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Pregnant cat......I've never done this before!!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! I have a few questions regarding a pregnant cat. First some background info:

I recently took in a cat that I noticed had been wandering the neighborhood (and spending her nights under my deck). Well, the first thing I noticed is that she is very pregnant. I took her to the vet to be examined and he did confirm that she is pregnant and he said that she is very close to delivering. I've also noticed that she sleeps alot.....does that have any significance? I have another female (spayed) and a male (neutered)......so I know how to care for a cat, but not a mamma. I made her a box today and put some old towels in there for her and I put it in the corner in my bedroom. I picked her up and brought her into my bedroom and put her in the box hoping to make her realize this is her "birthing suite".

I am pretty sure she was someone's cat cause if she were feral.....she wouldn't be comfy with me. I do know that pregnant cats are supposed to eat kitten food.....so I began feeding her that when I took her in (a few days ago). But, lets assume that she didn't have kitten food before then.

Does not having kitty food for almost her entire pregnancy (if that is the case) mean she may not have a healthy litter?

Is there a way for me to know when she is getting close to labor?

What do I need to know (since I am completely inexperienced)?

Is there a need to keep my other cats away from her (she doesn't seem to mind them)?

How soon can I spay her after she delivers? I question this because if I spay her right away, does it stop her milk production?

I'm really concerned. I've been spending a lot of time with her so that we can become familiar with one another. I know these are all questions I should have asked the vet, but to be honest........I didn't think of all this until now.

Sorry this is so long! I really need some help here. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 19
Bless you for taking her in and caring for her. I don't have any advice, just well wishes, and I wanted to bump this up so someone with experience would see it. Good luck with your new family.
post #3 of 19
I can help you out with some of the questions, since I've gone through it twice.
Is there a way for me to know when she is getting close to labor? Yes, keep an eye on her, usually you will notice her being restless and anxious. After a little bit you will notice visible signs of contractions (almost wave like motions). Then you know labor is only a matter of time away. Here's a very good site to look at.

http://www.petplace.com/cats/normal-...cat/page1.aspx

I would separate the cats since she's pregnant and be sure once the kittens are born to keep the cat's away because the mother will get defensive. You can spay her once all of the kittens have been weaned, since they no longer will have to depend on their mother's milk supply.
It was very kind of you to take her in, bless all of you.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
I am pretty sure she was someone's cat cause if she were feral.....she wouldn't be comfy with me. I do know that pregnant cats are supposed to eat kitten food.....so I began feeding her that when I took her in (a few days ago). But, lets assume that she didn't have kitten food before then.

Does not having kitty food for almost her entire pregnancy (if that is the case) mean she may not have a healthy litter?

Is there a way for me to know when she is getting close to labor?

What do I need to know (since I am completely inexperienced)?

Is there a need to keep my other cats away from her (she doesn't seem to mind them)?

How soon can I spay her after she delivers? I question this because if I spay her right away, does it stop her milk production?
Welcome to TCS. First, let me address your first assumption....hopefully she was someone's cat...but even feral cats can become quite affectionate to humans once pregnant. Some people have commented how the cat that they took in as a stray "changed" once they went back into heat...so do be prepared in case she happens to become less "friendly" once she goes back into heat. Make sure there are at least 2 doors between her and the outdoors at all times because cats can and do become pregnant again as early as a few days after giving birth.

Kitten food has additional protein that is needed for growing kittens...since she was outside for a period of time and you do not know what her diet was...I would just make sure you monitor her pregnancy.

You do need to keep your other cats away from her...for 2 reasons....1. she needs to be in a nice quiet room where all she has to concentrate on is her pregnancy and delivery. Sometimes when cats get stressed, they do not deal well and it can have negative consequences for the kittens. 2. Since you found her as a stray...she really needs to be vet checked and tested for FIV/FELV before she can interact with your cats. I would hold off on this vet check until she has successfully delivered her kittens and has weaned them. ..unless there is a medical reason to bring her in sooner.

She can still lactate after being spayed...but many vets want to wait until she has fully weaned her kittens and has "dried up" before performing the spay surgery. This is something you need to discuss with your vet.

