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when do you put them in a birthing cage?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have a problem with my queen and the birthing cage. Normally I let her have her free rein of the house but before she has kittens I try and put her in the birthing cage. Im not haivng very good success. She finds ways to escape when I open the cage doors, she cries and paces when she's in there and the worst thing is last time she was in labor she refused to have the kittens in the cage. She paced back and forth all night and cried loudly untill I let her out and then immediately jumped into my son's toybox and started pushing kittens out.
What should I do to make her more comfortable so she will want to have kittens in the cage? Do you all think I should give in and let her out for a few hours a day and then keep her in the cage most of the rest of the time. Or should I keep her in there without letting her out at all untill she has the kittens in a couple of weeks? I feel bad and want to let her out for exercise but I think she thinks that if she complains enough i'll give in.
Should I just let her have kittens somewhere in my son's room and forget about the cage all together?
The cage is not small at all but she likes certain spots in the house like on my new livingroom sofa, on top of my tv hutch in my room and somewhere in my hopelessy packed blackhole of a closet.
post #2 of 22
With this last litter, at about 3 weeks before the anticipated delivery date, I set up the birthing crate and just left it open for Lexus to explore. I didn't close her in nor did I force her to stay in there if she didn't want to. I got lucky in that she liked it and decided it was a cool place to have her babies. *grin* Her first litter was delivered in my bed so I was very relieved when she chose to have the kittens in the birthing crate.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
ahhh..that won't work for me my queenie hate the cage. She darts out and when I try to catch her to put her back in she runs. I just fixed her up a secluded box with a hole on the side and and fabric that covers the front which im going to leave down untill she starts to have the kittens. I put a heating pad inside the box and she's exploring it now. Hopefully she'll like the box enough to want to stay in the cage but im not getting my hopes up too high. They do what they want, dont they!
post #4 of 22
I've had maiden queens like this. I just build them up the cage, shutting them in for a few hours each day. I don't think it's safe not to have a female and her kittens penned.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats
I've had maiden queens like this. I just build them up the cage, shutting them in for a few hours each day. I don't think it's safe not to have a female and her kittens penned.
That's the problem. Last litter she had I shut her up in the cage for a few hours a day and all night two weeks before and she refused to have her kittens in the cage. She actually held out untill I let her out of the cage. I had heard that queens can hold off on giving bitrh but never believed it untill I seen it for myself.
Just an update. She dosent like her box yet. She's laying down inside her carrier with a cat bed inside it. i put the carrier in her cage as well but dont know if I should remove it because I don't want her having kittens inside the carrier since I won't be able to see in there very well or be able to work around her if she should need assistance with the birthing process.
post #6 of 22
My female Holly wouldn't have kittens in her pen for her first litter either. She was fine for the litters after that however.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats
My female Holly wouldn't have kittens in her pen for her first litter either. She was fine for the litters after that however.
Actaully my queen had her first litter in that same cage! Her second litter no way. Im hoping this third litter she will.
post #8 of 22
I had one of the tokeyo cages for my cats. They would be kept in there about 2 weeks before kittens are due. And a large box with several towels/newspaper that was inside a pillowcase. Their food/water and litter pan was in there too.

I took out one shelf and put the other shelf as low as the top of the box. They would stay in the cage most of the day when I was working and only be let out a few hours under supervision.

When it was near time to delivery they did a lot of pacing and crying to get out - sometimes I sat there holding them and talking to them but when they went in to labor would put them in the box and keep the door locked.

No way can cats get out of a tokeyo cage if its locked.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
what is a tokeyo cage? My cats can't get out of my birthing cage either unless I open the doors to change litter or feed.
I just spent all day splitting my huge cage into three sectins with acess holes on each level. When I only have one queen in I can open all levels up and she can have the whole cage. When there's more then one queen I can close the levels I need so they will have to stay inside their own level. It's pretty cool. They actually like it. My little silver girl went in to investgate and has been laying in there ever since.
post #10 of 22
Can you take the top off the carrier?
post #11 of 22
A tokeyo cage is very similar to the huge multi-level black cages you see ferrets in. Not sure if the same company makes them. It was called a "tokeyo" cage about 20 yrs ago. The bars are pretty close together so the little kitten heads can't get between them.

And it had two doors - a top and bottom one. You could put several hanging carpet shelves in the cage. It's also collapsable and easy to keep clean. It was on a rolling cart.

When I said the bars are close, rex kittens could not put their heads thru
post #12 of 22
Found this pic of what I assume is a Tokyo Cage:

http://pic17.picturetrail.com/VOL797...2/31853073.jpg

I am not a breeder although I follow with great interest the breeder threads, I don't know how well this would work for your particular situation, but I noticed my own breeder had made cages out of wire shelving (you know, the ClosetMaid stuff.) Not a good pic of Narsil & Mithril as I had just gotten my camera and wasn't familiar with it, but you can see the cage (clickable thumbnail):



She had it set on a tray on wheels which made it simple to roll around to new areas if need be.
post #13 of 22
My dad is building me one right now. I'm not exactly sure the dimensions but it will be around 6x5x3. It will be similar to the one bengalbabe has as she was kind enough to provide me some great pics. I'm also going to have it on wheels as its hard for me to move furniture .

