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Nursing Cat-Gave all kittens away-Hardened nipples

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I am not sure what to do.. We just gave away all 5 of the kittens this weekend. They were 6 wks old and we had to give them away now because of some issues with our dog that were having.. But the main thing I am concerned about is our cats nipple area is extremely hard. Is like humans where they eventually dry up or is there something I can do to help her. She seems very uncomfortable. She is walking around crying for them.. Not sure if it is because she misses them or if it is because she is in pain. It makes me feel bad for giving them away so soon but there is nothing I can do now. They are already gone. Well my mom does live around the corner from me and she has one of them.. Im not sure if I should go get it and bring it back to nurse to help her or if it will only make it take longer to dry up.. Please help me i am not sure what to do.
post #2 of 33
You should get all that you can and bring them back. There are so many things the Mom will teach these babies in the next few weeks. This time is crucial for them.
post #3 of 33
You should get the queen to the vet, get her spayed and have her checked for mastitis. If her nipples show any signs of redness,heat, swelling lesions, or sores get her in tonight to be checked.
post #4 of 33
There isn't a whole lot you can do I don't think. They are still full of milk because she should still be nursing the babies. She is crying for them because she knows this and knows they were not ready to leave yet.

I would get every one of those kittens back as you possibly can. Without their mother they will never learn proper kitten behavior. They need to stay with her until 10-12 weeks so she can socialize them, teach them how to hunt, play, behave like a cat and even to use the litterbox consistantly. They should also be in the middle of a vaccine series beginning at 5 weeks old up until they leave at 12 weeks. If they left their mother at 6 weeks without any vaccines, they have absolutely no immunity and are very much at risk of disease. Not to mention the stress of a new environment which leads to illness as well... Please try to get some kittens back, for their sake. I don't know what is wrong with your dog making you have to rehome the kittens, but crate the cat and her babies if you have to. Or crate the dog.

Giving away the babies is a scary thought. I hope you knew the people they went to. I also hope you can make sure they spay and neuter those babies so that they don't contribute to the horrible over population problem.

Please spay the mom too once you figure out what you are doing with her babies, if you need low cost clinics, just let us know, we can help you find one! The whole family can be spayed when they kittens reach 12 weeks. Don't let mom in contact with males or just outside in general until she is spayed.
post #5 of 33
You gave them away to young. Kittens need to nurse until they are 8 weeks old at least. They should be with the Mom until at least 10-12b Weeks.
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Look.. I read all of your information... But not one of you told me how to help my current cat. expect take it to the vet right now. Im not stupid... I know when to take a cat to the vet.. She is not showing any signs of anything other than having milk in nipples.. I wish that one of you could have not criticized me for what I did and help me with my reality of what I had to do now. Everything I read said that 6-8 wks. All of them were litter trained and all of them were eating on their own as well as still nursing occasionally. It did not seem like Cowie wanted to nurse them anymore at all. Obviously she still was nursing or her nipples wouldnt be like that. So I did the best that I could with the information that I had. I dont like being criticized. I checked on all of the kittens today and they are all doing just fine. I got Cowie when she was 6 weeks old and she has turned out to be a ok cat. She seemed to learn how to function like a cat should.. So does anyone have any advice about the problem I have now?
post #7 of 33
Originally Posted by hissy View Post
You should get the queen to the vet, get her spayed and have her checked for mastitis. If her nipples show any signs of redness,heat, swelling lesions, or sores get her in tonight to be checked.
that is advice from a very very experienced person.... Yes amazingly we are NOT VETS and cannot always give you a crystal ball answer

1. No online advice can replace direct veterinary intervention. If you suspect that your cat may be ill, please contact your vet immediately. You are welcome to look for advice in the health forum while waiting for that appointment, but never delay proper veterinary care waiting for Internet advice. Remember that cats, and especially kittens, are very adept in keeping pain to themselves and delaying treatment may cause irreversible damage.
post #8 of 33
Well we did answer your question. Her nipples are hardened because she is still loaded with milk. There isn't a lot you can do unless she seems uncomfortable, which I am sure she is a little. But if she starts acting any different or stops eating or drinking, etc... then I would take her into the vet asap. And Hissy gave you wonderful advice.
post #9 of 33
If she shows any signs of what I mentioned, you should get her to the vet quickly. Mastitis is a nasty business. If her nipples are just hard with no redness, sores, heat etc, she may be just uncomfortable, missing her kittens but she really needs to be spayed. These are tips not criticisms.

