It is similar to whelping pups -- just let her get on with it but watch to make sure she's OK and intervene only if needed. Her cleaning the kittens herself, licking them to get them breathing well etc. , helps with the bonding so it's best to let her do as much as she will / can. Usually queens will instinctively know what to do, but there are some who are clueless, or if very young they can be confused.
She probably won't have them until 63-66 days but it is good you will be around from a few days earlier just in case.
Queens can get pregnant again even when they have just recently had a litter, and occasionally it can even happen within days! And that would be very hard on her and not good for the kittens . so it is very important to keep her inside and away from any male cats that have not been neutered for at least 7 weeks ( they can still be fertile for up to that long! )
You can get her spayed when the kittens are around 8 - 10 weeks and weaned.
( they will probably start eating some canned pate style food -- kitten food or a food listed as being approved for all life stages including kittens) around 4 to 6 weeks old. then over a month or two will gradually eat more and nurse less. Usually by about 8 wks they would be getting the great amount of their nutrition from eating , but may continue nursing a bit for comfort at times.
Kittens benefit more from staying with their mother and littermates at least 10 weeks. Many people don't realize that and think you should separate them as soon as they are able to eat on their own, but it really is better for their physical, mental and social development to have that extra time. They learn a lot of important cat lessons and they are less likely to have behavior problems. Most reputable cat breeders keep them until at least 12-14 weeks. I would really try for at least 10 and to make sure they have had their first round of vaccines at least a week before they go to new homes.
Good luck ! Hope all goes well.
Last edited by marie73; 07-06-2013 at 12:21 AM.
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