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Adopted ferrel pregnant again....need advice!!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello,

about 4-5 months ago, a ferrel cat turned up in my garden, it was very timid and on further investigation we discovered two tiny kittens in our lean-to shed. They must have only been about a week old if that. It was quite cold outside and whenever we ventured a look, the mother would just run off. We decided to try to leave some food as she looked very slim, sure enough she polished it off very quickly as soon as we were on the other side of our glass doors! We were still very concerned about the kittens so the next timer she vanished we put down a box with some carpet in. We didn't move the kittens and sure enough she moved them in!

Slowly over time with lots of food bribes she became less timid and soon began to wait outside the glass doors to be fed! She still would not let us touch her though. Whenever she was happily eating we checked on the fast growing kittens (two little ginger toms) and eventually were able to stroke them and hold them without her minding. It wasn't long before she was happy to be stroked, but only when she was distracted by food. Everything seemed to be going really well, the kittens are now very tame as we handled them from an early age and the mother happily comes inside the house and has a snooze on our chairs. They are still outdoor cats though and always sleep in their boxes (there are now three boxes, two cushions...play things etc) outside.

Now comes my problem. She was still not tame enough to even consider neutering after the last two kittens were weaned, so as a result she is now heavily pregnant again. The only thing is we still have the older kittens (now about 5 months) who still are very affectionate towards their mother, what is going to happen when she has this next lot? Will the older kittens attack the new ones? We will be getting her neutered after this lot even if we recieve many scratches and bites! We don't want to loose her or the young cats as they have become fabulous pets and the progression she has made has been stunning. Does anyone think this next birth could be problematic? If so advice would be most appreciated, she is due in about a week!!

Thanks

Anna.
post #2 of 25
I know TCS members always say this, but have you had the first litter of kittens neutered yet? If you can pick them up and handle them then it should be done now. There is always the possibility that one of them has matured early and is even the father of the new kittens. And if you can stroke the mom then you could probably pick her up quickly and get her into a carrier. The vet might agree to spaying her even at this stage, though that is a decision for you and the vet to take. It would certainly better for the mom's health. If you have neutered the kittens then I apologise for mentioning it.
post #3 of 25
Time doesn't pan out for the kittens to be the father of the present litter unless they matured REALLY early ! They do need to be neutered ASAP though. However, I believe I detect a British tone? Haven't I run across something that it's impossible to get kits neutered before 6 months in the UK? Or is that my memory playing me false again .

I know I had a litter (many years ago) which did not bother the kittens when they had some younger siblings born, although Momcat may get feisty with the older kits if she thinks they're a danger to the new additions. But I'm not sure all situatuions are the same.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseHawke
Haven't I run across something that it's impossible to get kits neutered before 6 months in the UK? Or is that my memory playing me false again .
its true. my kitten is 5 months old and huge, about the size of an 7-8 month old. i finally got a vet to agree to neuter him at 5 1/2 months (next week)
post #5 of 25
I agree that the two tom kittens should be neutered if they haven't already. Have you considered finding new homes for them? If you are keeping them, I don't think they would attack the little kittens, but I don't really know for a fact. Someone with more experience in the area of close born litters should be able to give you a definite answer on that.

Sounds like you have the right plan on getting the momma spayed. I can understand why you hesitated (ferals can be very feisty.)

You are doing a very nice thing providing a safe haven for those kitties, and I wish you luck what ever you decide to do.
post #6 of 25
they too have a genetic interested in the kittens as they share a mother and possibly a father. unless the are sexually mature it wouldnt make sense for them to harm the kittens.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello,

Thanks for the advice, they are only just 5 months (vet recommended getting them done at 6 months as they were so small), we first saw them mid april so we don't think there is any possibility that one of them could be the father! They are still very small as the mother was small when she had them. We are actually getting them neutered in the next two weeks anyway.

I am quite pleased nobody thinks they will turn on the new kittens, they are very good natured and the mother was very protective of them when they were little so fingers crosses everything goes smoothly.

As for her (named Nomad or Maddy for short) she looks alot more healthy this time round, and alot less stressed. The new lot already have new homes to go to when they are weaned so we will be keeping the two original ones.

Will post another message on the progress once the new kittens arrive.

