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MAYDAY!! Pregnant stray/feral dilemma!!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hissy, gayef, I need your advise on this one.

Hissy you may remember my Romeo from last summer. He is happily rehomed w/my best friend now. Well his little girlfriend, whom I call Juliet, of course, is still hangin in there. I've been feeding her tryin to get her in for a TNR (never have looked into Hav-a-hart traps ) She was making great strides back in Nov and would even come inside my back door for meals, until I tried to close the door one time in an effort to confine her and accidentally caught her midsection not hard enough to hurt her but scared the bejeezus out of her and I didnt see her for days.

Well, now she is very obviously preggers again (she lost a litter back in Oct - preg one day, skinny two days later and never saw any littl'ns) and this morning she came in the back door for breakfast!!! She was very interested in touching noses w/my kitties(yes, I know, not the wisest ), purred the whole time she was eating and let me get close enough to almost touch her. (seems to indicate stress to me) Her rear looks like it may have had discharge, so I think she might be close to delivery.

My dilemma is this: I will be moving in about six weeks, so i know I can't possibly take her in and raise the litter. I REALLY wanted to get her rehomed before I leave the area, but now this makes it so much more complicated. Do you think it wise of me to make some calls to the local no-kill and/or humane society to try and place her, and make her a nest or confine her if possible when she comes around again???? She may deliver any time now, so if I decide to do something I need to do it soon, before she makes her nest elsewhere.
post #2 of 18
If it is possible to catch her and confine her then yes, by all means do that. Perhaps someone within the local rescue/shelter network can take her and care for her until she has her babies.
post #3 of 18
You have a few options.

The most straightforward option is to trap her and have her spayed now. This will abort the kittens. but if there is no safe indoor place for them to be raised and you aren't able to guarantee that all the kittens will be sterilized prior to going to their new homes, it may be the best option. Given the magnitude of feline overpopulation, it's really only acceptable to let a cat have her kittens if you can give a 100% guarantee that the reproductive cycle stops with this generation. Also, given that she lost her last litter, it is even less wise to let her have another litter outdoors since you do not know why they died and have no way of knowing whether or not it is likely to happen again.

If she has discharge from her vulva, though, delivery is probably imminent. Get her inside immediately. Call your local shelter and ask to borrow/rent a trap. (If they require you to bring anyone you trap in to them, just say you weren't able to catch her when you bring the trap back - yes, it's a white lie, but you can't bring a feral cat to the city shelter or else she will be immediately killed.) If she is used to eating near you, you also might have luck getting her to go into a large carrier to eat and closing the door behind her, but this is riskier.

Once you have her, take her to a quiet, warm room (even a walk-in closet will do just fine) where you have prepared a secure place for her to have her kittens. A large cardboard box on its side and lined with lots of newspaper is ideal for this. If you turn the box so the opening is facing the wall, she will feel less vulnerable. Just leave 12 inches or so between the box and the wall so you can keep an eye on everyone and she can get in and out easily.

Then start calling around to rescue groups to see who might have foster space available, or might be able to put you on a waiting list for a foster home. It's likely that nobody will have foster space available now, though since it is still early in the season you might get lucky. But if you are reasonable and don't expect them to drop everything for your cat, they are likely to be amenable to giving the next available foster space to your cat.

Then you just have to keep tabs on the situation to make sure the mother cat is spayed, vaccinated, eartipped, and returned to her outdoor home after her kittens are weaned.
post #4 of 18
You have been given good advice- she needs to be inside and safe. Put one of your cats in a carrier, the rest in a room. Put the carrier near the door, not to close and open the door and see if the pregnant one will come inside. You will have to position youself on the floor near the door so when she does walk in (if she does) and clears the doorway, you can push the door shut all the way without moving to much. Otherwise, once you move or get up she will freak and run outside- use food and your other cat in the carrier to entice her, or lay out a small sprinkling of catnip- Good luck-
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your support!!!!!! Of course this would happen on a day I HAVE to be at campus for an exam . I know i'm most likely working agains the clock to get her before she delivers, so I hope she's still mobile and hungry when I get home in a couple hours. Why o WHY didn't I just keep her inside this am???????

I will keep you all posted as news develops!!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, Juliet came inside again for dinner last night, and she's now safe in my bedroom. She's fine as long as I ignore her All my banging around getting dressed this morning was greeted with cool detachment.

I guess delivery isn't as imminent as I thought, she shows no signs of labor. She was kind enough to provide me with a fresh stool sample for the vet (gotta get some potting soil on that box!!) I am taking her in today for a full checkup and see what they recommend on the spay. More at 11. . .
post #7 of 18
Excellent! Looking forward to updates.