Its in the works! Yay!
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarityBengals
My dad is building me one right now. I'm not exactly sure the dimensions but it will be around 6x5x3. It will be similar to the one bengalbabe has as she was kind enough to provide me some great pics. I'm also going to have it on wheels as its hard for me to move furniture .

Its in the works! Yay!
Mine is on wheels too. it's great because I can roll it over to a window if I want.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengalbabe
She actually held out untill I let her out of the cage. I had heard that queens can hold off on giving bitrh but never believed it untill I seen it for myself.
Yep, it does happen. One of our queens, Isis (now retired), refused to deliver her kittens until I returned from a business trip. She gave birth within an hour of my arriving home, much to my wife's relief and amazement.
She didn't deliver any of her litters unless I was where she could see me. She's the only female we've had that's done that.

I can't add any experience on the birthing cage. We have cattery rooms dedicated to birthing and kitten raising. So, a nice big comfy soft sided dog kennel is provided with bedding. The front is left open. The female can come and go as she pleases and they seem to always use what is provided.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
ahhh I wish I had that luxery! Every room in our house is being used. I thought about moving to a 5 bedroom house but California is extreamly expensive. Single story, 3 bed houses here can and do go for $400,000.
post #17 of 22
Do you think its worth having a top hatch that can be opened or closed? What I'm thinking is to let her go about in the bedroom as she wants but I would only want the kittens out when I'm home as the bedroom isn't kitten proof.

My main reasoning for this is I could provide a larger litter box for her away from the kittens as I hear kittens can catch things from the moms feces. Worth it or not?? I have limited experience and all I remember is the one litter I did help raise, the kittens enjoyed going under my bed to poop :P .
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarityBengals
Do you think its worth having a top hatch that can be opened or closed? What I'm thinking is to let her go about in the bedroom as she wants but I would only want the kittens out when I'm home as the bedroom isn't kitten proof.

My main reasoning for this is I could provide a larger litter box for her away from the kittens as I hear kittens can catch things from the moms feces. Worth it or not?? I have limited experience and all I remember is the one litter I did help raise, the kittens enjoyed going under my bed to poop :P .
Yes that's an idea. Just a few days ago I split my cage into three levels. Each level has a hatch so the momma can go into another level if I open the hatch. That way, when it's only her in there with her kittens she can go to the bottom where I have the litterbox or she can go to the middle where I have her birthing box or the top where she can get away from the kittens. I can block off all sections by closing the hatchs. If I want I can give her 1, 2 or even three sections. She seems to really like it!
Im planning on building a second cage much the same as this one, with three sections and putting it my daughters room.
post #19 of 22
I fortunately haven't run into this problem. My two girls have always had their kittens in the birthing cage which is in a seperate room from all the other cats, I think they like being away from my neutered male Sam, he has to know what is going on at all times, he can be a nuscence at times. I am not sure how this year will go. Rudy is our new girl, she is 4 years old, already had 4 litters with her previous mommy....but I have no idea how she will take to the cage.....I may be in your situation her in a few months bengelbabe. I hope you figure things out and your girls have all the kittens in the birthing cage.
post #20 of 22
Yes Rose, THAT is a tokeyo cage. Very worthwhile investment even if you don't breed cats.

You can use it to isolate a sick cat or one that you need to get a stool sample from (multiple cats/pans) or for introductions of a new cat in with resident cats.

I highly recommend one.
post #21 of 22
I've never caged any of my mamas. I just give them free run of a spare room. I set up a chest of drawers by removing the next-to-last drawer and lining the bottom drawer with tightly folded towels. If Mom is feral I use a white towel (white because it's light permeable) as a curtain over the opening so she has a private hiding place and can feel secure there.

It's worked great for every mama who has used it. They still have free run of the room for their food, litterbox, and even toys if they want a break from the kittens.
post #22 of 22
The only time my mommas are caged is about 2 weeks before delivery till 5 weeks after delivery. When the kittens turn 3 weeks old we bring them out for short amounts of time, in a 3 ft by 3 ft pen, so they can get used to their surroundings and be more socialized with everyone and everything. Then the kittens are moved to a bigger play area(size of small bedroom, it is actually my entry way) as they are beginning to run around and play more. Then at 10 weeks/or they learn to jump the gate, they get free roam of the house and by then everyone is used to everyone and things are great. Then at 12 weeks they are off to their new homes where I know they will be loved forever.
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