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found kittens in barn

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I found 2 kittens in my barn. The look to be sisters. One is a diluted calico, longhair, and has the "it" factor. The other is also a diluted calico, medium, but not as friendly. I thought they were maybe 12 wks max, but I took them to the vet and they have their adult teeth and she said they were 5 months old. They only weight 3 lbs. You can feel every bone on their body. My daughter has taken the longhaired one, and I'm keeping the other one. I want to put her back into the barn, but I'm concerned about her size. So I have several questions. Even tho they were living there for a few days, Is she too small to put back out there with my other 4? also, I want to have her spayed. Is she too small? I know she is getting to that age. I just had a feral male neutered last month, so he should be safe, but I have seen 2 other males around here for the free food. I have 4 dogs in the house, and she doesn't like them at all, nor do the dogs like her. Any suggestions?

Mary
post #2 of 9
The only thing I can say, from my current experience, is that if they are outdoors and in heat, then she's probably pregnant. Our kitten got pregnant at 5 months and I didn't even know it could happen. I would try my hardest to keep her in. Even if that means shutting her in the bathroom till she can be spayed. It will be so much less stressful than what I'm going through right now.

I was told that lots of places spay early, but I think 6 months is the earliest that I found. Call around and see if you can find one that will do it, especially if they say that she's that old already. Vets will do something called a spay/abort. It's totally up to you if she's already pregnant and you want to keep them, but it's an option. It's great that you're taking the time to care for the barn cats. They're lucky they're in your barn. Best of luck.
post #3 of 9
Its not really true that if a cat is outdoors, it automatically gets pregnant! We have outdoor cats and they only got pregnant when they went into heat at 7 months. Its very rare for cats to get pregnant any younger than that. I would put the kitty back out in the barn and try to fatten her up! When she's bigger and stronger I'd spay her. She not not develop or grow normally if she's altered so young and so small. We've had experience that proves the younger a cat is altered is the smaller it will usually be full grown. I'd wait.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat-tastrophe View Post
they only got pregnant when they went into heat at 7 months. Its very rare for cats to get pregnant any younger than that.
Really? I do not believe it's rare for cats to go into heat earlier than 7 months. Interesting that you've had that experience, but I've had several cats go into heat at 4-5 months, and they certainly would have gotten pregnant if they had been exposed to a tom. One was so small when she went into heat at 4 months I'm sure pregnancy would have killed her. If the tomcat didn't kill her first (as has happened to several of my aunt's farm cats). My experience with females spayed young is that they become larger than those who get pregnant at a young age (seems to stunt them somewhat), so I guess we have differing experiences with that, too.

OP---can you keep her inside until she's larger and healthier? At least until she's beefed up enough to be spayed? Otherwise she's sure to get pregnant, and in her condition I don't know if she'd make it. She may already be pregnant, and then you'll really have to talk to the vet about possible problems. If she's healthy, she can be spayed at 3 pounds. Most vets are comfortable with spaying any cat over 2 pounds, but if yours is old-school he might not like the idea.
post #5 of 9
My little Coral got pregnant at 5-6 months old. We're not exactly sure. The vet asked me, "Has she been outside?". I said yes and they told me that more likley than not, she's pregnant...and she is. Very sad. Keep her in as long as possible, if you have the means. It sounds like you're well educated on cats, so I'm sure you know what will be best for her.
post #6 of 9
Yes -they can get pregnant at that age. No - they don't officially have to be in heat to get preggers altho' with kits that young it may be they have to have their "first" heat. Not sure. But cats are induced ovulators. If a male mates with her... when he withdraws.. that stimulates egg production. So IMHO it's only a matter of time. If there is someplace safe you can keep them..... get them a little healthier... then get them fixed.

Spaying them that young does not stunt them physically. I work with rescue and we routinely spay younger females .... At least two pounds in weight. Tho' not all vets will do it. And we have had those females, unfortunately, grow up in rescue so I see how they develop and it's normal.

ETA: the only "stunting" I have heard about is fixing a male cat before puberty kicks in keeps him from developing tom cat physical characteristics -- large head, cheeks and jowls. Other than that ...........
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your excellent advice. I'm keeping her in the house where she is now until she is spayed. She has the complete back room set up for her. She has a climbing cat house and gobs of toys. She has used the litter box for the beginning which is great for the carpet. As long as the vet will spay her at 3 lbs then I'll get her spayed hopefully next week. The vet that does it, does it for a feral group, so I know she should do it for me then. I didn't know they would spay at 2 lbs tho. I'm working at getting Smoke some weight one her. She has kitten food 24/7 both pate and dry, plus, of course, clean water. I keep the tv on during the day so she gets used to sound, and of course, I play with her about 15 minutes at a time about 7-10 times a day. I just don't want her to forget about living outside. She seems to dislike anyone but me. If poor hubby comes into the room she runs and hides. I just want her to be safe and happy here.

Mary
post #8 of 9
Great that she's inside and you're taking such wonderful care of her! Good kitty mommy.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat-tastrophe View Post
Its not really true that if a cat is outdoors, it automatically gets pregnant! We have outdoor cats and they only got pregnant when they went into heat at 7 months. Its very rare for cats to get pregnant any younger than that. I would put the kitty back out in the barn and try to fatten her up! When she's bigger and stronger I'd spay her. She not not develop or grow normally if she's altered so young and so small. We've had experience that proves the younger a cat is altered is the smaller it will usually be full grown. I'd wait.
I have to disagree with this statement. This forum is full of threads for cats that are pregnant younger than 7 months.
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