dry and canned varieties - get Kitten stage for the Momma if she is still nursing. You might also think about giving her a high-calcium treat such as a little bit of yogurt, goat's milk or Kitten Milk Replacer twice to three times a day.
  • Should I keep them separated from my two other cats (two 8 months old female) for the whole time or just at the beggining? Since these cats and kittens will probably be going on to a new "forever" home at some point in the future, you shouldn't need to introduce them to your other cats at all. Since cats are so extremely environmentally bonded, the stress of the new place to live may be enough to throw at them while trying to raise a litter.
  • What temperature should the room be? The room should be warm. If it seems cold to you, then it will be cold to cats and kittens.
  • Is there anything special a little kitten might need? You might want to have some goat's milk or other type of kitten milk replacer and feeding syringes on hand just in case. It is always useful to make up rice heaters (a clean sock filled with uncooked rice then tied off at the top end which can be microwaved for a couple of minutes and placed in with chilled kittens) in advance of needing them. I buy the inexpensive store brand of long-cooking rice in the huge bags and make up several so that I have them on hand if I need them - and they come in handy when time is of the essence. I am certain others will also weigh in on this as there are a lot of people here who have lived through this experience and learned.
Best of luck to you on this - I can't wait to hear about your adventures!
post #4 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much to both of you! I've read the threads concerning giving birth, watched videos of mother giving birth and read the "calendar of kitten" to know what to do and when to do it. With the help you both just gave me by answering my simple questions, I still feel nervous, but I know where I'm going! So, tomorrow I'll prepare my room to make a comfortable nest! I have to buy a dog crate as well as kitten milk replacement (in powder) with syringes (just in case), wet and dry quality food. I'll keep you all posted and I really appreciate the fact that I can get good help here so fast.
post #5 of 40
If you don't have a large kennel/cage, then confine the family in a room with little traffic or use (spare bedroom). You'll need a nesting box for her with towels in a pillowcase (to prevent little claws from getting caught).

I would feed the mom a good brand of KITTEN food - its higher calories for nursing. And I would not allow your resident cats in the room with mom and kittens. Mom is going in a strange place and she will be upset/on guard anyway. The less stress she has the better.
post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 
So, here are the news (I'm so excited!)
I went at the shelter and there was two mothers with their baby as well as two pregnant cat. Those with the babies, they only had two or three weeks before the babies were old enough to be adopted. Plus, they were all so adorable (including the two mothers, they were very pretty and affectionate) that I have no doubt they will soon find a home.

So, before making my decision, I observed a little bit the two pregant mother: One had semi-long hair and she was very social. She was rubbing her body against the cage and trying to reach us by putting her paws outside. I once again thought that she would have a lot of chances for being adopted, because she was really pretty and charming.

The other one, well, I could barely see her. She was hiding in the back of her cage and didn't want at all to come see me. She seemed really nervous and shy and I thought that it wouldn't be good for her to stay any longer at the shelter (the other cats, although they wanted my attention, seemed a lot more healthy psychologically than her). I thought: it's gonna be hard to gain her trust, but I want to make her life better and take care of her and her kitties when they're born. Plus, most people would most likely want to be the foster home of other, more social cats.

So, her name is Maya. She was very scared all the way in the car, but 10 minutes after she got home, she was rubbing against me and following me everywhere in the room, asking me to pet her! And I thought her trust would be long to gain! I was also surprised to see how pretty she is with her green eyes and her tiny body (compared to her big belly!). As I said, I couldn't really see her at the shelter.

There she is

With her big belly!

This one is a little blurry, but the way she stares at me made me fall in love!

We don't know when she is due, but I'm getting everything ready for the big day. At the shelter, instead of a dog crate, they lend me a big rabbit crate (safer for the kittens). Here's what it looks like:

Plus, she's already eating kitten solid food and I'll go buy soft one as well as everything else I need tomorrow.

Thanks again to everyone for the tips and advice. I'll keep studying for the big day and keep you posted (next mail will be shorter, I promise!)!
post #7 of 40
Awww what a sweet looking brown mackeral tabby. I'm sure she will have pretty kittens
post #8 of 40
Maya is a pretty girl.
post #9 of 40
she is beautiful!! I am glad that she adjusted to you so well!!! Seems that she must have been the PURR-fect girl for you!! prayers and vibes for her to have a safe delivery and healthy kittens
post #10 of 40
Good luck, hope all is well.
post #11 of 40
hehe, so just out a curiosity... Are you going to keep some of the kittens or maybe even the mommy??? I would be one of those poeple who would say they were going to adopt them out and then keep the whole family! I actually called somewhere the other day asking if they had a female that was pregnant that I could buy! No one did. Ive always wanted a family of cats. a mother, father (if there) and all the kittens! Just to have the whole family would be so wonderful!

