Considering taking in a pregnant cat - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 76
Send a message via AIM to JewelFilly
Considering taking in a pregnant cat

hello,

I'm considering taking on a cat who is pregnant. I just wanted to know what I am getting myself into! I will probably have the babies in my home for 9 weeks and the mother cat the rest of her life. What can I expect every week from 1-9 with the kittens? What kind of area do the kittens need to be kept in? I know the mother typically litter trains her kittens but what kind of accidents can I expect? My husband is worried that they will poop and pee all over the place. What are your experiences? Thanks so much!

Jess

Jess

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
JewelFilly is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 03:17 AM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 12,876
Re: Considering taking in a pregnant cat

As an adult, I have had one cat birth in my home but I've also hand-raised several orphan litters. I kept them in a bathroom with a roomy and comfortable 'nest'. I prefer a box about 2'x2' with a way to cover the top for privacy yet still allow for easy cleaning on my part. This size, while it seems too large, I feel is ideal because it gives the mamma enough room to enter/exit and get up to change position without the danger of laying on a kitten if the area were too small. I like to use towels folded and placed into a pillowcase as bedding. The loops of towels can catch little kitten claws but the smooth pillowcase won't trap their little claws. You could line the inside of the cardboard box with shelf-paper to keep it in better condition from birthing fluids and/or kitten messes.

I like to have a hole cut for mamma to enter/exit in such a manner that it rubs along her belly so if a kitten won't release a nipple when she gets up, her going through the hole will sort of knock the kitten off her nipple and it will remain in the nest. By the time the kittens can reach that hole and get out on their own, they are ready to be out and exploring and you can enlarge/lower the entrance.

I keep them in the bathroom with the door closed. I do this to prevent the Mamma kitty from moving the nest to under my bed, or other areas of the home. Believe me, they do NOT need a larger area for exercise. Other than eating/drinking and elimination, a mamma cat does not spend very much time away from her kittens. When the kittens are old enough to graduate to the room adjoining the bathroom during the day, that is plenty of time for the Mamma cat to slowly become more active herself. I have also, about this time (3-6wks old) placed a barrier in the lower part of the doorway to keep the kittens in there, yet allow the Mamma to get a break from them into the larger bedroom where they cannot follow.

Be aware that little kittens are like toddlers ... they are going to play, play, play and will NOT interrupt something *fun* to go potty. I've seen them racing all over my bed and one will quickly squat/pee/poo and then leap right back into the action. That is just going to be a hazard of having young kittens. Eventually, they begin to learn to listen to their bodies and 'take-care-of-business' before it becomes critical, but if you've given them too large of an area too soon, they may not be able to reach the potty in time or will think it is too far and will just squat/go wherever they happen to be.

Anyhow, that is all I can think of for now. I really enjoyed fostering and hand-raising kittens, I'm sure you will, too.
heidi =^..^=



Heidi n Q is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 05:38 AM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Guntersville, Alabama, USA
Posts: 5,518
Re: Considering taking in a pregnant cat

Assisting the Mama-cat in nesting and kittening is a magical, wonderful experience, Jess.
It was a long time ago, and it's still a sweet memory.

Heidi has great advice as always. I really like the idea of the "just right" size hole in the nesting box, and the idea of using an old towel inside an old pillowcase is amazing. I used a pair of old, thin blankets from Goodwill years ago. One to line the nest box, and one 'standby', ready to change bedding a couple of hours after Mama-cat gave birth.
Changing the used bedding is important, but so is your timing of the change. You want to make sure Mama-cat is finished giving birth, and she and her kits are rested. So not too soon. But don't wait too long, either. Her instinct will be to move her kittens to a new, clean nest, off of the dirty bedding, as soon as she feels the time is "right".
If I remember correctly, after the kittens are all clean, they'll eat, and when they're finished their first nursing, they'll sleep. I think you can gently change the bedding at this point without being too intrusive. But, I'm hoping Heidi will chime in on this important point.

This is an old memory, dating back to the seventies, and consequently my recall of the sequence of events might be a bit dodgy.
gunterkat is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 05:59 AM
Premier Cat
 
Mitts & Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Arizona
Posts: 9,352
Re: Considering taking in a pregnant cat

Having a mother with kittens can be the most fun experience. She does all the work and you get to enjoy them. Do you have other cats? You will need to keep them separate from your other cats. I keep mine in my garage. I put the mom and kittens in a 4x4 kennel when they are tiny. We made the door a Dutch door so it opens on the top portion of the door so she can jump out and get a break from them when she wants. Which isnt often. You need to keep the mom hydrated and lots of soft food to keep her caloric intake up since it takes a lot out of a mom to nurse. We put bumpers around the bottom of the kennel when the babies are tiny so the babies cant get out or stuck.

Yes babies do make little messes occasionally when they donít want to stop playing. Its not a frequent happening but it does. Fortunately they are tiny poos and pees.

Is a rescue going to take the kittens at 9 weeks? Its really nice if you can keep the kittens with the mom till 12 if you can.

The hardest part of having a mom and kittens is when you have to separate them so she can get spayed. You have to stop her from feeding and begin to dry up. For me its miserable to watch her get engorged, wanting to be with her kittens and how uncomfortable she must feel. Then not let the kittens nurse after the surgery. I HATE that part.

Here are a few pictures of mom and kittens and our set up.

This kind of bed is nice since it has sides for her to prop her back to while feeding the kittens. Its really a dog bed.


This is the kennels we use. This one we doubled cuz I had 3 adult cats in it. Usually we use one 4x4 for mom & kittens. We put shelves for her to crawl up on if she needs a break too. This photo has only one shelf since the cats in the photos were blind and I didnít want them crawling up and having a hard time getting down!
Mitts & Tess is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 01:42 PM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 12,876
Re: Considering taking in a pregnant cat

Nothing to add, John and Merry have added more awesome advice! I love that kennel set-up, Merry!



