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EXTREMELY unattentive feral mom

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello all.
I've lost my cat recently to birth complications (thanks to all who helped me deal with raising her orphans).
Any way here's the new story: Four days ago, a pregnant feral showed up at my door and I KID YOU NOT, after 10 minutes of noticing her and petting her she was delivering in a mini-barn my husband built in our backyard!!!
She gave birth to 8 kittens but 3 died overnight, I have found out the last couple of days why: she leaves them alone and hardly ever feeds them. I took her to the vet (which is quite expensive here) to have checked for mastitis but she's okay (the vet however prescribed an antibacterial because her stool was too soft and she is considering de-worming her).
It makes me desperate though that she just WON'T cuddle with them and she feeds them (and eats something herself) only when I'm around to force her to do so.
I work and I can only go through this stressful proccess twice a day but my neighbour tells me they keep crying for her and she won't come.
Shelters do not exist where I live, a small town in South America, they don't even have a proper kindergarden for children so you go figure...
Please please help me if you've had a similar experience and what did you do to make the cat pay attention and care to her kittens.
I can't handfeed 5 kittens all over again, I have dengue this time around and shouldn't really be near any animals at all but I am willing to stick around the cat as long as I can if you give me any tips on how to make her realise she HAS to feed her babies. They cry so much and I am afraid they will die
Help please?
post #2 of 7
There could be a bigger reason why she isn't caring for them. If three passed in the night it could be not just because she isn't caring for them but because they were born sick and momma realizes there is basically no point in her wasting her energy to care for babies that will die regardless. I don't think its a normal occurence for a feral mom to just abandon babies--I think its an innate thing to care for your babies regardless--like I said though, unless something is wrong they can't fix.

Leslie
post #3 of 7
I had that happen with a feral litter one time. On the day I convinced myself to intervene and supplement feed them, the mom disappeared while I was at the vet buying formula and bottles. Whether she was sick or was taken by a predator I will never know.

You might try supplemental feedings with the mom around. It is not as taxing as taking on an orphaned litter entirely. My bet is that she is a new mom and doesn't really know how to take care of her kittens.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
There could be a bigger reason why she isn't caring for them. If three passed in the night it could be not just because she isn't caring for them but because they were born sick and momma realizes there is basically no point in her wasting her energy to care for babies that will die regardless. I don't think its a normal occurence for a feral mom to just abandon babies--I think its an innate thing to care for your babies regardless--like I said though, unless something is wrong they can't fix.

Leslie
So you think they will all die? But they all look okay, just hungry
Wjat if I put her in a kennel with them for a few hours a day so she can't leave them?
Like I said her nipples are okay.
I am so sad that these kittens keep suffering so much around this place.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittykattiva View Post
So you think they will all die? But they all look okay, just hungry
Wjat if I put her in a kennel with them for a few hours a day so she can't leave them?
I would put her in a kennel with a litter box, kitten food for her to eat and water. Put something comfortable for her to rest on. She should be okay like that for some time. This may help her to get accustomed to being a mom cat. I have seen cats that were inattentive mothers and we confine them to a small space. It has helped me in the past. Worth a try.
post #6 of 7
She doesn't sound like a feral cat to me, if you could pet her as soon as she showed up and she allowed you to take her to the vets. I would definitely try caging her and maybe increase her food, it could be that she doesn't feel she can feed them all and is cutting the numbers down for survival, 8 is a very big litter and even though there are only 5, they will still take a lot out of her.
post #7 of 7
We once had a barn cat that didn't take to being a mama cat right away. It turned out that she needed a proper nest for them and some privacy and then she settled in. I would try putting her and them in a cat carrier so that whenever she sits down to rest they'll be nearby and able to eat. The other option I can think of, since you don't want to bottle feed, is to find another mama cat with a litter about the same age and have her foster the kittens.

8 is a REALLY big litter (the first cat I remember having, my parents called a factory because she wouldn't stop breeding, yes I know now we should have gotten her fixed but I was 4, and I think her record was 7) so it's possible she was just completely worn out and out of it after that.
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