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Discussion Starter #1
A week ago we took in a beautiful stray black tuxedo cat who is pregnant and I was wondering if there was any way of telling how close she is to delivering...? She's visibly big, but not huge. You can't see movement in her tummy but I'm pretty sure I felt a few tiny kicks.

Also, are there any signs I should look out for that would indicate something is wrong?

How long should we wait after she has the kittens to have her spayed?

She has calmed down a lot since we first took her in and I just want to make sure she isn't depressed, is that normal for a cat who is brought indoors, or could she have simply been excited about being in a new strange place and now she's comfortable? :roll:

Her apatite seems fine and she took to the litter box right off, so I am wondering if she was once an indoor cat. I wish I new her history! :(

I think that's everything...

Edit: She's Lucy (pictured below) btw!
 

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Lucy is beautiful! I have a weakness for Tuxedos! A vet can guess when the kittens are coming. She will probably look for a quiet dark place to have the kittens. You could maybe put a box in a closet with towels in it. But it isnt a guarentee she'll use it.

I would feed her high calorie wet Kitten food and maybe goats milk if she drink it. She will need plenty to drink and eat when the kittens arrive.

Normally we let the kittens be with the mother until 12 week old and then spay the mother.

You could felv/fiv the mother to know if the kittens are clear of Fiv/Felv. Dont bother testing the kittens. Its a waste of money until they are over a year. And at times youll get a possitive if the cat has been vaccinated against the diseases. Then you pay for a test which runs around $100 to find out if it is testing possitive from the vaccinations or if the cat really has the disease.

Having kittens is so much fun. Enjoy! Thank you for rescueing her.
 

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I would definitely take her to a vet to get her tested and just to make sure she's under a vet's care in case anything goes wrong.

Heidi likes to post about using a large rubbermaid storage container (about 2.5 feet high, 3 feet long, 1.5 foot wide) as a nesting box. Keep the lid on and fold some old towels inside. This creates a safe place for her to have the kittens in, and it's also easily accessible by you so you can keep it clean and access the kittens and momma in an emergency. This worked great for me, though I ended up leaving the lid off.

Once the vet tells you how far along she is, once she's just about to have them, I'd recommend keeping her in a quiet room where your nesting box is. You don't want her to choose a spot to have her kittens that is inaccessible, unsafe, or unsanitary, like behind the dryer, under the bed, in a drawer, etc. It can get a bit messy, so you'll want her to have them in a place that you can clean (like the nesting box).

I second the recommendation to have her eat kitten food. Her body needs high-quality kitten food right now, so make the switch. Canned kitten food is best, but also leave out dry kitten food at all times for her, since once she starts nursing, she's going to need as many calories as she wants to eat. Lots of fresh water, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have been feeding her a mix of kitten and adult dry food along with wet food. We have decided to take her to the vet. I'm very excited. I hope she is healthy... I will let you know how she is doing when we get back.
 

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Good decision taking her to the vet. A vet will be able to make a good approxmation on when she'll deliver. You'll also be told what dewormer you can use if she needs deworming or if she needs to be treated for something else.

I'd wait with spaying until the kittens are weaned. It can be done before but having small baby paws and mouths around the sutures isn't the best healing condition.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
She came back with a clean bill of health (other than the worms). SO relieved! They said she is 2-3 years and weren't able to tell me anything I didn't already know about her pregnancy. :-( That was disappointing. I guess we will just have to be patient and keep a close eye on her.

Thanks for the advice! :)
 

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I'm really glad that she came back with a clean bill of health! I'm so excited, I can't wait for the kittens to be here. If I'm excited you must be even more so! Lucy and her kittens are so lucky that they found you and that you are so kind and want to help them. Could you imagine her giving birth with the horrific winter everyone has been having? I can't imagine that her kittens would stand a chance in that sort of weather :( You are wonderful for taking them in!
 