Heidi n Q is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 10:11 PM
Tom Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Southwest Ohio
Posts: 583
Re: Considering taking in a pregnant cat

This topic caught my attention earlier, but I was on my blackberry and wanted to reply fully, so I waited until I could get on the desktop.

Just over 10 months ago I took in a pregnant stray. It was the best thing I've ever done, and if Hubby would let me do it again I would foster a pregnant cat in a heart beat!

My plan was to give the momma (Ginger) a safe place to have her babies, find her babies good homes where they would be spayed and neutered and get Ginger spayed. My only goal was to see the pattern of continued lives happening, to be stopped--hence my signature at the bottom of this post.

Ginger waited 18 days to present her beautiful healthy 5 kittens, 4 females and one male. Everyone here at CF anxiously awaited their birth with me! What made my situation hard was I had to keep Ginger in an outdoor enclosure--so the bond we formed was not one of touch, but based on verbal and emotional communication.

All of Ginger's kittens found homes--one right here with me. And although it was never my intention to keep a kitten or Ginger, she also found a furrever home with me. And she is my heart kitty. For nearly 5 months she learned to trust me, like I said through almost no touch. I always talked her through everything that I did revolving around her and her kittens. She was a great mom, and still is--she still loves the kitten I kept, very much--and although Ginger is an outdoor cat she knows her baby, and her baby knows her and they adore playing!

It was a long and tiring 5 months with Ginger and her babies and it added 6 times the amount of work at least to my life. The first 3 weeks was pretty easy, but once they started moving I had 8 cats total (Ginger, her kittens and my 2 adult males inside) and I had no time to myself.

I had one incident with an accident and I think someone stepped in it and then carried it with them. Ginger taught them very well!

I weighed the babies every day for the first 2 weeks, same time everyday to make sure they were gaining or least never losing. Then I went to every other day for I think 2 weeks--after that--I couldn't keep them on the scale. I have all my notes though so I can help.

As for what to expect--week one babies are going to eat and sleep, and some start to open eyes, umbilical cord will fall off
week two--eyes open--but awful vision, eating and sleeping a lot, but starting to squirm around
week three--better vision and sense of smell, starting to crawl around and some may cruise, ears are opened up, starting to get noisy
week four--getting milk teeth, really gaining their legs, starting to interact with each other, mine tried wet food at this stage and started to use the litter box--still nursing multiple times a day
week five--they are eating wet food, going in the litter box, playing with each other, in to everything
week six--starting to play fight and learn from momma about right and wrong big time
from this point its a lot of activity--no major milestones I dont' think

I wouldn't change a second. And writing this I have tears in my eyes. I keep in touch with some of the adoptive homes--and thats been wonderful for me. I am looking forward to celebrating Ginger's gotcha day, April 2nd and the kittens birthday, April 20th!!! I am reminded daily by both Ginger and her darling daughter that it is so easy to prevent the cycle of pet overpopulation. And there are people, unresponsible pet owners who aren't preventing the cycle. I will say that it wasn't cheap taking in Ginger but it was worth every penny.

Let me know if you have any questions, I am by no means an expert but spent hours upon hours ensuring Ginger and her babies would be safe and grow healthy etc.

Leslie
Jack&Harley is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 10:47 PM
Premier Cat
 
Mitts & Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Arizona
Posts: 9,352
Re: Considering taking in a pregnant cat

Leslie that was beautiful.

I think we need about a million more people with hearts like yours and wed have the "no more homeless cats" come true. It will happen one day and I hope Im there to see it!
Mitts & Tess is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 76
Send a message via AIM to JewelFilly
Re: Considering taking in a pregnant cat

Thanks for everyone's helpful comments and suggestions! It gives me a lot to think about!

Jess

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
JewelFilly is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 01:18 PM
Cat
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 23
Re: Considering taking in a pregnant cat

In October, we took in a pregnant cat. In January, we found her a furrever home. We have one of the babies at our house. The baby is special needs - the sweetest little kitten. We love her. She has cerebellar Hypoplasia.....and is currently sick with a respiratory infection AND has ringworm. She's been through it all!

Having the mom and kittens was an awesome experience. My son was home for the birth. I missed it, but I've seen lots of animal births.

The cat will do it all herself. You just sit back and wait for it to all happen. Don't drive her nuts, though. Let her do her thing. She may go crazy before she gives birth. She'll prowl around - may scream. May jump on things and run for a minute - but she'll calm down. Just tell her it's ok. If she'll let you pet her to calm her, do that. If she won't, then leave her alone.
MollyMileyMaya is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 12:14 PM
Premier Cat
 
Mitts & Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Arizona
Posts: 9,352
Re: Considering taking in a pregnant cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by MollyMileyMaya
In October, we took in a pregnant cat. In January, we found her a furrever home. We have one of the babies at our house. The baby is special needs - the sweetest little kitten. We love her. She has cerebellar Hypoplasia.....and is currently sick with a respiratory infection AND has ringworm. She's been through it all!

Having the mom and kittens was an awesome experience. My son was home for the birth. I missed it, but I've seen lots of animal births.

The cat will do it all herself. You just sit back and wait for it to all happen. Don't drive her nuts, though. Let her do her thing. She may go crazy before she gives birth. She'll prowl around - may scream. May jump on things and run for a minute - but she'll calm down. Just tell her it's ok. If she'll let you pet her to calm her, do that. If she won't, then leave her alone.
I was wondering if you saw the article in Best Friends magazine (January/February issue) Amazing Masi~Wobbling doesnt get her down. she has cerebellar hyperplasia. I know youd be touched by it since you have a kitty like that too.
Mitts & Tess is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome