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"Spayed" cat is pregnant - help!

(171 Posts)
janebee4 Mon 04-Mar-19 13:41:55

Bear with me on this.

We adopted a cat from the RSPCA in November and were told she was chipped and spayed, as they do with every cat. She even had the little shaved patch where they'd spayed her. A few months back, she was dragging herself along the floor miaowing her head off and not pooping. The vets all said it sounded like she was going into season (we got a second opinion), but when they saw her and her shaved patch they said it couldn't be that as she'd obviously been spayed. We put it down to constipation, gave her some laxatives and she did a very gross hard poop after 5 days and I assumed I was right. Fast forward to the last few weeks and she's been putting on weight around her belly. She's only small so it was quite noticeable but she was being super greedy all the time so we just thought she was getting chubby. She also hates going outside and had stopped running around the house so doesn't do much exercise. She's been getting bigger and I thought she had worms, and then I started worrying it was a tumour or organ failure or something. DP took her to the vet this morning AND SHE'S PREGNANT. DUE IN 1 OR 2 BLOODY WEEKS.

I called the RSPCA we got her from and they were gobsmacked and apologised profusely. Turned out when they'd taken her to be spayed, there was a scar where they normally spay the cat so the vet assumed she'd already been done. I have told them that if we get any vet bills as a result of this pregnancy we will be asking them to pay because our insurance isn't valid given we told them she was a neutered cat when we took it out. They're fine with this and kept apologising and saying it's never happened before and the chance of a cat having a scar in that exact spot without being spayed is so small. They offered to take her back into kennels while she has them, but I don't want her gone for 10 weeks.

Just looking for some advice about what to do when she goes into labour. Do I need to do anything? Will she take care of the kittens by herself or do I need to help her with anything? What do I do if one of them dies or seems to not be breathing? What if they struggle to feed or she struggles to feed them? Do they just poop and wee on the floor or would they use a litter tray instinctively? I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR ANY OF THIS. WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF DECORATING AND THE HOUSE IS UPSIDE DOWN.

*takes deep breath*

OP’s posts: |
thecatneuterer Mon 04-Mar-19 13:47:37

Oh jesus. Try not to worry too much. Mum cat should take care of them instinctively. Give her a cardboard box with towels in. There will be no discernable pee or poo for a few weeks, and you can just change the towels every week. Once they get bigger provide a kitten litter tray and they will use it.

Obviously be prepared to rush to an emergency vet if anything appears to go wrong but the chances are all will be fine. And then, when the kittens are 8 to ten weeks let the RSPCA find them homes.

viccat Mon 04-Mar-19 13:56:26

Gosh, that's awful. It is common practice to shave and look for a spay scar for any female strays or cats with unknown veterinary history at cat rescues so it really seems a really unforeseen situation.

Plenty of advice online about caring for kittens and what to expect at different ages. Mum cats are pretty instinctive and do most of the work. Feeding mum is your main task in the first few weeks. Kittens can be introduced to solid food (wet kitten food, Royal Canin babycat is great) when they are about 4-5 weeks old. Mum will help litter train them but it might take until they are 6-8 weeks for them to reliably use a litter box.

You should ideally keep her and the kittens in one quiet room with the door closed to keep them safe, and - very important - do NOT allow you cat out at all now until she can be spayed (when kittens are about 8 weeks old or so) - otherwise she can get pregnant again!

janebee4 Mon 04-Mar-19 13:56:31

Oh phew, that's a relief. The vet said it shouldn't be for a week or so, so I'll start getting everything ready now. There's an animal hospital 15 mins from our house so hopefully should be okay to get her there if needed, DP works nights sometimes so fingers crossed she doesn't opt to go into labour then as I won't have the car. I'm hoping we can find homes for them instead of taking them to the RSPCA, but they said they'll be happy to take them as well.