Katie
post #5 of 19
My cat just gave birth 2 days ago so I think I can give you a little advice, of course I've only helped deliver twice. First, is she really big???Can she reach her hind quarters(if you know what I mean If she can't then you will definitely need to assist her with the labor. My cat could not reach her first 2 kittens when birthing and so I had to remove the sac and clear the mouth and nose to get them breathing, it wasn't fun(or clean), but it had to be done.
Also, shack her vulva every once in a while because right before she goes into labor there will be a clear/yellowish/red discharge, that means that she will give birth within the next couple hours and that you should notice a strong contraction about every 2 minutes, they will slowly get closer together until you notice they are one right after the other, that means the first kitten is due any minute.
If the cat screams as the first one comes out, don't worry, that's normal. One of my cats was a screamer, the other didn't make a peep through the entire birthing process.
Anyway, after the first kitten is born make sure it gets to a nipple because nursing stimulates labor and after the first kitten begins nursing the mama will go back into labor for the next baby. When this happens you may have to remove the other kitten/kittens out of the way because the mama will move around alot when having contractions and may step/lay on the other baby/babies.

After all is done, feel her abdomen to check for other babies. She can go for a couple hours and even sleep in between births, so don't get worried if she doesn't pop them out one after the other.

After the birthing process is over you she will bleed for about 2-10 days, that's normal, if longer, consult a vet.

Phew, that's about it, sorry it's so long, but I wanted to get as detailed as possible, most websited aren't very detailed and it is annoying. If you have any other questions please email me at Guerita135@yahoo.com. I check my mail often and love to answer questions.

P.S.-post pics when they are born, here is a pic of my newbies with their mommy.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all of you for such great advice!!! She is still pregnant....as a matter of fact, she is sitting next to me.

I live in a house that has a sitting room by the front entrance and a mud room at the back entrance (both have doors). Having double doors definately helps. We practice this measure with our other cats (even though they are fixed...I do not want outdoor cats). My children know the drill and do great at keeping our pets indoors.

As for the possibility of having a feral cat.....my question now is this (these questions are based on her temperament changing): does their temperament change immediately after giving birth? Will she want to leave my house before her kittens are old enough to fend for themselves? How do I successfully get her to the vet to be fixed if she hates me without having her take my arm off??? She's going to be fixed no matter what (whether she continues to live in my house or let back out). I refuse to release her only to have her end up in this predicament later!!!

Again..........thanks for all of the help. I truly appreciate it.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
As for the possibility of having a feral cat.....my question now is this (these questions are based on her temperament changing): does their temperament change immediately after giving birth? Will she want to leave my house before her kittens are old enough to fend for themselves? How do I successfully get her to the vet to be fixed if she hates me without having her take my arm off??? She's going to be fixed no matter what (whether she continues to live in my house or let back out). I refuse to release her only to have her end up in this predicament later!!!
It truly depends on the cat...but oftentimes it occurs after the kittens are a few weeks of age and the mom has gone back into heat. If she does change in her temperment (and remember..as long as she is intact, she will be at the will of her hormones) then I would recommend borrowing a humane trap and trapping her to be spayed. I just don't want you to be caught offguard and have a cat who is desperate to get back out. Also, spaying will help with her temperment...so it's good that you plan to have her spayed.

Katie
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks again!!! Everyones advice is greatly appreciated and will be taken. I really love animals and it just broke my heart to see this poor mamma cat not being taken care of.........and I was terrified because I didn't know how to take care of her......but thanks to everyones advice........I now have some confidence that things will turn out ok despite my lack of knowledge.

I will be sure to keep everyone posted on mammas journey and will most definately post some pictures when the time comes!
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by barton93 View Post
Thanks again!!! Everyones advice is greatly appreciated and will be taken. I really love animals and it just broke my heart to see this poor mamma cat not being taken care of.........and I was terrified because I didn't know how to take care of her......but thanks to everyones advice........I now have some confidence that things will turn out ok despite my lack of knowledge.

I will be sure to keep everyone posted on mammas journey and will most definately post some pictures when the time comes!
Yes...keep us posted...btw...you may want to read some of the other posts as they will also have advice.

Katie
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
[quote=TortieBaby;1320548]First, is she really big???Can she reach her hind quarters(if you know what I mean

Hi Tortie........mamma is pretty big. I have seen her cleaning herself down there, so yes, it appears that she will be able to do this.