Ideally, kittens should stay with mom till they are 12 weeks old, but this rarely happens. It seems like the minute the kittens start eating solid foods, people believe that is the time to move them along. The queen can still teach them so much, how to play correctly without biting, how to groom themselves, how to hunt, how to survive. If you believe your cat is in pain, then listen to your gut feeling and make a vet appointment. Have a professional who is able to get his hands on her and look at her himself tell you if anything is wrong. Cats are masters at hiding pain and we have to turn into private eyes sometimes to determine if our cat is really in trouble. Sometimes that may mean a vet visit that wasn't necessary, but the alternative can be worse than that if we do the wrong thing and do nothing.
post #10 of 33
A hardening in and around the nipples can mean many things; mastitis, (infection in the mammary gland) and an overabundance of milk are the two most common.

She is, of course, missing her babies and will be filling up with milk, which can be uncomfortable to her. There isn't much you can do other than be very attentive to her and try to distract her as best you can. Make her spay appointment for as soon as her milk dries up. You will know when this happens as the glands around the nipples will start to lose their fullness.

If, as Hissy points out, there is redness, sores or other nasty looking stuff going on in the glands, then only a vet can help you out here. She may need a course of antibiotics to combat any infection that might have cropped up.

I hope your girl will be OK. It is hard to watch them grieving the loss of their babies. The kittens will most likely be alright, but as the others have already pointed out, 6 weeks old is too young to be away from Momma. But, what is done is now done and I am certain you had a very good reason.
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Im sorry I went all crazy but Im just frustrated. I did what I had to do because of my other situation.. and also my husband.. he made me.. Just so you know one went to my mom, one went to my sister, one went to my brother n law, one went to me neighbor and the other one went a friend. So yes I do know all of them. I am still upset about them because I wanted to keep one and he wouldnt even let me do that. he doesnt like cats at all so it is kind of hard. I dont feel like she needs medical attention at this point I was mainly wondering if i should put like an ice pack on them. She is currently eating and drinking just fine. In fact she is eating right now... I thought about going and getting the kitten from my mom right now but I cant keep it not even for the night so Im scared it will just make things worse.
post #12 of 33
Your situation sounds very difficult and I am sorry you had to go through all of this ... kittens can wrap their paws right around your heart so quickly and it is hard to let them go on to their new homes.

I wouldn't attempt an ice pack, honey. Just keep an eye on her and give her lots and lots of love. If you don't think she requires medical attention tonight, then give a look in the morning and see what you think. Again, if you are really unsure or uneasy about it, call your vet and ask if she should be seen.

ETA: I wouldn't go and get the kitten from your mom. To allow her to continue nursing at this point would just prolong the inevitable. Let it go and just watch her closely.
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
thank you very much for your advice. That was basically all i was trying to find out.. I apologize if I kinda freaked out on everyone. I think Im the one who needs to be spayed LOL.. I am the moody one.
post #14 of 33
What's done is done, but PLEASE spay that you want her to go through this again? Chances are those nice family members and neighbors who took these kittens will not want another one and your husband will not become any more cat-friendly.

It sounds like you want to do the best thing for her. There are usually lower cost spay services available through the humane society, please don't make her go through that again...she's already lost one little family and it's not healthy for her to keep going into heat.
post #15 of 33
if your husband doesnt like cats in general, i doubt hes going to like anything about her when she goes into heat
post #16 of 33
What is done is done. I hope your mom cat is ok, but I would have a vet check her out. And get her spayed too - that may help with drying up the milk. But the biggest concern is she can develop mastitus and infection cause of you taking the kittens away far too soon.

