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Our kitty snuck out and returned - is she pregnant?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hello to all!
This is my first post, but have lots of questions. I know I am long winded so I apologize now for the length of this.
This is only my second cat ever. Our first cat we had to have put down after finding she had a brain tumor, and she was only 4 1/2 yrs. old. She always stayed inside and we never had any issues with her. Now we have Tinsel, she was found outside by someone and given to us at Christmas time (hence the name) and we all guessed she was about 5-6 months old. She snuck out about 2 months ago, buddied up with the neighbors cat (he is fixed), came home 3 days later, and all has been well. She did not end up being pregnant....that time. (We are guessing that she is/was mad at him for not getting her pregnant because whenever he shows up outside a window and shows off for her - she hisses at him and does not seem to like him too much now.) Well, she snuck out again and was gone for another 3 days. She returned to us yesterday (Sun. 6-5-05).
While she was away, we noticed another kitty (unknown whether male or female) eating from the bowl of food we left on the porch for Tinsel. My husband followed this kitty and noticed that it was this kitty making all the mating call noises from the creek behind our home. We were thinking it was Tinsel making all the noise. Question #1: Do male cats make a mating noise? (We are kinda hoping he could be the dad, if she is pregnant, and it would make both mom and dad grey tabbies.)
Since her return last night, she is very very loveable and wanting lovins. She has always liked attention, but has never sought after it like this. (When she returned from her first "outing" she was more skiddish of us more than anything and seemed to try to ignore all of us.) Last night she let my husband hold her in his arms while laying on her back and let him rub her belly and she even fell asleep. This has NEVER been allowed before.
I do not know much at all about kitties and how they behave when they go outside and come back in. I am used to having dogs, having them in my care, knowing where they are and what they're doing. I know people have cats that are outside cats and some have indoor/outdoor cats, but I worry too much about her being outside. Question #2: Does anyone have any words of advice/comfort to help me be ok with her desire to be outside? Is it because she was found outside and likes to be outside? Is it probably just because she was in heat (both times she snuck out)? Should I try to prevent her from going out, if she wants to again?
Ok, my last area of needing advise, for the moment. How do I know if she is pregnant? Other than taking her to the vet (which we are planning on doing soon anyways), what should I do if she is? And, what should I inform myself (husband and children) about if she is pregnant?

Due to the lengthiness of this, here is a summary of my questions:
1. Do male cats make a mating noise?
2. Does anyone have any words of advice/comfort to help me be ok with her desire to be outside?
3. Is it because she was found outside and likes to be outside?
4. Is it probably just because she was in heat (both times she snuck out)?
5. Should I try to prevent her from going out, if she wants to again?
6. How do I know if she is pregnant?
7. What should I do if she is? (other than a vet trip of course)
8. What should I inform myself (husband and children) about if she is pregnant?

Again, I apologize for the length of this post!
Thank you to all that can offer me any advice at all.

Candi
post #2 of 24
yes males make a mating call, kind of sounds like a baby crying sometimes

just because she was found outside doesn't mean she has to stay out, she should adjust to being inside, one of our cats we rescued from outside and she's happy being an indoor cat. there are many dangers to being outside so it's in her best intest to keep her in (my opinion)