OP’s posts: |
janebee4 Mon 04-Mar-19 13:58:53

viccat definitely going to keep her inside now. We have a big room we've just totally stripped for decorating but I can put some blankets and newspaper over the floorboards. Will she able to leave that room once she's had the kittens? Not to go outside, but just to go in other rooms of the house. Or do we need to leave her in there until kittens have finished weaning?

OP’s posts: |
thecatneuterer Mon 04-Mar-19 14:33:21

You can let her wander round the house. Just make sure all windows are closed.

Yes, our rescue also checks for spay scars in the same way, so it can happen.

Somehow we also managed to spay a cat which then gave birth around 7 weeks later, while thankfully still in our care. She was definitely opened up and stitched back up again. We can only assume the vet was interrupted by an emergency part way through and forgot he hadn't finished. No one even noticed she was getting bigger. The animal care staff simply found a bunch of newborn kittens in the pen with her one day.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 04-Mar-19 16:22:19

On the bright side, buy one get 3 free?. She will totally labour overnight though.

YouTube has cat midwife videos.

TheoriginalLEM Mon 04-Mar-19 16:30:25

Awww little miracle kitties!!

Mum will do all of the work. You just have to provide her wirh somewhere warm and private to give birth.

She will need high energy food so maybe give her kitten food as it has high energy content.

Id be inclined to keep her indoors in the meantime as she might wander off in search of privacy when the time comes.

I presume the rspca will spey her fairly promptly as they can get pregnant pretty much straight after giving birth

ScreamingValenta Mon 04-Mar-19 16:32:39

What a situation!

I can see how it happened - I suppose the only way the vet can check in a way that's straightforward is to look for the scar and you had the one cat in 1000 that had a scar identical to a spay scar.

I would love to see a cat give birth and watch the kittens grow up, but I'd never let it happen because there are so many unwanted cats - so if this happened to me I would see it as a 'guilt-free' way to have this experience.

DobbyTheHouseElk Mon 04-Mar-19 16:38:32

I watched a cat give birth, it was amazing. She cleaned up where she’s given birth, no mess at all. She’ll eat any waste the kittens produce. It’s so special. But you will need to post kitten photos on here.

NanooCov Mon 04-Mar-19 17:55:59

I know this is a terrible shock for you and not ideal but.... shamelessly placemarking for kitten pics! 🤭

AwkwardPaws27 Mon 04-Mar-19 18:50:39

I fostered a pregnant cat for a small rescue; I checked on her at 5am when I woke up for a wee, totally fine. Checked on her at 6am when I got up for work - 6 clean, suckling, jet black kittens. Most cats manage very well.
The RSPCA should help find homes, neuter, vaccinate etc, have a nice cup of tea and enjoy your very special kitty.
She may even have been "spayed" by a previous vet but they may have only been able to find one ovary and thought she was only born with one (it happens occasionally), hence the scar in the right place.

L0kiWh0 Mon 04-Mar-19 18:59:03

We looked after a neighbours cat whilst she went abroad for an emergency, and realised she was pregnant.
We got a big box and put newspapers/old towels in and it seemed she just instinctively knew what to do as when she was ready she climbed in and had 4 beautiful little black kittens a week later (one of which is asleep on my feet!)

novasglowx Mon 04-Mar-19 21:45:11

I've been there for the births of three separate litters over the years. As long as they have a safe space to give birth in, they pretty much deal with it alone. I kept a close eye and had to intervene a couple of times to try to resuscitate stillborn kittens (unsuccessful) and clear the mouths of a couple of kittens that the queens were too exhausted to see to. The last kitten I helped is now nearly a year old and snuggled up on my knee (I decided he was coming home with me the second he took that first breath!) Let nature take its course but definitely do your research and be on hand in case of emergency.

janebee4 Tue 05-Mar-19 11:10:50

Thank you for all your lovely responses, we've got a big cardboard box with newspapers and blankets set up for her in the spare room and DP has been watching endless cat birth videos. She had a nosy at the box last night and then waddled off to sit on the landing instead. RSPCA have said they will spay her as soon as they're able to after she's had them and were really apologetic. The initial shock has worn off now, I just hope she's okay! I'll definitely post an update with kitten pics smile

OP’s posts: |
Easterbunnyiscomingsoon Tue 05-Mar-19 11:18:00

Congratulations on your new kitten.
I guarantee you won't be able to rehome every one....

