How To Take Care Of A Pregnant Cat
Caring for a pregnant cat requires a team effort. To help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy, your cat will need your support before the kittens arrive.
Youll need the expertise of your veterinarian along the way. With you, your cat and your veterinarian working together, the odds of a happy, healthy litter of kittens will significantly increase. Here are some helpful tips on how to care for a pregnant cat.
A Comfortable Bed To Snuggle In
Kittens spend a lot of time sleeping, up to 16 hours a day on average. All this rest helps with growth and development. Starting from their very first night, your kitten will need a lot of rest in order to grow into a healthy cat, so before bringing your kitten home its essential that you choose a comfortable bed they can snuggle in thats warm, cosy, and safe.
Should I Leave The Newborn Kittens With The Queen While She Continues To Give Birth
It may be helpful to have a smaller box lined with a warm towel for the newborn kittens. A slightly damp towel can be warmed in a microwave oven. After each kitten is stable and dry, it should be placed in the incubator box while the mother is completing delivery of the other kittens. Warmth is essential, so a heating pad or towel-wrapped hot water bottle may be placed in the box, or a heat lamp may be placed nearby. If a heating pad is used, it should be placed on the lowest setting and covered with a towel to prevent overheating. Likewise, caution should be exercised when using a heat lamp, since newborn kittens may be unable to move away from the heat source.
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Overall Is Purpose Cat Food A Good Choice
Purpose is a great option for cat owners seeking a freeze-dried cat food. Their recipes deliver simple, animal-based nutrition without grains, fillers, or artificial additives. All of their recipes are made with a single source of protein as well, which makes them a good option for cats with food sensitivities.
These formulas are higher in carbohydrate than Id like to see, but still lower than the average dry food. When properly rehydrated, Purpose freeze-dried cat food can provide a balanced source of feline nutrition as well as the moisture your cat needs.
The primary concern with Purpose is the price. The brand also doesnt offer a lot of variety, though three of their four recipes feature proteins that are novel to many cats. If you have the budget for it or if youre looking specifically for novel protein diet Purpose might be worth considering.
What To Know When Getting A Kitten
Kittens can be a lot of work. They need plenty of attention, supervision, and love, and your new feline friend is no exception. Hell need toys to keep him entertained and help him burn off energy. Hell also need age-appropriate food thats specially formulated with all the nutrients kittens need to help them develop into adults.
Perhaps most importantly, hell need vet care to help him grow up into a healthy adult cat. If youre planning to get a new kitten, make sure that you have a veterinarian who you can contact right away for necessary routine care and for any emergencies that may arise. When you get your kitten, give your vet a call to schedule your kittens first appointment. Youll want to send the vet any records you have from the kittens previous home, and then your vet can help you to get your kitten up-to-date on any vaccinations and other care. Your vet will be your partner in keeping your kitten healthy both now and when hes an adult cat, so be sure to discuss any questions you might have with your vet.
Litter Box And Litter
There are many litter boxes on the market, but make sure the one you choose is shallow enough for easy entrance and egress for your little guy. Many people use a small plastic storage box of appropriate size, for starters. If you are adopting a rescue kitten, ask the foster parents or shelter for advice about the best litter to use since it may be helpful to continue using what the kitty is familiar with. Bear in mind that some kittens will take time to adjust to their litter box, so you may also want to buy some pads to place around the box in case of accidents.
Frequency Of Milk Replacements
For the initial six weeks of milk feeding, you should plan out how many milliliters of milk you should feed the kittens, depending on their age.
- For baby rabbits less than a week old, it is recommended that you give them around two milliliters of milk formula twice a day.
- When the rabbits cross one week, you can up the quantity to about seven millimeters.
- At two to three weeks of age, baby rabbits will almost require the double amount, so around 13 millimeter is advised.
- 13 to 15 millimeters of milk is sufficient for rabbits till they reach six weeks. At this point, the rabbit may try to wean off milk bottles, so try feeding it solid food thats easy on their tummies.
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Elimination And Litter Box Training
Young kittens cannot eliminate on their own. A momma cat will clean her kittens, stimulating them to urinate and have a bowel movement. As their human caregiver, you now have the honor of performing this duty. After each feeding, use a warm, moist cotton ball, tissue or soft cloth to gently rub and clean the kittens lower belly, genital and anal area. The kitten should begin eliminating within a minute. Kittens should urinate after each feeding and have a bowel movement one to four times a day. Do not continue to rub the kitten for more than a minute or so, since this could irritate their delicate skin. Gently wash the kitten after she is done eliminating using a clean, damp, soft cloth. Record the kittens elimination type and frequency in the logbook.
When they are between 3 and 4 weeks of age, kittens can be introduced to the litter box. Use a small cardboard box or plastic litter box with just enough clay litter to cover the bottom. Dont use clumping litter. Adding a used cotton ball to the box will help them get the idea of what to do next. Put the kittens in the box, allowing them to get the feel for the litter. Natural instinct will generally prevail and the kittens will begin investigating, scratching, and, within a few days, using the box.
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Provide Plenty Of Socialization And Enrichment
Socialization and training for your new kitten will be essential to ensure you avoid kitten behavior problems. The critical period for socialization in kittens occurs from about two to eight weeks of age. During this time, your kitten is most amenable to learning from new experiences. However, your kitten is also very susceptible to developing fears as a result of negative experiences at this age, so it is very important for your kitten to have positive, rewarding experiences during this critical period and beyond.
Make sure youre ready to provide positive reinforcement training and plenty of socialization to help set your kitten up for success later in life! Cats of all ages also need mental stimulation and environmental enrichment to ward off boredom, particularly if theyre being kept indoors. Without adequate environmental enrichment, cats may become overweight, anxious, or even destructive. Check out the OSU Indoor Pet Initiative for some great ideas to keep your cat engaged and entertained!