Also, thank you for such great detail. That will really be helpful to me. Your babies are adorable. Best wishes to all of you. I will be sure to post some pictures. Thanks again!
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by petkeepr7789 View Post
I can help you out with some of the questions, since I've gone through it twice.
Is there a way for me to know when she is getting close to labor? Yes, keep an eye on her, usually you will notice her being restless and anxious. After a little bit you will notice visible signs of contractions (almost wave like motions). Then you know labor is only a matter of time away. Here's a very good site to look at.

http://www.petplace.com/cats/normal-...cat/page1.aspx

I would separate the cats since she's pregnant and be sure once the kittens are born to keep the cat's away because the mother will get defensive. You can spay her once all of the kittens have been weaned, since they no longer will have to depend on their mother's milk supply.
It was very kind of you to take her in, bless all of you.
petkeepr......thanks for the wonderful advice. Also, the link you provided is wonderful and very informative. Thank you very much for that.
post #12 of 19
Hello there,
I'm pretty much in the same situation here. We took in a cat that is also pregnant (didn't realize it till recently tho). I haven't had experience with any of this either, but I've done quite a bit of reading lately. Trying to get as informed as possible. If you look on about.com there are quite a few articles that are helpful there. And I've read quite a few threads on here that have been helpful as well.
ABK
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABK View Post
Hello there,
I'm pretty much in the same situation here. We took in a cat that is also pregnant (didn't realize it till recently tho). I haven't had experience with any of this either, but I've done quite a bit of reading lately. Trying to get as informed as possible. If you look on about.com there are quite a few articles that are helpful there. And I've read quite a few threads on here that have been helpful as well.
ABK
Hi ABK.....well, we have something in common! How far along do you think your mamma is? My vet is guessing that my mamma is about 60 days along now. So, we're getting close. She is very tired at this point and is constantly laying around. I'm understanding that when they become restless and begin pacing, nesting.......then we'll be getting close. I too have been reading through the threads here.........which is very helpful.

I will be sure to check out about.com. Thanks for the advice.
post #14 of 19
petkeepr......thanks for the wonderful advice. Also, the link you provided is wonderful and very informative. Thank you very much for that.


Your welcome, always happy to give advice.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by barton93 View Post
As for the possibility of having a feral cat.....my question now is this (these questions are based on her temperament changing): does their temperament change immediately after giving birth? Will she want to leave my house before her kittens are old enough to fend for themselves? How do I successfully get her to the vet to be fixed if she hates me without having her take my arm off???
I can answer your question about having a feral cat very personally. The mama cat in the picture that I posted earlier is actually a feral cat. I caught her as a baby up til the time she gave birth she wouldn't allow anyone to pet her except me, but she still didn't let me hold her for more than 5 seconds.

However, after she gave birth she became a totally different cat, and not for the worse. Whe immediately became super friendly and is no longer freaked out when she sees people. She, of course, still doesn't like to be held because she thinks you're going to take her away from her babies, but she loves rubbing against my legs and getting pets.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. If, a couple days after birth, you notice the mama laying outside of the box rather than constantly in the box with her babies, don't worry, this is normal. Sometimes I guess you could say that the mama get claustraphobic(I'm sure I spelled that wrong.LOL) or maybe too hot so she will seperate herself from her babies. As soon as they are hungry, however, she will go right back to them, don't worry. Good luck and tell us when the babies are born!
post #16 of 19
Quote:
I can answer your question about having a feral cat very personally. The mama cat in the picture that I posted earlier is actually a feral cat. I caught her as a baby up til the time she gave birth she wouldn't allow anyone to pet her except me, but she still didn't let me hold her for more than 5 seconds.

However, after she gave birth she became a totally different cat, and not for the worse. Whe immediately became super friendly and is no longer freaked out when she sees people. She, of course, still doesn't like to be held because she thinks you're going to take her away from her babies, but she loves rubbing against my legs and getting pets.
Tortie....no offense...but your cat JUST gave birth....hopefully she will stay affectionate...but as I stated in other posts (and in this one) cats that are intact are ruled by their hormones. I've had several posters who were surprized by the change in their cat's behavior once the kittens were older and the cat went back into heat. Some actually did revert back to being feral and had to be trapped for their spay. Some just were not affectionate once the hormones kicked back in. The only thing that I have found that permanently improves a cat's behavior and health is to have it spayed.

Katie
post #17 of 19
Yeah, we're going to spay her as soon as the kittens are weaned. Til then she is not allowed outside.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TortieBaby View Post
Yeah, we're going to spay her as soon as the kittens are weaned. Til then she is not allowed outside.
I'm very glad to read that...and let's hope that she does not revert back once the hormones kick in. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your girl stays affectionate up through her spay.

Katie
post #19 of 19
So far, so good. I think she may be in heat already because she keeps "meowing" (squeeking really heehee) and rubbing against me. Either that or she is just crazy. LOL!
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