Lily had her babies... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Lily had her babies...

Lily is one of the cats I take care of at my University. I live about an hour from it, so it's very hard between the intense amount of classes I'm taking and life in general to get down there unless I'm there for my actual classes. However, as I'm sure I've mentioned in previous threads/posts, myself and an older woman named Joanna take care of them. She's been caring for them for about 2 years now. Lily was about a 5 month old kitten when I first met her a year ago.

At that time, I really didn't know too much about trapping and spaying/neutering and releasing. Now with the on-going Pumpkin Problem (as I call it), I've learned a bit. In the last several months we've been planning on (although the plans have admittedly been vague) to trap, spay, and release the females. Lily is the only female in our main group. There are two tortis that wander around from time to time, and in time I would like to get them spayed too. Pumpkin (who I made a thread about, and his capture will hopefully be soon done with, as I have a woman making me a drop-trap as we speak) has been my main priority, but about a month ago I realized Lily was pregnant again. She had already had one litter, and I had known it was only a matter of time before she got pregnant, but simply put I did not have the resources to go about trapping her.

Two days ago I went out and bought another trap and I am making very concrete plans now to trap Lily, with Joanna. It got urgent with realizing she was pregnant again. I was debating what to do -- let her have the kittens, or bring her in to get spayed and have the pregnancy terminated -- when she had her kittens tonight. I was not there, but Joanna was (she feeds them every night, as she lives only about 10 minutes from my University), and she updated me throughout her birthing process.

She had 3 kittens, from what she could see, and all of them were mewling and squirming and seemed healthy. But this is not a happy time. I am happy they're okay, but I have no idea what to do. I know this is not an ideal situation; in a perfect world, I could have trapped her sooner before she got pregnant again, and believe me, I feel pretty guilty. But Pumpkin had shown up and classes started up again, and I've been so, so busy.

Sighs. I just want to do right by her and her kittens. How long should I wait before trying to trap her? I'm afraid, while she does let Joanna pet her, she hid her previous litter despite our attempts to trap her kitten when he was old enough. He didn't appear again (we actually thought he might have been killed) until he was about 9-10 weeks, and by that time, he was very scared of people. This is just such a hard situation, but I can't leave them there to continue procreating. The cats there (there's really only about 5-6 main ones, although god knows there's probably more) could actually live peacefully where they are. It's a safe area, and the school doesn't mind them. Obviously problems will arise, however, if tons of kittens keep popping up.

Here's a pic I was sent of Ms. Lily giving birth to the third one:
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And here's a picture of her with her one surviving kitten from her first litter, who we call Peanut (he's male, thankfully).
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I feel like I have a never-ending supply of cats I have to trap, and I'm really no good at it. ): I honestly have no idea what to do. I know so many people on here have so much experience, and I think I'm just looking for some advice. Wait until they're weaned? Try to find them ASAP and take them? Trap Lily with as many kittens as I can get?

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edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-22-2014, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I'm going to meet up with her Saturday at 4pm and we're going to discuss logistics. Going to try to see how many people and what day that works for everyone we can set up to try to catch her, once we figure out how long we should wait...

☆ ☆ ☆
"time spent with cats is never wasted."
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edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 02:08 AM
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Maybe Sturkers it would be a good idea to go with a group who do TNR and learn how to trap properly. I think that might be a big help for both this situation and also for Pumpkin as I think your problem is actually your own nerves and worry about how the cats are going to react, which i totally understand but in their best interest you just have to be quick and firm or set a trap up overnight. Working with experienced people will help you hugely I am sure. Good Luck with this.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 12:38 PM
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If she will let you touch her then I'd vote for grabbing her ASAP! Bring her and kittens inside to a spare room or bathroom where they'll be safe and you can tame up the kits easily.

It may take a bit for you to cautiously follow her around and find out where the kittens are - once you do that have a kennel with wet food in it and try to catch her first. Then you can grab the little ones and kennel them separately. When you get to the place where you can keep her and the babies for now just set the room up, put the kennels in, and let her do the rest. I'd also leave her alone for a day or two other than food and water to let her settle in.

If you can't catch her she can actually get pregnant right away. Cats can go into a heat RIGHT after giving birth, so her poor body would be nursing kittens AND growing more kittens at the same time.

I hope you can catch her!
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 04:05 PM
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Aww, poor baby giving birth right out in the open like that. How sad is that? I agree that it would be a good idea to meet up with a TNR group and go on an assist/learn outing or 3. That is the best way to learn proper trapping and handling techniques. You can also see about what there is to learn on Youtube. I'm sure there are plenty of vidoes on there about trapping ferals.

Best wishes to Lily and her new family.

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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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At least this time I would have lots of different people with me. While the woman who feeds them (Joanna) isn't super experienced, she knows her cats! She can get them to come running up to her with just a whistle! This Saturday, I would really like to figure out where the kittens are stationed and get Lily and her kittens away from the other males that might impregnate Lily again. I don't know how probable that is, but, if the little mews I've been hearing are anything to judge by, she's keeping them under the Science building. Which I can easily get under (with some crawling...) The kittens will be immobile (they're barely 2 days old...), and I can easily get them in a cage once I have Ms. Lily.

Truthfully, I am not emotionally attached to these cats like I am to Pumpkin. I would have no problem snatching Lily up even if she did freak out. She doesn't really like me anyway! Lets me put out food, but I've never pet her. She is the only female in our group as of right now (I'm not including the tortis, although they are on my list, just because they only show up once every few weeks), so once she's spayed and her kittens are safe, then I can worry about the others.

(Also, just for the record, since I haven't updated Pumpkin in a while: I'm just waiting for the word from the woman I work with! One of the other volunteer's father is making a drop-trap specifically for me, apparently, which is super cool! Then I can finally get him, since he seems to out-smart the regular traps.)

A few questions, though: will handling the kittens and putting them in a cage with Lily do any harm as far as her caring for them goes? I know a mother cat isn't going to abandon a kitten if I touch it, I'm just worried she'll be so stressed in the cage that she will accidentally hurt her babies. Should I put them in separate cages, even if they will still definitely be nursing?

☆ ☆ ☆
"time spent with cats is never wasted."
[
edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals

Last edited by struckers; 09-23-2014 at 06:14 PM.
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 09:22 PM
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Struckers,
Librarychick's advice was to Kennel the babies separately from Lily for transport...till you get to the place where you can keep her and the babies for now...put both kennels in the room, open, and let Mama do the rest!
Good Luck!!

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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 #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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OOPS, sorry. It's been a long day, lol.

That sounds like the best idea, yeah. Ideally it'd be nice to transport them together, but it's a small cage. Luckily, the newest trap I bought came with a smaller kitten trap, ideal for the tiny babies. Hopefully this will aid in the rescue on Saturday.

To make things more complicated: one of the males has a hurt paw now. He wasn't limping badly at all and one or two of them will limp from time to time, but it seems to be getting worse each day... And now I have to decide if it's more imperative to catch him or Lily and company first. This is so stressful.

☆ ☆ ☆
"time spent with cats is never wasted."
[
edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 04:49 AM
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Struckers,
Catch Lily and babies first! Lily's in danger of getting "preggers" again, otherwise! And the earlier the kits get used to humans and socialized, the better!
Then worry about the boy, or maybe one of the other people can help out with him!

"A Cat must have three different names:
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 #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 09:56 PM
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I agree - Lily and her kittens first.

Good luck struckers - obviously, keep us posted! Keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well, and that you manage to get Pumpkin eventually too!
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