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Am I mad to foster two mums with litters?

(30 Posts)
chemenger Thu 16-Nov-17 19:35:01

I have been fostering for a year, just adult cats. I let the cats have the run of the house, I don’t have cats of my own. We have two female cats coming in, one with three 3 week old kittens, the other pregnant. Am I insane to consider this? I’m at work all day most days. A complication is that I am a 30 minute drive from the vet we use. I need to decide soon, the thought of kittens in the Christmas tree is so tempting...

chemenger Thu 16-Nov-17 19:39:48

I should say that apparently the two adults need to stay together.

chemenger Thu 16-Nov-17 21:00:32

Bump! Anyone got any advice on how easy it is to cope with mums and kittens?

Sentientcushion Thu 16-Nov-17 21:08:38

Your mad.

I did a pregnant foster this year and it was A LOT of work.
I loved it but it was very stressful and I repeat A LOT of work.

Justbookedasummmerholiday Thu 16-Nov-17 21:12:25

I used to foster kittens without a dm!! Lots of night feeds and bum wiping - tho ddog used to help out with that!!
Well worth the rewards.

chemenger Thu 16-Nov-17 21:31:47

What made it hard work?

Justbookedasummmerholiday Thu 16-Nov-17 21:38:02

I had 7 once and had to keep a chart and put nail varnish on the black ones claws to tell them apart!!
Was worse than a baby feeding during the night - if you have the dm it won't be that bad!!

lljkk Thu 16-Nov-17 22:00:22

Where will the mama cats be if you're at work all day? In a large cage?

Won't they get very stressed with all the strange environment & other cats around?

Disease risk, too.

lljkk Thu 16-Nov-17 22:00:29

ps: I want piccies. smile

thecatneuterer Fri 17-Nov-17 00:45:22

There's no night feeding or bum wiping if you have the mother cats do. They do all that.

You just need to give them a room and socialise the kittens.

There is no disease risk if the OP doesn't have cats of her own.

I’ve fostered a lot of mums and newborns over the years but never a pregnant mum as well (just because I’m not confident about managing births). We’re always rigorous about keeping mum and babies separated from our household cats - as I understand it the mums get twitchy and stressed about having other strange cats around their newborns and your cats might get aggressive about strangers on their turf. What does the rescue advise?

Just reread more carefully - you don’t have cats of your own which makes it easier. In that case the only problem is that it’s not ideal to be out all day. Post partum mums and tiny weaning kittens need a lot of food, ideally at frequent intervals.

chemenger Fri 17-Nov-17 07:20:17

That’s what worries me, not being here with them through the day.

Sentientcushion Fri 17-Nov-17 09:01:20

Well the Mam cat became extremely aggressive once the kittens arrived and also kept moving and hiding them. It was totally understandable as she was obviously stressed because she didn’t know us but it was very stressful for us too.
She would attack us very violently whenever we went into the room to check on her or feed her, she moved all the kittens to somewhere we couldn’t see them so we had to just trust they were ok as we couldn’t get close to check on them.
She calmed down after about a week and we managed to finally check on them and they were fine.
Then the when the kittens get up a bit they decided that the place to poo was just behind the door so when you opened the door you would smear shit all across the carpet, eventually the only thibk that stopped it was to actually cut about a metre square chunk out of the carpet. I am not squeamish about mess but my god they shat everywhere all up the walls and the Mam cat did this thing where she perched in the litter box and shat outside of it which they all learnt.
I was having to do a proper clean of the room they were in twice a day just for it to not make the whole house smell which was very time consuming. One of the kittens got really poorly and that was awful.
They eat a lot of food and it takes time to socialise them, you have to spend time with both the Mam and kittens. We also ended up spending a lot of money on kitten food and litter, we got it back from the people we were fostering for but it’s something to bear in mind that you’ll need to pay for it first and you just get it back when they do their accounts (this wasn’t a problem for us but it could have been if budgets were tighter).
Also think what happens if they don’t get adopted straight away, two of ours went straight away but three of them and the Mam weren’t adopted for six months (two still haven’t been) kittens turn into cats and we eventually had to say that we needed another fosterer to take some as we had four pretty much adult cats in one room.
We also had a flea infestation which was horrendous and when they finally went on to their forever homes we ended up having to take the flooring up in the room they were in and completely redecorate as it was so bad.

It was really hard work.

I loved it though! And just last week I said I wanted to do it again.
But I only work evenings and my husband works during the day so there’s always someone in. There’s no way I could have done it and worked full time.

thecatneuterer Fri 17-Nov-17 09:52:26

You don't need to be there all day. Just give the mums plenty of food when you are there. I've had a number of mums and newborns and it's really been quite easy. It really is just a case of giving the mums foods and a safe space and giving time to socialising kittens.

We’ve always had clear boundaries about finishing points - after ten weeks or so we normally go on holiday and any kittens unhomed at that point go back to the rescue centre.

chemenger Fri 17-Nov-17 11:16:53

Thanks for all your advice, it has been really helpful, especially Sentient (I remember reading your thread before and thinking it was an ordeal). I have decided to be sensible. Another foster has three adults together in a pen (really sad back story), I will take them and he will take the mums. The pen is as nice as it can be, cosy and comfortable, and he has loads of experience and people who can pop in through the day and he’s close to the Vet. If we weren’t coming up to Christmas I think I would have given it a go but we have family who for various reasons I cannot consider not having to stay so it is just not practical to add in tiny kittens. I am a little disappointed though.
I absolutely fell in love with one of the boys I will be looking after when he was at a rehoming event so there is a silver lining.

chemenger Sun 19-Nov-17 13:29:56

Update - here are my new foster boys.

Vinorosso74 Sun 19-Nov-17 14:29:49

They are a handsome trio! It sounds like the most sensible solution has been reached.

chemenger Mon 20-Nov-17 07:09:45

They are lovely, the black and white one is such a friendly cat, he was snuggled under the covers with me last night. The all black one is nervous but they’ve all settled in, been on top of every bookcase and on every windowsill so it’s all good.

Toddlerteaplease Mon 20-Nov-17 10:44:41

The silver tabby looks just like my parents boy. Minus the white socks. He’s gorgeous.

chemenger Mon 20-Nov-17 10:48:16

He is gorgeous, and a big softy.

Sentientcushion Mon 20-Nov-17 10:52:56

Aww they are lovely!
I’m so glad there was a solution that meant everyone was looked after. Well done, fostering is lovely.

chemenger Fri 24-Nov-17 16:12:57

The black and white one has a new home to go to next weekend, when he has had his second vaccination. I will miss him, he likes to snuggle under the duvet, it’s ages since I’ve had a cat that does that (I’m very aware that half in MN just imploded in horror at the hygiene implications).

thecatneuterer Fri 24-Nov-17 16:17:38

How lovely that he's got a home. I'm horrified. And so is the kitten currently under my duvet grin

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