~gf~
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, MY vet can't get her in until Monday.
She has FOUL-smelling diarrhea, but her appetite is fine. So should I just keep an eye on her eliminations and just nurse her until monday, or should I make some calls and try to get her seen today????
post #9 of 18
Good work!

You might try deworming her. Even if that's not what's causing the diarrhea, she probably has internal parasites anyway so it will still help her. If you can get your hands on Strongid, it's perfectly safe to give to a pregnant cat. The dose is 1 cc per 10 lbs of body weight, so 1 cc would probably be about the right dose for her. Repeat the dose in 2 days and then 2 weeks after that.

Deworming can cause diarrhea to temporarily worsen, but if parasites are the problem then things should start to get better pretty quickly.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Is Strongid an OTC, or should I call the vet back and request a couple doses to give her now?
post #11 of 18
Please don't worm her without a vet doing a fecal first. Run the stool into the vet and ask them to test it. Then the vet will give you the proper medication for the cat- you will have to estimate her weight though. I doubt she will let you pick her up. The foul smelling stool could be anything, not just worms and if she is pregnant, you want to be safe with what you give her at this stage. It could even just be stress or what she recently ate-

Good job at getting her inside!
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Please don't worm her without a vet doing a fecal first. Run the stool into the vet and ask them to test it. Then the vet will give you the proper medication for the cat- you will have to estimate her weight though. I doubt she will let you pick her up. The foul smelling stool could be anything, not just worms and if she is pregnant, you want to be safe with what you give her at this stage. It could even just be stress or what she recently ate-

Good job at getting her inside!
As I mentioned above, Strongid is considered completely safe for pregnant cats and can be administered directly to kittens as young as 2 weeks old. Roundworms are pretty much universally prevalent in outdoor cats so even if the fecal comes back negative, it's still wise to treat. However, I don't know for sure about the safety of any medication other than Strongid with regard to pregnancy. Most likely other medications like Drontal are safe, but stuff that you would assume to be safe sometimes turns out not to be (e.g. antibiotic eye ointment can cause brain damage to the kittens if it's administered in the last two weeks of pregnancy - who would have guessed that one?) so I would definitely want to hear from a vet or read in a medical text that a drug is safe.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicaLynn
Is Strongid an OTC, or should I call the vet back and request a couple doses to give her now?
It's a prescription drug. I would recommend calling the vet to see if s/he would be okay with giving it to you. Or maybe they will let you drop off a fecal today even if they can't work in an appointment for you.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, the vet did say if I brought a sample by they would run it and prescribe something, but unfortunately I'd already thrown it away (it was REALLY foul )

On the upside, the potting soil worked, and she's using the litter box!!! I opened the window a bit to air out the stink and she's sitting on the sill watching my every move. If I approach her slowly, she will hiss half-heartedly when my hand gets within 6 in but if I continue she will let me get within 1 in. Then it's as if her face and my hand are magnetically opposed to one another - the closer I get the further she slinks, but she hasn't run away from me yet!! I just keep talking quietly to her and hope by Mon I'll be able to lay hands on her long enough to get her in the carrier Sweatshirts at the ready, and gardening gloves if necessary!!!!
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicaLynn
hope by Mon I'll be able to lay hands on her long enough to get her in the carrier Sweatshirts at the ready, and gardening gloves if necessary!!!!
I wouldn't grab her around the waist if she is putting up a fight about it, scruff her on the back of the neck so she can't turn around and bite you.
post #16 of 18
To get her in the carrier, just get her in a room where the inside of the carrier is the only place she has to hide. She should go right in.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegansoprano
To get her in the carrier, just get her in a room where the inside of the carrier is the only place she has to hide. She should go right in.
That was the plan, but the best laid plans of mice & men. . .
I"m thinking I can "herd" her into the powder room downstairs, and bribe her with canned food if necessary. It almost worked last time, and she's becoming accustomed to my presence, so here's hoping.

She is sleeping a lot and doesn't run very fast when she does flee, so I'm pretty sure she'll deliver within the week. I'll post pics shortly. Thanks to all for the advice!!!
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, I thought her diarrhea was getting better, but it appears it's getting worse, very very runny (but not as odiferous, thankfully ) She is at least trying to use the litterbox, but I think this last bout came on a little too quick for her. I'll stop by walmart for some pedialyte on my way home from church.

Could the worsening diarrhea have anything to do with labor??
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