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Feral Cat Pregnant - Just a hello

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to pop in and say a quick hello. I have a pregnant feral cat, who I have yet to name, that is staying for awhile with us in our garage. We are keeping her seperate since we have 3 cats and a dog. I am currently working on trapping the rest and am doing TNR, but she is too far along for me to have waited on her. I figured the best chance to domesticate her and those babies will come from having her throughout this. Of course I plan on getting her fixed after she has finished her motherly duties and until then she is in a huge pen in the garage.

Up until she became pregnant she would not let me pet her... she was one of the many that kept a distance. Soon hunger overpowered that trait and she would let me pet her back while eating only. Now she is being loving as all heck. When I open the pen and crate areas to feed her she comes out now and rubs all up against me. I've felt her tummy... it is hard but a friend of mine from another site said that that is normal at this stage. Due to the fact that she is feral and at this critical stage I don't think that it would be beneficial to try and bring her in.

I wish I knew how far along she is... like I said she is waddling, her belly is huge and I see tons of movement in there.

Still trying to find a name that we like. No, we will not be able to keep her after fostering them all... I have the heart but we don't have the room or money for yet another. We can however do these things, foster and TNR the colony.

Kind regards,
Stacy
post #2 of 21
Hey Stacey...welcome...thanks so much for caring for this momma cat and for TNRing the rest of the colony. If you need a low cost clinic, here is a list for New Jersey:

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Dept of Health & Senior Services
Pet Overpopulation Control Fund
PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-292-7837
When and if state funds are available, spay/neuter surgery is very low cost for pets of people with low income. Check the web site for more information about eligibility requirements and/or call by phone. Many veterinary clinics around the state are participating.
Monmouth County SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic
260 Wall Street
Eatontown, NJ 07724
732-542-3125
Low cost spay/neuter, vaccines, and flea products.

East Coast New Jersey Spay Clinic
732-929-9449



Animal Welfare Association
Voorhees NJ
856-424-2288
Low cost s/n for ferals and pets.

People for Animals
Hillside, NJ
908-964-6887


Good Luck

Katie
post #3 of 21
Stacy as long as she is contained and not shredding your arm every time you come near her, you have done good. Keeping her inside away from other tomcats is the thing to do, because once the kittens arrive, the whole family is vulnerable if left outside. Pretty soon you are going to have a whole bunch of new arrivals and I hope it all goes well for you.I would try and get her to the vet though, to be sure she is healthy and if not you might want to consider spaying her because if she has something then chances are the kittens will be born with it as well.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the hello. We've decided to name her Lacey. So I keep calling her Lacey girl. Since the crate where she lays is not well lit (keeping is partially dark to comfort her) I shined a small flashlight onto her nipples last night to see is there was any leaking. Still cannot tell how close she is to giving birth though we had a discussion last night that she should really have them over the next day she yawned.

Caught two more last night and they are currently at the vet being fixed. I think it stressed Lacey last night to be in the garage in a crate and pen area
while others were in her space even though they were in the traps.

I didn't sleep much knowing that I was stressing her, and that the others were scared.

Here are some pictures of my crew (indoor family, outdoor colony, and new pictures of Lacey and her pen and crate that I rigged.

http://community.webshots.com/user/stattess

Stacy
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by stattess
Thank you everyone for the hello. We've decided to name her Lacey. So I keep calling her Lacey girl. Since the crate where she lays is not well lit (keeping is partially dark to comfort her) I shined a small flashlight onto her nipples last night to see is there was any leaking. Still cannot tell how close she is to giving birth though we had a discussion last night that she should really have them over the next day she yawned.

Caught two more last night and they are currently at the vet being fixed. I think it stressed Lacey last night to be in the garage in a crate and pen area
while others were in her space even though they were in the traps.

I didn't sleep much knowing that I was stressing her, and that the others were scared.

Here are some pictures of my crew (indoor family, outdoor colony, and new pictures of Lacey and her pen and crate that I rigged.

http://community.webshots.com/user/stattess

Stacy
Stacey...wow...what gorgeous cats. I volunteer at our local feral cat clinic and am always amazed how beautiful these cats are. Congrats on capturing 2 of your colony. It will mean a much better life for the cats and a healthier colony overall.