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Yes, I am super excited! I haven't been "god-mother" to a litter since I was 12. I just wish we could keep them all but DH says we must find them homes. And it's true, we can't really afford more than 2 cats. I will make sure we find them very good homes.

Yes, it made me sad to think of the kittens being born in the wild and growing up feral. Fortunately it appears that spring has graced us with her presence here in Georgia, so they wouldn't have been subject to harsh weather.
 

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From the picture you posted she appears healthy and not skin and bones like most cats we come across.

Before you adopt out the kittens I would have them spayed/neutered and first round of vaccinations. If you want them to go earlier make sure that you know this person and they will get the kitten S/N.Then you track them and have the oppointment ready for them to take the kitten in when it reaches 3 pounds. Make sure they understand you are adopting to people who will only keep their cats indoors. And they will sign your adoption contract that they WILL NOT DECLAW.

Give them a page of resources of where they can go on line to get questions answered like Cat Forum. Little Big Cat. Best Friends. Cornell Vet school. And of coarse they can call you for help and also not to dump the cat into a kill shelter if they find they cant keep the cat. They are to bring the cat back to you. So you can find another safe home for it.

Your husband is right. Dont keep the kittens. You are feeding them the best food possible and socializing them so they will be come a great companion cat. That is a gift to people to adopt a well balanced kitten with no emotional or health problem. Then you will have room to help another cat in needs. It keeps spaces open in your home to do that.

Im the only person in my group which has hung by and not adopted several cats I was madly in love with. But When I get back emails and bump into them here they tell me how much the cat means to them and it confirms my stand of not keeping them for myself. One person came by our table at the farmers market.They adopted one of my favorite Manx kittens. They put Twinkle's picture on postage stamps for their Christmas cards! It the feed back which warms your heart.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, she does look pretty healthy. Her coat was very dirty at first, but I wiped her down with a wet rag (she enjoyed that a lot) and I was very happy to find she has a very soft pretty coat. :) Her white paws are still a little stained from clay, but they are getting whiter.

Thanks for the advice! I want to be responsible and do what is best for Lucy and her babies. It would be so nice to stay in touch with their adoptive families!
 

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Another advantage of keeping the kittens with until 12 or 16 weeks of age? Hubby may just change his mind and let you keep a kitten or two. ;-)
 

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It would be so nice to stay in touch with their adoptive families!
Ive met the most wonderful people who adopt my cats and kittens. Some of them became close friends.

One of my favorite kittens was a tailless cat I named Stitch. We had to stitch his eye with three stitches thus his name. I was deeply smitten with Stitch. A couple came to our adoption event and wanted Stitch. I interviewed them. The man works for the border patrol and they had bought a cat from a breeder (he didnt understand backyard breeders then) I smiled at him and said you are taking one of my favorite cats and I will hunt you down and make you sorry if you dont treat Stitch right... He burst out laughing and promised me that give him a fabulous home. I went back to their home a couple months later to give final rounds of vaccination. He indeed was in a great home!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@my4kitties: Haha! Yes. :) He was VERY firm about only getting one kitten when we adopted Penny (I tried, oh so hard, to talk him into getting one of her siblings but he wouldn't give in). He's a big softy and when Lucy wondered up I immediately wanted to keep her and I could tell by the way he was acting he was thinking about that too. :-D It wasn't hard to convince him. So I don't know... he COULD change his mind, but then again, it is also a matter of money... and it racks up with the food and litter after a while. :-\ And we are trying to get out of debt. :p

@Mitts & Tess: That's awesome! :)
 

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Keeping fosters in food and vet bills is an expensive proposition! Maybe a rescue could help you with part of this? But even while trying to get out of debt you have to do things that are important to you. No one makes it when its a strangle hold budget that makes your life grim while bailing yourself out of debt. Experience talking here!
 

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I showed my husband a picture of your Lucy cause I think she is so pretty and I am excited for you lol. He agreed and said wow she is going to have really cute kittens. I just thought I would share that with you :)
 
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