or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care › Kittens won't stop nursing
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Kittens won't stop nursing

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My cat had 5 kittens 8 1/2 weeks ago. We have given 2 of the kittens away already and will probably keep the other 3. My problem is I can't get them to stop nursing. I've been keeping them separated as much as possible but mom starts nursing every chance she gets. I feel awful doing it, but we really need to get mom spayed and we have to wait until her milk dries up. Mom keeps trying to get out of the house every time she can and I really don't want her pregnant again. The only way we can keep her inside is by keeping her confined to one small room which she hates but with our 3 little kids and 2 dogs, it's very easy for her to slip out. The kittens all are eating solid food and eating very well so that is not an issue and they've been eating for several weeks now along with nursing. Is our only option to keep them separated? If I give them kitten milk in a bowl, will that help curb the urges? I kind of thought most cats wean their kittens by 8 weeks but apparently I was wrong! She prefers to be outside with our other cat, but I can't let her out until she's spayed. Any tips or suggestions??
post #2 of 13
Have you explained the situation to your vet? Cats are often spayed during nursing to stop them becoming pregnant again, and often they go back to nursing after the op. 8 weeks is quite a long time to be nursing but as long as mom is ok and the kittens are taking other food too as she will not have enough milk to feed them without them having solid food by now, I would think all is oK. They often nurse for reassurance as much as nourishment if they are left with mom. And 8 weeks is a bit early to leave her anyway - most experts recommend 10 or even 12 weeks.
post #3 of 13
Not sure where you're getting your information from - but, who told you that her milk had to dry up first?

I'm for long-term nursing.

Our feral-born kittens nursed until they were almost 4 months old - Mommy was spayed when they were about 2 months old.

So, get her spayed and let the babies nurse.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson View Post
And 8 weeks is a bit early to leave her anyway - most experts recommend 10 or even 12 weeks.
Breeders have the recommendations 12-16 weeks which is what cats do in wild. All but one of my cats have been nursing until I've gotten them, the one who wasn't was weaned by the mom when the kittens were 13 weeks old. (And in this country it would be a case of animal cruelty to give away the kittens before they're atleast 8 weeks old).

You can get the mom spayed already.
post #5 of 13
At the spay/neuter clinic we used for Ginger and her babies, they required her milk be dried up before spaying. Her last kitten was adopted at 10 weeks, and we waited 2 weeks to spay.

Leslie
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. Both the spay and neuter clinic as well as our regular vet told us we had to wait until her milk dried up. Neither will spay her until then. I also called around to a few other vets in our area after reading the posts and none of them will spay her while she's nursing either. So I guess we'll just wait and see how it goes!
post #7 of 13
Same info from three vets here in clarksville TN -- they all want the mom to be dry before spaying.

I think it is in large part to make sure you're not spaying a mom with kittens too young to be weaned, but also because of a risk of infection in the mammary glands, as well as a mess issue. I know that if you get a cat spayed during heat, you can be charged more for the extra mess associated with it (and yes, it has happened to me)

I would certainly ask the vet WHY they are saying she has to be dried up first. And if it is just to make sure the babies are old enough, I would offer to bring a kitten as proof for the vet when I brought mom to get snipped.

Fingers crossed that you get her spayed before she gets outside. I know how much of a hassle it can be.
post #8 of 13
Waiting for the milk to dry up? That's insane!

Our Clinic here does Free spay and neuter. They sure took my feral born nursing mother without question!

I Googled and found some information - the last quote from www.sacanimal.org does say the surgery is "slightly more difficult" with a nursing queen.

At any rate, the longer you wait, the more chance you have of her getting pregnant again.

Like I said, our vets in this area will spay a nursing queen. Maybe they're a little more capable of this "slightly more difficult" surgery. Ha, just kidding.

http://www.feralcatproject.org/faq.aspx

Quote:
Is it safe to spay a lactating (nursing) cat?

Yes. The surgery will not affect her milk production. Nursing moms should be released back to their environment the day following surgery.
http://www.sacanimal.org/cat_reproduction_FAQ.pdf

Quote:
Can cats be spayed if they are nursing kittens?

Yes. A cat who is spayed while she is nursing will continue to produce adequate milk for her kittens. Some veterinarians prefer to wait until a cat has weaned her kittens before doing the surgery because the mammary gland (breast) development present during nursing can make the surgery slightly more difficult.

If the cat can be kept indoors away from any possible exposure to intact male cats, it is okay to wait until the kittens are weaned before spaying the mother (in fact, the whole family could be spayed or neutered at this time). If the cat cannot be kept away from intact male cats while nursing, she should be spayed as soon as possible. Return her to her kittens as quickly as possible after surgery.

If the nursing cat is feral and must be trapped, it is recommended that you also catch the kittens (if possible), or wait until the kittens are at least six weeks old, to avoid leaving young kittens without their mother for too long.
post #9 of 13

Easier said than doen when momma keeps trying to sneak out of the house and MEOWSS their mouths off at 3 am until 530 every morning for the last three weeks now, Im hoping the kittens will get all they need until the last week of december because Jan 5th week she will be going to the vet. She needs to be fixed soon to prevent her yelling all night and getting out and brining back more babies. 

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernGlow View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson View Post
And 8 weeks is a bit early to leave her anyway - most experts recommend 10 or even 12 weeks.
Breeders have the recommendations 12-16 weeks which is what cats do in wild. All but one of my cats have been nursing until I've gotten them, the one who wasn't was weaned by the mom when the kittens were 13 weeks old. (And in this country it would be a case of animal cruelty to give away the kittens before they're atleast 8 weeks old).