she probably did sneak out becuase she's in heat, please get her spayed asap, there are member on this board that can give advice on low-cost spaying if you need help with that.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Candi
Due to the lengthiness of this, here is a summary of my questions:
1. Do male cats make a mating noise?
2. Does anyone have any words of advice/comfort to help me be ok with her desire to be outside?
3. Is it because she was found outside and likes to be outside?
4. Is it probably just because she was in heat (both times she snuck out)?
5. Should I try to prevent her from going out, if she wants to again?
6. How do I know if she is pregnant?
7. What should I do if she is? (other than a vet trip of course)
8. What should I inform myself (husband and children) about if she is pregnant?
1. Yes. Depending on the cat, could sound like a baby crying to a low, throaty, gut-wrenching howl.
2. No words of encouragement from me - I vote you keep her indoors only.
3. Previously-outdoor cats adapt nicely to an indoor-only environment with time, patience and a lot of strong committment on your part.
4. Yes. Females in estrus will do anything to get to a willing male.
5. YES!!!
6. It is difficult, at best, for even the "experts" to be able to know for absolutely certain how far along a feline pregnancy has gone unless they were there to observe the mating and took note of the date. The normal gestation period in felines is anywhere from 60 to 70 days after mating. Most cats will fall into this date range with delivery. It normally takes about three weeks before cat pregnancy signs become visible. During the first weeks of cat gestation, it's almost impossible to notice that a cat is pregnant. In general she will behave normally. Check her nipples. Her nipples may become a darker shade of pink after about three weeks. This is most visible if it's the first time the queen is pregnant. From that time it may take about six weeks before the kittens arrive. You can also have your vet take a look at her and he will be able to confirm if she's pregnant as well as give you a general idea of the delivery date. Some pregnant queens become quieter and more loving. Others may experience a nasty stage and some even have a little morning sickness. They sleep more and are not interested in male cats. Heat cycles stop. During pregnancy a cat will gain weight. But normally it isn't apparent until about the fifth week. After six weeks her nipples will also grow considerably. From then on they may be filled with milk. Your cat may want to eat more and more. This is good. Give her as much as she will take, she needs the extra resources for when the kittens are nursing and
depleting her resources. A few days before birth, her appetite may decrease again.
7. If I were you, I would have her in to see the vet and discuss the options for spaying her anyway - even if she is pregnant. This will allow you to ease her into being an indoor cat without having the added stress of an estrus cycle mucking up your efforts.
8. I wouldn't inform anyone of her possible pregnancy until you know for certain or have made a decision as to whether or not you are going to allow this pregnancy to progress.

Candi, it sounds like you really care about this kitty so do the right thing here and get her in to be spayed as soon as possible - there are already so many unwanted cats in this world that it just isn't responsible to allow more.

Best of luck,

~gf~
post #4 of 24
Like the others said - you can get her spayed even if she is pregnant.
It really sounds quite urgent, kittens can be expensive to take care of and there are all ready so many that dont have homes.
Next time she comes in, keep her inside and make an apointment for the vet.
Good luck with her and welcome to TCS!!
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your help. You have been very informative and helpful.
We will have her spayed after she delivers if she is pregnant. If she is not, then we will have her spayed as soon as we know for sure. We are all wanting her to have the kittens if she is and will make sure we find good owners for them or keep them ourselves if need be. (My opinion: having her spade while thinking she may be pregnant is the same to me as abortion and I am totally against that. We will take responsibility for them if we have to and take good care of them ourselves if we can't find good homes for them.)
I am so glad that I can keep her indoors and that she can adjust to that. I was worried that it would make her an unhappy kitty if I keep her in. I like knowing where my pets are and knowing that they are safe. We were keeping a close eye on her and the doorways after her first houdini escape, but apparently missed one. She got to the point where she wasn't even trying to get out, so we trusted that too much and she got out when we carried groceries in on Thursday.
She was only away from Thursday until Sunday, so we could probably pinpoint the date pretty close if she is. We are thinking she is because she is sleeping alot and has gotten sick once.
Will type more later, need to get back to homeschool class.
Candi
post #6 of 24
I have a few things to say....

1) I understand your feelings about abortion... I feel the same way.
2) I don't think she should be getting sick this soon, should she?
3) You homeschool! Cool! I'm homeschooled!
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Candi
Thank you for all your help. You have been very informative and helpful.
We will have her spayed after she delivers if she is pregnant. If she is not, then we will have her spayed as soon as we know for sure. We are all wanting her to have the kittens if she is and will make sure we find good owners for them or keep them ourselves if need be. (My opinion: having her spade while thinking she may be pregnant is the same to me as abortion and I am totally against that. We will take responsibility for them if we have to and take good care of them ourselves if we can't find good homes for them.)
I am so glad that I can keep her indoors and that she can adjust to that. I was worried that it would make her an unhappy kitty if I keep her in. I like knowing where my pets are and knowing that they are safe. We were keeping a close eye on her and the doorways after her first houdini escape, but apparently missed one. She got to the point where she wasn't even trying to get out, so we trusted that too much and she got out when we carried groceries in on Thursday.
She was only away from Thursday until Sunday, so we could probably pinpoint the date pretty close if she is. We are thinking she is because she is sleeping alot and has gotten sick once.
Will type more later, need to get back to homeschool class.
Candi
Candi....may I recommend that you find out if she is pregnant now and if she isn't...have her spayed. The problem with "waiting" it out is that....if she isn't pregnant and she goes into heat..she is going to try to get out again. Best to have her checked out by a vet and then determine the next steps.

