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yes, no, yes, no UGH!! HELP!!!!!!!!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I dont know what to do. I got the okay from dh to bring snowwhite in...BUTTTT the only problem is she would have to stay in a large crate (misty our black lab used to sleep in it) she is HUGE and I think she is going to have kittens any minute. Dh said if it would be enough room for her she can stay in there and until she has the kittens and he will work on her room downstairs. Then once the kittens are around six weeks we HAVE to get her fixed AND I'm only allound to ~*maybe*~ keep a kitten or two (he said if she has an all black one it can stay and if she has an orange tabby...he can't turn an orange tabby away) The other kittens have to go to the spca or a no kill shelter. SO.... do you think misty's old crate would be big enough? Then after she is fixed she can go back outside and live her free life...then I have to start working on lilly, ashton and sherbert (in that order) My business is doing fairly well and if it picks up alittle more I will have enough money to get on every three weeks. So lilly first, then ashton, then sherbert...and there is the BIG orange guy hanging around that needs to be fixed to. hopefully that will stop the kitten flow in the neighborhood.

what do you think? good plan? bad plan?
post #2 of 28
Princess Purr, I just don't have the experience to know if that will work for Snowwhite. I've PMd a breeder who I hope will find the time to check in here and provide you with some advice!

As to the rest, I'm sending you a PM. I'd really like to help you locate resources to help with your ferals! I don't recall whether Ashton and Sherbert are males or not, but I'm afraid that if you wait as long as you plan, you may have more kittens on your hands...

...and the only other thing I BEG of you is to NOT take the kittens to anything other than a no-kill shelter! Around here, that wasn't an option, because the no-kill shelters have long wait lists. We called in October and November, and we still haven't been contacted by one. So please start looking today, if you plan to take them to a shelter instead of adopting them out. If you live in an area with a wait-list, you might need to make those arrangements now. But I want to make it clear - we did not take the kittens to a "kill" shelter. We took care of them as ferals outside while trying to find them homes. We were faced with a total of 8 surviving kittens from two litters, one turned up in July and the other was in August. We just got word that there's someone interested in adopting the last one without a home... so it takes a lot of work and patience, but it can be done! They all survived the Winter, anyway. I'm not sure what advice to give you about this, but kittens really need to be with their mums for 12 weeks.

Anyone should please feel free to post different thoughts or advice but....

They way we handled pregnant females here was to let her make the nest outside - that way the little kittens will learn how to live on their own from mum. Then at 12 weeks, we trapped mum and took her in to get spayed - all the while, we provided food to the kittens (and mum) and spent as much time as possible with them outside (slowly) so they got socialized. This way you can keep the kittens around as long as they need to be with mum, get her spayed yet let the kittens have the time with her they need... and work at finding them homes (via posters, word of mouth, etc.). Now - if you haven't found them homes by the time they're six weeks, then if they're not inside, dh won't make you get rid of them. They can have the time they need with mum and you can get Lilly spayed sooner (and not being a nursing mum, she's far more likely to go into heat).

If the kittens are still with you by the time their adult teeth start to come in (that's when it's time to get them spayed and neutered!) - which happens somewhere between 4 and 6 months - then you can get the kittens spayed and neutered too. It can be expensive (along with the shots), which is why I'm PMing you. I'd like to see if I can find low-cost or free spay/neuter resources for you.

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
thank you!! Ashton and Sherbert are boys so i'm not tooo worried about them. The deal me and dh do with the spca is if they can find the animal a home good. If not they call us and we adopt the animal back. We did that with one cat at our local spca and it found a home and we did that with another cat that was on a time up list at a different shelter (we paid the adoption fee and the person that adopted the kitty only had to by the spay cost. Lilly I don't know what to do with my baby girl

