Feral I've trapped/spayed may be nursing kittens - what now? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Feral I've trapped/spayed may be nursing kittens - what now?

Well, I'm a little uncertain what to do and need some quick answers from cat people. I've had two feral cats, I've always assumed were sisters, that I've fed in my barn.

Two weeks ago I found feral kittens born in my barn. I've since taken them and brought them inside, they're happy and healthy and will make fine pets when I find them homes.

Last week I successfully trapped and spayed their mother. She's been recovering in a large dog crate in my spare bedroom. I do know that it's best to keep them quiet after surgery if possible.

This morning, I trapped and spayed the mother's sister.

She appears to be bagged up as if she may also be nursing a litter somewhere, who knows where. They aren't in my barn. Initially, I was told by this clinic (the clinic specializes in low cost spay neuter of ferals) that if she was in fact nursing a litter I can't find, that she could be turned back out to tend them even after the surgery... that it's not the best, but sometimes we do what we can and hope for the best.

So I had been thinking I would keep her tonight until I was sure she had recovered from the anesthetic, and eaten a good meal, and then turn her back out. She would have been away from the kittens less than 24 hours that way.

Now I called to check on her, and now a different tech is telling me I can pick her up in a couple hours, but that I should keep her 7 days to recover, that she can't be reunited with the kittens or nurse them now, regardless.

That's not what I was told before I did this! I didn't know I would be condemning a litter of kittens to starve if I did this.

I'd appreciate the thoughts of some of you... I'm sure this isn't a new issue.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 05:24 PM
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Call back and ask to speak with a vet. Explain to the vet what the situation is and find out if the reason the tech said 7dys is because of a problem, or if that is just 'standard' what they tell clients. If the vet confirms there is a problem, I'm sorry. That would kill me to have to sacrifice a litter like that and I feel for you. I hope it doesn't come to that.
There is a chance you could walk around and see if you could locate the litter nearby by making cat-meow or kitten-cry noises and listening for them crying.

I had a feral mother killed in front of my house and it took 2 days to locate her litter; they were orphaned at 9dys and found at 11dys old. However, this was in Georgia in mid/late April, without the heat much of the country has been experiencing.
Good luck, I hope this has a happy outcome.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 05:25 PM
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No, it's not new. I took in a stray who was about 6 months old. It never occurred to me that she would be pregnant, as she was so young. Well, she had 6 kittens, but one got stuck, and had to be removed by Caesarean section.

The vet allowed her to go home early to care for her kittens. This is my experience. If you decide not to allow her to nurse the kittens, try to find them and raise them on a bottle. I had no problem with my stray, but I don't like contradicting your vet's office.




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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks - I'm leaving now to go get her, I'll try to talk to the vet when I'm there. I'm told the surgery went well and there were no complications, so I think this is this tech's standard answer.

I am curious though, if what I was told before, that she would continue to lactate, is true.

I'll check back when I get back.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 05:33 PM
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You could pick up some kitten milk and a bottle, to take some of the work from mother cat.




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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanie
You could pick up some kitten milk and a bottle, to take some of the work from mother cat.
Jeanie... I don't know where this momma's kittens are, or none of this would be a problem.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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OK - back from the vet with the cat. She's still in the back of my pickup (with a canopy) inside the live trap.

The consensus now is that I should keep her seven days regardless of the kitten issue. The original tech I talked to was rather snippy with me now, so I think she's been over-ruled and chastised for telling me I could turn her back out the same day to return to her kittens. She now says she never even told me that, that I must have misunderstood. No I didn't. The issue of the potential nursing kittens was always the issue with this cat.

But anyway... it's done now. It seems to me my options are:

Turn her loose tonight, at considerable risk to her, but potentially better for her kittens.

Keep her seven days and transfer her to a dog crate where she'll have more room:

(a) Let the first momma (Sister2), who's now been six days since her surgery, loose in the spare bedroom she's in and put this new one (Sister1) in the crate Sister2 has been in. It's nice... has a litter box and a shelf. Tomorrow, I could open a window and let Sister 2 go, it will have been a week.

or

(b) Make up a new crate and put Sister1 in it, leaving Sister2 be. The other big dog crate I have is in rather rough condition and would need to be put back together, but it could be done.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Testing whether I can post pictures from snapfish here... here's Sister 2 in the dog crate, she's the mother of the kittens that I have.

On edit... I guess I can't... I'll upload them elsewhere to post if people would like to see...
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 08:04 PM
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Just upload them to Cat Photos.

Here are the directions:

https://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=7780




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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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OK - will do a little later... I've got my hands full now getting her crate prepared (I decided to go with option b above)
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