thankyou empath for answering my simple question, f.i.y I have had a litter before, and before you all start shouting at me for being an awful person, let me asure you that all the kittens went to lovely homes to people we knew well-as will any kitten we may have in the future. In some trustable cat knowledge I have picked up, it said that it is healthy for a cat to have 1 litter in her life time.
In order to be with your cat when she gives birth you'll have to know the exact date on which she was fertilized. And, since, like human beings, a cat can be a bit late, you'll have to take her temperature regularly near the due date. It will drop one degree from normal (about 101-101.5) 24 hours before she delivers.
Today we had a normal, young, healthy DSH brought into the vets. She had given birth to one kitten last night, then showed no more signs. She was brought in to work with a dead kitten stuck half out of her. The vet had to pull it out, and the cat's scream of pain was heartbreaking. Almost immediately, she started pushing again, but the same thing happened. She got the kitten half out of her vulva, then it got stuck. Again, the kitten was already dead, and again the vet had to pull it out manually. Due to the risk of damaging her cervix, the decision was made to open her up to remove any remaining babies (the vet could feel them inside her still) whether dead or alive. She had 2 more dead babies, and her uterus was in a real state. Three hours later, she was dead herself...
1) How can you say it was healthy for this cat to have a litter?
2) Are you prepared for this kind of eventuality?
The cats owners had been told that it was best to let their cat have a litter before neutering. They didn't particularly want to, but wanted to do what they thought was best for their cat. If only they'd called us. They are devastated.
That is one of the two most common old-wives tales about cats. The other one is that they are ready to leave mother cat and litter mates at 6-8 weeks. They need 12 weeks to learn from mother and litter mates, even if they were weaned by 7 or 8 weeks.
You can garentee that you will get her kittens good homes but can you garentee that her grandchildren will and her great grandchildren will get good homes? There are hundreds ferral cats running around here. My Mary is a kitten from one. I would bet that the ansestors of everyone one of the ferral cats at one point had a good home. I do not mean to get on you but this is something I feel very strongly about.
Edited to add.>>> I just rescued a pregnant cat from being shot. I am positive that she is the eventual offspring of my mothers Turkish Angora Snowball. She is unhealthy and very skinny. She is a direct exsample of my point. Do you like the thought that your kitties indirect offspring might end up like that or worse? Just think about it.
I'm sorry if we come off very harshly, its just that irresponsible breeding is a touchy subject with many of us. We're very much advocates of spaying and neutering pets for their own health.
Many people think its healthier for cats and dogs to have at least one litter - but many studies have shown just the opposite. Spaying before the first heat cycle dramatically reduces the risk of certain cancers and eliminates the possibility of pyometra, a deadly infection of the uterus (I believe I got that right...). Also, cats should not be bred on their first heat cycle, and risks become elevated after each cycle. Some cats stay in heat until they are mated. There are many problems that can happen during any pregnancy - first times are always the hardest. So logically, it seems very unfair to your cat to put her through a tough first pregnancy if its going to be the only one.
Not to mention the health of both mother and father cats. Sure, they may be healthy - but were their parents and grandparents? Many diseases are genetic and not knowing the history of all the cats involved can be a serious mistake. Is the father your cat as well? Its amazing how many people "breed" their female out to any male they see wandering the streets without any knowledge of the cat. Even friends and neighbors cats may have illnesses you (and they!) dont' know about.
Its really much safer for your kitties to be spayed and neutered rather than bred. Breeding is something best left to professionals with the highest quality cats.