Katie
post #8 of 24
Quote:
(My opinion: having her spade while thinking she may be pregnant is the same to me as abortion and I am totally against that. We will take responsibility for them if we have to and take good care of them ourselves if we can't find good homes for them.)
Although I can appreciate the sentiment....we do not kill people because there are too many of them. Cats and kittens are killed every day in shelters throughout the USA for no other reason than there aren't enough homes. I volunteer at a feral cat clinic and we do spay every pregnant that comes in....there are simply too many homeless cats as it is.

Katie
post #9 of 24
While I certainly can and in fact DO respect anyone's opinions on abortion (for humans) I think it is inappropriate to place ~our~ personal moral standards upon our cats - they do not share our opinions nor do they care one way or the other about them.

If you are firmly decided upon allowing the pregnancy to progress, then so be it. I just hope you are prepared for the consequences of your decision.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
I apologize for any I have offended. I did not intend to cause a debate on abortion. My intention was only to state my opinion. (I even put in my statement that is was MY opinion.)
I apologize as well for not stressing enough that we are responsible enough with our pets (We have 4 dogs, 2 ferrets and Tinsel-which all are spayed or neutered except for Tinsel.). We will take care of any kittens that we could not find a GOOD home for. Including getting them spayed or neutered when the time comes. The only reason that we have not gotten Tinsel spayed as of yet is because she is still young.
I apologize to gayef for upsetting you so. I do not apologize for viewing my responsibility to my pet differently than you do. Not to say that I or you are better/more loving pet owners than the other. Is anyone truly "prepared" for the consequences of the things life brings? I can say that I will do the most responsible/right thing I know to do when the time comes. That is why I got on here and posted my questions before even knowing whether she is yet pregnant or not. To help make the decisions that need to be made.
Thank you to all that have taught me the things that I didn't know and for sharing with me the other thoughts for me to consider, that on my own I would not have come up with or thought of.

Candi
post #11 of 24
Because your cat has been outside she should be checked for Felv/FIV, when you take her in to the vet. Both of these are potential fatal viruses usually spread through un-neutered (FIV) and cats wandering outside (Felv). Is Tinsel current on her vaccinations?
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Candi
I apologize to gayef for upsetting you so. I do not apologize for viewing my responsibility to my pet differently than you do. Not to say that I or you are better/more loving pet owners than the other. Is anyone truly "prepared" for the consequences of the things life brings? I can say that I will do the most responsible/right thing I know to do when the time comes. That is why I got on here and posted my questions before even knowing whether she is yet pregnant or not. To help make the decisions that need to be made.
Candi
Dear Candi,

My dear, you certainly did not offend me at all - I feel compelled to apologize to you for the way I came across. My response wasn't intended to be as snide as it presented to be once posted. I should know far better by now than to post anything until after I have had my cup of morning coffee. *smile* I hope you will give me another chance. Though there are some who would strongly disagree, I really am a nice person. *LOL*

Candi, consequences can be measured. And if an action we choose results in consequences which will impact the lives of others (including our animals), then I believe they should be weighed and measured very, very carefully before we choose to undertake the action. And in the circumstance in which you now find yourself, I suppose that for me at least, the consequences would be more than I could responsibly choose to accept. But you are, of course, 100% absolutely right - this shouldn't become a debate on abortion - that topic would be much better addressed if placed in the IMO Forum and most of the time I am way, way too much of a chicken to even go in there ... *wink* ...