You can get the mom spayed already.

here they give them away as young as 5-6 weeks and I have seen them online as little as 4 weeks. Im keeping all 3 of ours. 

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloriaJH View Post

Waiting for the milk to dry up? That's insane!

Our Clinic here does Free spay and neuter. They sure took my feral born nursing mother without question!

I Googled and found some information - the last quote from www.sacanimal.org does say the surgery is "slightly more difficult" with a nursing queen.

At any rate, the longer you wait, the more chance you have of her getting pregnant again.

Like I said, our vets in this area will spay a nursing queen. Maybe they're a little more capable of this "slightly more difficult" surgery. Ha, just kidding.

http://www.feralcatproject.org/faq.aspx
 
Quote:
Is it safe to spay a lactating (nursing) cat?

Yes. The surgery will not affect her milk production. Nursing moms should be released back to their environment the day following surgery.
http://www.sacanimal.org/cat_reproduction_FAQ.pdf
 
Quote:
Can cats be spayed if they are nursing kittens?

Yes. A cat who is spayed while she is nursing will continue to produce adequate milk for her kittens. Some veterinarians prefer to wait until a cat has weaned her kittens before doing the surgery because the mammary gland (breast) development present during nursing can make the surgery slightly more difficult.

If the cat can be kept indoors away from any possible exposure to intact male cats, it is okay to wait until the kittens are weaned before spaying the mother (in fact, the whole family could be spayed or neutered at this time). If the cat cannot be kept away from intact male cats while nursing, she should be spayed as soon as possible. Return her to her kittens as quickly as possible after surgery.

If the nursing cat is feral and must be trapped, it is recommended that you also catch the kittens (if possible), or wait until the kittens are at least six weeks old, to avoid leaving young kittens without their mother for too long.

you shouldnt put her back with the kittens and its advised not to here due to the risk of playful kittens hurting the incision. 

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky41102 View Post

My cat had 5 kittens 8 1/2 weeks ago. We have given 2 of the kittens away already and will probably keep the other 3. My problem is I can't get them to stop nursing. I've been keeping them separated as much as possible but mom starts nursing every chance she gets. I feel awful doing it, but we really need to get mom spayed and we have to wait until her milk dries up. Mom keeps trying to get out of the house every time she can and I really don't want her pregnant again. The only way we can keep her inside is by keeping her confined to one small room which she hates but with our 3 little kids and 2 dogs, it's very easy for her to slip out. The kittens all are eating solid food and eating very well so that is not an issue and they've been eating for several weeks now along with nursing. Is our only option to keep them separated? If I give them kitten milk in a bowl, will that help curb the urges? I kind of thought most cats wean their kittens by 8 weeks but apparently I was wrong! She prefers to be outside with our other cat, but I can't let her out until she's spayed. Any tips or suggestions??

some ppl posted to keep her in and let her nurse until she is done but when the mom yells and meows all night to get out its a tough thing. My cat has 3 6 week old kittens and she will be going to the vet the first week of jan which will put them a few weeks older and ill seperate them for the two weeks. No vets from here will take a lactating momma to be fixed. It has to be two weeks with no suckling . Id rather prevent her getting pregnant again then listen to her yelling all night.

post #13 of 13

 TanyaAnne ,

If  your local vets want her to have stopped nursing for 2 weeks before she is spayed,   and the cat is already  having  strong heats,   you are doing the right thing.   Clearly you are trying to balance the needs of the kittens, the mother cat and the humans who are going nuts with her calling .  and I think you have come up with the best plan you can in the circumstances. 

 

It should be fine to separate them from mom  at  9 weeks so that she can have her milk dry up so you can get her spayed the week of Jan 5th .    By that age they will probably be getting the great majority of their nutrition from kitten food ,  and  if they are still nursing it will be mostly psychological comfort.    There's a good chance their mother will  be refusing to let them nurse some of the time already before that.   

 but to help that along,  so that they learn to deal with that gradually instead of all at once,    you could start keeping them separate for a few l hours a day starting about a week from now.  then just increase that time gradually until you do separate them.   That way it's not cold turkey for the kittens... and it might help her milk to start to dry up gradually if it's not already.  so that makes it less  uncomfortable for her.

 

It IS true that they get other benefits from being with their mom even a few more weeks after 9 weeks old.   but they will have already learned quite a lot.  and they also do learn from their littermates at that age things like inhibiting their bite and keeping claws sheathed when playing. ( That is a big problem often seen in kittens given away too young.  they often have problems with playing too rough with people too , because they did not get enough time to learn from their cat family.   normally their mom would discipline them and their littermates would scream  if they bite hard and would then not want to keep playing.  Humans can imitate the behaviors,  but it works best if they get those intitial lessons from their cat family from about 4 wks to 10- 12wks ) . 

 

  I know there are people giving kittens away at 5 or 6 wks but it is not the best thing for the kittens.   It's better for their physical, mental and social development if they get more time with their mom & littermates.    plus it is less risky if they have had at LEAST the first set of shots before they go through the stress of changing homes.   and at 5 or 6 weeks they are too young to make a good response to the vaccine.   Even at 8 weeks ,  when the first shots are often given,   it's not a full immune response because the maternal antibodies are likely still getting in the way of their own immune system.   That's why the basic kitten shots are repeated in a few weeks or a month.   because it's not known just when the antibodies they got from their mom will wear off.

 

 I personally wouldn't send kittens to new homes under 12 weeks but I can understand in some circumstances doing it earlier.   but they really should not be separated under 8 weeks.   Which I know you are not doing.   I'm just saying that for whoever may read this.  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care › Kittens won't stop nursing