Houseworkavoider Tue 05-Mar-19 11:18:21

When my cat had kittens she did all the work herself.
She wanted my hand on her throughout.
I would keep some towels ready. My Dh had to rub and blow on one kitten to get it breathing.
Good luck! brewcake

madcatladyforever Tue 05-Mar-19 11:19:59

Can I have a kitten please. What a thrill but poor you though. What a ridiculous thing to happen.
Puppy training pads off amazon are great and cheapfor any birthing or kitten mess and they are lovely and soft. I buy them for my ancient cat as she sometimes poops in her sleep.
Do post some pictures of the kitries.

JudgeRulesNutterButter Tue 05-Mar-19 11:29:00

Yy to guilt free kittens!! I’m jealous grin

steppemum Tue 05-Mar-19 11:57:14

just be warned, if she is ready to mate again, she will be like houdini in getting out of the house, so while it is fine for her to wander round etc, you will need to be super vigilant to make sure she doesn't get out.

Kittens are fun, so enjoy this bonus!

SoupDragon Tue 05-Mar-19 12:18:34

Absolutely not placemarking for kitten photos when they arrive...

agnurse Tue 05-Mar-19 17:30:45

Most mother cats, as PPs have said, will instinctively know what to do. You do have to watch as sometimes they will reject one or two kittens - those kittens will need to be syringe-fed and assisted to pee and poop. Some cats will give birth privately, others like for their owners to be around. (My sister had to midwife her cat through labour as the cat jumped into her lap and cried whenever my sister tried to leave!)

Our Gatsby, whom I show here, was rejected by his mother, along with his brother. He was hand-reared and syringe-fed. We adopted him when he was 2 months old - he is now 16 months. The first photo was taken days after we adopted him, the second a couple of weeks ago. In both of these photos he is lying on me. He promptly decided that I'm his mum grin

Girliefriendlikescake Wed 06-Mar-19 18:24:15

We had a stray cat that adopted us when she was pregnant, this was about 25 years ago so my memory is a bit hazy. I remember the cat came to me when she was in labour and me and my mum were midwives for her, she struggled with one large ginger boy kitten but otherwise was fine, she has 5 kittens in all!

We put her with the kittens in a large cardboard box with a towel and blanket and she was a fab mum. She did leave the box occasionally just for a break and to eat/drink/wee etc. She did also move the kittens into a cupboard one night!!

I'm also jealous you get guilt free kittens 🐱😁

Banana1979 Wed 06-Mar-19 18:33:32

You don't need to take her to an animal hospital for your cat to give birth. She will instinctively find somewhere quiet and most likely out of sight to give birth
You could give her a big box but make sure its somewhere where there isnt a freeflow of people, somewhere warm and quiet . Cats usually give birth in darkish quiet or hidden places ie under the bed in a cupboard ect
You don't need to do anything else but ensure she has a good supply of food and water. Cats like to be left alone when giving birth- give her her space unless something is going wrong
Do not ..i repeat do not touch her newborn kittens right after she gives birth and for a week or two after. I made this mistake when i was little and my cat ate one of her kittens. Vet said it was because i transferred my scent onto it and she didn't recognise it after.
Lucky you that u got kittens..not fair. The RSPCA would easily home them for you once they get a bit bigger
Id get some kitten friendly soft toys for them to tumble about with in the next 5 weeks

TinselAngel Thu 07-Mar-19 12:25:14

If this thread doesn't end up with kitten pictures I'm asking for my money back.

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