Snow white showed up again today and she is still huge. i did alittle test on her and closed the door when she was in the laundry room and she didn't seem to happy about it She keeps having the kittens in the neighbors yards in a hiden location. We can hear them sometimes but never find them I don't know why she won't have them in the chicken coop... Although that does give me an idea. Some times i so goofy. if i can get her to go to the coop maybe dh could close off a room and i could just slip her food!!!! that would work! Then maybe i can bring lilly in and get her fixed first. I'll have to run that by dh tonight and see what he can do.
i don't know what i got myself into!
post #4 of 28
Val, you may want to contact Hissy via PM about what you can do with Snow White and if that setup will work for you. She's dealt with many, many pregnant ferals and I think she would have the best advice for you. I would think the crate would work, but you'll have to make a few modifications for Snow White to be comfortable in it (I'm sure you already have thought of that, again, Hissy could give you suggestions for that.). I think it sounds like a pretty good plan.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
okay, i'm going to pm her i feel better now that i'm starting to think of some good options. I'm also going to go check out the chicken coop and see if there is a small room in there dh can shut off. I think that there are a few doors so if i just close them behind me she won't be able to get to the outside world so that might work to!
post #6 of 28
Actually, if you have an appliance store near you, a cardboard box that a small freezer comes in will work just fine. I used that one year, and put a rubber sheet down on the bottom of it, and then just piled some old towels and blankets on top- cut a hole big enough for a kitty to get through and used it as a birthing box. Mom is going to want her kittens close, and containment is a good idea because of the litterbox issue as well. Keep the litterbox outside of the sleeping area but don't put it to far away as she won't leave her kittens easily (unless she is a bad mom) to young and does not know what to do.

Laurie is right, with an intact male wandering around, you may have more kittens down the road. If it is possible to trap the male and get him neutered, I would go that route, but I seriously doubt that he is the only intact male in town.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
here is a pic of neo in the crate (he wanted to model it). do you think it's too small? I can check with dh and see if he can get a big box from work. he workes in a warehouse so they should have huge boxes. if i could attach a big box to the crate that would eb really nice. I'm just worried about her escaping!

here is the pic
post #8 of 28
That size crate is just fine for mom and kittens. I would just line the bottom with towels, and a heating pad at the bottom. Then you can cut up a cardboard box and line the outside at the very bottom with it, and use zip ties to hold the cardboard in place. once you put a very small litter box and the food in the crate, there wont be much room for much else. The cardboard will keep the kittens from falling out of the crate
post #9 of 28
Yep that is a fine size- when you said crate I was thinking cat carrier, and even a large one wouldn't accomodate a family very well.
Sandie gives excellent advice- I know that I turn to her everytime I have a new litter in house. So take her suggestions to heart. And thank you for saving another stray and the future family too.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
okay!! i'm going to do this. I'm so nervous!!! Tomorrow i'm going out and getting a small litter box and dh is going to find a box. we are going to run to home depot and get the zip ties and then hopefully everything will go smooth. she stopped by again tonight and i patted her belly. She didn't like it much but i could feel movement. so hopefully tomorrow i'll get her in the crate with some can food and itwill be good!!
post #11 of 28
I think once she gets into her crate, and feels a little more secure, she may feel better about having her kittens. When you first put her in there, you can put the litter box twards the front, and then cover the back half with a blanket. This way, she can go back there and have a little privacy.
I cant wait to hear how she does
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
once she has the kittens are there any rules i need to follow? can I touch them or do i have to leave them alone. Should i help her or can she handle things by herself? I have never done this before! I'm going to do some online research but I thought maybe you guys had some helpful tips. thanks!!
post #13 of 28
It really depends on her, you take your cues from her. Some feral moms get really possessive and DO NOT want you to touch their babies, though they might want you near them when they are having them. I have a pet stick I use- it is just a ruler with a thick sponge duct taped to the end. I use that to touch mom when she is with her kittens (and it has a lot of bite marks on it) But your warnings will be narrowed pupils, flattened ears, growling and hissing. When McKenzie was in labor, she wanted to be touched, but after the kittens arrived, she nailed the pet stick and me several times as I tried to pick up her babies. I usually leave them be for several days till the family adjusts, and then work slowly with each one of them. But with her, I had to bottle feed Squirrel because she wasn't letting her nurse.

Here is a picture of her and Squirrel- notice Mom's eyes are open and even though she is at rest, she is on the alert. Had I reached in any further she would of nailed me! So just be careful is all-

Mom and baby
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
aww that is the cutest kitten!!! i'll have to make on of those sticks. i do not want to get bitten!!
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
I just noticed that it looks like she has an old bit mark on her back. The hair is still missing alittle but it looks like she either got bit of cut a little while ago. I havn't noticed it before i don't think. This is the longest she has been in one place and i could really look at her. Should i be worried about rabies?
post #16 of 28
How old does the cut/bite look? Is it new, almost healed, whatever? I know that the standard 3-in-1 cat vaccines are not recommended for pregnant cats (can cause birth defects in kittens), not sure what the recommendation is for rabies vaccines. I would put a call in to the vet just to be sure.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
it looks almost healed. So it must be kinda old. I'm just a big worried wart. I'm going to have to bring mr runney eyes (moemoe) in for a vet visit. I think he might have an eye infection. And neo has been snoring really lound so i'm worried about his breathing. So i'll be going to the vet shortly.

