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Having baby kittens

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi,
We have a barn cat who adopted us that wasn't neutered. A little female came along and got pregnant - so we got him neutered. She had the litter under some wood behind our shed, and we were able to catch her and her 4 adorable kittens. She is pregnant again. I guess before we were able to get him neutered. The question is. . . should we just leave her and her kittens alone (they are in a large dog crate) when she delivers, and let her do the work. All her kittens are healthy from the first litter. She's pretty timid and scared of people, so I think it would be difficult anyways. Also, when can we start handling the newborns? Thanks
post #2 of 14
Personally I would go ahead and get her spayed as having another pregnancy so close will be very hard on her.
Of couse this depends on how far along she is.
post #3 of 14
I would wait till the kittens are about 4 weeks old to start handling them. Handling them sooner won't harm them but it might cause the mother cat to move them and you may have a tough time finding them again. At 4 weeks, they are old enough to start eating solid food and you can take them indoors and care for them until they're old enough to be spayed/neutered and adopted (which is around 10 weeks old).

And definitely get the mother and her first litter spayed/neutered ASAP. Female kittens can go into heat as early as 5 months and these babies will be having babies before you know it.
post #4 of 14
ya get her spayed!
post #5 of 14
If you want the kittens to be adopted it is very important that you handel them from day one. Keep the mom in the house when she is close to her delivery date and let the kittens grow up inside. They are too young to defend themselves on the outside. Kittens that are not handeled from the beginning of their life will become ferel or unlovig. They will not want anything to do with people. Make sure that you pick them up at least once a day.
post #6 of 14
Please do not abort the kittens. Abortion is murder, especially because if you can tell that she is pregnant then she is at least five weeks along. She has probably less than three weeks to go.
post #7 of 14
Please have her spayed!! You will doing her an wenormous favour. There are so many kittens now - there is a crisis here in Canada and some kittens even in shelters are being euthenized. You will have a healthier happier catand while I sit on an ethics committee and am not too keen on human abortion, we cannot anthropomorhize for your cat.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by megmar6853
Please do not abort the kittens. Abortion is murder, especially because if you can tell that she is pregnant then she is at least five weeks along. She has probably less than three weeks to go.
Megmar..I can appreciate your position...however, we are talking about a barn cat that mated with an unknown male. He could have been a carrier of FIV/FELV which could be passed on to the kittens.

There are many individuals on this message board who work with feral/barn cats and make the decision to have the cat spayed. The feral cat clinic I volunteer with spays every pregnant cat that is brought into the clinic.

Spaying a pregnant cat is a choice that is up to the individual based upon their situation. As I respect your decision to not have a pregnant cat spayed...so you really should respect those on this board who have decided to spay a pregnant cat. A vet will be able to determine whether the cat is too far along to be spayed.

Katie
post #9 of 14
I would have her spayed now, as letting her have another litter of kittens so soon is risking her health, and with her being feral to start with, she wont be in the best of health. Also, the kittens may be more sickly as mum's health isnt as good.
post #10 of 14
Would you kill a newborn kitten if it was not sick? She is probably less than 3 weeks until delivery, so the kittens are almost fully formed. By all means if when they are born if they have FIV then end their suffering, if not at least give them a chance at life.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by megmar6853
Would you kill a newborn kitten if it was not sick? She is probably less than 3 weeks until delivery, so the kittens are almost fully formed. By all means if when they are born if they have FIV then end their suffering, if not at least give them a chance at life.
If it hadn't been born yet?? Yes......I've actually been a spay assistant at the feral cat clinic. It's a necessary decision to end a life not born in order to help those who are already living.

There are healthy kittens being PTS every day in shelters throughout the USA who have already taken their first breath. Until we can guarentee a quality of life for all of them...I am pro spaying pregnant feral/barn cats.

Katie
post #12 of 14
I am all for spaying an outside cat if pregnant, because basically they are always pregnant. However, if you want to care for this cat and her kittens, keeping Momma in a dog crate is a very good idea.

Even if your Tomcat is neutered, if she is outside, she will find another Tom and get pregnant again, once she is let out. So definitely keep her inside until spayed.

When to handle the kittens? Personally, I would give it some time. If she were still outside, she would keep them hidden from you for weeks. Handling them too soon could possibly make her abandon them. If they have not had any bad experiences with people, you can start handling them as they get older and start wandering out of the nest.

So you have 4 votes to spay. One vote that says spaying is murder of kittens. One vote to handle the kittens on day one. And two votes saying wait before handling the kittens. What a decision!

Thank you for being involved with this cat and her kittens. You are making a difference!
post #13 of 14
OK, first things first ... how friendly is Momma? Can you handle her easily with no protest? If so, then you ~may~ be able to handle her kittens from day one ... let Momma's behavior be your guide. If she gets hissy or at all postures aggressively, then give it some time and don't rush it.

Second, with regard to the spaying a pregnant cat issue - abortion is a medical term, not an abstract concept. The feelings associated with the word may be either negative or positive for different HUMANS, but for cats, there is no political baggage, no emotional issue. We should not allow the human ideals we hold about any specific topic to get in the way of making a reasonable decision based on what it good for the whole, not just the one. I hope this makes sense ...

~gf~
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by thejunglebook
Hi,
We have a barn cat who adopted us that wasn't neutered. A little female came along and got pregnant - so we got him neutered. She had the litter under some wood behind our shed, and we were able to catch her and her 4 adorable kittens. She is pregnant again. I guess before we were able to get him neutered. The question is. . . should we just leave her and her kittens alone (they are in a large dog crate) when she delivers, and let her do the work. All her kittens are healthy from the first litter. She's pretty timid and scared of people, so I think it would be difficult anyways. Also, when can we start handling the newborns? Thanks
Any updates?? BTW...please feel free to post whatever you have decided..we will all respect whatever decision you feel is right for you.

Katie
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