Pregnant Cat

(154 Posts)
slenderisthenight Sat 22-Oct-16 14:56:29

I'm on the fence about whether to start this, having just seen a thread where a woman has been slated for knowing a dog who is having puppies and it wasn't even her dog.

My cat is due to have kittens any day. I'm not an experienced cat owner and haven't cared for a cat going through this experience. I'll say at the outset that this is a completely undesirable situation and it won't be repeated.

We've talked to the vet and read what we can about what to do, but thought it would also be helpful to start a thread in case further questions come up. If you have some experience and are happy to share it, I can't thank you enough.

If you wish to chastise me for getting into this situation in the first place, please don't bother as it will achieve nothing for the cat or anyone else at this point. I will simply hide the thread and not return to it (unless, of course, there is specific need for urgent information relating to the cat's welfare and it's impossible to get it anywhere else).

The cat is a Maine Coon and only ten months old. The vet wouldn't neuter her over the summer because she was being treated with antibiotics for a long-running gut infection that lasted months (now recovered). She came into heat at the tail end of that illness and unfortunately managed to escape my clutches (that is, the place where she was being confined) for long enough to mate. It shouldn't have happened and was an unfortunate one-off resulting from a unique set of circumstances that I won't go into here. She's a sweet natured, beautiful animal and we're upset that she is carrying a litter and at such a young age.

She didn't have the 'pinking up' symptom so we didn't know she was pregnant until the vet confirmed it two weeks ago. Apparently there are at least five kittens there. He estimated that she would give birth anytime from Monday to Friday of this week. (So she is a day late).

Don't urge me to spay her at the first opportunity because that is exactly what I am planning to do. In the past we have rehabilitated rescue dogs and never imagined we would end up contributing to the problem of overpopulation - very humbling experience and the priority now to is to get this right for the cat.

Thanks very, very much to anyone who has constructive advice.

TheTattoedHand Sat 22-Oct-16 15:00:55

They usually just get on with it. Stay close by (if shes comfortable with that) and keep an eye on things.

Give her little bits of nice thibgs to eat if shes hungry. May not be.
Fresh water. Have somewhere nice and hidden for her.

Old towels to throw away after birth. New blankets or towels for when they are born.

Try not to hanfle the babies too much.

Worm them at appropriate times. Flea them also.

And enjoy the snuggles when they get a little bigger.

PolterGoose Sat 22-Oct-16 19:09:54

I'm just here for the pictures smile

My mum bred cats many years ago and they pretty much got on with it themselves. The mum never ever birthed in the planned place, so keep an eye for nesting behaviours and keep doors shut on any out of bounds spaces.

froglou Sat 22-Oct-16 19:32:18

She needs to be on kitten food not adult food for a while and she'll need to be on the kitten food up until after the kittens are fully weaned. Other than that she should take care of them herself.
Switch to kitten litter as the normal litters are dustier and also if the kittens eat them it can be fatal a normal clumping litter.
Also if you need to help mum along with feeding, don't give any of the kittens "kitten milk" that you get in a bottle, it needs to be the special formula you get in a tub and mix up your self.

slenderisthenight Sat 22-Oct-16 20:27:10

Thank you so much for this. I will gladly post pictures.

She's on the science plan kitten food. I

We've made her a secure area out of a big play pen but obviously don't want to imprison her there. I've left various boxes with towels around the house in the hope she will choose one of them. Would it be alright to move her and the kittens into the playpen area shortly after they are born?

I have been watching birth videos on youtube. Some of them show kittens appearing to get stuck and receiving a helping hand. Our approach is not to interfere unless absolutely necessary. If the cat gets into trouble, how will we know?

slenderisthenight Sat 29-Oct-16 10:22:37

She's producing a little milk. No kittens yet.

slenderisthenight Tue 08-Nov-16 23:56:34

I need advice, please.

We have nine kittens, two days old. I have been weighing them daily. Some are gaining 10 grams a day, some are losing the same amount.

Our cat is doing her best but she is young and I'm not sure that she has the maturity or milk to suckle these kittens as much as needed.

I'm not sure where to go to buy powdered milk and feeding bottles? There are three that aren't thriving yet and I thought it would be a good idea to help them a little.

Thank you, as always.

slenderisthenight Wed 09-Nov-16 00:02:13

Also, what should I be feeding this poor mother cat?

She has had a difficult summer with tummy problems caused by uncooked chicken that we think she ingested just before coming to live with us. I am loathe to give her more chicken but she is ravenous and not particularly interested in eating her usual Science plan dry kitten food. She has a sensitive stomach and after a little chicken last night, her poops were runny today. I don't want to starve her but there is no sense feeding her things that will cause her to lose fluids.

Can anyone advise? I am so new to this.

slenderisthenight Wed 09-Nov-16 00:07:52

Here she is! Quite a trooper!

thecatneuterer Wed 09-Nov-16 00:36:01

Nine kittens!! Bloody hell.

You can syringe feed but it's not easy and it's very easy to kill the kittens by flooding their lungs if you do it wrong. You have to offer very small amounts via the syringe and let them suckle it rather than just squirt it into their mouths, and they have to swallow the first drop before trying another. Really you need someone to show you and even then it can very easily go wrong.

