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Agreed to foster pregnant cat...need advice

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just got a call this afternoon from a fellow volunteer with our humane society. A pregnant cat is in need of a home. She's been tested, and got a clean bill of health. The vet estimates that she's about 2 months along. I will be taking her tomorrow. I need some advice!

I have two male cats. One is older and neutered. The other is about 9 months and will be neutered in 2 weeks. (Both are rescues...the youngest was adopted several months ago and this was the soonest we were able to get his appointment scheduled with our local vet).

I have plenty of space to keep her and the kittens separated and safe. I plan to keep her confined to one room until the kittens are born, and as the get a bit older to gradually give them more space.

Is there some way to encourage her to give birth in a particular area? I was thinking about flipping an old box full of newspaper and soft towels and covering it with a sheet to make her feel protected. I will also have some replacement milk on hand (just in case)...

Should I be feeding the mama cat kitten food? Our cats are currently eating Diamond naturals, is there something else that you would suggest for a pregnant cat?

Am I missing anything? Is there something else I should have on hand? When should I be expecting the kittens and what signs do I look for?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat-bourne View Post
I just got a call this afternoon from a fellow volunteer with our humane society. A pregnant cat is in need of a home. She's been tested, and got a clean bill of health. The vet estimates that she's about 2 months along. I will be taking her tomorrow. I need some advice!

I have two male cats. One is older and neutered. The other is about 9 months and will be neutered in 2 weeks. (Both are rescues...the youngest was adopted several months ago and this was the soonest we were able to get his appointment scheduled with our local vet).

I have plenty of space to keep her and the kittens separated and safe. I plan to keep her confined to one room until the kittens are born, and as the get a bit older to gradually give them more space.

Is there some way to encourage her to give birth in a particular area? I was thinking about flipping an old box full of newspaper and soft towels and covering it with a sheet to make her feel protected. I will also have some replacement milk on hand (just in case)...

Should I be feeding the mama cat kitten food? Our cats are currently eating Diamond naturals, is there something else that you would suggest for a pregnant cat?

Am I missing anything? Is there something else I should have on hand? When should I be expecting the kittens and what signs do I look for?

Thanks in advance!
You are off to great start with them mama. Set up the birthing box as soon as you get her into your home and put her in their constantly and over time she will understand that she is supposed to have her babies in it. Since she is around two months pregnant giving her kitten food if you feel like it. Provide her with water constanly. When she is close to delivery she will pace around constantly and her belly will go down a bit and her nipples will be red. Usually cat pregnancies are around 65-67 days. Keep pairs of latex gloves in the room you are keeping her in case you have handle the babies right away because sometimes mama cats don't always like people handling their babies. The gloves will sort of keep your scent off the kittens. If you chose to handle right away make sure you hold them in front of the mama and pet her while you are doing it to build trust with her. If you notice a kitten is too small or has trouble drinking from the mama then supplement with the KMR. Thank you for caring for this mama has she brings little blessings to the world. Here are some good vibes
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
She's here! She is very, very tiny. I was told that the vet estimated her to be less than 1 yr. I'm a little worried about what that means for the kittens and her mothering skills.

She seems healthy otherwise. I have no concept of how far along she is...she feels firm and only a little lumpy but her nipples aren't enlarged and her tummy isn't obiously protroding.
post #4 of 11
There are always concerns with mother cats under a year old. In the past I have cared for two young mothers under the age of 1 year old. One was a cat on my grandparents' ranch. Her name was Patches. She was 10 months old when she gave birth and was wonderful mother. She probably learned mothering skills from her mother who raised her and the other mama cats on the ranch. Another a young mother I cared for was a cat that my boyfriend found at 6 months old. My boyfriend named her Patty. He was planning to spay her once he got vet insurance but she ended up escaping and get pregnant 8 months old and delivering again at 10 months old. This time it was difficult because in the first two days after the birth she would leave them constantly and we had to sort of force her to feed them. After a week she became withdrawn from them and we decided to bottle feed the kittens and we sent her to stay with my sister. My theory is that Patches was raised well by her mother on the ranch so she had very good instincts about raising kittens but with Patty we weren't sure what kind of background she had prior to being rescued by my boyfriend.
How much does your foster weigh? She could be due in a few weeks because often times mamas don't start getting fat until towards the end. As for mothering skills spend a lot of time with her right now when you are home to show her the concept of caring for others. She might make a wondeful mama and I will pray that she will grow up as soon the babies are born and raise them.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure what her wieght is yet as the shelter volunteer is the one who had her vetted. She's really small...doesn't feel like she could weigh more than 5 lbs and her features are all very proportionately small...(paws, nose, tail, ears...I am comparing her to my 9 months old male cat who is very small and she is much smaller.)

She is very affectionate. She seems a little (understandably) overwhelmed by my toddler, my dogs and all the noise of the house, although she is in a room by herself where no one has access to her, but we'll be moving her to the (heated and finished) basement this evening where she'll not only be safe but where everything is much quieter. She is calm and very sweet.

I'm a little worried about fleas. Is there anything I can do to treat/prevent them for her that is safe?
post #6 of 11
It will take her a couple of days to get used to surroundings and your family. Visit her and hold her a few times a day to develop a bond with her so she will know you as her caregiver for her and the babies. If she has fleas you can use Frontline Plus and Frontline Top Spot products on her because those products have been approved for pregnant and nursing cats.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much! She is incredibley sweet. She lays in my lap and purrs and nudges me when she wants more attention. I hate that she has to be confined but I know that it's the safest thing for her right now.

I bought some Feline Pine for her litter...It only occured to me shortly after I emptied the bag that she might not use it if she doesn't like the texture. Should I pick up something more conventional tomorrow?

So far she has two beds to hide under and sleep on, a scratching post, some toys, two blankets and a hide away cube. I wish I had some idea of how far along she is!
post #8 of 11
if she doesn't like the feline pine, you could try something else. i'd stay away from the clumping clays - they're not safe for kittens, & there's no point in her getting used to it & then you having to change it.
if you want to try something other than the feline pine, you might consider a corn or wheat based litter - most cats seem to like those pretty well.
what color is she? some posters have reported that the feline pine clumping seems to 'color' the white areas on their cats.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
She is black and white...I don't think I have the clumping formula but I can check to be sure...I use World's Best for my other cats but it tends to track and smell so I wanted to try something different for her. I'm still not sure if she use dthe box this morning although it did look like she pawed around so I'll be checking (with the scoop) when I go back down to check on her.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat-bourne View Post
She is black and white...I don't think I have the clumping formula but I can check to be sure...
i think that the regular kind is pelleted, while the clumping is more like sawdust.
post #11 of 11
Bless you for taking her in. There's really no way to tell what kind of a mother any cat will be until she has her kittens. I got really lucky with Goldy. I estimated she was 6-7 month old when she first showed up on my back patio the middle of June, going by her size and development. That would put her at somewhere around 9 months when she had her kittens. She turned out to be a wonderful mother, I didn't have to do anything to help her or the kittens except cut the cords on two of them because she never got around to it.

You can set up a nesting box and get her used to it, but when it comes time she's going to chose her own place to give birth. Probably the most inconvenient place she can possibly find.

You'll also need to keep her away from your male cat until she can be spayed. Unfortunately, a male still has live sperm in storage and can get a cat pregnant for a couple of months after he's been neutered. A cat can go into heat and get pregnant within a day or two after giving birth. That means there will be some overlap in their fertile periods.
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