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Is My Nesting Box Okay?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okay. We have gone from one extreme to the other. I set up MaxSheba's nesting box as she is 7weeks pregnant now give or take a few days, but def 7weeks since her excursion. I have been reading up on nesting boxes and trying to make sure that I did it properly.
1) It has to be some where she feels comfortable and secure or she wont have her babies there.
2) It has to be secure but accessablie in case of an emergency
3) It has to have cat litter (prefferably non-clumping, yesterday's news perhaps because the kittens WILL taste it and you don't want them to be sick when they do)
4) Kitten food and water

Now. If the list is correct I have a couple of ?'s Is this correct. I used a nice size cardboard box. We will switch over to a large dog crate in a couple of weeks but I want something she can get her scent all over and get familiar with just in case we are off by a week or two. I made a little "doggy door" on the front cut out. We folded the top for privacy yet easy access. We have now put the shredded newpaper in a pillow case and the bottom is lined with it. We have made sure that she can get in AND out of the box, and she can.
Now, is this okay? When the kittens are born if she has them before the dog crate arrives should we just set the dog crate up the same way and move them ourselves or should we allow her to move them? How much should kittens be handled and when is the best time to take them to the vet for their first check up? Do you have to buy KNR milk just in case, or is this only for cats who you know may have trouble feeding their young? Okay I think I have asked everything now
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ms_joshica
Is this correct. I used a nice size cardboard box. We will switch over to a large dog crate in a couple of weeks but I want something she can get her scent all over and get familiar with just in case we are off by a week or two. I made a little "doggy door" on the front cut out. We folded the top for privacy yet easy access. We have now put the shredded newpaper in a pillow case and the bottom is lined with it. We have made sure that she can get in AND out of the box, and she can.
Now, is this okay?
Sounds great! Remember you will want to change the bedding, so save some more papers and old pillowcases to use when you change the bedding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ms_joshica
When the kittens are born if she has them before the dog crate arrives should we just set the dog crate up the same way and move them ourselves or should we allow her to move them?
You can set up the crate, and see if she will move them. But most likely you will need to move the babies into the crate, and the Mom will follow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ms_joshica
How much should kittens be handled and when is the best time to take them to the vet for their first check up?
I used to believe that kittens should not be handled initially. But after reading how breeders do it, I have changed. I now pick up the kittens briefly from day one. I also use a smalll scale to weigh each kitten daily, to ensure they are gaining weight. At 6 weeks, they go to the vet for the first check-up, and initial vaccinations. Mom can be spayed once the kittens are weaned, about 10-12 weeks. Keep her inside only until until she is spayed!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ms_joshica
Do you have to buy KNR milk just in case, or is this only for cats who you know may have trouble feeding their young? Okay I think I have asked everything now
Get one can of powdered formula. It is for just in case. If you don't need to bottle feed or supplement any of the kittens, it is useful to mix into their food when they start solids. And it also helps give lots of extra calories to the Momcat, who usually begins to look rather thin when the kittens are about 4 weeks old and starting solids!
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you sooo much! I was really wondering what to do and if I had done right!
post #4 of 15
Make sure their nesting box is not to small. I had to watch a lot because the mom was careless and sometimes plopped on one of her kittens. This happened a couple times to me. I just watched and she actually laid on the runt a couple times, be careful because the mom accidently suffocating the kittens is not uncommon.