Any small (say 5 ml) syringe will do the job and you can probably get kitten milk from a vet. Failing that evaporated milk diluted half/half with water is quite good.

As for feeding the mother boiled chicken and rice is what is generally recommended if they have a sensitive stomach, so I'd be very surprised if that is what is causing her problems. Was it boiled chicken you were giving?

slenderisthenight Wed 09-Nov-16 08:22:57

Thanks for the reply. (in response to your username, please read my op-we did try to neuter the cat but the vet wouldn't do it until she was better).

Can I ask if there is a reason that little bottles with tiny teats aren't an option?

TobleroneBoo Wed 09-Nov-16 08:29:54

Wow, 9!
That's a bit higher than the vets possible 5!
I have no advice but wanted to wish you luck. I can see from your OP that you seem to be a responsible owner and doing the best you can. I hope it all works out in the end ( and with thecatneuterer here, you will be getting the best advice possible on Mumsnet - she's a bit of a legend on The Litter Tray)

cjdamoo Wed 09-Nov-16 08:38:12

Seek advice from your vet with that many kittens and some losing weight you will probably need to supplement feed. You can get special teats that attach to syringes just for this purpose. Its very easy to aspirate a tiny kitten which will kill them. However, someone at the vets will probably be able to show you the correct way to feed them safely. Always on their tummies never tipped back like you would feed a baby.

cjdamoo Wed 09-Nov-16 08:39:24

Boiled chicken and rice is great for upset tummies

slenderisthenight Wed 09-Nov-16 08:47:16

Thank you! I have ordered milk powder and tiny syringes and will give the vet a call today. There were a couple of bright red spots of blood in the litter tray yesterday which I'd like to tell the vet about as well.

I'm a nervous wreck but we'll get there.

Milzilla Wed 09-Nov-16 08:54:30

Shamelessly marking place for kitten updates.

Good luck OP, sounds like you're doing your very best!

Toddlerteaplease Wed 09-Nov-16 11:27:11

Omg 9 kittens. No wonder the poor girl is struggling to feed them all. But sounds like she's in good hands. Good luck with the sleep deprivation!

slenderisthenight Wed 09-Nov-16 12:23:50

I already have sleep deprivation through having small children toddler. This is all feeling like a cautionary tale!

Have ordered milk powder and various syringes/bottles - thanks!

The chicken was microwaved but I'll try boiling it.

The vet wants to see the cat and kittens later today. He said on the phone that it was almost impossible for her to raise nine kittens and I'm very afraid he is going to suggest leaving the three that aren't thriving. It would break my DD's heart and feel very wrong. But if he points out that rearing nine, even with my help, will put further strain on the mother I don't know what to do. We have let her down as it is and she is, in his words 'a bit bony'.

hollinhurst84 Wed 09-Nov-16 13:07:45

Chicken should be absolutely fine, mine is often fed raw chicken
You could always grab some ready cooked stuff from the supermarket or even just stick a bit and oven bake it then shred it or chunks
If you do it in water though you can use a bit of the water for a nice wet warm meal smile

Toddlerteaplease Wed 09-Nov-16 14:40:59

Don't know if it would be the right thing to do at all, but could you perhaps get a soft toy for some of the kittens to snuggle with. Might take the pressure off mum a bit.

slenderisthenight Wed 09-Nov-16 15:20:36

I did wonder about a luke warm hot water bottle. She has been taking them off in twos and threes to a 'hiding place'. I've managed to ensure she carries off the lightest ones but they're not all feeding regularly.

Can you shut her in 1 room where you can see her and kittens but she gets some peace?

And a warm pad or warm water bottle would probably help her as well as kittens?

You'll have a never ending job to help feed them but it sounds as though she wants to look after all her kittens

If you're near me, I'd be happy to help babysit!

slenderisthenight Wed 09-Nov-16 16:12:06

Thank you - if you were close enough I would happily farm them out but I'm not on the UK mainland.

She's in a big play pen that's enclosed with wire and covered with drapes so she is private but apparently it's not private enough!

RubbishMantra Wed 09-Nov-16 16:44:27

Don't actually boil the chicken, poach it in a small amount of water, if you've got a hand blender, whizz it up with the poaching liquids. Mumcat will need lots of liquids at this time.

Applaws is a good dry food, it has no cereals/grains.other stuff cats are often intolerant to. They do a kitten version. I get mine from Zooplus online. Orijen Cat and Kitten is also a good food, again from Zooplus. Kitten food is packed with more calories and nutrients than adult food, so feeding her that should bulk her up.

Is the playpen in a quiet part of the house that doesn't have much traffic going through it?

There's a site that gives advice how to care for abandoned newborn kittens, (I know they're not abandoned, but the advice is the same). I can't recall it, but maybe somebody might be kind enough to link?

Also cat rescues will be able to advise on feeds - how much and how often.

Good luck!

RubbishMantra Wed 09-Nov-16 16:50:40

Oh, forgot to say, ask the vet to show you how to feed the kittens.

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