Most kittens nurse up to 8-10 weeks old or longer.
post #17 of 33

you could wet a washcloth with warm water and try friend used "cabbage leaves to dry up hers(LOL).........but she swore by it.the fact that she hasn't dried up yet...........though, may want to contact your vet for advice, I remember yrs ago my family had this goat that had a swollen udder...........the vet had to come out several times.........I wish you lived closer.........I have a 2wk old kitten that was taken away from its mother by the owner of the mama cat, and she just lost her brother yesterday, they were twins, and now she is coming down with the same symptoms as he had.............I'm at a loss............have a vaporizer going right now..............she doesnt want the kitten formula, everytime she takes it, she sneezes.............she keeps rooting for her mama.................good luck with you

post #18 of 33
I have heard of women using (don't laugh) a product called "Utter Budder" on their own breats to soften them after breast feeding. You can check and see if it is ok to use on cats, the Vet or a Farmer, even the people at the horse store or feed and seed, might know. If so, that may give her some measure of comfort. But as I said, you may wish to talk to the Vet, she may have something else she can do to ease the mom cat's discomfort. I wish you and your cat luck, and health!
post #19 of 33
This thread is 4 years old. . .
post #20 of 33
Whoops, didn't see the age of the thread, but maybe someone else could use the info. Thanks!
post #21 of 33
Momma had 4 kittens 10 weeks ago. I was sure she was pregnant again as we'd seen her out with a suspicious male when babies were about 2 weeks old, and she appeared to be getting "bulbous" again. Babies were still nursing when 9 weeks old, but had been eating solid food since 6 weeks old, as well as nursing. I made arrangements to get Momma fixed, and am keeping her away from babies for 10 days per recommendation from vet. My question, her teets are still slightly engorged, although not hot, and seem to be shrinking now after 7 days. After the 10 days, can she be reunited with her beloved babies, which she misses terribly. If they try to nurse, will her milk come back in, and will it hurt the incision?
post #22 of 33
Personally, I would let her back. If she is ready to wean them, she will push them away. And the incision should be fine - keep a watch on it every day that it is not getting red or swollen.
post #23 of 33

Hi...i read your concern and completely empathise with you. I too 've a similar situation. My kittens were 8 weeks old and i gave them (4 of them) all away yesterday. The mum has developed similar problem likes yours. I was concerned, and contacted my vet and he asked my to bring her to the clinic. So I think the best thing to do, is to take her to a vet immediately. 


You can then think of bringing the kitten/s, as many as you can, back to the mum. Hope this puts your mind at rest. 

post #24 of 33 bad! :) a li'l too late ...

post #25 of 33
Yes, this is an old thread. Anyone who is having this issue, please start a new thread. Thanks.
post #26 of 33

the reason they are criticizing you is because they are fraustrated with what you did,I just did the same thing Fluffy moans lays around and doesnt really want to be alone, looks like you will have to use your own judgement,Im a lab tech I m using mine Im not vet or animal professional, but I know my FLUFFY.

post #27 of 33
Originally Posted by fluffster View Post

the reason they are criticizing you is because they are fraustrated with what you did,I just did the same thing Fluffy moans lays around and doesnt really want to be alone, looks like you will have to use your own judgement,Im a lab tech I m using mine Im not vet or animal professional, but I know my FLUFFY.

As already said, this is an old thread and it is unlikely the original poster will read anything now. Please do start your own thread, give us the background information on Fluffy and we will be interested in your experience and questions, if any.
post #28 of 33

Your answer for the person who gave away 6-week old kittens was extremely helpful to me. Our three kittens are 9 weeks old, and mamma is still nursing. I was thinking I had a bunch of kittens with reverse Oedipal complexes. You have relieved my worried soul. Thank you for your compassionate, comprehensive reply.


post #29 of 33
I feel bad for you and I understand cause I just had to let go of 4 kitty's within 24 hours as well it was too much with a baby in the house. Did you resolve your issue and if so how did you cause my poor momma kitty is def in discomfort I feel bad.
post #30 of 33
This is a very old thread, and the original poster may no longer be active.
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