As for one or the other of us being any better or worse a caregiver, this issue is nebulous at best and I am not willing to get into a discussion on the topic because I cannot present my points of debate intelligently. I do not know you and I do not know how you choose to care for your animals other than what you have already told me in this thread. And it is certainly not my job to judge you if your choices are different from mine. But what I will say about this is that I think there is room for improvement in just about everyone - myself included. I do not claim to be perfect (my husband just walked by the computer as I was typing the not perfect part, read it and then snorted quite rudely - grrrr men!!) and I do not claim to have all the answers. I know what works for me or has worked for me in the past and I am willing to share that information with others in the hopes that it might work for them too.

If you have decided to let Tinsel (really cute name, by the way) have these kittens, then the purpose of this Forum is to assist you. Of course, that doesn't mean I (or others) must agree with your decision - my feelings regarding spay/neuter of non-pedigreed cats not participating in a responsible, ethical breeding program are vastly well-known - but I will help you if you need me to. You can ask just about anybody ... I am ~all~ about education.

Above all else and beyond all personal feelings, I sincerely hope my response to your original request for information was helpful to you. And please know that when you have questions in the near future (which I feel certain you will), then we are here to try and provide some answers. But remember that sometimes, the answers you get may not be the answers you ~wanted~ to hear. I hope you will be open-minded enough to take both sides and consider your options.

Thanks for your very well-worded and thoughtful reply. Perhaps we can all take our cue from you and remember that we all have a common purpose and goal; the care, well-being and quality lives of our cats.

Yours from the heart,

~gf~
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Candi
I am so glad that I can keep her indoors and that she can adjust to that. I was worried that it would make her an unhappy kitty if I keep her in. Candi
Candi, I just wanted to address this point quickly. At first it will SEEM like Tinsel is quite unhappy, especially if she is in heat. She may sit by the door and meow loudly and often; she may try to run for the door any time someone opens; she may (especially if she smells a male) try to rip a screen in a window and jump out! My newest cat, Chesty, did all of these things (except for the "smelling a male" part, as he's a neutered boy!) for a few months while he was getting accustomed to living indoors only.

It's now been over two months, and he is finally fine. It was hard hearing him "cry," so I want to prepare you for that. We live in an apartment, so we can't let him out, but still it was heartbreaking. But, as you already know, it's so much safer for him to be inside, so we just had to ignore him when he cried, play with him and pet him when he didn't, and hope for the best--and it worked.

So, good luck with Tinsel!
post #14 of 24
Candi, I would just urge you to take your cat to the vet and get her checked out. Being outside and mating with an undetermined amount of males can be a bit risky for the momcat and the kittens in utero. It is best to have a good baseline of the cat's health and test her for any known diseases, plus your vet can determine if this is a true pregancy and not a false one (which does happen).

It is clearly your choice to have these kittens you seem to be craving to have. My hope is that the litter is delivered without incident, and that momcat knows what to do, and once her babies have been weaned- then you get her spayed. I take all the females that are pregnant and show up here (or that are dumped) in immediately and get them spayed- unless the vet says the kittens are 24 hours away from coming in the world. That too is a personal choice brought on by years of witnessing horrendous abuse that happens to cats and kittens that are tossed out of homes. It is indeed a personal choice and I do wish you the best in this journey-
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
I was planning on telling our vet about her getting out. I do know that if the cat is an outdoor cat, that they need additional shots. Thank you for the name of it, this way I can ask the vet directly about that particular vaccine.
Thank you DanceMuse for the forwarning of her behavior. She never did the meowing or pawing at the screens after her first escape. She would only slowly saunter over to the open door when we would let the dogs in or out. After a while she seemed to lose the desire for going out. That is why I guess we let our guard down when carrying in the groceries last Thursday. Our own lack of understanding and underestimating of her intelligence, desire, and sneakiness.
Thank you gayef for the reply. We are fine! I just didn't want to offend or upset anyone.

P.S. How do I put a picture of Tinsel on here for all to see?

