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spayed cat fostering question

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Can a spayed cat produce milk? I have heard yes and no.
Pepper wants to be a mommy so badly, I think she would make a great foster mommy. If it were possible for a spayed cat to do it, I think she would. I know she will adopt a kitten, she adopted Scooter the minute he came in the house, screaming and pounding at the bathroom door like I was depriving her of her own baby. He was weaned and on solid food, but she cared for him and taught him things a mother would teach her kittens.
The situation has not arisen, thankfully, but I was wondering, with it being kitten season, and everyone I know comes to me with kitten questions and help with finding homes.
post #2 of 7
I don't have a yes or no answer for you...but I would really think there would be no real way to predict if it WOULD occur.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I think you are probably right. It would be impossible to say for sure, I just wonder if anyone had ever heard of it happening. I know there have been instances of human mothers lactating after adopting babies, but did not know if anyone had ever heard of an animal that had never given birth doing it.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Bump! Anyone?
post #5 of 7
I don't know if Pepper could actually lactate, but she might allow a kitten to use her as a sort of pacifier (you'd have to feed the little guy, of course), and, like you mentioned, would probably teach him all kinds of cat secrets.
post #6 of 7
Did anybody come up with an answer to KrazyKat2? My lovely middle-aged boy, Snooky, left us last week (thanks to a maniac driver!) and my 8-month old spayed girl, Kitty-Kat, seemed somewhat lost without him (she wasn't the only one!). I was lucky enough to find a wonderful little boy (already spayed by my vet) who needed a home, so home he came! Surprisingly, KK has adopted him and is doing all the mothering bits and won't leave him for more than 5 minutes. Now all this is very nice and soothing after the upheaval with Snooks, but I have now noticed little Tommi suckling and KK is quite content with this. So, firstly, how can I tell if KK is actually lactating (and therefore needs a change in her diet) and, secondly, can this be harmful to her if she isn't actually lactating? I guess I also need to know if this is likely to continue and, if so, how long does it go on for? Tommi is 8 weeks old. Any help would be appreciated!
post #7 of 7
I doubt a cat who has never been a mother would produce milk. I do not think KK allowing Tommi to nurse will harm either, but do not expect him to get nourishment from it. My cat Garfield nurses on a toy horse every night, just for comfort. My guess is that Tommi is doing the same thing.

It is nice to have a cat who with "mother" a kitten. I'm sure Pepper would be very helpful with abandoned kittens, to clean them and stimulate their bowels. We had a foster cat at my agency named Wanda who cleaned up a couple of abandoned kittens. They just sparkled after she got done with them. But then she tired of them after a few days, and quit caring for them, so they were taken away from her. (I guess she preferred babying her toys, they were a lot less work! )

When I was a new Mom, I read the LaLeche League info saying adoptive Moms should breastfeed. But my understanding was that if they could produce milk, it would be extremely limited, and they would have to supplement with formula. So I would not consider a kitten suckling from a non-lactating queen to be getting fed. If the female was nursing her own litter, or had done so recently, it might be different.
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