Katie
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
I was reading a post that was talking about show. I saw a smear of something outside the litter box yesterday morning. It looked like what we call bad poopies. She had been pretty firm in movements except for the first night I got her indoors.

My question: Where will I see the show or anything like that. Obviously her being feral (even though she's been friendly) I cannot pick her up tip her over and check her out.

Thanks all. I've read up... but if your like me you keep looking for more info...

Stacy
post #7 of 21
with my cat (currently giving birth) when she started to have a show she began licking her tummy and birth area a bit, not constantly, but every now and then when she had what i believe to be those first subtle contractions. also when she pooped she pushed a little blood out of the canal too. like you, i had no idea what to look for since i was a child when my cats had kittens growing up. she got a bit more friendly and talkative the last 18 hours before birth too, (before she decided to start having them under my couch on the white carpet) hope this helps!
post #8 of 21
btw, theyre all adoreaable!
post #9 of 21
Very cute cats! You are doing great to keep your feral Momma-to-be in a cage. And congrats on trapping two more to speuter them! Good job!
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
So of course here I was thinking that I was doing a good job for Lacey and lo and behold self imposed guilt decides to show up and takes ahold of me.

She obviously is used to being outside and feral having all sorts of room to roam. I have her in my garage but more than that,if you check out the picts at the link I posted in my hello thread, she is in a crate (25 x 31.5 x 25)attached to a pen (5 sides out of 8 being used - each side is 24 x 24). I have three dogs and a cat and the garage is probably not the safest place for her, but it's still better than being outside.

I'm feeling guilty about her being in a pen. She can stand, walk around, stretch out, eat, she's got a birthing box in there but won't lay in it, obviously a litter box, and food and water. Also in the room is a fan for when the room gets stagnant, soft music playing on occasion.

My problem is that she seems unhappy. When I am there with her and feeding I leave it open so that she can walk around garage with me and rub all up against me. Is this space not sufficient for her? Or am I just being too hard on myself.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
My problem is that she seems unhappy. When I am there with her and feeding I leave it open so that she can walk around garage with me and rub all up against me. Is this space not sufficient for her? Or am I just being too hard on myself.
Personally...I would rather risk her being unhappy then have her accidentally find a way out of your garage and risk her having her kittens outdoors. Certainly a cage is a change from the outdoors...but this situation is temporary....and once she has had her kittens and weaned them and been to the vet to be spayed..she can once again be returned to her outside life.

Katie
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I guess I'm being a mom, concerned about every thing I do and how she is at every juncture. Does having another feral in the garage seperate from her upset her? Will she hold off going into labor due to the lack of routine and peace/quiet? Am I spending enough time with her? I read that sometimes if they have bonded with you they will hold off labor until you are around.

All concerns.

So new at this all.

Thanks.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by stattess
Thank you. I guess I'm being a mom, concerned about every thing I do and how she is at every juncture. Does having another feral in the garage seperate from her upset her? Will she hold off going into labor due to the lack of routine and peace/quiet? Am I spending enough time with her? I read that sometimes if they have bonded with you they will hold off labor until you are around.

All concerns.

So new at this all.

Thanks.
I see you have a lot of questions...several of which I can't answer...but what you may want to do is send a PM to "Hissy"...she is one of the mods here who has worked with feral cats and would be a really good person to answer your questions.

Katie
post #14 of 21
I just got your PM and merged your threads so I could know the whole story.

If you can, in her pen, take out all the blankets and such and replace them either with shredded newspaper (lots of it) or straw. She may be put off by all the human smells coming off the blankets and the toys. Feral cats don't really care for toys, unless they have known a home prior to yours and been tossed out of it. I take a pipecleaner and stick a feather on one end and wire it up on the cage where they can bat it when they are stressed.

I don't know how warm your garage is, but once she has her kittens, don't turn the fan on them. Kittens need to stay really really warm at first so keeping them out of the draft is a good idea.

When she has company in the garage, and she seems anxious, cover the trapped cats with a dark cloth, leaving enough space at the bottom for air- if it is really warm, then that is when I would use the fan, but turn it into the direction of the trapped and covered kitties and not on her.

Hope I have helped-
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much. I've used hay for the outside cats before in their outside houses. I also have Carefresh Pet Bedding. Either one better for her since she will be birthing soon? Of course I do have newspaper as well... but I thought I read something about the dyes?