So you're pretty much going to have 2 families in your house! Your family, and her family! Thats wonderful! You're living my dream so let me know how it goes!!
post #12 of 40
You are so sweet to be fostering! Please do keep us updated She is just lovely.

If you decide to keep the flea collar on her, please remove it before the babies are born. They are quite toxic. Have fun with your little foster!
post #13 of 40
Didn't notice the flea collar Bonnie - glad you spotted it. IMO she should just throw it away - its not good for the cat or the kitten. If there is a flea problem its better to be using Frontline or Advantage - NOT the flea collars.

And to the one that wanted to keep the entire family. While it sounds like that would be great, in the animal world the family doesn't stay together - the parents will kick out the offspring, so forcing everyone to remain together may not be such a great idea. Some mother cats are fine with their offspring hanging around - most are not. Just keep it in mind - they are NOT human and don't want to keep the family together
post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 
First, I want to thank you all for your support, tips and encouragement. It's the first time I'm in this type of situation and although I'm really happy, I feel quite nervous!

For the flea collar, I actually already took it off, but only because I felt she would be more comfortable without it: I didn't know it was toxic for the kittens! So, thank you for telling me. I didn't get rid off it as soon as Maya arrived, because I didn't want to stress her by touching her neck or controlling her with my arms at first. Now I know she really trusts me because I was able to cut her looooong nails without any help from my boyfriend!

Concerning keeping her, or some of her babies, unfortunatly they don't belong to me but to the shelter. It's 200$ if I want to adopt a kitten and 150$ for an adult cat. I know I will fall in love with each one of the kittens and I'll have a hard time letting them go, but I can't keep them all. Only thing I can do is find them a good new home before they go back to the shelter, so that they don't go back there and get sick or scared.

But Maya, as an adult cat that is really scared and that hides in the back of her cage in a shelter, will she really find a new home? I'm scared of letting her go and if I can talk my boyfriend into it, I'd like to adopt her. She is such a beautiful and nice cat! She slept the whole night with us and she is so gentle. I'll post more pictures of her in the "fur pictures ans videoss only" part of the forum, She has wide green eyes and a cute orange nose .

So, that's it for the news! I'll come back tomorrow with a few more questions. My big interrogation for today is: Is there a way that I can approximatly know when she is due? Her belly seems quite big (and sometimes it moves, as if a kitten inside was moving, is it possible?) and her nipples are huge! What is the longer it can take, in you opinion, before she delivers?

Thanks again for your help and support

Marilou and Maya
post #15 of 40
With my queen, if I could express a little milk from the nipples they would have them within 2-3 days.
post #16 of 40
You have a great set up and the kitty is absolutely precious! Please keep giving updates!!
post #17 of 40
Bless you for caring for Maya and her babies! She's absolutely beautiful; I'm in love with her eyes! I hope everything goes well with her, and I can't wait for some kitten pictures
post #18 of 40
Thread Starter 
Hi again everyone!

I just thought I could give some news of Maya. She didn't sleep much last night, I don't know if it means something (the night before, she slept the whole night!). And I don't think that she is due for the next few days, because her behavior seems normal and her nipples aren't producing any milk. BUT, I think I'm now pretty ready for the big day! Here's the list of what I've done and I would like you to correct me if I forgot something, please:

(everything is installed in my bedroom)

-I put many sheets and towel inside a big rabbit crate, where Maya will deliver her babies. It is also where the babies will stay until they are ready to explore. I covered it so that it's always a little dark inside.

-I have extra sheets and towel to change those in the crate if they get soiled. I also have soft tissues to clean the kitties when they arrive.

-I prepared a little box, because I was told to separate the kittens from the mother when she is delivering (then I give them back to her as soon as she is done). This way, I can clean them and them put them all together and keep them warm.

-To keep the babies warm, I prepared rice bags that I will warm in the microwave and put in the bottom of the box with towel over them. I'll make sure it's not too hot.

-I have a scale, a little notepad and permanent non-toxic pen to mark the kittens that looks alike in order to keep a daily report for each of them.

-I am now feeding Maya with high quality kitten food (solid and soft).

-I have two phone numbers of emergency vet in my area.

-Finally, tomorrow I'll go buy KMR with feeding syringe. All use it if needed and I'll also give some to Maya as a little snack when she'll have delivered.

Again, feel free to share your experience and tips with me. It really helped me feeling somewhat ready for the big day, but I still feel I don't know much about cat pregnancy and baby kittens!

So, I think that's about it! Oh, I posted I few more pictures of Maya in the "Fur Pictures and Videos only" if you'd like to see.

