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SO many questions regarding my pregnant kitty!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My baby, Princess is almost a year old and should be due any day. I understand that a vaginal discharge is a sign of labor, but when? Poor thing, I ahve been stalking her for 3 days now! lol! Here is what she is doing...

Laying down a LOT!
Occasional bursts of playfulness (really strikes me as odd, but she does live with 2 other cats and 3 kids)
"cleaning" around the food bowl before and after eating
being generally lazy, but still very affectionate

Sorry, but I just can't bring myself to take her rectal temp!

I am so anxious for her to have these babies that it's scary! lol!

Now, next question....
How many problems do you all foresee when considering she mated with her litter mate? They do not share ANY genetic traits except for being about 50% white....their other colors aren't even the same and I understand that is genetically determined as well. I honestly believe we have a very good chance of getting a male calico out of the two of them (which I understand to be extremely rare) but the breeding was accidental...

Last question...
How do I put pictures of my pretty kitties in my signature? They are my other babies and I would love to show them off!
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Especially the genetic part....Princess is sleeping comfy for the moment...sigh...feels like I will never meet the new babies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvn_my_cats
My baby, Princess is almost a year old and should be due any day. I understand that a vaginal discharge is a sign of labor, but when? Poor thing, I ahve been stalking her for 3 days now! lol! Here is what she is doing...

Laying down a LOT!
Occasional bursts of playfulness (really strikes me as odd, but she does live with 2 other cats and 3 kids)
"cleaning" around the food bowl before and after eating
being generally lazy, but still very affectionate

Sorry, but I just can't bring myself to take her rectal temp!

I am so anxious for her to have these babies that it's scary! lol!

Now, next question....
How many problems do you all foresee when considering she mated with her litter mate? They do not share ANY genetic traits except for being about 50% white....their other colors aren't even the same and I understand that is genetically determined as well. I honestly believe we have a very good chance of getting a male calico out of the two of them (which I understand to be extremely rare) but the breeding was accidental...

Last question...
How do I put pictures of my pretty kitties in my signature? They are my other babies and I would love to show them off!
post #3 of 17
http://www.tenset.co.uk/catgen/indexus.html
I found this free software pretty fun to play with predicting the kittens' looks.

You're going to find out that every cat is different when they're about to give birth. Some are very clingy, some make a fuss, some do absolutely nothing to give it away. (Like mine)

There are some genetic things that can happen when siblings mate, a couple diseases more likely, but for the life of me I can't remember right now. You could search the forum for "siblings mating" or something like that and see what you get.

You're going to spay momma after all this I hope? It's really much more humane and healthy for her...
post #4 of 17
Hi and welcome to The Cat Site! I am glad you found us and I hope we can help with your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvn_my_cats
My baby, Princess is almost a year old and should be due any day. I understand that a vaginal discharge is a sign of labor, but when? Poor thing, I ahve been stalking her for 3 days now!
You may not always see the discharge. Cats are usually pretty good about keeping themselves clean and your girl may tidy herself up before you have a change to observe any outward signs like this.

In the last days before delivery, you may notice that the kittens are very active, kicking and moving around a lot. Your Princess may seek out warm, dark, out of the way places in your home and choose one as her birthing nest. If you haven't already, it is time to provide her with a suitable nest for her delivery - keep in mind when choosing what is suitable as a nest that she will, for the most part, be in there 24/7 for the first 3 to 4 weeks of the kittens' lives. Whatever you choose should be large enough to accommodate Princess so that she can freely stand, turn, lay down comfortably. A large cardboard box is fine, others have used a large plastic storage tote. If you use a cardboard box, cut an opening for Princess to come and go but make it high enough so that the babies can't get out until it is time for them to. Line the bottom of whatever you choose with newspapers (a recently suggested good idea is to place the newspapers in old pillow slips) and soft old sheets or blankets. I also use old towels but as someone mentioned in another thread, the loops on the terry cloth may catch little claws - I have never had a problem with this, but I can see where it might present a concern. Once you have made a soft, warm nest for Princess, place it in a quiet room away from the normal traffic routines of your home and cover it with a thick blanket so that the opening you've made is only partially covered. Show Princess the nest and allow her to explore it at will. Hopefully, she will take right to it and have her babies in there.

Quote:
Here is what she is doing...

Laying down a LOT!
Occasional bursts of playfulness (really strikes me as odd, but she does live with 2 other cats and 3 kids)
"cleaning" around the food bowl before and after eating
being generally lazy, but still very affectionate

Sorry, but I just can't bring myself to take her rectal temp!
Rectal temp is not always an indication of delivery either. *smile* I don't mind taking a cat's temperature rectally, but then I have done it lots of times so feel pretty confident. I remember the first time though and it was a little out of my comfort zone at the time! *smile*

Most of the things you have mentioned sound like pretty normal cat behavior. I would start thinking it was close when you notice that she is digging around looking for a nesting place or exploring the nest you make for her. It's really close when you notice that she is pushing a little - she is young and since this is her first litter, she might go in and out of her litter box frequently, mistaking the sensations of the contractions with the need to eliminate. Watch the litter box closely if you see this behavior with her in the event she delivers a kitten in there.