It makes sense what you are saying though about the smells. I honestly did not even consider that. Very grateful for the shared knowledge!

Stacy
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Lacey (which is what I named the feral momma cat) has had her litter. I'm sad to say that I was on vacation when her time came (signif other parents 35th anniv). Perhaps I could have saved some of those that did not make it. The pet sitter called me with the news.

She had 7 babies total. 5 of which did not make it. She is doing well now, she is still as lovable as she was when she was pregnant and the bloody discharge seems to have stopped as of Sunday.

Questions for you all...

Sorry this is not a pleasant question: A friend came and removed 4 of the dead who were discarded and left in a corner. She had them on Wednesday. It was not until Sunday that I noticed that there was another dead one. Except that she is and had been laying upon it in her birthing bed.. she licked it once or twice, but I knew it was dead from the way that it's cast off in the box, sprawled and laid upon. I immediately upon getting home Sat made her a new box. The boxes are in the back of a crate which are hard to get to. I go near the box and she hissed. Otherwise she is extremely friendly. Upon looking in there last night (sorry that this is as gross as it is painful to my heart) the baby is ripped apart and flattened. Is she eating this? Still after these few days? Or is it decomposing? Why didn't she cast this one to the same pile as the others were in? How can I get in there to remove this and removed the soiled bed. I'm thinking about locking her out of the pen tonight and locking myself in while I change the boxes..which will require me to touch the babies and place them in the new box.

Most importantly... if she is not eating the remains but what I am seeing is decomposition, does this have the potential to make her and the babies sick.

Sorry for the long email and many questions but I am not sure of any of this. The babies are cute but pictures are dark and fuzzy at this time. Will post them later.

Stacy
post #17 of 21
Mother cats often eat their dead offspring. It seems horrible and barbaric but actually it's for the benefit of the survivors. A decomposing body will attract predators to the nest and threaten the whole family. A mother cat eating a dead kitten does not in any way imply that she killed the kitten or that she will harm her remaining kittens.

She probably won't be harmed by eating the decomposing kitten (cats are carnivores and their digestive system can handle bacteria that would make a human extremely ill), but it's not healthy to have a decomposing body in the nest either. It is best to remove any dead kittens ASAP. Just put on a pair of sturdy gloves and take care of it as quickly as possible. She'll hiss and might smack you but that's okay. Your touching the kittens will not cause her to reject them.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
She'll hiss and might smack you but that's okay. Your touching the kittens will not cause her to reject them.
True, she will not reject the babies if you touch them, but she may move them if you do touch them or pay much attention to them.
Last summer, a feral whom I was feeding had 4 kittens in a nicely sheltered place in my yard. A few weeks later, I found two incredibly tiny, tottering kittens in a full barrel of garden clippings. We were delighted to see the little cuties and, inevitably, stroked them on the head & body when we passed, over th enext few weeks. (They were tottering about by this time.) THeir mama moved them to a stand of high greenery, then, since they would totter out, determinedly carried them off to a "safe" place - under my car next to the street!
Naturally, I could not let the inevitable happen, so I grabbed each one & brought them in, fostered them over the summer & found homes for 3 out of 4, (the fourth remains with me.)

So be aware that excessive attention or touching may inspire her to move them. If you do plan to ame them, get them between 5 & 6 weeks. You may have to bottle-feed for a week or so, but the kittens will be 100% tame, as if they were not feral-born. (My vet's advice)
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
I trapped her before she gave birth and she is in a large pen attached to a crate in my garage. My handling of them at this time will only be this evening to move them into a clean bed. Hopefully she will not try to kill me through the crate from the outside while I'm in... or attack me upon my exit. I will not handle them again until I think that she is ready or that they are older... Such a delicate time....
post #20 of 21
You should begin handling the kittens as soon as their eyes and ears are open and they begin to have some awareness of the world around them. This would mean by around three weeks of age. By the time the kittens are mobile and playing (4 weeks or so), you should begin serious socialization by introducing them to new people (including children who are old enough and gentle enough to safely handle the kittens), new situations, and healthy, vaccinated adult cats. Mom won't be thrilled but she won't have a whole lot of choice - once the babies become ambulatory, she doesn't have a whole lot of say over what they do!
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
I successfully changed the bedding last night. Mom and babies are doing well.
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