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Pregnant Cat

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey, I'm new, and I'm mainly signing on because I have some questions, because a situation has come up that I never thought I'd have to deal with.

About 8 months ago the local shelter had a problem with a distemper outbreak, and needed to get all of the unaffected cats and rabbits out of the building so they couldd disinfect. aving adopted a rabbit from them, I came by to see if I could help.

I went home with a young cat who I named Niko. She had a very bad cold, which is why no one would take her. She had come in with a litter of kittens a while ago, and had already been reurned because of the cold. The person who took her feared it was distemper, despite their assurances. It should also be noted that the SPCA filed were a bit wonky with her... she was originally listed as male!

So I took Niko home and took care of her, and the cold cleared up within a week. By then it was too late, and I couldn't bring myself to bring her back. She got along well with the rabbits, so why not?

Unfortunately, a little piece of information slipped past during all this. Namely, Niko had never been spayed! I assumed the SPCA didn't release animals unless they were fixed, but I guess this was an exception.

The result is that Niko is now pregnant. As an overanxious owner, I've been digging up all the info I could for her, and feeling guilty for not realizing this sooner (I thought she was just getting fat! I put her on lo-cal food for a few days! Auuugh!)

She is now on kitten food and is kept indoors permanently. But I'm curious if there's any way to tell when the litter is imminent, or even if she's just close? Her abdomen is quite swollen now, flared out to the sides, her nipples are pink and enlarged. She now eats smaller portions more frequently, and she seems to be having more difficulty getting around, preferring the floor to her usual spot on the bed. I've also found her in the darkened bathroom a few times, which she NEVER goes into unless someone is in there. She's more demanding of attention, but she won't stay put for long. She sleeps for shorter periods, and spends the rest of the time restlessly prowling the apartment.

This behavioural change is recent, within the last few days, and I'm not sure if it's because of being shut in, or the pregnancy.

I believe she was mated on or around February 22nd, because she disappeared for four days around then, which is the only time she's been away from home for more than a few hours. I could be wrong, though. There IS a neighborhood Tom who's taken an interest in her, and I think he's the father. He's probably lurking around waiting for the litter to be born.

What I want to know is, is there any way short of a vet visit to verify how far along she is? Even roughly? She's a regular grey and black tabby.
post #2 of 16
Welcome P!

Well, I just don't know anything about all this! Hey all you experts, where are you???

Here is a link to another thread on a pregnant kitty

This will probably get moved to the care and health forum, and someone will answer you soon.
post #3 of 16
Fitst of all - I am going to move this question to the Healht Forum for you where you will get some wonderful answers.....
BUT (no expert here) I think she is about ready. She is eating less and pacing and doing these sort of 'nesting' instincts. I would make her a bed in a quiet spot and introduce your babe to it. You are goin gto be a gramma soon
post #4 of 16
You don't say how young she is, but she should go and be checked by a vet as a matter of routine. When it becomes close, you will notice she will become quite restless, pacing, pawing and (nesting) it would be good for you to provide her with some kind of birthing box, make it so the sides are big enough that the kittens will not fall out of it and fill it with soft rags and towels and blankets, or whatever you have on hand. You will see that she will start straining, there will some discharge, she will pant and then try and bury down to provide a nest for her kittens. If she is exceptionally young, there could be problems with the birthing process, so it is always good to have had her checked beforehand by your vet and also to have the vets phone number handy nearby. Good luck........
post #5 of 16
She's due. Better get a spot ready. At the shelter in Pittsburgh, the new owner gets a paper which allows you to return your animal for spaying or neutering at no additional cost. At least, that's my experience. I'm surprised you were given no information.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Heh... I'll be a Grandpa, actually

I've got a couple of spots set up for her, giving her a choice (I know cats are supposed to be finiky about the spot.)

I'll try showing her the spot. Honestly, I hope she gives birth this weekend while I can be home for her, instead of while I'm at work.

I'm a bit leery of taking her for a car ride at this late stage... mebbe if I was a bit more observant I would have realized she wasn't just getting fat ;p

I'll try showing her one of the spots I've set up and see if that gets a reaction.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
BTW, I should add that Niko is in no danger of losing them because she's too young. This is her second litter (First was before I got her, when she was taken to the shelter). She was at least 14 months then, maybe older, and that was 8 months ago.