Quote:
I am so anxious for her to have these babies that it's scary! lol!
Be careful what you wish for! *grin*

Quote:
Now, next question....
How many problems do you all foresee when considering she mated with her litter mate? They do not share ANY genetic traits except for being about 50% white....their other colors aren't even the same and I understand that is genetically determined as well. I honestly believe we have a very good chance of getting a male calico out of the two of them (which I understand to be extremely rare) but the breeding was accidental...
They are siblings? If they are siblings, they share a LOT of genetic traits other than just color. A close inbreeding will strengthen any negative genetic issues they each carry. So, if they both carry the recessive gene necessary for say ... a tail deformity, then the chances are extremely good that their kittens will all present with that tail deformity. Are your cats pedigreed? Closely inbreeding cats whose parentage and health history is unknown is very, very risky. I understand it was an accidental breeding, but I wouldn't go so far as to base a pretty sure bet on a male calico out of this litter not knowing more about the lineage of your cats, specifically, what is behind them. You have to have more information than you've given ... what color were the parents of your cats? What color were their parents? If you know the answers to these questions, then it would be easier to say a male calico is likely, but not with just what little info we have to go on from your post.

Hope this helps,

~gf~
post #5 of 17
Kittens will be born from about 63 - 68 days after mating. If they are brother/sister, then they share many genetic traits - even if they have different fathers - cats can mate with more then one male at a time and the resulting kittens can have different fathers.

I do hope you've gotten at least the brother neutered by now. Anyway, as far as a male calico - that's not common at all - 99.9% of calicos are female. What are the colors of the cats involved - I'm good with genetics and can give you a prediction of what colors are possible.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I may have mentioned it incorrectly before, but what I was trying to say was that she has already had the vaginal discharge....sorry for the misunderstanding. I have been watching her and with all the cleaning she is doing vaginally and her behavior I would be leaning strongly towards it being today.

Okay, let me tell you about the siblings, then I do have one more question. Digger (aptly named since he won't go in the litter box without digging for at least 10 minutes!) is an orange and white short-haired tabby. Princess is a black and white medium hair tabby. What I found on the internet (wealth of knowledge from vets out there) is that all cat traits are genetic. She is black and white, he is orange and white. She has a very small build, he has a very large build. She is female, he is male (kind of obvious when you look at what I am posting! lol!) She has green eyes, he has yellow. No deformites of any sort, they are actually the picture of health. Now here is the trick. We assume, but do not know for fact that they are actual litter mates. My husband brought them home from a vets office. The mother apparently was run over by a truck and died, they were 7 weeks old. These 2 were found together nearby so the assumption is that they are litter mates, but from what I understand even one litter can have different father (thank god humans can't get pregnant while pregnant! UGH!).

Now, one more question....my boys... Warlock (what else do you call an all black cat you get on Halloween day?!) is 6 1/2, he adapted to Digger and Princess fine, but is getting very jealous and territorial lately, especially of his humans. Digger, well, he is a cutie, but he reminds me of your typical beach bum, kind of like "duh, now what..." mentality. They keep taking over all the places I make for her to nest and are making me nervous for her babies. Isn't it better to introduce them immediately? So they can baby-sit or whatever for her? I have heard that cats do that so mom can get out and eat and such. Or would it be better in your opinion to keep them separated?

Wow, that was a lot of typing before 8am!
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
The competition around here is getting fierce, especially for Warlock, my oldest. I am sitting in my computer chair and turn around to find all 3 of my doofus' staring at me. So I put my hand down to pet them. Big fatso warlock runs, literally runs, at me to be the first one to get pet. If I even call one of the other kitties he will charge in from another level in the house (3 level townhouse, great hearing!) and take over so he gets pet and they don't! What is up with this possessiveness? It isn't just the impending birth, he has been doing this for a few months now, but it has definitely gotten worse since pregnancy. I love my kitties, but I currently have 3 staring at me and I know that if I move this keyboard off my lap there will be battles to see who gets my lap!
post #8 of 17
Actually, the traits of mom and dad have very little to do with getting a male calico. The reason why its rare is that a calico can only occur with two X chromosomes, one that carries the orange gene and one that does not, allowing the black to show through. This is why most calicos are female, since usually only females carry two X chromosomes, while a male has an X and a Y.

Male calicos occur from something called a nondisjunction - when the female eggs are being produced, the paired Xs fail to seperate from each other and one egg gets two Xs and the other gets none. If this then pairs with a Y from daddy, the resulting offspring carries two Xs and a Y, known in humans as Kleinfelter's syndrome. This tends to result in some physical problems like sterility and such as its not natural to have two Xs and a Y. Hope that was understandable, and that it helped!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
I think that that pretty much straightened me out on it....thank you for your help!
post #10 of 17
Sounds to me like you have two mixed breed cats. When you have different color cats of unknown parentage, you just get mixed colors. Genetic info helps predict color if you know more of the line. So someone who is breeding persians, and knows the coloring of the last two generations has a better chance of guessing the coloring of the kittens.

