TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care › Stray cat just had kittens -- need a bit of advice
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Stray cat just had kittens -- need a bit of advice

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
A few weeks ago our neighbours got evicted for not paying their bills. When they moved out they left three cats behind. We found a home for one of them, another hangs out at another neighbour's house and catches birds, and the third one we've been keeping an eye on. She was pregnant and gave birth this morning (I heard a cat howling at about 5am that was probably her).

Unfortunately she had her kittens at yet another neighbour's house, and we wanted to take care of them -- a co-worker said a friend of hers would take two kittens, and we plan on taking the others to the humane society or a local no-kill shelter. This evening I went over there and bundled up the four kittens in a towel-lined laundry basket and brought them into our house. The momma cat wasn't there at the time, but she came running when I shook the food dish we kept putting out for her.

The first hour or so they were all in the house the momma cat picked one of them up and carried it around the house. The kitten was meowing, the mother was meowing and trying to get outside. While this was going on I was concerned about the warmth of the other three, so I got one of those neck warmer things that's full of beans or rice or whatever, popped it in the microwave for a minute or two, and stuck that in the basket with the kittens. I finally got the mother to actually stay in the basket and nurse the kittens, and I left her alone for another couple of hours.

However, every so often I hear her running around the house (I'm hiding out in the bedroom to give her some privacy and to get used to things -- the basket is in the laundry room at the other end of the house). She's apparently trying to get back to where she had the kittens originally. Is there anything we can do to help things out, other than leave her alone with the kittens as much as possible? I just went in there, she was purring and let me pet her. I didn't try to pet the kittens as I don't want to get human smell on them.

Is there anything else we should be doing? We've got a bowl of food right by the basket for her, and she seems to be nursing fine. Then again it hasn't even been 24 hours since they were born, and she does look to be a relatively young cat, no more than a year old. I don't know if this is her first litter or not.

One small twist: we have a six-month old neutered male cat that normally runs around the house. I've trapped him in the bedroom with me for the duration of the festivities. They got along before, but now that the female's given birth I would imagine her attitude towards him might change a bit. I don't want her getting antsy over him, and I don't want him to feel pissed off about another cat invading his house.

Oh, and we're planning on having the mother spayed as soon as we can. I wish more people would have their cats spayed or neutered...

And the kittens are so cute!
post #2 of 14
Good for you for taking her and them in! I don't know what else you could do for them other than what you have done.
post #3 of 14
It's so nice of you to care, I don't have any advice for you, sorry. Welcome to TCS too!
post #4 of 14
I think that you are doing the best that you can for the mother cat and her kittens - well done for that! Please keep us updated on their progress too.
post #5 of 14
Is there any possibility that she would settle down more if you were in the room petting her? Maybe she's running around the house looking for you? Poor little thing. Sounds like she likes people, though, which should make things easier. And it sounds like you're doing GREAT! Hopefully you can get some photos of the cute little babies!
post #6 of 14
I would suggest that maybe you put her in a room of her own? this way she wont wander about, and will stay with her kittens more. is there a door on the laundry room?
post #7 of 14
You could try offering her a closet or cupboard to hide the kittens in. She could just be looking for a place she thinks is more secure.
The neck warmer is a great idea. Some advice though- place it in a ziploc freezer bag or something. That will make it easier to clean and disinfect and also keep cat urine from soaking in- you'll have to throw it out if that happens. Trust me- cat urine in the microwave is NOT a good idea!
Also make sure that you wrap it in a towel so it doesn't burn any of the kitties and give them lots of room to move away from it if they get too warm.

As for your other cat, I would keep them apart until you have had the mama looked at by a vet and tested for any diseases. I would also make sure you male is current on his vaccines. Then introduce them slowly. Just because they got along outdoors doesn't mean he will like her in HIS house.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I suppose an update is in order.

Kittens and mother are doing fine. After I posted she settled down for a day or two, taking small breaks away from the kittens to eat and go to the bathroom. Then I guess she decided that the spot she was in wasn't good enough, because she picked up one of the kittens and tried to make a nest in my shoe. Eventually she settled in the bathroom, which is good because we can close the door and let our other cat roam around the house. It's quieter for her too -- she didn't seem to enjoy the clothes dryer running next to her head! And there wasn't a door on the laundry room either, which as BigOrangeMenace suggested would be a bit of a problem.

