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New, need help please

post #1 of 206
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone.
I'm Megan, and I live in a very small town in Alberta Canada. I have a female diluted tortie that is on her 70'th day of pregnancy. She has been having contractions since yesterday afternoon, but she is not panting, breathing heavy, nesting, nothing. She just sleeps right through the contractions. They're good and strong too, since I can feel the outline of each kitten during them. Right now, they are about 3-5 minutes apart, she hasn't lost her plug yet. The kittens are VERY active in between contractions. Her temp has also been down between 99.4 - 99.6 since yesterday afternoon. I just don't know what to make of this. I had a cat about 3 years ago who had a litter, but I wasn't watching her as closely, since she wasn't overdue. I didn't even notice she was in labor until she lost her plug. After that, things progressed very quickly. This is Cleo's first (and last) litter. She isn't a purebred or anything..just a plain old house cat. She doesn't go outside. I was cat-sitting my friend's male, who was supposedly neutered when Cleo got pregnant. She is just over a year old now, and I will be having her spayed as soon as this litter is weaned. So please, I didn't come here for a lecture on being an irresponsible pet owner. I just really need some advice on Cleo's "labor", or if I can even call it labor? I have no idea. The vet in town here is closed, and he has gone away for the long weekend. If anyone can help, please respond ASAP...I am going absolutely nuts here. Thanks in advance! I will post any updates on her progress..
post #2 of 206
Hmmmm How certain are you of the date? If it really is the 70th day, then I would take her to the vet, just to be on the safe side.

BTW... Welcome to the site!
post #3 of 206
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcome Ken. I am very certain of the date. And I can't take her to the vet, he is out of town unti Tuesday morning. That's my main issue right now. I live 3 1/2 hours from the city and I don't have a vehicle. So, I'm kind-of stuck here with a very pregnant cat who's labor isn't doing a whole lot. I am getting VERY anxious here..
post #4 of 206
Hey Megan....glad to read that you plan on having your cat fixed once the litter is weaned. It may also be a good idea to talk to your friend about having her male fixed as well. Welcome to the site.

There is a post about taking care of a pregnant cat in another forum..you may want to read it:


post #5 of 206
Megan...is there vet that will make house visits..I just read that you should take a cat to the vet if the labor has lasted more than 65 days. I wish you luck.

post #6 of 206
In that case, It seems you have only 2 choices.

Wait and see....

Usually it's been my experience that if the contractions that are forceful enough, she wont be able to sleep through them. So it's possible they aren't as strong as they appear to you. She could just be moving them in place.
Since there isn't anything you can do, you'll just have to hope that they will be delivered sometime soon.

The other choice is that you find someone with a car and drive the 3.5 hours.

Let me put it this way, if it were my cat at the 70th day, progressing the same way, I would get her to a vet.

Failing that, is there an emergency vet that you could call and see what they think?
post #7 of 206
Thread Starter 
Well in that case, I guess I'll just have to pick the wait and see option. I don't have money to give anyone for gas, even if I could find someone that would take us all the way to the city.

I did phone the emergency clinic in Calgary, and they said that as long as she doesn't seem to be in distress, and there is no foul smelling discharge, and he's not straining without results that what she's doing sounds to be "normal" for a first litter. They said the first stage of labor can last up to 36 hours when it's a first litter.

I guess what I was hoping to gain by posting here is some idea on when she should go into hard labor and actually start working. The contractions are like clockwork, every 4 minutes now. I managed to time 8 of them before she got up and left, and they were all exactly 4 minutes apart. I'm really hoping she delivers tonight.

As for my friend's male cat, he is now neutered. The person she got him from told her he already was. So, it was a surprise for us both.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

I'll keep you all updated.
post #8 of 206
Hey Megan...definately keep us informed on her progress. I hope it all goes smoothly.

