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Feline Midwifery

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
As my girls pregnancy progressees I read everything I can on the upcoming labor (she is 5.5 weeks along). The biggest difference I see is how much intervention people recommend. I would like to get the breeders on this board opinions on how much to interfere and what your process is during labor. Do you leave the cat to do it themself, do you cut the cords, do you let them eat the placenta (if so all of them?), do you seperate the kittens while mom is in labor with new kitten? If you seperate them what method of heating do you use to keep kits warm?

I had lunch the other day with a MC breeder from work and she gave me her recommendations. I think the only thing I might really try to help with is cut the cord, maybe help mom clean the kitten up to make sure he's breathing and such but for the most part let her do her thing.

What do you all do?
post #2 of 21
In my experience, it depends on the queen. I have never missed a delivery yet, and I don't think any of them would let me. Most of our first time Moms's don't eat the first placenta, so we do have to clamp and cut the cord. We tie the cord off with dental floss and apply a bit of iodine. After that, we usually will help get them dried off, clear out any fluids, and then give them back to the Momma, until she starts pushing again. Then we bring the kitten(s) out with us, on a blanket and heating pad to keep them warm.
Usually, I don't have to cut the cord, usually the Mom will eat the placenta and cord with no problems, just the first kitten in first time Mom's.
Most of our girls, have to have our undivided attention. They want us right there beside the nesting box, with our hands massaging a belly.
The only time I have had to interfere is with a difficult breech birth, that the Momma couldn't deliver herself, so I had to turn the kitten, and then he came out. He was inside for a little too long and had to be stimulated, but after just a bit, he was nursing along with the rest of them.
I would make sure you have everything you need on hand, just for anything that may come up!! Congratulations, on your upcoming babies!!
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I'd be worried if I seperated the kittens that the heating pad would be to hot or to cold.

Right now I noticed that Meeka really dosen't like me touching her belly. She can't get enough of head rubs though.
post #4 of 21
My motto is: Let the queen do as much as possible on her own! Don't interfere unless it's really necessary.

I supervise the delivery and don't really do anything at all. My oldest female never needed any help at all. She did everything perfect.

This christmas my young female had her first litter and I had to cut the cords and I had to keep the one that was born first warm since it took some time for the other ones to come and mama cat didn't have time to keep him warm so after hos mother had cleaned him up I put im under my shirt, but as soon as everything calmed down I put him back to his mother.

I we interfere to much we'll never be able to tell which queens are good mothers and not and I find it very important only to breed females that do make good mothers. If they can't handle the delivery and take care of the kittens on her own, she simply isn't a good breeding cat and should be spayed.
post #5 of 21
With my Persians, I do most of it for her. I take and clean and clear the nose and mouth, cut the cord, and throw away the afterbirth. With the very short muzzle on my girls I a afraid they might choke on it. They will clean the kittens up after I give them back and also remove kittens while the mom is puching the next kitten. I also weigh, photograph, and write a full description of the kitten with markings, gender, ect while waiting for the next to come.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
^that brings up another issue. How do you id the kits? If I have a small litter maybe this wont' be a problem. But as soon as you start getting more, and most of them will likely be spotted, do you just know (like a mom would know?)? Or is it sometimes hard to tell which came first and such? This would only be relevent for weighing purposes I guess.
post #7 of 21
Depends on the cat and if its a first time mother. My first breeding rex wanted me right there with EVERY litter. She would not have them unless I was in the room. Why? She would do everything with no help EXCEPT to cut the cords - I had to do that with each kitten/litter.

One of her daughters needed no help at all. Another unrelated rex needed no help from me.

But I was there just in case. I liked watching them and checking them out after mom was done washing, etc. Plus when they were ready to have the next one, I'd take the kittens in my lap (or towel in lap) and keep them together for her while she did the rest. After clean up, I'd put the kittens back with her to nurse.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarityBengals
^that brings up another issue. How do you id the kits?
I ID them with nail polish. I use one of the types that dry fast and I mark the kittens on their paws.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonLady
With my Persians, I do most of it for her. I take and clean and clear the nose and mouth, cut the cord, and throw away the afterbirth. With the very short muzzle on my girls I a afraid they might choke on it. They will clean the kittens up after I give them back and also remove kittens while the mom is puching the next kitten. I also weigh, photograph, and write a full description of the kitten with markings, gender, ect while waiting for the next to come.
Honestly... I think your females will do everything great by herself without choking. Can they eat wet food without choking? If they can, there's no reason to believe they won't be able to cut the cords and clean the babies on their own without choking.

