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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Need your help. ~~Questions ~~

Question 1: I have a semi feral mother-Freida- and her 6 kittens in my garage. The kittens are 8 weeks old. The head of our TNR group wants to get the mother spayed and back outside. She contends the longer the mother is in the garage the more she is loosing her edge when we release her. Do yall think that is accurate information?.

Question 2: I would of continued to let the kittens nurse but since they want to get Freida fixed and fattened up before we release her at 12 weeks I put the kittens in a 4x4 so they wouldnt nurse and shed start to dry up. Freida, the momma was so engorged the first week, it was painful for her. She laid on her side and was shakey.

The vet told us to only give her a 1/4 cup dry food morning and evening so I started doing that (this last 1/2 week). I was giving kittens and Freida 5 cans of soft food a day plus all the kitten dry food they wanted before! She cries and cries at my door to the house wanting food. It is killing me! The vet claims she wont dry up any other way. If I continue to feed her alot only keeps the milk producing and her engorged.

Is that true? Isnt there a more humane way beside starving her? Its now a week and half and she still has milk! Any ideas from anyone on how to handle this?

* Freida is so skinny. I took her in and had her tested for FIV/FeLV. She came back negative. She continues to be skin and bones. I can feel her hips and each bone on her spine. I cant seem to fatten her up. Im going to have her treated for worms when they spay her. I dont know what else it could be.

Ive fostered mother cats that had the lean slender build that were so skinny when I got them. But was able to fatten them up. But I can feel Frieda bones when I pet her.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 05:08 PM
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Some nursing Queens (or even just milk-producing) can run their bodies ragged with the demands of kittens and milk production. If Frieda will let you touch her, is there a chance you can tame her? If not, I really don't think her 'edge' will be lost. I would be more concerned with making sure she is fit/healthy and fed-up as much as you can get her so she has body reserves to draw on.
Can you call another vet to ask about the feeding and milk production? I had always assumed it was nursing, not what the mother-cat was eating, that produced milk.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Freida will never be a lap cat but she could with patience tamed to be an indoor cat. I keep raking my brain for a potential adopter to take her. We have over 35 cats in foster care in our group right now.

I personally cant take another cat. Mittens, my tuxy, loves to foster kittens but sprays the house when adult cats are thrown into the mix. I have one other foster in the house right now. Im holding my breath he doesnt start spraying. 2 is all I can afford right now. Esp since they dont have vet bills at this point in their lives. My extra money is spent on fosters coming thru. I decided cats are my hobby so that is my discressionary funds of my budget!!!

There arent vet knowledgable in our area with cats. Weve used one vet who does all our S/N and hes gotten an education on cats. The vets down here are more dog oriented.

I will call one other vet and pick his brain. He told me several times before leaving his office to call him if I had concerns so Ill take him up on it. Not feeding her much is driving me crazy.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-17-2008, 06:02 PM
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Milk production is encouraged by eating, lots of liquid, and lots of nursing. Normally the kittens would stop nursing soon (before 10 weeks) anyway. Precious always lay on her tummy on the top of the sofa so they couldn't nurse when she was weaning her kittens. And one kitten would always find a spigot anyway, and hang on to the sofa! But Precious would soon walk away. This way, it was a gradual weaning. which I believe to be best for mother and kittens.

You could cut down on liquids a bit, cut her food intake a bit, and allow one small kitten to nurse for a short time, and only on occasion. That's closer to the way Mother cats do it.


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