Candi
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Our own lack of understanding and underestimating of her intelligence, desire, and sneakiness.
Candi...I'm not offended either..and believe me...I understand about a female cat's sneakiness...my 2 are the product of a friends cat that kept getting out. I'm glad you plan to get her fixed. Definately keep her in a room where she will not be able to get out.

Katie
post #17 of 24
The main thing I'd test her for is FeLk (Feline Leukemia Virus) which is a lot like human AIDS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Candi
P.S. How do I put a picture of Tinsel on here for all to see?

Candi
To post pictures, you have to go through an image hosting service. You have to do this, because you are still a kitten, and can not post attachments. I would recommend Photobucket because:
1) It's free
2) It's easy to navigate and use
3) It has it in an [IMG][/IMG] format already
4) Many people here on TCS use it.

After you have signed up, and put your pictures on the web hosting service of your choice, you simply post the image format here. The image format will look a like this: (Don't click on it. It'll bring you nowhere.) Also, there should be no spaces between the [IMG] and the web address.
[IMG] http://photobucket.cow/albums/y90/wh.../nameofpic.jpg [/IMG]

If you have any more questions about this, feel free to ask! Many people are here to help, and I will help as much as possible!
post #18 of 24
Candi, why did you use the face to ask if your cat might be pregnant?

Is an unplanned "oops" litter a cause of celebration for you?
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nano
Candi, why did you use the face to ask if your cat might be pregnant?

Is an unplanned "oops" litter a cause of celebration for you?
Is this ~really~ the hill you want to die on, Nano??? Good grief, it is simply an emoticon, for pity sake! Candi has already stated she will be either finding good homes for the babies or keeping them herself AND has committed to having her cat spayed when the babies are weaned. Do we really have to skip down this garden path?
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you Nana for your oh so kind message!
To tell you the total truth about the emoticon -
Being new to the site, I still have yet to figure out which emoticon shows up where. The smiley face you are referring to was simply to show that I was happy to be here.

Happily Yours,
Candi
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Gayef thank you for coming to my defense in it only being an emoticon.

Candi
post #22 of 24
So, Candi... any pics of your furbabies? I can't wait to see them!
post #23 of 24
Vet will be able to tell if she's pregnant through ultrasound after about 3 weeks. You will have an idea by then, if her heat cycles have stopped. However cats can have false pregnancies. This is what happened the first time Lydia got out. Even the vet speculated she might be pregnant - belly felt full. He wouldn't say for sure w/out an ultrasound. I decided to save my money & wait & see. I realized she wasn't when she went into heat again about 5 or 6 weeks later. Unfortunately, she had escaped again, & I felt the same way you do about spaying her while pregnant. In her case, she was only gone 1 day, March 12, so I knew where to start counting from. She now has 3 adorable kittens, born May 15th, just 1 day after the vets guess. I think that put her at about 65 days, or 9 weeks, & 1 day. Lydia, also seemed to be starving for attention while she was pregnant. She slept a lot, & ate a lot more. I would switch Tinsel to kitten chow, if she isn't eating that already, & make sure she always has food in her dish, water is especially important. I had always given Lydia Purina, until I found out how much better Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care Kitten food was. It is very nutritious. At first you will be able to tell by comparing labels, then you will see it in your cat - I did the first day! You can find it at Petsmart. It does cost more, but is worth it in my opinion. Cats can be spayed as soon as they are 4 mos old, or once their kittens are weaned, about 6 weeks after delivery. I would recommend keeping her indoors at all times until then. Sorry for such a long post, I guess I am long winded also.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Candi
Thank you Nana for your oh so kind message!
To tell you the total truth about the emoticon -
Being new to the site, I still have yet to figure out which emoticon shows up where. The smiley face you are referring to was simply to show that I was happy to be here.

Happily Yours,
Candi
You've only used that face twice...so I guess you are very happy to be registered here.

And this is definitely an informative site, and depending on intentions one can learn as little or as much as anyone cares to. Personally I've learned a lot and am a better cat owner for the hours I spent reading or posting in these forums.

Regardless, you are the guardian of any cats living under your roof so I only wish things go well.
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