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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Question To Spay or Not - Pregnant Farm Cat

So Here's the Scenario:
Local farm is willing to work with a TNR group I volunteer for. The farmer is actually excited to only have adult cats around and very glad for the low cost basic vet care option with ear tip.

The question to spay or not to spay a possibly pregnant cat that is affectionate toward people, is clearly under a year (closer to 6 months than 9) but has been getting a supplemented diet, has no fleas and is in general in far better shape than the average farm cat I see.

Going to ask the vet - know that is the best situation specific advice, just hard for me to wrap my head around when I spend most of my time bottle feeding orphans, I have to wonder if pregnant spay is the right way to go for both mom and babies....

Any experienced input or info out there - other than the standard moral pregnancy termination issues? I've read claims that it is easier on the cat based on gestation vs always spay vs never spay - just wondered if there was actual data on safety and what is best for mom and likelihood of healthy kittens to a young but well fed mother???

Thanks for any input
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 03:18 AM
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If she's not very far along, I would lean towards have her spayed. We've had many sad stories here about young cats having stillborn babies and even the mom dying in birth, and this cat sounds very young.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 08:11 AM
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By all means, get her spayed. Today. Even if she had healthy kittens, that is that many more kittens you will have to fix.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 10:53 AM
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Totally agree with both of you. Please, get her spayed. I went through something similar with a feral mom. But after much consideration, I was ready to do the right thing. It IS the right thing, believe me. Not only because of all the things that could go wrong, including mom not surviving being so young, but also it is not fair to bring more kittens to the world when there are so many waiting for homes.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for the feedback - She was indeed spayed this am & is recuperating and doing well.

It turned out to be an easy choice - no pregnancy.

This wouldn't have been so simple for me had she been palpably pregnant. I've read a fair amount, I work to s/n every animal I can drag into the clinic, and spend hours caring for bottle babies. I know the overload in the system - shoot I know the lack of a real system, but I still struggle with the termination spays.

This is not a question of wether or not to let a cat breed, it is more of a is there data to show terminating a more advanced pregnancy in ferals is good for mom? It is more complicated with greater loss of blood, larger incisions and so on, I wish all could be trapped before it is an issue - I'm just wondering if anyone knows of some good data on safety both ways.

This site Spaying Cats - a complete veterinary guide to feline spay surgery. has really given me a fair amount to think about - not the morality issue, that can of worms is more personal less logical, I'm actually thinking on the medical pros and cons.....
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 08:05 PM
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Nora, that's great news. Thanks for caring for this young cat.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 12:44 PM
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I think that in general it's better to spay them, so I'm glad you made that choice, but I don't agree with really late spays. If she's within 2 weeks or so of giving birth then it's going to be really really hard on the mum's body to go through a spay. If she's completely healthy then she'd likely be fine, but if we're talking about feral cats...that's not always the case.

I'd go on a case-by-case basis, and if she's obviously very pregnant maybe take her in to a vet and get their opinion as far as the health risks.

I don't agree with bringing in more babies that need vet care, neutering, and homes, but it's also not always best to do a really late spay either.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by librarychick View Post
I think that in general it's better to spay them, so I'm glad you made that choice, but I don't agree with really late spays. If she's within 2 weeks or so of giving birth then it's going to be really really hard on the mum's body to go through a spay. If she's completely healthy then she'd likely be fine, but if we're talking about feral cats...that's not always the case.

I'd go on a case-by-case basis, and if she's obviously very pregnant maybe take her in to a vet and get their opinion as far as the health risks.

I don't agree with bringing in more babies that need vet care, neutering, and homes, but it's also not always best to do a really late spay either.

This falls in line with my thinking quite well. My problem/concern is the judgment calls. I rarely meet the tnr vets - they are donating their services and don't really have time to spend talking to me and I just wondered if there was data out there I haven't been able to find yet that anybody here was familiar with. Thanks for the support all.

Farm kitty is fine and well, recouping in my bathroom and will head back home in a week.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 07:40 AM
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I only know the situation from a TNR point of view. It is very diffacult to find volunteers who are willing to take on bottle babies. Its a 24/7 two month commitment with a high burn out rate.

A juvenile pregnant kitten will most likely abandon newborns which are most likely under nourished and not survive which is heartbreaking. Young kittens dont have a maternal instinct either.

Ours world is not a perfect ideal world so we have to make decissions which is best for which we have resources and volunteers available to tackle a situation. There are 75 million ferals needing our help. We need to do what is most expedient for all involved. TNR is a grassroots movement being solved one cat at a time. Weve made a big dent in the helping the feral population and have a ways to go. We need to consider the big picture and not get caught up arguing details.

This may sound harsh but I've found the people who become morally outraged at terminating a pregnancy are never available to do the hands on hard work of bottle feeding babies. They just feel morally superior for their position but you wont find them in the trenches doing the real work. That is when they arent available to stand behind their so called convivtions.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mitts & Tess View Post
This may sound harsh but I've found the people who become morally outraged at terminating a pregnancy are never available to do the hands on hard work of bottle feeding babies. They just feel morally superior for their position but you wont find them in the trenches doing the real work. That is when they arent available to stand behind their so called convivtions.
Just because I can't help feeling a little snide - I know some of those people, they complain at Christmas mass when there aren't enough seats.
(please read the above comment as humorous though probably innapropriate sacarsm)

I think just about everything you said was spot on. I'm a bottle baby person, the truth is I'm good at babies, cat, human...whatever. It is when they are older that they drive me crazy. I can see the burn out rate being high, but truth be told it is my most comfortable way to contribute these days, as a matter of fact a new set of bottle babies just came home with me tonight.
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