Thanks x
post #8 of 25
hey its bindi i cange my name. but ne ways its relly good that you ar doing that for the cats arond your hous thakyou so much for that!
post #9 of 25
Can you borrow a trap and trap the mom so that you can have her spayed and thus ensure she will have no more kittens and be healthier!!! Many rescues can lend you a trap - or even the SPCA can lend you one. Good luck!!
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by annab
As for her (named Nomad or Maddy for short) she looks alot more healthy this time round, and alot less stressed. The new lot already have new homes to go to when they are weaned so we will be keeping the two original ones.

Will post another message on the progress once the new kittens arrive.

Thanks x
Anna....it's great that you care about this mom...however, I'm concerned about the possibility of the mom getting pregnant again before you have a chance to catch her and have her spayed. Is there any chance that you can trap her now and keep her in a large cage in a garage or perhaps a bathroom. The problem with allowing her to have another litter outdoors is that she could have them or move them to an unsafe location.

Katie
post #11 of 25
Quote:
We will be getting her neutered after this lot even if we recieve many scratches and bites! We don't want to loose her or the young cats as they have become fabulous pets and the progression she has made has been stunning. Does anyone think this next birth could be problematic? If so advice would be most appreciated, she is due in about a week!!
Please, please, please do NOT use your hands to catch this girl....if you are scratched or bit....she could be quarinetined for rabies. It is best to use a humane trap and bring her to your vet's in the cage.

Katie
post #12 of 25
Keep her indoors and safe from weather, predators and other baddies. Feed her the highest-quality kitten food in both dry and canned that you can afford. Make up a nest for her (I like an extra large dog crate for this) with plenty of soft materials that she can burrow down into when the time comes. Fix up a large litter box and place it a good distance away from the nest. Do not let her go back outside for any reason or under any circumstances. Try to be with her while she delivers and offer her the palm of your hand for her back feet to push against as she experiences contractions. Talk to her frequently in a low, calm tone of voice, tell her what a good girl she is and frequently offer her a little water while she is delivering.

If you can gain her trust while she is having babies and then subsequently as she raises those babies, you may also be able to comfortably get her into a carrier to have her spayed once the babies are eating on their own (about 6 to 8 weeks old).

The more you can handle them - the better. The sooner you can handle them - the better. Let her posture be your guide. If she is in a defensive posture; ears back, hissing or growling at all - then do not attempt to pick her or one of her kittens up. Let her calm down first.

Please feel free to post any additional questions or concerns you may have. It looks like I will have a lot of enforced time home on my butt this upcoming week, so I will be around pretty frequently. If I can be of assistance to you at all, don't hesitate to let me know how.

~gf~
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
hi again,

I think keeping her indoors is a good idea, however, we have set up a little area round one side of our house with a roof and carpet and a little cat entrance, a bit like the areas cats are kept in in catteries. Its actually warmer than the inside of the house because the roof is made of perspex, it stays around 25 degrees and she has taken to sleeping in there most of the day. We have moved her food and a litter tray nearer her too so she doesn't have to leave her nest for too long. When she is actually inside the house she is always alert so hopefully, in her little house she will be more relaxed. I am a little worried about interfering with the actual birth, obviously last time we discovered the kittens at about a week old, so I don't know if she will take to us being round her when it actually happens. Don't worry about the food, she has been getting very high quality kitten food! It really has made a difference in her appearance from when we first saw her!

At the moment, still no kittens, she is getting a lot less active though and more happy to just flop on the floor and watch the young cats play in the garden. Its also quite funny because she has also become more playful the longer she has been pregnant, its quite entertaining to watch! Not that she can keep up with the young ones at the moment.

I will also add that she has never biten anyone, the most she has done is batted us with her paw if we surprise her, but again her claws have never been out. But then again none of us have dared to pick her up yet! The kittens on the other hand have been on the recieving end of a few vicious blows!!

We will be getting her spayed as soon as possible (when the next lot of kittens are weaned), we have spoken to the vet who will lend us a box. Our plan is to leave the box open in the garden so she gets used to it, maybe put food inside and then drop the door when she is least expecting it!! The vet also informed us that he can spay her even if she has become pregnant again, we thought this seemed cruel but I don't think there will be any other choice. Her health has to come first.

Please write with any more comments.

