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Possibly Pregnant?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've never actually seen a pregnant cat before, so I can't be positive, but I'm 98% sure Shinobi is pregnant. Her belly is larger than before (not lots, but she's definitely gotten bigger), and I can feel now what I can only assume to be nipples. Her health otherwise seems to be fine, good appetite, still as affectionate as ever. If I'm wrong on this and you don't think she's pregnant, feel free to tell me, 'cause I'll have her checked out if she's not.

In the event that she is, I could use some advice and tips on how to make this easiest for her - two other cats and a dog live here as well, so privacy is hard to come by, and I know she's going to need someplace of her own for birthing. Suggestions and ideas are welcome - what I've thought of so far is borrowing my roommates old dog cage (big cage) and setting up a bed for her somewhere in a corner.

As a last note, I am excited to see what kind of kittens she'll have - she's solid black while her mother was solid white, and the father is a B&W (Parrot, if you know him), while his mother was a calico. Can the calico trait be passed down through him, since he's male?
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
No suggestions?
post #3 of 8
Welcome to TCS. What you are describing with her nipples is referred to as pinking up. It is where the nipples start to get larger, the hair around them begins to recede and they "pink up". In a non-pregnant cat you cant find the nipples as easily as they are buried in fur. On average cats are 4 weeks pregnant when you first notice this - leaving 5 weeks til parturition.

You should begin to feel kitten movement around her 7th week. The following week you will actually be able to see them move. However this varies from cat to cat and with experience.

If you dont already, you should begin feeding her kitten food (all she wants), as she could use the extra calories now. The dog cage is a very good idea. Maybe you can drape a blanket over it to afford a bit more privacy still. On top of that, near the last week, I would begin to confine her to the room the cage/birthing box is in. Despite our best efforts, queens have a mind of their own, and you dont want her having the kittens behind the refrigerator or in the sofa.

As for what color her kittens will be - Your girl is black and the Tom was black? The kittens will all be black or blue (gray) if she and the Tom carry the dilution gene. It doesnt matter that Shinobi's mother was white... The white masking gene is dominant, Shinobi doesnt carry it or else she would be white. Also the red gene is a sex-linked gene. It is carried on the X-chromosome. Girls being XX and Boys XY... this is how we get calico/tortie girls - the black is on one chromo and the red is on another. A male cat, having only one X chromo, can only be one or the other... if he is black - he only carries the black gene.

I wish you good luck and a stress-free wait!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the info, I'll see if I can get my roommate to let me borrow the cage - if they won't, any other suggestions? Someone told me a large dresser drawer might be good?
post #5 of 8
Even a box would be fine. I always offer my fosters several options. I set-up an uncovered box, a covered box with opening big enough for mom to get in (but I cut the top of the box so that I can look in if she should need help) and a crate.

Takes up most of my room but they usually pick one of those spots... I also take my bed off it's frame so that she cant dig her way under there.

I only once had a cat not pick a box and had them on a rug in the middle of my bedroom floor.

Good luck and be sure to let us know how it goes!!!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
That's something else I meant to ask about, actually - what do I do in the event that she does have difficulty with the labor? Signs to look for, steps to take?

Also, if I can get some good pictures of her, could any of you take a guess at how far along she is? She lives with the tom, so I don't know how to accurately predict when she might have gotten pregnant.
post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by Abstract View Post
That's something else I meant to ask about, actually - what do I do in the event that she does have difficulty with the labor? Signs to look for, steps to take?

Also, if I can get some good pictures of her, could any of you take a guess at how far along she is? She lives with the tom, so I don't know how to accurately predict when she might have gotten pregnant.
When to step in... if the mother cat is delivering a large litter she is likely to get tired, and may slack off when cleaning the last kittens. (Eating the placentas or cleaning the amniotic sacs) This can also happen if she has the kittens very fast and close together, she can "misplace" a kitten while attending to another.

I try not to let the mom cat eat the placentas at all if I can help it. Mostly because I dont like to clean up the litter boxes after.... but of course it is perfectly fine to allow her to eat them. I posted in another current thread, "In over my head" about a birthing supply kit. Which includes scissors and thread or dental floss for tying the cords. Also washcloths for wiping the amniotic sacs off the kittens faces if she doesnt do this right away.

If you are going to witness the birth, please try and keep track of the number of placentas she delivers. Each kitten has it's own placenta. If she retains a placenta she could get sick and the vet will ask this information.

Most of the time I am home and present when the mom cat delivers, and like I said I always try to throw the placentas away, but have only [b]had[b/] to help a few times. Once when two kittens were born within minutes of each other. The second kitten kinda just plopped out and the mother was too occupied with the first to notice (go figure) and after waiting, I had to clean off the amniotic sac with the washcloth so it didnt suffocate.

I've also assisted with delivering placentas when the moms appeared too tired to push any longer. My current foster, after having 5 kittens, had not yet birthed the last placenta, the kitten was still attached via the cord but could still reach around and nurse. After a half-hour to an hour passed, I GENTLY tugged on the cord to expel the placenta. I stress - do this gently - as pulling too hard on the kitten's end and you could cause it to herniate or bleed into the cord. I always hold the cord in too spots to ensure that no pressure is placed on the kittens end. After the placenta is expelled tie the cord with thread (not too close to the body a good inch or so is fine) then cut with scissors on the placenta's side.

Other than that, the only other thing I can think of is: if you think a kitten has aspirated any fluid... try sucking mucous out of it's mouth or nose. If this doesnt clear it up, you can hold the kitten belly-up, head by your fingers, on the palm of your hand, place your other hand on it's belly (creating a sandwich of sorts) and gently swing your hands in a downward motion creating a gravity that will help bring any fluids up. Repeat this a few times as necessary.

As for telling how far along she is by pictures only... as you might know by reading other's threads... it is nearly impossible. Each cat is very different in their size, shape and girth, as well as with the symptoms they exhibit. Perhaps a better way to tell how far along she is, is to describe some of her symptoms and behaviors.

Good luck though. Hopefully you have a short stress free wait!
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
*blink* This sounds like lots that I need to be involved in. How do stray cats ever do it??

As far as her behavior... well, other than being lots more affectionate, there have been no changes. She's a little more cautious about jumping and generally waits until I'll put her where she wants to be, but that's about it.
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