Since then it's all been good! The kittens have been opening their eyes (I haven't seen them, but my wife said they blinked at her today) and are in generally good shape. I saw a flea on one of them a day or two ago, and my wife flea-combed the mother yesterday (found nothing) and got one flea off one of the kittens. The mother has a mixture of generic adult cat chow and premium kitten chow to eat, and plenty of water to drink.

Every now and then we let the mother outside to go to the bathroom, as she took to going in the bathtub. We got a litter box for her but I don't think she's used it yet.

Our cat hasn't met the kittens yet, and we're not going to let him until they're a little older, probably around 2 weeks. He's up to date on all of his shots (neutered and microchipped too), and we always try to make him feel like he's the king of the house whenever he's inside.

The mother's really tolerant of us. She lets us come in and pet the kittens without any problems. She just sits there and purrs away. We don't take the kittens out of her basket though (unless we're changing the towel they sleep on, in which case the mother keeps a close eye on us!), we're waiting until they get a little older for that.

I'll get some pictures shortly.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Every now and then we let the mother outside to go to the bathroom, as she took to going in the bathtub. We got a litter box for her but I don't think she's used it yet.
I wouldn't recommend this approach as I have heard of cats going back into heat and getting pregnant again fairly soon after giving birth and you definately don't want one of her pee breaks to end up with her being pregnant again.

What I would recommend is filling the litterbox with potting soil (the kind you buy at the store so it doesn't have any worms, bugs etc.)...she probably is not familiar with using regular litter. Over time you can gradually switch her over to regular litter..but I would not let her outside until she has been spayed.

Katie
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
I wouldn't recommend this approach as I have heard of cats going back into heat and getting pregnant again fairly soon after giving birth and you definately don't want one of her pee breaks to end up with her being pregnant again.

What I would recommend is filling the litterbox with potting soil (the kind you buy at the store so it doesn't have any worms, bugs etc.)...she probably is not familiar with using regular litter. Over time you can gradually switch her over to regular litter..but I would not let her outside until she has been spayed.
That's not a bad idea, actually. We've got a bag of potting soil in the shed.

Here's a picture of mother with kittens:

Yes, we know that the father is a white cat. No, the father isn't our cat. In fact, our cat and the mother could be brother and sister, they're both black and white and about the same age.

Oh! I forgot to mention that the mother has a club tail. I originally thought that it had been amputated, but one of my roommates felt the end and found that the tail was actually folded in upon itself. One of the kittens has a club tail too, it's folded back at its tip. The other three have normal tails.
post #11 of 14
Awww...very cute...mom looks like she has her paws full with 4 kittens. It's interesting how genetics work....the mom of my two was a calico...however the litter (of 6) was 2 gray and white long haired, 1 gray and white short haired, 1 black short haired and my 2....orange and while long haired and my girl who I lovingly call a Torbico since she looks Tortishell but has white on her chest and paws.

Katie
post #12 of 14
Many thanks for the update Looks like you and your wife are doing a great job! Mummy cat and her babies are so sweet, in that pic she has a protective arm around them! So cute.

Btw, as said above by another poster, if mummy cat is going outside still there is a chance that she can get pregnant again! Will you get her spayed and are you planning on keeping her as a pet now?

It really makes me cross to hear that the neighbours before left these poor cats to fend for themselves! I know their circumstances sound difficult, but they could have at least called a rescue place or something to come and take them before they had to leave!
post #13 of 14
thank god for you otherwise they could of be dead by now

just wonder are you going to keep the mum cat with you now or rehome her ??
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
No, we're not going to be keeping her, we're going to try to find a home for her and two of the kittens. A co-worker's friend said she'd take two of the kittens, and we'll probably take the rest down to the Humane Society, or maybe to a local no-kill shelter that we took another stray to (with donations of food and money, of course!). We're definitely planning on having the mother spayed as soon as possible to prevent this sort of thing happening again!
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 › Stray cat just had kittens -- need a bit of advice