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How Do You Know When Mama Cat Is Ready To Have Her Kittens??

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Probably a stupid question, but I've never had the experience before..

Salem (formerly known as Indigo - aka "Stubby" - her nickname), who is one of my strays and is about ready to pop any day now by the looks of her - but what "signs" do you notice when it's time??

I'm seriously thinking of fixing up a room for her to have her babies in, b/c I don't want for her to have them outside somewhere. I'm at the point where I don't care WHAT the neighbors think who supposedly "own" her. They obviously don't give a &$@% about her. She basically lives here now anyway - and they know but don't care. My main concern (as some of you who may know my "story") already know that I'm worried about letting her in b/c of Geronimo & Winchester's FIP. But the thought of her having her babies outside somewhere just makes me cry. I'm thinking if I keep them separated, Geronimo & Winchester should be okay. I doubt that Salem would like it very much if she was "locked up" - considering the fact that she's used to roaming, but maybe she'd be okay with it once the babies were born..

In any case, how do you know when it's time for the babies to be born?? If I'm gonna fix her up a room, I think it needs to be soon, b/c she really looks like she could have them any day now!

Any help would be appreciated!

~kk~
post #2 of 13
I was in a very similar situation. I let a cat in from outside when I noticed she was pregnant. I had been feeding her outside for about six months already and if she was owned by someone in the neighborhood, she sure didn't stay home much. I cleared out some stuff from my extra bedroom so she could have a separate part of the house because she is a fighter. She likes me well enough, but she wants to fight with my other cats and dog. She was hard to lure in because she wasn't used to being indoors. I got her in by holding food right in front of her face. She bolted back outside a couple of times, but I finally got her into that room. My other pets were locked into other rooms so that they would not interfere. She was antsy about being in that room at first, but she settled in nicely. I thought that she was about to pop at the time, but it took her a month to actually have the babies. Her only signs were just a couple of days before delivery. She was a lot more affectionate with me and didn't want me to leave her. She lost her appetite the night before. She was nesting a bit in some boxes for a day or two. I went into the room to feed her yesterday and she had 5 babies. I stayed with her for awhile and she had one more. She allowed me to help with the 6th one, which was basically just moving him closer to her face after he came out so that she could chew through the cord.
I'm not sure about the FIP. That is something I haven't dealt with. Do your cats have it now or were they exposed? I think a vet would have better advice than I can give.
Good luck with the mama!
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, one thing I didn't have to worry about was trying to coax her in.. She's been wanting to come in for months now, and usually manages to sneak in whenever I open the door to feed her and the other strays.

So I went ahead and fixed her up a room, and she's in there now as content as a queen! I've been checking on her every 10-15 minutes, and she's all sprawled out on the top of the dresser - with a cheshire grin on her face that says "Gotcha!!" At one point I picked her up to show her where the litterbox is (hoping she'll know what it is and use it! ) and she got kinda testy with me b/c I think she figured I was gonna put her back outside. She doesn't seem to have any desire to go back out..

I'm not sure, but by the look of her nipples - which are getting bigger - I think her time is close. I felt her belly to see if there was any movement from the babies, but didn't feel anything. I hope that's nothing to worry about. She is still eating though: she actually has been eating A LOT in the past few days: but that doesn't surprise me any, considering the circumstances..

I don't foresee any problems with her getting along with my other furbies, or vice-versa, b/c they're all used to each other's scents, just by her hanging around all the time.

FIP, BTW, is a feline disease that has to do with a cat's immune system. There are two forms - the "wet" form, which is fatal - and the "dry" form, which can be treated. Geronimo & Winchester have the dry form, and are on a drug called Interferon to help keep them in remission. They have both been doing really well on the treatment, and my main concern is that Salem may have something that she could pass on to them, that they might not be able to fight off. But I think they'll be okay, b/c they are always sniffing around under the doors or at the open windows at the other strays, and there haven't been any problems. I sure hope so, anyway, b/c I'd never be able to forgive myself if anything happened to them..

So it looks as if I'm gonna be a Meowmy again. (and a nervous one at that! I've always had male cats, and I'm new to this kitten thing. ) But unlike those jerks who were supposed to take care of "their" cat in the first place, it will be different with me. Because as soon as Salem has her babies, she will be spayed, and I will find the babies a good home...some how.

Thanks for your reply, Gayle, and your input! I see you live in Texas, too. Howdy, neighbor!

~KK~
post #4 of 13
It's really honestly hard to tell when they are about to give birth. Especially with strays/ferals. I think the worry with FIP is a lot less than the worry with her giving birth where there are predators and elements to deal with. Bless you!!!
post #5 of 13
Howdy! I wouldn't worry too much about movement. I stressed about it a lot because I couldn't feel any movement in Rags's belly right up until she delivered. But she turned out to be fine.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well Salem spent the last two nights in "her room", and seems to like it in there just fine. But as soon as she hears us getting up in the morning, she wants to be let outside - probably b/c she's used to being out there, and she probably feels cooped up. But whenever she wants back in, she'll let me know by meowing at the door.

