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9 kittens

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,
I am new to this site and have a few questions. About 6 weeks ago my husband and I took in a stray cat that was left at a house that we moved into. At that time she had kittens (we could see that she was nursing), but we couldn't find where she was hiding them. The kittens passed away (she brought them up to our roof after they passed), and we brought her into our house to be an inside cat. We took her in to the vet for a checkup, and he told us to wait a month before spaying her. The month was up last week, but by that time she was hugely pregnant. Rocky had her kittens today. She had 9 kittens! All are alive and eating, and she has been a really good mom so far.
First question: Can she feed 9 kittens all by herself? She seems to be doing a good job so far, all of the kittens seem well nursed and have round bellies. Should I jump in and start bottle feeding some of them anyway?
Second question: What could have caused her last kittens to die? We think they were about 3 weeks old when they died, (according to the previous owners of the house). Rocky has been wormed, tested for infectious diseases and well fed since we brought her in. Does this increase the kittens chances of living to 8 weeks?
I know these are all questions for my vet, but she won't be in until tomorrow morning.
Thanks for the help,
Susan and Rocky
post #2 of 18
wow 9 kittens! that is a whole lot of kittens. I don't think i have ever heard of a lcat having a litter that big. Poor baby i would take her and kittens to the vet to make sure they are all okay. You may need to help her with the feedings since there are so many of them. I'm sure other people on here will have some good advice for you. Luckly I have never had to help nurse kittens.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
We are now up to 10! The first 9 were born pretty quickly, but it took a few hours for the 10th (and hopefully last!) to come. All of the kittens still have full tummies. Rocky has been nursing non-stop since the first kitten was born. I keep checking on them and rotating the kittens to make sure all of them are getting nursed. Is this some kind of record? Everyone I talked to (including the vet), seemed to think there would only be 3 or 4.
post #4 of 18
Wow! That is a HUGE litter! Make sure the mom is getting plenty of nutrition; kitten food is best for her, as it is high in calories. I would definitely bring the family to the vet for a check up and to get the kittens weighed.
post #5 of 18
do you have any pics you can share with use?
post #6 of 18
If it were me I would supplement the babies, if only to take the strain off of mom. They will be nursing and on her regardless, but if you can make them full with KMR that would help as well. If it was a smaller litter, I would not even suggest this.

But if you don't want to supplement them, at least give the mom up to 5 small nutritous meals a day. Give her good quality kitten chow and even make up some kitten glop for her, she is going to need all the nutrients and strength she has.

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1 12 oz can goat's milk
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
3 teaspoons clear karo syrup
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg (optional)

Boil water, mix in gelatin. Add other ingredients and mix with beater or blender. Serve warm or chilled.

They prefer it warm. Congrats on a big healthy litter!
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have started Rocky on 5 meals a day. She is getting Felidae dry with Iams canned kitten mixed in. She also always has dry Felidae out for her. I will definitly start her on the glop too.
I did buy KMR before she had the kittens so I would have it on hand in case her milk didn't come in. I will start to supplament the kittens. How many times a day should I be doing this? And should I concentrate on the smaller kittens (there are two that are only slightly smaller)? I just realized that tomorrow is Saturday and I may not be able to reach my vet until Monday. I do have a good ER in case we need it though.
Thanks for the help. I have always spayed or neutered my cats so I have never had kittens before. I'm sure I will have a lot of questions over the next few weeks. I will try to get pictures up in the next day or two. Rocky is still pretty feral so I will have to wait to take the pictures until it is light out again (the flash freaks her out).
Susan and Rocky
post #8 of 18
Well if you begin to supplement you have to keep it up and they have to eat every two hours around the clock. Because mom is feral, you stand a good chance of getting bit or clawed the first time you reach for a kitten. Feral moms are quick to strike, and because cats have periphreal vision, they don't have to be looking directly at you to nail you. Trust me, I know this well!

If you can, I would take the entire family to the vet for a check-up especially in light of the first litter dying. Kittens are so very fragile and they can fade awfully fast. I always feel better letting a vet see the feral family and rule out serious problems.
post #9 of 18
Congrats on the huge new family!

I'm having to supplement-feed too, and that means feeding them every two hours, so I wish you good luck!!

Just one question, the previous owners of the house, was Rocky their cat? Did they just leave her when they knew she had kittens? You said they told you the kittens were about 3 weeks old. If they did then...ugh.

But big kisses to you for taking her in (and you 10 extras inadvertantly!!)
post #10 of 18
wow what a litter well hope all the sweet little new kittens
make and mom boy pretty soon there be mob of kittens playing
with mom cat good luck and what color are they
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the advice. The kittens are all still doing really well. I tried to handle the kittens to hand feed them, but Rocky started to flip out (got really stiff and started hissing). She has done a great job so far keeping all of the kittens fed. Rocky and I are compromising now, she won't let me handle the kittens, but I can hold up her food dish to her so that she can eat while still nursing the kittens. I have been feeding her every other hour, so I know she is getting a lot of food into her system.
I am pretty sure Rocky is 100% feral. The previous owners of the house were leaving food out for her and the other feral cats in the area. We live in a semi-rural area, and there are a lot of feral cats around. We own a dog training business, and Rocky is the only cat that kept coming into our yard after we moved the dogs in (they are all really great with cats). They did manage to tame Rocky a bit while they were here. I just wish they would have spayed her.
Regarding taking Rocky to the vet, that is going to take some doing. I still have several scars from taking her the last time. She is sweet, but when you cross her she is all teeth. Someone told me about a local vet today that comes to the house (since I moved my regular vet is and hour and a half away). I will see if I can get them out Monday.
We ended up with 6 orange tabby kittens, and 4 dark grey tabby kittens. The two smaller ones caught up, and all of the kittens are now the same size.
post #12 of 18
Woah, goodness!!! 10 babies? I didn't even think that was possible.

I'm glad they're all doing well. Sounds like you're going to have your hands full when they start moving around. And I love both orange and grey tabbies - they are just too cute! :

If you can, please post pictures for us.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
kittens at 5 days old
post #14 of 18
That's so many....
Well it'll be more fun for the kitties i guess...
post #15 of 18
Now THAT is one big pile of kittens!!!

post #16 of 18
OMG that is ALOT of kittens!! Wow!
post #17 of 18
And here I thought 8 cats were a lot..:P

~ Salem
post #18 of 18
WOW !! 10 kittens is amazing. Can't wait to hear more about them.
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