post #9 of 206
Thread Starter 
Well...I'm now started to really freak out. She's still not acting like a cat in labor. I spent almost 45 minutes on the phone with a vet that is an hour away, and she told me to do a vaginal exam on Cleo to see if she's even dialating. She's not. There was no mucous or blood, besides what I used to lube the glove. The vet said that if there wasn't anything when I did the exam that there is a chance one of the kittens may be sideways, preventing her from going into hard labor. I just don't know what to do. She told me that even if I was able to find a ride there, the vet visit with x-rays would be over $200 since it is a long weekend, and it would be after hours. There's no way I could pay for that right now. So, I'm stuck, and I am literally going crazy. I don't know. Sorry...I guess I'm kinda venting. Have a good night.
post #10 of 206
Megan, how's it all going?
post #11 of 206
Thread Starter 
It's not going. Same as it has been since yesterday afternoon. Cleo's laying in my bed sleeping, and I"m going to join her in a minute. Hopefully something will happen tomorrow....There's not much else I can do other than wait and hope for the best. The after hours exam and xray would be $275, and I would have to pay it within two months. And on my budget, that just isn't going to happen. So I just have to hope and pray that mother nature takes care of her and everything turns out well. Thanks.
post #12 of 206
It seems that if she's not fully dilated, isn't exhibiting 'nesting' behaviour and isn't in distress or pain, there's not a lot you can do because of the situation you're in. The stage of labour right before delivery can last up to 36 hours so you'll have to just wait and see at the moment. Because she is overdue, the kittens may be very large, making it difficult for her to deliver them. Some resources say that as many as 69 days of gestation is normal, though on the very high end of normal. Please check on her every couple of hours. I know you're probably tired but it's important to keep an eye on her.

I'm going to post this link again. Please click here and read the posts and follow the links about labour and delivery. Also, from www.nhahonline.com:


Clean bedding materials and a birthing box.
Blunt scissors that have been disinfected with rubbing alcohol. Use only if the queen doesn’t rupture an amniotic sac within a minute or two after birth and you can’t rupture it with a gloved finger. Be careful not to cut the kitten!
Dental floss or sturdy thread to tie off an umbilical cord if the mother doesn’t do it within a few minutes of birth. Tie a loop about an inch from the kitten. Snip the cord about a half-inch below the loop so the loop remains on the portion of the chord still attached to the kitten.
An antiseptic, such as Nolvasan or two percent iodine to disinfect any floss or thread you might use and to dip the chord remnant in immediately after it’s been tied and cut.
Clean towels to rub down a kitten if it’s not breathing or seems very weak and to wrap the kitten.
A baby’s nose-suction bulb to suck the mucus out of the nose and mouth of a kitten that’s not breathing. Also, keep the kitten warm in a towel and gently but vigorously massage its chest and back. “Rubbing the fur the wrong way†will help stimulate a slow starting kitten.

Megan, good luck with her and please keep us posted.
post #13 of 206
This sounds very serious. Is there someone you can borrow the money from?
post #14 of 206
My thoughts and Prayers are with you a your Tortie baby........Hopefully it will all go well!
post #15 of 206
Thread Starter 
Well, it's not Monday morning, and nothing has happened yet. If this keeps up, I really hope her and the kittens stay ok until tomorrow morning when the vet here in town will be open again. I am keeping a very close eye on her, I got almost no sleep last night. Trust me, I am watching her very closely.
post #16 of 206
Megan, good luck with her.
post #17 of 206
Thread Starter 
I just called Jack (the vet) at his home number. He's still not back, but I'm really hoping he comes back sometime this afternoon. I left a message explaining the situation, and I really hope they will let me make payments for the cost of whatever it is she's going to need. I just hope it doesn't come down to a c-section...but by the way things are going, that's what she's going to need...I will let you all know what happens when he calls me back. And I'll also tell you what's going on with Cleo.

