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5 kittens by Cesarean

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I was just looking for some advice, my cat Jessie has just had 5 kittens by cesarean, they are doing fine.
They couldn't be birthed because of a previous pelvic fracture that Jessie had sustained and had narrowed the pelvis.
Jessie has been spayed in the same op and the vet has said that she wont be able to produce milk and that we need to hand raise the kittens,

I have read many different things about this some say no milk some say she can still feed them.

I'm planning to leave Jessie confined with them for a few days and closely monitor them and their weight and feed if neccessary, even a mother-kitten bond would be great, even if she cant feed them herself, but she had originally not seemed very interested in them when she awoke after her op.

What would your advice be?
Do you think she will eventually come around to her kittens?
post #2 of 13
I think the main thing you have to worry about is the kittens ripping open the stomach where the incision is. Nursing puts a lot of strain in that area and their claws can possibly rip out stitches or irritate the area to the point where it can get infected. Otherwise, if she has milk the can probably nurse for a little bit. I would definately supervise as much as possible and bottle feed here and there. I think the Jessie will take care of her motherly duties otherwise. But just see how it goes, she may not and then you will have to step in and possibly seperate them and bottle feed them every 2 hours, stimulate them to go to the bathroom, clean up after them and keep them warm. It can be quite a job so good luck.

You will need to feed them KMR which is Kitten Milk Replacer. Not regular milk/
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Jessie has taken to the kittens finally, unfortunately one of the little ones slipped away an hour after we got home, it was just very weak and its breathing gave in
But the other 4 are doing great and suckling away.

We have decided however, to give the 2 Ginger ones (that we were planning to give up anyway) to the vet who performed the C-Section as she is going to hand rear them and adopt them both.
She advised that after a day or 2 suckling they wont be able to absorb any more of the anti-bodies/goodness from her mothers milk and because of the C-Section she will run dry and not produce.
So it is better to hand rear the other 2 and let the 2 we are keeping get twice as much mothers milk as they would have.
It was a tough decision but who better to adopt and raise a pair of kittens than a vet?

Anyway here they are

post #4 of 13

Although it's been a few years now since I had any kittens, I have had four moms who were c/section& spayed, or in one case due to retained placentas that required surgery, spayed after a normal delivery. They were able to nurse and raise fat sassy normal kittens with NO handfeeding required. I am very surprised your vet said they would produce no milk and be unable to feed the kits!

The main issue was pain/discomfort for the first couple of days post-surgery, but after that, all went well. I just kept a close eye on the sutures to be sure none were pulled, no irritation or infection seen developping.

So long as your mom cat is already nursing them and accepting them, you are fine.

If the babies are eating, napping, eating, no excessive crying, they are getting enough to eat. ps I also would simply weigh them once a long as they held their weight or were gaining, no worries (though a kit that stayed the same for more than 2 days, I'd worry and keep a closer eye on, and consider supplementing if necessary.)

Just my experience with 4 different moms who were c/sectioned/and or/spayed right at or after delivery. So I've been through it more than once.

Gee 4-5 edits for mis-spelling, I think I need my first cup of coffee of the day now!!
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that,
ever since Jessie has been nursing the kittens we have felt that they were getting everything they needed but we were still giving them the odd hand feed just to be sure.

I might go with my instinct and with what you have said and leave them to feed only from Jess without hand feeds for a few days whilst closely monitoring them and their weight and any discomfort/cries.

I'll see how it goes and give you an update.

Much appreciated.
post #6 of 13
I agree with Pat. Your cat should still be able to produce milk and feed her kittens. I have seen both dogs and cats that were spayed at c-section produce milk and raise healthy litters. If I were you I would let nature take its course and let her raise her babies as long as she is able. I would also keep the two ginger ones until they are at least 8 weeks. Then if the vet still wants them she can take them. They will mature socially if they remain with their mom and sibs.
post #7 of 13
I have also heard of females being able to produce milk after a c-section. Sorry to hear that one didn't make it though. I would also keep the two gingers with their siblings as long as possible.
post #8 of 13
How are the kits doing and the new mom?
post #9 of 13
Sometimes moms who have had c-sections do fine with nursing their kittens and sometimes they absolutely refuse! But as long as Mom takes to the kittens, everything is fine. Mother cats return to their litters after being spayed all the time and kittens' claws do no harm to the incision.

I have to say I strongly disagree with the vets' advice to remove two of the kittens from their mothers. While it is true that the first 48 hours are the most critical for nursing, kittens still derive great benefits from their mother's milk that is literally "custom made" for their needs. Commercial formulas are adequate but nowhere near as good. Plus they need their moms to teach them how to be properly social adult cats. Hand raising kittens should always be a last resort when it is truly impossible or unsafe for the mother to care for the kittens. In this case it sounds like Mama is doing just fine.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
The kittens are doing great!

They are suckling and gaining weight at a nice healthy level and it looks as if you guys were right, and Jessie is still able to produce milk after her
I have regrets about letting the vet hand rear the other two now, but I suppose it isn't too bad seeing as she is adopting them both.

Thanks for the advice guys
post #11 of 13
So very glad to hear they are doing well.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, we're all very happy, only one thing that raises a slight concern is that the kittens have developed a tendancy to suckle from the two front teats (nearest the head) even though the rear ones are bulging. I think it may be causing Jessie some discomfort
They are still gaining weight though so I am not overly worried at the moment.
post #13 of 13
Awww that's too bad the two kittens went to be hand raised with someone els.... at least these two have eah other though.
I would gently encourage them to nurse from the lower nipples any time you get a chance to.
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