Thank you for caring about Maya (and her future babies) and helping/supporting me with her. It means a lot to me.
post #19 of 40
I can't add any advice, but I have been following your thread and thank you for taking care of Maya. She is lucky you chose her.
post #20 of 40
Originally Posted by AbbysMom View Post
I can't add any advice, but I have been following your thread and thank you for taking care of Maya. She is lucky you chose her.
I feel the same way.
Beautiful Maya is one lucky Mama kitty that you have taken her into your heart.
post #21 of 40
Thread Starter 
I'm worried: I noticed yesterday afternoon that Maya was sneezing. I wanted to wait a little before going to the vet, just in case it was something normal, but she still does it this morning. She often licks her nose and then sneeze. Not all the time, especially when she purrs. Now that I think of it, I thing she's been licking her nose from the first day she got here, but I didn't know her then and I thought maybe that's how she is or maybe she's a little nauseous because of the pregnancy. But now that she sneezes, I guess it's time to go to the vet, what do you think? She also shakes her head as if she had something in her ear. What could it be? And what can the vet do if she is pregnant (she won't take medication, will she?)?

Thanks for helping,

Maya and Marilou
post #22 of 40
This is way over my head Marilou.
I would suggest that because you are concerned about Maya, at the very least, call your vet and see what they suggest.

More vibes on the way that Maya and her babies will do fine.
post #23 of 40
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by xocats View Post
This is way over my head Marilou.
I would suggest that because you are concerned about Maya, at the very least, call your vet and see what they suggest.

More vibes on the way that Maya and her babies will do fine.
Hi. I called two vets. They say they can't do anything until she has trouble breathing or untils her nose/eyes starts to be swollen. It's complicated because she's pregnant and they won't give her antibiotics. If it's a rhino, she might infect all the babies when they're born and they might die. I'm so scared and there's nothing I can do.

Only thing my boyfriend said is that we shouldn't have decided to take care of her, because it's gonna cost money with the vet, because he's having a hard time to sleep with Maya in our room (she's noisy during the night and she likes to walk on him when he sleeps) and because she might infect our cats too. I don't want anything bad to happen to her and her babies. I might even have to separate the kittens from the mother at 5 weeks old to prevent them from catching it from their mother if they are still fine.

Yesterday I wished she would deliver soon, but now, I wish it takes long enough for her to heal before she gives birth. Even when she's healed she can still give the virus to other cats (including her babies) for a long period because it stays in her. I'll have to take the kittens to the vet as young as possible. I'm so desperate...
post #24 of 40
You might want to start a thread about Maya's illness along with her being PG, in the health forum, to see if other members have experience with this double challenge.

I understand your concern about it being contagious and would want to take precautions too.

You are doing a wonderful thing for Maya and her babies.
We are all with you on this....

Sending mega vibes that Maya clears up quickly.
post #25 of 40
Thread Starter 
Little update!
We went to the vet today and they gave her antibiotics. I wish they'd decided that urlier when I called them this week. She got so scared she urinated all over her on our way there and wouldn't even wash herself. They also injected her with some fluids, so it's good. They said the kittens are proably going to catch it, but it might not be bad. If so, I'll have to go back to the vet with the whole family. For now, she is still pregnant and about to explode (her belly is huuuuge!), but still no production of milk, so another couple of days is my guess.
I'm still anxious. I love her and my boyfriend is starting to hate her. I'm scared that he might force me to choose between her and him. She takes a lot of my time because I care so much about her, she costs money and she keeps him away from sleeping at night, that's why he's angry. For him, a cat is only a cat...
post #26 of 40
*sigh* That's... that's really kind of mean of him. This is a kitty family in need; surely he can agree to put up with them until they are OK and on their way to nice new homes! It doesn't take that long for kittens to grow up.
post #27 of 40
I was wondering how Zoe was handeling the new arrival.

As for your boyfriend do you live together? Does Maya have free roam of your living space right now? If the answer is yes to both then perhaps you could set her up in another room and shut the bedroom door at night. If you don't live together then maybe he should just sleep at home until Maya is out of your care. I have to say though... that I'd be pretty upset if my SO tried to force me to choose between him and a pregnant cat in need.
post #28 of 40
Thank you for taking care of Maya.
Hang in there with her and her babies if you can...
you are doing a wonderful thing for them.
post #29 of 40
I think you're doing a wonderful job!!

I didn't know you were suppose to seperate the babies from the mother while they're delivering so I guess you learn something new everday! I always left them together for the mother to clean off and stuff!

Keep up the good work! Many to you!
post #30 of 40
Thread Starter 
Here is the solution we found: Maya has access to all the appartment now except our bedroom. It means she is not isolated from the other cats anymore (except during the night, because Zoe and Tania have "their room" where they sleep). For now, everything is fine and the cats are just ignoring each other. I think it's better than being at shelter, isn't it? I just hope they won't catch Maya's cold too bad...
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