And having KMR and a feeder is very important for the runts, if you have any.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Oooh okay. Well I do have a fairly big box, but I only planned on it being more temporary than anything until I got the large dog crate. However, I am worried that it is a triffle small and maybe too enclosed and I might need to cut some more off. Any good links to pics of proper nesting boxes?
post #6 of 15
Before we found the crate, we went by an appliance store and asked for a box---any box! They gave us a washer box. We cut it until it was about 2 1/2 feet tall and cut a round hole in the side, big enough for her to get in/out but NOT big enough for the dogs. It is plenty big enough! We put a plastic table cloth as a liner and threw some old towels into it and she seems to like it. We are going to set the crate up in the bedroom this week but if she seems to prefer the box we will leave that.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
that sounds really good and the box sound huge. With that kidn of a box you may not need a crate
post #8 of 15
Yes, the box IS big but when I got it I figured that there would be plenty of room for the kittens as they grew. The plastic tablecloths are so cheap, too, so they can be replaced as needed for underneath the bedding. I have mine cut high because we have 2 big, nosy dogs, but you can cut it down lower if you want. And the best part is they're FREE!
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
So very true! She has one which would probably be okay if she goes into labor sooner than I think because she is eight weeks, give or take and closing in on labor I just know. She has been sitting around all day today. I held her and talked to her and she looked at me like I had two darn heads and then let out a mip, like let me go, and I did. She has gone from kitchen, to livingroom, and back recycling. She's been on the couch off the couch. sleeping and not sleeping. She isn't eating as much as she was. She had a catnip toy w/ fresh catnip and she isn't thinking about so I really believe this is that LAST week for her.
Therefore, I want to use the box I have for right now, but since you told me about using a bigger box I might do that and just buy the play pen since I really want her and the kits to be confined for a little while. I saw a really nice play pen on Pets Mart for a little over 100.00 and it will be of more use than just a crate for birth and not being big enough for them to grow up in. Here is the link for it. Tell me what you think of that idea. Get a big box, hook it up for the birthing and get a play pen for afterward. Put pillow cases of shredded news while they are still small and take it out when they are younger.
Here is the link:
http://www.petsmart.com/global/produ...N=2025518&Ne=2
I hope the link works
post #10 of 15
The playpen is cool! I am going to close them all in our empty bedroom when they are bigger, until they go to their new homes. I also thought that this box would be a good place to confine them as they learn to use the litter box as it will easily hold 2 or 3 small pans in there.
At the same place I got the crate (Sal. Army) I got 3 blankets which I washed and cut in half so I can change the bedding as needed after delivery. I had been going through old clothes and have a box of things that are clean, yet not wearable (stained t-shirts etc) and am putting those underneath so she can 'move it around' and make it comfy for her. I KNEW there was a reason I hadn't thrown them away yet!
This cat likes to get inside of 12-pack soda boxes! Boxes and bags! I thought I could even get a 2nd box later on and cut one side out of each and tape them together and they will have a BIG play area!
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
That is a really cool idea about taping the boxes together. I am keeping all of my babies, but I don't think her litter will be more than 3 she isn't that big, but you NEVER know! I saw a really cool cat condo that I thought would be great for them and they could have that and the playpen to get into since I don't really have a room to just close them off in. I figure if they had a good enclosed play pen with some adventurous steps and such that should keep them stimulated, and mom from getting bored with being in there at night as I don't want her moving kittens to a closet or something while we sleep.
post #12 of 15
I really don't like the idea of closing them off in the bedroom, but I understand the safety issue of it. We have other animals and while I don't think they would HURT the little ones on purpose, the dogs are big and clumsy and might do it accidently. One of the dogs actully brought this cat out of the bushes where her mom had her (a stray) and left her, She was about 3 weeks old at the time.
After all is said and done and they are a bit older, I want to bring one thing (box or crate) into the living room so that they can see what is going on and be around people, not closed away.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mowsluver
I really don't like the idea of closing them off in the bedroom, but I understand the safety issue of it. We have other animals and while I don't think they would HURT the little ones on purpose, the dogs are big and clumsy and might do it accidently. One of the dogs actully brought this cat out of the bushes where her mom had her (a stray) and left her, She was about 3 weeks old at the time.
After all is said and done and they are a bit older, I want to bring one thing (box or crate) into the living room so that they can see what is going on and be around people, not closed away.
Litterbox training and learning how to eat solid food are also influenced by having the kittens confined with mom in a smaller room (like a bathroom) that has easy to clean floors. If mom is eating and using a litterbox in another room..it's "out of sight out of mind". I would recommend that if you are going to bring them out into the living room...you use a crate....but I wouldn't keep them in the living room...I'd actually return them to the bathroom to continue to learn good skills from mom.

Katie
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Actually, My birthing box is in my living room because I want enough space to move around in. AFter that they are all going into the playpen. I know how you feel though because it is devistating to see her meow like crazy to get out but I would be even more devistated if my kittens got crushed or hurt or lost and died of starvation under someones bed I would be hurt, but I think that is a good idea to have a couple of places mamma can go with her babies if you have it where she can continue to train them on the litter, and stuff.
post #15 of 15
For us, the bathroom is not an option. It is a small bathroom (the one bad thing about this house!) and there is more chance of them getting hurt in there, than anywhere else in the house.
I know we didn't 'choose' the time, but it couldn't be worse! Hubby's hours at work have changed drastically and he needs to be up at 3:30 a.m. so no crying kittens in the bedroom! The empty bedroom that I am planning on--well it won't be empty for long--my son is coming home! He is a Marine and has been overseas for almost a year. He will be home as early as this Friday! I know he will be ok with them in there but when she goes into labor I don't want him to have to deal with ME in there if it is at night....
don't get me wrong-- I love the cat and am looking forward to the birth--but I love my son a lot more! He will be visiting friends too so I am hoping she has them one night while he is not at home.
Whatever happens, they wil be safe, I will make sure of that.
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