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need help

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hi im new here, i found this site while i was looking for information on pregnant cats.
I foster many animals, but most recently i took in a pregnant cat. The lady who was getting rid of her said she should have her babies within a few days. It has been 2 weeks. She is so big and can bearly get into the litter box.
My worry is because i took her in so close to when she was due, she may be holding in her babies. The former owner adopted her from the pound and dosent know when she should have been due. We are very much in the dark. Anyway, how can i tell if she is close to giving birth, is there any in your face signs, that even a foster mom cant miss? I havent had a pregnant cat before. only dogs and they let me know right away. So any help would be great, thanks.
post #2 of 2
Unless the woman could give you a date when she was bred, there really is no way to know when she is due. It does not sound like anyone really knows when that is, so it is anyone guess at this point.

You could take her to the vet (always a good idea when you take in a cat) and they could give you a guesstimate...but so many times they are wrong (by weeks even), so I am not sure how helpful that would be. LOL

I would not worry unless she is having discharge and nothing happens...or if she seemed distressed or if she started trying to bear down and nothing happened.

Some info I found that may be helpful to you:

During the last days of feline gestation, you should watch your pregnant cat carefully. Several signs indicate that birth is imminent.

* Drop of temperature with 1°C (or 2°F). Normal is 38.6°(101.5°F).
* Restless behavior. Your queen searches for a place to give birth.
* Milk production from her nipples. Most queens have eight nipples.

Once labor begins, your cat will start to purr rhythmically and breathe heavily. Delivery can be imminent, but it is also possible that it still takes a few hours before the first kitten arrives.

Contractions will increase. Calm her down by saying kind words. It is normal when fluid and some blood appear from her vulva.

If she’s having strong contractions for over two hours without any sign of kittens appearing, you should call the vet.

Maybe two kittens are ‘struggling’ to be first and block the opening.

Eventually the first kitten is delivered enclosed in a bag filled with fluid. The sac may burst while coming out. The mother will start to lick the kitten. Soon the newborn feline will breathe normally and cry for the first time, just like a human child.

Usually the queen will cut the umbilical cord with her teeth.

Only in case she doesn’t, you may gently cut the cord with a pair of scissors, but make sure you tie the cord first between the cat and the kitten. The Pregnant Cat Care Course explains how to do it safely without endangering your kitty's life.

This is only one of many things that could go wrong during birth. It is extremely important that you are well-prepared for birth.

The placenta appears immediately after the kitten’s birth or shortly afterwards. Most of the time, a cat giving birth eats it.

There should follow a placenta after every kitten. A placenta that stays behind can cause a serious infection.

Once the kitten breathes and is licked clean, place the little cat close to the queen’s nipples. Normally it will start to suck.

A cat giving birth won't get into trouble as long as everything goes as it should, and you know how to recognize complications.
When Birthing Time is at Hand

A few days before delivery, your pregnant cat will show signs of "nesting," e.g., searching for a quiet, private place to give birth to her kittens. Cats often choose closets for this purpose, and may be found sleeping on piles of clothes. Help her out by selecting a closet in a guest room, or an unused guest bathroom (easier to clean).

Move an extra litter box, food dish, and water bowl into the area you (and hopefully, your cat) have chosen. Provide a large cardboard box or laundry basket lined with clean towels (make sure it is low enough for her to enter.) She will usually readily move into the box and sleep there, to mark it with her scent for the expected kittens.

Other than keeping an eye out for potential problems, we've covered here all the things you'll need for the care of your pregnant cat.

Signs of Impending Labor

* Active Labor
Contractions will start and you will see the appearance of the amniotic sac. You may also see a discharge of blood or other colored fluid.
* Physical Signs of Labor
There may be a drop in normal body temperature.
The cat may vomit. The abdomen may "drop" a few days before labor, and the nipples may become larger and pinker.
* Active Labor
Contractions will start and you will see the appearance of the amniotic sac. You may also see a discharge of blood or other colored fluid.
* Behavioral Changes
These include restless pacing, panting, excessive grooming (especially in the area of her genitals), and excessive vocalization. Length of Time for the Total Birth Process

In general, it may take up to six hours for a queen to give birth to all her kittens. The first kitten should arrive within an hour of the start of active labor, and subsequent kittens will take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. She will rest for 15 minutes or so between kittens, and during this time she should be allowed to nurse and clean the kittens that have been born. If you have been keeping the kittens in another box, move them back with the mother cat and help them find a nipple. This is also a good time for you to offer her food or a sip of KMR or plain, unflavored yoghurt. Although in rare cases a healthy kitten is born after the seven hour period, you should take the queen and her kittens to the vet for a checkup once seven hours passes and you are sure there are other kittens inside.

Summary of Potential Problems During Labor

* Extended Contractions without Birth
More than one hour of strong contractions indicates a veterinary emergency, and your cat should be seen by a vet immediately. Take her and any kittens to your vet.
* Retained Placenta
A retained placenta can cause uterine infection. It is important to count the number of placentas (one per kitten) to keep on top of this potential problem.
* Kitten Lodged in the Birth Canal
A kitten that is lodged in the birth canal for more than 10 minutes is in distress, and your intervention may be necessary. Dr. Mike Richards offers instructions for assisting the delivery in an article on his excellent web site. Note that although most kittens are born head first, "breech," or tail-first births occur about 40% of the time, and are considered normal.

Once all the kittens are born, your queen will normally be caring for and feeding them. Make sure she has ample quantities of kitten food and KMR now, and for the rest of the time until the kittens are weaned. And if anything seems amiss with either your queen or the kittens, seek veterinary care immediately.

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