Oh, just an FYI, She was laying at the foot of my bed in my room, and I was sitting here in the living room, and I could see the kittens moving from here...it's a good 20 feet away, so atleast they're still strong.
post #18 of 206
That is a good sign!! Please dont forget to let us know how it goes!
post #19 of 206
Thread Starter 
Believe me, I won't forget..lol. I am still in panic mode, as I have been since yesterday morning. Now she is running around playing with my other cat...I really don't know WHAT to think?!
post #20 of 206
Just a thought. Stop watching her. This always happens when our mare is pregnant. We lose sleep waiting for the foal. Just when we can take it no longer and go to bed, the next morning, she has the foal.
post #21 of 206
Caspar, you're so right LOL.
post #22 of 206
Thread Starter 
Well, I think I've got some good news for a change. I noticed a slight change in Cleo this afternoon, so I called the vet in Stettler back again and she told me it is a very good thing. Cleo's vulva are pale white and a little bit "poofy" (for lack of a better word) There's also a VERY slight bit of blood tinged stuff in there when I gently opened her vulva to look for discharge. It's not running out or anything, but it's in there. So, I'm sooooooooo hoping she'll go into labor today, have a normaldelivery and her and all of the kittens be healthy. If not, she is going into the vet's office first thing tomorrow morning...BUT, I'm not in quite as much of a panicy state as I was. Hearing some good news from the vet really helped. Cleo is still having the uterine contractions, and is still sleeping through them. But now, when she gets one she kind-of 1/2 wakes up and stretches and then goes back to sleep when it's over. The contractions are also lasting alot longer now too. If I wasn't watching her so close, I wouldn't even know she was having them, so I'm almost starting to think that it is normal?? I don't know. Maybe like you said, she's just moving the kittens into place. Obviously, I am still very concerned, since she is over due. I am going to continue to keep an eye on her, and if anything changes you'll be the first ones to know.
post #23 of 206
Good news Megan, it sounds like the labour is finally moving along. Now would be the time to get the bits and pieces you need for the labour and also re-read the resources on cat birthing. It's great that you have phone contact with a vet too.
post #24 of 206
Thread Starter 
Well, I don't want to get anyone's hopes up, mostly my own..lol. Cleo is acting a bit different now. I was just sitting on the chair with her lying on her back on my lap, and she was just LOVING having her belly rubbed and scatched...maybe it's just itchy..who knows. But every contraction she had seemed to get stronger, and she's started squirming a bit and making a little squeaky noise when she has one. She hasn't slept for well over an hour now, and that's all she's been doing the past few days is sleeping, and eating. So everyone keep your fingers crossed for us to go into labor tonight, and have a safe delivery with a bunch of happy healthy little kittens! A few prayers wouldn't hurt either But that's up to you! lol. I am feeling sooo much better now, and am even starting to get excited again. although, I really shouldn't be getting excited as I don't wnt to be as disappointed as I have been the past couple nights...What do you all think? Is wanting her belly rubbed a sign of impending labor, or could she just have been itchy, as she hasn't been able to reach the bottom half of her body for a couple weeks now?
post #25 of 206
I know a few cats that wouldn't let their owners stop rubbing their tummies throughout the whole labour! LOL So it may be a sign. A better sign is the more intense and more painful contractions (hence her making a little meow when she's having one). It may be time to see if she'll go in her nesting box and get ready for the birth. I will be here all day if you need me (it's 7am here). Cleo may not know what to do once the 'hard' labour begins and she may be relying on you to know what to do.
post #26 of 206
Thread Starter 
YAY! Thanks! I feel sooo much better now! Although, she's passed out on the floor behind me right now again..lol. Is it possible that she just may be a "tough" cat who could sleep through the whole first stage of labor?My son and I are going to be eating supper here pretty quick, but after supper I will see how she's doing and try putting her in her box. She doesn't like me locking her in my room by herself, so I don't want to stress her out that way and stall labor even more. Once my son goes to bed, I will spend all night rubbing her belly if that's what it will take! I'm sure the contractions are getting stronger now, as I can SEE them, instead of just feel them. Like I said, I wouldn't have even known she was having these uterine cntractions since Saturday if I wasn't watching her so closely. Here's hopeing she does go into labor tonight, and saves a a few hundred dollar vet bill!
post #27 of 206
When you put her in the box, you may need to sit right there on the floor next to her or she may just get up to seek your company. Make yourself comfortable LOL You can put the TV on low or just read a book, some quiet activity.
post #28 of 206
Thread Starter 
Well, I will have to opt for the book reading..lol. Her box is in the corner on my bed, as I have no floor space in my room at all..(I gave my son the big room) After he goes to bed in 1.5 hours, I'll go sit with Cleo in there and see if she does anything. She's still sleeping now...So, I really don't want to get my hopes up again..
post #29 of 206
Megan, can you clear out the bottom of your closet and put the box in there? Although it seems that Cleo may want to be with you through the labour, the box needs to be in a secluded spot and the corner of your bed won't be safe once the kittens begin to move around.
post #30 of 206
Thread Starter 
Yes, I could do that.
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