The behavior you are seeing in your males is due to the hormones in the house, in my opinion. It is possible, once the kittens are born, that the males would kill the kittens so they can mate with the mother cat. If it were me, I would give the momma a separate room so she can bond with the babies and keep them safe. She may also act aggressive once the babies are born. My last foster mom attacked my 85 lb akita trying to protect her babies, and she had to leave the room the kittens were in to get to the dog. So do not assume that your kitties will remain gentle through this process.

Also, the males can mate with the female and impregnate her soon after she gives birth, so you should keep them separate so she won't get pregnant again.

I hope your kittens are born healthy and well. Whether there is a visible deformity or not, genetically speaking, you should not allow inbreeding. For instance, my husbands family carries a gene for a fatal bowel disease. Neither his father's family or his mother's family knew they were carriers. But of their 5 children, one died of the disease, one had multiple surgeries and survived, one had several surgeries and survived. Two are healthy. Since we didn't do genetic testing before our children were born, they were closely monitored their first year to ensure they did not have the illness.

If a similar thing happened with cats, two apparently healthy kittens from a litter could mate, and most likely 1/2 the kittens would die of the disease that was not apparent in the parents.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
So far as the older males mating with her, my older male, Warlock is fixed and has been for a long long time now. He has had kittens in the house before (Princess and Digger) so he isn't my main fear. Digger, while very friendly and playful, has never had to deal with this before and as of yet, is not fixed. (speaking of which, isn't there a program through petsmart where it can be done cheaply? Please email me the info if anyone knows it.) Princess and Digger have always been inseperable, but I don't want them mating again and I don't want him to harm the kittens. I really thought we had more time then we did to get them fixed in the first place....

I am also extraordinaly acquainted with genetic mtraits in humans, just not in cats. My mother-in-law, husband and yougest child all have an extremely rare genetic skin condition that causes them a lot of pain. All feline genetic information has been and will continue to be very helpful. Thank you.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
having typing problems apparently....I am sure you can figure it out though! lol!
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvn_my_cats
So far as the older males mating with her, my older male, Warlock is fixed and has been for a long long time now. He has had kittens in the house before (Princess and Digger) so he isn't my main fear. Digger, while very friendly and playful, has never had to deal with this before and as of yet, is not fixed. (speaking of which, isn't there a program through petsmart where it can be done cheaply? Please email me the info if anyone knows it.)
It helps if you provide your city/state. However, the link below has a list of low cost spay/neuter clinics listed by state. You really should have your intact males neutered now. The problem is that about a week after giving birth, your female can get pregnant again and males can still have active sperm for about a month following their neuter.

http://www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html

I highly recommend keeping your female cat away from your males after she has given birth. This will be less stressful for her, it will also ensure that she doesn't get pregnant again and you won't have to be concerned that one of the males will want to kill her kittens.

Katie
post #14 of 17
As far as inbreeding goes, it is more likely to cause genetic defects because it tends to create what are known as homozygotes. A homozygote carries two of the same copies of a gene, as opposed to a heterozygote which carries two different copies.

So if, say, grandfather had one mutant copy of a gene that would cause very bad effects if there were two copies present, his offspring would have a 50% chance of getting that gene as well from him. This gene is probably really rare in the population, and might be a unique mutation, meaning that no other creature in the world carried it except him, and so if inbreeding didn't occur, there would be little to no chance that the bad effects would be seen.

Now, say two of his children, a boy and a girl, were to each have that gene from him. If they were to mate, then this mutation that would never have otherwise appeared will now show up with a 25% probability, with 50% of the rest of the offspring carrying this mutation without showing it. Only 25% would be completely normal.

There's my attempt at genetics in an nutshell! Let me know if you have more questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.
post #15 of 17
Did you download that genetics software? I think you would have females that could be black, black & white, or calico, and the males could be black or black & white. But I don't have the software here at work...
post #16 of 17
Heh I didn't read this thread too closely as there were some long posts! So sorry if this has already been said.

Calico's are often the subject in genetics classes. Like others have said its an sex-linked trait. Females are XX but only one X is active at any point of the body. So on females you see a calico when the red only shows up in patches all over the body. You can easily see where the one X is active and the other is inactive based on what part is red and what isn't! Very cool! For a male (XY) to have a red expression their X MUST be active all over so you get red males but no browns etc that makes the calico/tortie look. BUT the reason you still COULD have a calico male (and rare) is because of a genetic anomoly where a male is XXY! So you can have one active X and one inactive X just like females! Pretty cool stuff!! Except it would be discouraged to breed an XXY male because unfortunately with the increase in X's (yes you can have even more than that), increases the chance of some mental retardation. Hence my fiance always jesting with me, "males must be smarter because the more X's you have the more mental instability."

This same thing can happen in humans except are color isn't sex-linked. The only condition I'm aware of that is sex-linked is a (sorry can't remember the name) sweating condition where people swet all over their bodies. So they end up sweating in patches and other patches will be completely dry depending on which X is expressed. Wierd!!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
so that everyone could see them....they are such sweethearts! As I said...Digger is an orange/white with tabby stripes in the orange. Princess is a black white, but in her black she does have some small patches of white...well, it makes sense to me anyway....lol!
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