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post #1 of 83 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hi from me and my very pregnant barn cat ; )

Hi there,

I'm a long time cat lover and cat servant, and we have 2 indoor spayed females (after having lost our beloved senior boys last year). However, living on a farm means that we on occasion have other cats "adopt" us for varying amount of time. I think we have a very pregnant-possibly-about-to-go-into-labour barn cat that we have been feeding and providing heated shelter for these last couple of months.

The plan is to bring her in and spay her, and although I am an experienced nurse, midwife, and alpaca farmer with many births, this will be my first feline birth! So many questions, as I try to figure out how to bring her in. (We thought her initial weight gain was due to being fed regularly - and only the last couple of weeks have we figured it out as she is such a tiny thing) While I am green about this, I'm an expert on dealing with kidney issues in cats and sub Q fluid therapy etc. due to unfortunate experience.

Looking forward to meeting many great fellow cat lovers!

Dar Long
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post #2 of 83 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 04:54 PM
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I'd bring her in ASAP and get her settled into a room of her own before she has the kittens, if that's at all possible. This way you can monitor her more closely and it will also stop her getting 'creative' in her chosen den sites. Cats can be notoriously fickle and weird in their choice of where to have their babies.
I'd get her wormed and treated for fleas ASAP as well so that her little body isn't struggling to cope with infestations on top of being pregnant.
Thank you for taking this little girl under your wing and caring for her

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post #3 of 83 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 05:12 PM
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This way you can monitor her more closely and it will also stop her getting 'creative' in her chosen den sites.
Yes, definitely. When I was a kid we had a pregnant female cat who went out of the front door in the morning pregnant, and when she came back in to eat she wasn't pregnant. Oh boy, what a kitten hunt we had - thankfully it was warm weather and thankfully we found them all and they were all fine.
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post #4 of 83 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Nice to meet you

Thanks for your thoughts. My gut tells me to get her into the house. The plan was to have her spayed, de-wormed, vaccinated etc and brought to the safety of indoors - before we determined that she is likely quite pregnant. Obviously the shots and de-worm will have to wait until after delivery I assume?

I picked up a cushy bed for her and put it in the barn to get the familiar smell and pet her in it for awhile. She is starved for affection and follows me around the barn and yard. She jumps up onto our shoulders and rides there like a parrot, so we call her "Polly". I opened the door to our front porch and she stepped in cautiously and sniffed around then got agitated and bolted out again. I am hoping tomorrow I will have better luck getting her in calmly. I could just pick her up as she allows me to hold her and even check her teats - which are pretty swollen- but I am concerned about freaking her out and possibly causing a premature labour or some kind of rejection of kittens. Is this a potential issue?

She is starting to lay on her side a lot more and I am assuming this means she is approaching labour. She is still jumping up and playing with us, but she is a lot slower and is taking more breaks in the side laying position. I am seeing rippling in her hind quarters which I am assuming is fetal movement. Any clues on how to tell how much longer she may have? (I imagine you hear that a lot. : )

I've read here about the concerns of trying to bring pregnant feral cats in. I'm hoping that the fact that we interact and cuddle/feed this cat and that she comes running to us when we call her makes her more of a stray than a feral cat.

I have nursed week old kittens before, but since all of my animals have been neutered/spayed this will be my first feline labour and delivery. I am reading up on it, but am a little nervous as I don't want anything to happen to Miss Polly or her kittens. I have started to line up new homes for the kittens for September or so assuming they are weaned and able to be neutered etc by then.

Any advice about bringing her in, and preparing for labour and what to expect will be appreciated!

I suspect the father of the litter is a friendly intact orange cat that has taken to dropping in to the barn. Once we are sure he isn't someone's cat we'll have him neutered and bring him in as well - once we have things sorted out with Miss Polly and the kittens.

Sorry this is so long, I guess I am more nervous about doing this right than I thought. : )
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post #5 of 83 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 07:44 PM
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If you've got a kennel I'd try to bring her inside that way. Put some yummy tuna in the back and just close the door on her.

IMO you should get her in ASAP. Like tonight. The longer she has to acclimate before the kittens come the better and she could be due any day! If she has them outside you might not be able to get to them until theyre bigger and moving around. Its much easier to have them indoors.
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post #6 of 83 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 08:06 PM
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There are some vaccines and flea meds that are safe to give pregnant or lactating queens. Others aren't. You can check with your vet to be sure which ones. I know my shelter does at least one vaccine for pregnant cats, and I know I've given flea meds to lactating moms before, but the type that is "okay" to use is specific and you should definitely verify with your own vet (who may advise you to wait, which is also completely fine).


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post #7 of 83 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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I went out to check on her and bring her a snack. The boy cat was paying a lot of attention to her back end. She smacked him. She had some kitty milk and a few nibbles of food and would just stand with tail straight out for a bit. She cuddled on my lap and purred. Do cats give birth at night? (Alpacas don't) I'm thinking the male hanging around is not a good thing - am I correct? Maybe I will try and scoop her up tonight but our other 2 cats will not be too welcoming. I have a spare room I can put her in but I'm thinking she won't be too happy at being confined. Anyone ever tried bringing a pregnant stray in? It's supposed to start raining for 2 days and although she has a safe and dry spot in the barn I'm concerned she may go out or something.

My vets are all mostly large animal but I will get hold of my small animal vet tomorrow. If I knew they didn't birth at night I'd wait until morning and bring her in when I could spend all day with her. But I have a feeling you guys will tell me they birth at night too and with my luck I'd go out at 6 am and find her hidden somewhere.
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post #8 of 83 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 08:45 PM
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Darlong, I am in full agreement with Librarychick! Get this mama cat into that spare room Immediately!!
Litter box, food, water...
Something for her to lay in or under, that won't impede any birthing movements...
Soft blanket or old towels for her...
She needs to come in now!
With what you're describing about her personality, she will probably adjust better than you think!

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An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #9 of 83 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 09:18 PM
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Yes, NOW NOW NOW. She sounds like she may be very close. I know you are concerned about stressing her but conversely, having her kittens outside in a bad choice of den (especially if she is a first time mamma), exposed to the elements and other animals is a HUGE risk and stress to her. She is already acclimated to you and that is half the battle so bring her in to your spare room TODAY! I've used cardboard boxes; with door holes cut in them to provide a safe hidey hole/cubby which reduces stress, in feral kitty cases. I think she will adjust really well.

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RIP Miss Effie, Mme Coco, Basil, Horse & Toby
Be Happy in your new forever home Mr Tyrion
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post #10 of 83 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 09:22 PM
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Yes cats have their litters at night. Find a good cat vet. Most vets are more familiar with dogs and not issues with outdoor cats. Call a local cat rescue to find out who is best with cats from out of doors.
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