And if they really can't do these things without choking and risking they're lives... I really don't find it ethical to breed them. It's just not healthy and sound to breed cats that can't even do the most basic stuff when it comes to reproduction.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol
I ID them with nail polish. I use one of the types that dry fast and I mark the kittens on their paws.
Do you mark their little claws? I'll look into this.. Maybe I can mark a different foot on each. Heh well in the event that I have a large litter. If its small there probably won't be any issue telling them apart. In the last week she has gone from big to huge! Its so hard to tell how many she's got...

Is there a particular kind? Are there any that are too toxic?
post #11 of 21
You don't have to let them eat all the placenta - just one or two is enough. And I just record the sex and color of each kitten. I did have a litter of Russian Blues (which were all the same color - blue), but didn't need to id them cause they were different shades.

Unless you have identical twins you'll be able to tell the differences. Except for the colors of black and white, most other colors have various shades.
post #12 of 21
My queens are totally independent. They do not even want me touching their kittens unil she is done with delivery. Maybe it is just a siamese thing.
I did miss my last delivery because I was sleeping and she didnt make any noise. All of the kittens are fine.
I disagree about the placenta. The placenta helps the queen to produce Colustrum (sorry if I misspelled). The Colustrum gives the kittens immunity. Kittens are born very vulnurable to disease. Colustrum is given during the first 48 hours of life. That is why it is very IMPORTANT to get the kittens to nurse from Mom. KMR does not have Colustrum. The survival chances are much better with kittens that have nursed within the first 48 hours.
post #13 of 21
I also try to get our queens to eat all the placenta for the nutrients, even if I have to cut the cord for some reason, they will usually still eat the placenta.

Our kittens are born white, we did use nail polish at first, but it just wasn't very easy to use. Now, I just use non toxic Sharpie markers in different colors and put a dot under an arm, or a place where Mom will have a harder time cleaning.

I keep the kittens on my lap while she births another kitten, and then I place them all in to nurse until it is time for her to nurse again. I have a heating pad in my lap, with a towel covering it, so I know they are staying warm, but not getting overheated. A newborn kitten should only eat and sleep, if they are crying, usually there is something wrong.
I also weigh them with a gram scale at birth, and then daily. I will only supplement if it is needed, as the colostrum will help the kittens and is needed from Mom. I have heard that cats produce colostrum continuously during nursing, not just the first few days. I don't know if this is true?
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45
You don't have to let them eat all the placenta - just one or two is enough. And I just record the sex and color of each kitten. I did have a litter of Russian Blues (which were all the same color - blue), but didn't need to id them cause they were different shades.

Unless you have identical twins you'll be able to tell the differences. Except for the colors of black and white, most other colors have various shades.
Ok. I think I'm just being paranoid about not being able to tell them apart. It probably will be fine.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarityBengals
Do you mark their little claws? Is there a particular kind? Are there any that are too toxic?
I just put a mark on the one of the paws. When it comes to different types of nail polish I just make sure it's a kind that dries fast so it isn't smeared or the mother manages to lick it of.

I've just had to mark one litter. I had two black ones and two red ones. Same shades of color, same sex and same size... sure, with time I learned to see the difference between them but that was impossible when they were newly born.

With the placentas... I let the mother eat as much as she want's to and when she's finished I throw any residues away. It's important to count the placentas and check if they seem to be complete so you know there aren't any residues left in the uterues.
post #16 of 21
I am extremely lucky in that Lexus is an absolutely gem when it comes to the birthing process. *knocking on wood so as not to jinx it* She lets me know when she is ready to deliver and I do always sit with her during, but she begins to clean the kittens immediately, takes care of the placentas and nips the cords with gusto. I have often said she has an almost military-like precision in her duties where the kittens are concerned. She is very methodical and precise.

So far, I haven't had a litter where I couldn't tell individuals apart, but in one litter I did have two blue point girls going to different homes, so I also used the non-toxic Sharpies to mark them under the front arm.
post #17 of 21
Gayef, Wonderful Idea! I just love Sharpies.... lol
post #18 of 21
The only thing I do not like about Sharpies is who they sponsor for their Nascar Nextel Cup driver ... *grin* ...

Boogity Boogity Boogity, Let's Go Racin' Boys!!!

Sorry ... *blush*... I am a HUGE Nascar fan and the race at Bristol is coming up this weekend. I just luv short-track racin'!

~gf~
post #19 of 21
No Kidding, I second that emotion! My parent's are heading to Bristol for the race. Jr fans of course!
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookandcompany
No Kidding, I second that emotion! My parent's are heading to Bristol for the race. Jr fans of course!
Oh yes, we wear a lot of red on weekends during race season ... and we always stand up on the 3rd lap and give the 3-Peace Salute to Dale Sr.

OK, we now return this thread to the original topic ...
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
I like some Nascar on occasion. I grew up near Loudon, NH so it was a big deal. Thats where everyone went to get summer jobs. Anyway, fun fun.
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