Part of me keeps wondering if this isn't just really, really bad gas that's bloating her up :p
post #8 of 16
Grandpa it is then. Sorry about that!
Let us know how things are progressing!
post #9 of 16
Id say she's due anytime too. My cat was mated on 19th February, and she gave birth on thursday this week. SO Id say shes nearly ready!

You will know when the birth is imminent, as she may have a yellowish discharge around her back legs, or she may being to pant, or just be very loving.

Good luck, its great having kittens!
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice! It's reassuring to know that this isn't really all that unusual.

Niko still hasn't given birth, but she's definitely nest-shopping. She doesn't like the nest I set up for her though... natch. Looks like it's either under the bed or in the storage closet amongst the boxes of Christmas decorations.

She's still eating like a horse, and unfortunately pooping like one too (Her aim in the litterbox has never been the greatest. Getting a cover for it today. *Phew*!). She's also sleeping a lot. I can feel the kittens moving around, but no idea how many.

Now if I could just get the rabbits to be quiet so we could both get some sleep ;p
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Niko's gone into her chosen nest and isn't coming out, a sure sign it's time.

It's behind the Christmas boxes in the storage closet, which is a little inaccessable. I've moved a little stuff, but I'm just going to leave the biggest box there so she's still secure, and leave her to birth, staying nearby to hear if she's in any distress. I already heard one unhappy meow, but it wasn't loud or repeated, so I assume it's normal. I'm guessing it's best if I just stay out of this.

When the babies are finally born, will it be alright for me to move the boxes so I can put her litter and food closer, and check on the babies? I don't want to disturb her any more than necessary, but at the same time I want to take care of her.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, three kittens so far! That's probably the whole litter (I hope!)

#1 Came out easily, but didn't start peeping for a little bit. But he piped up soon enough and was loud and clear.

#2 Seemed to hurt the most of the three, and came right after #1. He started peeping almost before he was all the way out!

#3 Came after some delay, when I thought the two kits were it. I got a good look at him, because he was born at the entrance to the cubbyhole. It took him a minute to get up the strength to cry out, but when he did he was right up scrambling to get to Mom where it was warm.

Mom and kits have quieted down now, save for the occasional peeping. All the noise however has completely disturbed my poor rabbits, who are convinced they are destined to be lunch for these new arrivals.
post #13 of 16
Oooooh, congratulations!!!!!! baby kiddens!!!!!!!!!!! We love them, nobody can resist a kitten!!
post #14 of 16
I am so happy for you and mom and that things seemed to go well. You can probably help her set up a better nest. The bedding will need to be changed, and mom will appreciate that. Let us know...........
post #15 of 16
Congratulations on the new arrivals! I'm so glad to hear that momma and babies are doing well. Keep up updated! Most of us have to live the joys of kittenhood vicariously through the others on the site.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, it's now Day #2 of the kitten's lives, and things seem to be going well. Mama is taking good care of them it seems (Nursing them, stimulating them to defecate, investigating whenever one cries out). There hasn't been any excessive crying, and they're all flopping about vigorously in the brief times when they're not asleep or attached to one of Mom's teats. Umbilical cords haven't fallen off yet.

I was a bit worried when Mom didn't use the litterbox all of yesterday, but she used it today, so no worries about her being stopped up or anything (Geez I'm paranoid!)

The three kittens are just adorable! One is a light grey, another is a darker grey with black striping like Mom, and the third is black. One of them has a real set of lungs, and is definitely more vocal than the others.

I changed out the bedding today (Mom has claimed pretty much the entire closet) which Niko wasn't too sure about. But otherwise she's almost back to her old self; Greeting me at the door, insisting on attention when the kits are asleep and taking her rightful place in my lap.

The rabbits still aren't sure about all this peeping coming from the other room. The little dwarf still hasn't forgiven me for bringing these horrible little invisible peeping things into his home, though he's not thumping (For those of you who don't know, thumping is a sign of aggression in rabbits).

All is well so far, and hopefully we won't hit any snags. BTW, I DO have a question: I'm going away in a few weeks, and my parents are taking over care of Mom and the litter for a few days... was going to transport the whole litter in a large cardboard box with Mom's blanket as lining... any thoughts on what else I should do to make their trip comfortable? The kittens should be about 4 weeks by that point (The trip was planned before I knew Niko was pregnant)
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