When i found moe and neo i asked if i should be worried about rabies and they said no because an animal that small really shouldn't be able to survy a fit when they would have gotten rabies. but snow white is bigger, so know i have something new to worry about!
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Should i try to get an unscented brand? I think i'm going to go get some non clumping litter. She has eating two cans of food, and a cup of dry food since last night but has not gone number 1 or 2 yet... i hope she isn't holding it in!
post #19 of 28
Instead, go to the store and get a bag of Organic potting soil and use that for right now. Also if she is confined in the cage let her out, give her two litterboxes not just one- no feral cat will eliminate twice in the same place. Use the potting soil now- again make sure it is organic. And then eventually mix in unscented clay litter over the next week. Eventually switch to all clay and she will be fine.

Also I would urge you to take her to the vet and get checked out. Even if she doesn't look sick, there is a possibility that she is carrying something that may harm her kittens in utero.
post #20 of 28
Hi Princess Purr - wow! Things are really progressing. I'm so glad you've heard from Sandie and Hissy - they are both very knowledgeable people with lots of experience. You can't get better advice.

...just wanted to let you know I've merged all the threads about Snowwhite together. If you have more questions, please go ahead and post them here. Don't worry! I'm sure Sandie and Hissy are keeping an eye out for updates! As soon as you post another question to the same thread, it moves up to the top of the list, so it'll be obvious that there's new news or new questions...

And BTW - kind of like Sandi's thread about Lucky (the red sticky about Socializing a Feral), this thread is turning into a great resource for what to do with a pregnant feral! It's just helpful to other members and readers in the future to have it all in one place.

post #21 of 28
Princess Purr - our kitties all held it in for about 24 hours before using the litter! It's unusual and strange to them, and the recommendation to use dirt really helps. We used the same dirt they were used to (as opposed to potting soil), and as soon as they went to the bathroom, we scooped that out and then refilled the litterbox with litter and added what we scooped out to the litter.... they quickly got the idea, and we've never had any problems at all. My understanding is that ferals are very fastidious about using the litter box - probably as a result of their upbrining, it's very important to them to "hide" their "business."

But yes - definitely use unscented at first (we continue to use unscented because we and the cats prefer it! )
post #22 of 28
I would just caution if you use *regular* dirt, you need to dump the entire box every day- otherwise you could have a bug infestation. That is why I use Organic potting soil right at first.
post #23 of 28
Oh - I guess I didn't make it clear. We just used the "regular" dirt until the kitties used it, which took about 24 hours, give or take 6 hours. Then we scooped out (what was pee). We dumped the dirt, cleaned the box, added unscented litter, and put just the pee/dirt we'd scooped out into the litter, so they'd know what it was for by smell...

We never had a problem with any of the kitties using the litterbox after that, nor did we ever find we needed to use more dirt.
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
dh needs to go get some stuff for the yard today so i'll have him pick up organic potting soil. and i'll pick up some clay litter. You guys are so helpful!! I can't thank you enough. i'm such a nervous grandmeow!!! Hopefully my vet will cut me a deal on the cost of all this little monster.

Misty and Nanook (dogs) are due for appointments soon
Moe and Neo are past due ( i was nervous about the shots causing cancer)
and then....
Snowwhite, ashton, lilly, and sherbert all need the works! And we will just have to wait and see how many little ones they are...
I wonder if i can say i'm running a cat rescue and use this as a tax deduction i was thinking of employing ashton and lilly to be models and paying them in cat food and vet care... i wonder what the irs would think about that
post #25 of 28
LOL! Now THAT'S creative thinking! I'm not too sure about the IRS.... but unfortunately to the cat rescue (I know you were kidding...), you have to qualify from the Department of Health - and there's LOTS of hoops to jump through!

DO ask your Vet about low cost resources - NJ has a Statewide low-cost spay/neuter program, and the Vet should have certificates available. !!!!!
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'll have to ask my mom. She is a CPA (accountant) if they are working for me..and i'm paying them..i should be able to take it :LOL: they are amazing look cats. Lilly has the most beautiful eyes, and ashton likes to smile I wonder what they do with movie star dogs and stuff... maybe i found a nice little loop whole!

before i go to the there anything else i need? She i be giving her vitamins or anything?
post #27 of 28
Oh - you probably went to the store already! My understanding is that you should be feeding her kitten food until she's done weaning the kittens. It has (at least) extra protein in it, which mom (and the kittens, when they start eating solid food) need for growth.
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
check! :LOL: picked up four bags of kitten food when i was there
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