Anna x
post #14 of 25
Quote:
We will be getting her spayed as soon as possible (when the next lot of kittens are weaned), we have spoken to the vet who will lend us a box. Our plan is to leave the box open in the garden so she gets used to it, maybe put food inside and then drop the door when she is least expecting it!! The vet also informed us that he can spay her even if she has become pregnant again, we thought this seemed cruel but I don't think there will be any other choice. Her health has to come first.
Anna..that is truly best for this cat's health...it isn't healthy at all to have so many litters in succession so you are doing the right thing by having her trapped and have the vet spay her regardless (in fact, I wouldn't even ask if she was pregnant...just be happy that you had her spayed when you did). You may want to plan to have her spayed around the time the kittens are 6 weeks of age and adjust the date accordingly if they seem to need more time. Also...it will be important to get these kittens used to humans from the beginning, so definately handle them as often as you can..just watch to make sure mom doesn't get freaked out.

Katie
post #15 of 25
anna, do you need help with free/cheap spaying? if so cats protection and rspca are offering free/cheap deals.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello!

The kittens were born on the 25th....it wasn't an easy birth though, there were 5, but only two survived, we didn't realise it was happening until the older kittens got in there and dragged off one of the little ones, it was a terrible shame that this happened, we separated them immediately and sent the kittens off to the vet the same day to be neutered. two then came along without any problems, a little black and ginger one and a ginger one, then the fourth was stuck for about an hour, once the mother was too tired to get upset when we approched we helped her but it was too late, it did not survive. She then gave up, and just lay there, very unlike her, we were even able to pick her up, so we took her to the vet as an emergency and they found another one inside that has also passed away, but it was making her very sick so the vet spayed her then and there!

She has now recovered and is happily feeding her two new kittens, we are keeping her inside, as she seems to have become alot more friendly over the whole stuation. Also, after the initial excitement from the older kittens they are all getting on fine, with the older ones being allowed to sniff the youngsters with mother keeping a watchful eye. They certainly do not seem to want to cause any harm to them at this stage, however we are watching them whenever they are near.

I would like to include a picture, is this possible? does anyone know how I could do this?

Anna.
post #17 of 25
did the older kittens kill the new born kittens? so sad =0(
Im sorry to hear about the delivery that didn't go so well but at least now she's spayed and you wont have to worry anymore.
To include pics just download them to an image host like photobucket.com and then copy the image url (you'll see it on there, its the third url under the picture) and paste the url onto your post here.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Here are some pictures I have of the older kittens with their mother, and then the two new ones born on the 25th....enjoy x








post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ooops I think I got the picture size wrong.....but at least you can all see them, the mother (maddie) has a lovely tortoise shell coat, and the first two kittens are both ginger, I think the father must have been a ginger tom, and the two new ones (I think the one that looks like its mother is a girl) are very cute, their eyes are not open yet, but mum looks all content...

Anna.
post #20 of 25
Congratulations on the babies. Life can be very cruel, but think of if you hadn't gotten involved. This litter would have killed poor Maddie. Thank you for taking the time and money to tame and care for this little kitty family!
post #21 of 25
Good on you for stepping in. It is a shame that some of the kittens didnt survive, but if you hadn't been able to get her to the vets when you did, she wouldn't be here either, so you really did do a wonderful thing. Now she is spayed, she wont have to go through that again, and she might turn into a nicer natured cat. I am glad you have managed to get her in. You could check the Cat77 website (sorry, can never remember the address) as they have a few branches around the UK, but I don't know whereabouts REading is.
post #22 of 25
Aw, they are all so beautiful. It's sad they didn't all make it, but they are lucky to have you.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello Again,

I thought I would just leave a little update on how our little family of five are doing! After mother cat was spayed, she has been very happy, a good mother to her new ones, the other two older kittens have adjusted well to the new additions, with one of them often climbing in the basket and curling up with the young ones when mother is away...its quite comical!

I have included a picture of the two young kittens, now nearly a month old!! We have named the black one (our first little girl) flash because she has a ginger stripe on her head, and the little ginger one rocky, cos he is very wobbly on his feet!

Enjoy x


post #24 of 25
Awww...very cute....and thank you so much for having the mom cat spayed.

Katie
post #25 of 25
You should have issued a warning that we were gonna be overloaded with cuteness.

They are so adorable - I'm in love.
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