She likes to sit on my lap, and give me love rubs on my face. There have been no problems with her & the other furbies.

Her belly seems to have doubled in size just in the past few days. I don't know if it's b/c she's getting closer to her time to deliver, or if it's b/c she's been eating like a pig! My only concern is that she hasn't used the litterbox yet: I don't think she knows what it's used for. But hopefully she'll figure it out!

I'm afraid to let her out at all at this point, b/c I'm worried that she might go off somewhere to have her babies. But she gets restless being "locked up", so I let her out when she wants to go.

I'm getting anxious! I hope she has the babies soon!

~KK~
post #7 of 13
The first 24-48 hours or so that I had Ms Friskers inside, she didn't poop at all, which had me totally freaked out at first. One thing I did was feed her goodly amounts of canned cat food, which has high oil content, and on top of that, I dosed her with olive oil, by mixing in about half a Tbsp with the canned cat food. Just to make amply sure that if she was constipated AT ALL that things were well lubricated.

Well, whether it was the olive oil, or just relaxing and getting comfortable enough with being in my place, she pooped around the end of day two, and yeesh, had she been holding it in (it was like, person sized). But things have been fine since then.

Cats, generally, won't use the toilet somewhere new until they feel like it's "safe" for them, which might be a matter of hours or days, depending on the cat's personality. A little extra canned cat food and a smidge of olive oil shouldn't hurt, and will help clear through if she's blocked up, which isn't uncommon in pregnant kitties, as I understand it.

And please, if olive oil is somehow bad for cats, someone should jump in and say so -- this was my mom's home remedy for constipated cats, and it's never caused any problems, but we've never really run it past a vet either, I don't think!
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I can't offer any advice regarding olive oil, b/c I've never given it to any of my cats. But the peeps here swear that using canned pumpkin (the plain kind) works wonders for both constipation & diarrhea.

Salem still hasn't used the litterbox, so I threw some pooh & a clump of pee from my other furbies' litterbox into hers, hoping she'll get the hint..

I've been feeding her plenty of canned food - not only so she'll get extra nutrition for the upcoming arrivals - but also so she'll have extra water content in her system. She's still eating like a little pig.

I hope she delivers soon! I'm getting anxious & nervous!

~KK~
post #9 of 13
Don't quote me but I don't think you should put the other cats poop in there, it may contain the FIV and also I think its more likely to put her off using due to a stranger cats smell.

Can you just plonk her in there and make her paw dig?
Or try putting outdoor soil in there as she probably doesn't know what litter is.

JMHO
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger's Mum View Post
Don't quote me but I don't think you should put the other cats poop in there, it may contain the FIV and also I think its more likely to put her off using due to a stranger cats smell.
The FIP thought crossed my mind too, but I really don't think I need to worry about it, b/c all my cats share the same litterboxes and none of them have picked up the FIP from Geronimo & Winchester. But thanks for the advice..


Quote:
Can you just plonk her in there and make her paw dig?
I tried that - several times. It didn't work..

Quote:
Or try putting outdoor soil in there as she probably doesn't know what litter is.
I was thinking the same thing myself today (great minds think alike! ). I'm gonna have my s/o dig up some dirt, when he gets home from work tonight. Hopefully that'll do the trick!

~KK~
post #11 of 13
LOL glad I may have been of some use.
I think that about used up all my knowledge :laughing:
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger's Mum View Post
LOL glad I may have been of some use.
I think that about used up all my knowledge :laughing:
I can't think of anymore ideas, either. I'm at a loss as to what to do now myself.

The dirt trick didn't work, either. My s/o put some into Salem's litterbox last night, and she still hasn't used it. But I haven't noticed her going anywhere on the floor, either, so I guess that's a good thing.

I hope she's not gonna be one of those stubborn females..

~KK~
post #13 of 13
Cats, naturally, generally will want to use the litter box. They like being able to bury their poop/pee.

If she hasn't gone at all, how long has it been? It sounds like either she's constipated or she's still too scared/uneasy to use the bathroom yet. Has she peed yet? If she hasn't peed either, probably she's still just feeling too uncomfortable to 'go'. While concerning, there's probably not a lot you can do, other than try to make her feel safe, and comforted, and let her figure out she's ok. If she has peed, then she likely does feel safe, but is constipated. Depending on how long it's been, you might want to give your vet a call. Constipation is definitely common in pregnant cats, but I don't know how long you'd want to let it go on before considering some medical attention. If nothing else, seems like it would be getting uncomfortable.
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