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How To Prepare Homemade Kitten Milk Replacer: 4 Recipes
Its a lot of fun to have a litter of kittens, and its much more fun to watch those small balls of fluff grow into confident young adults.
However, things dont always go as planned, and the queen is unable to give the kittens the milk they require.
This could be due to their own illness, insufficient milk production, or rejection of their kittens. Its possible that its because the queen died while giving birth.
So, what is a kitten milk replacer?
Homemade kitten milk replacer is essential for kittens who refuse to suck or when there is no lactating mother cat available. Kitten supplement formula, also known among breeders as kitty glop or cat milk substitute is commonly used with orphaned kittens but can also be used with hungry newborn kittens.
Keep reading this article to know more about homemade kitten milk replacer.
How To Tell When Your Cat Is Going Into Labor
You might not notice the first stages of your cat’s labor, as there are no visible contractions. Instead, she will seem restless, and exhibit strange behavior like constantly followingor avoidingyou. She’ll also be very vocal and often over-groom herself.
When she is nearly ready to give birth, she will scratch and settle into the nesting box, and start a loud purring. Once you notice a reddish discharge has been emitted, it won’t be long until the first kittens and their placentas begin to appearnormally in less than an hour.
During birth, your queen will “cry” and sound distressed, which is completely normal. You can expect to see a kitten every 10 to 60 minutes, and it’s likely your cat will eat the placentas and chew through the kittens’ umbilical cords. If two hours have passed after you’ve spotted the discharge and there’s no sign of the newborns, get in touch with a vet who may need to assist the birth.
Cats are very good at looking after themselves during labor, so try to avoid fussing over her checking on her every 15 minutes is perfectly fine. If she feels stressed in any way, she will interrupt her own labor and prevent delivery for hours, or even days!
The signs of a healthy newborn kitten
A home birth for your pregnant cat can help her feel relaxed and stress-free, giving her litter the best start possible. If you’re unsure about whether you’ve prepared your home in the right way, make sure to speak to your vet who will be able to advise you.
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Cleanliness And Litter Box
The nesting box will most likely need to be changed at least once a day since the mom is stimulating the kittens to urinate and defecate for the first several weeks of life. Youll want to use bedding material that is soft yet washable towel and fleece blankets work great.
The mom should always have access to a clean litter box. At around four weeks of age, the kittens will begin sand-scratching behavior. Initially, they will follow the mom to the litter box and play in it. By about 4-5 weeks of age, they learn to eliminate in the litter box.
Your Cat’s First Month At Home: Tips & Suggestions
After a few days in your home, your cat will likely start settling into new surroundings. It’s time to start thinking about long-term care and making sure you’re prepared for a long, happy life together. Here are some basics to get you started in the first month.
The right bedding for beauty sleep. Cats can sleep up to 18 hours a day, so creating the right conditions for your new cat is important.
- Make sure bedding is soft and washable, and place it inside a basket, small box, cozy corner or a particularly ideal sunny spot of the house
- Beware of letting your cat sleep with you. Remember that cats tend to be nocturnal, which may disrupt your sleep. If late night antics wake you up, gently put your cat on the floor. Don’t reward a disruption with attention or you’re inviting your cat to wake you up over and over
Typical toys. Good toys for cats are easy to find and widely available at pet specialty stores. Ask your veterinarian for specific recommendations to help determine the best toys for your specific cat.
Safe on the go. Cat carriers are the safest, most comfortable way to travel. Before hitting the road, take time to familiarize your cat with the carrier by storing toys in it or making it a cozy place for a nap inside your home.
SOURCE: Hill’s Pet Nutrition “The Guide for Lifelong Health” ©2008
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Where Is Purpose Cat Food Sold
You can find Purpose cat food in specialty pet food stores across the United States or online from Chewy. You can also purchase Purpose pet food directly through the website with shipping available to all U.S. addresses and to Canada.
In their FAQ section, Purpose notes that they are able to accept orders from other countries case by case. International customers are encouraged to contact the company directly to get a shipping quote.
Preparing For The Birth
During the last two weeks of your cats pregnancy, make sure everyone else in the family knows to be calm and quiet around her, and to handle her with care especially children, who can be understandably excited at the prospect of kittens to play with soon!
Try to keep her as calm and inactive as possible during this time, and encourage her to relax in her special maternity bed. Even the snuggliest soft bed might not tempt her however, and some cats will reject your suggested birthing bed for a corner of a cupboard! Just make sure she has some choice on where to give birth and never try to move her from her chosen spot.
Have help on hand
Your cats labour should go smoothly, but its useful to have help on hand to keep her calm and in case she runs into any complications.
Get hold of your vet’s out-of-hours phone number prior to your cat giving birth, as delivery often happens during the night, or they might need an emergency helping hand. If mum does have problems delivering her kittens, you may need to take her into the vet, so make sure that you have access to transport.
When you think labour might be approaching, its good to get a few things ready in advance, including a clean bowl of warm water, clean towels and cloths, dental floss and disposable gloves, together with a cat carrier and your vets details. Its important to have these things to hand, just in case!
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Preparing For Your Cat To Give Birth
Shortly before her due date, provide your cat with a box or nest where she can give birth and care for her newborn kittens. Make sure that this birthing box is large enough for your cat and her litter to be comfortable in, but also tall enough to prevent any curious kittens from making an escape! Keep the nest in a warm place and line it with soft blankets or towels . Try to find a familiar location to put the box that is quiet and out of the way, and show your cat where the box is situated.
Signing Up With A Vet
Registering with a vet is very important and with many practices to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one to pick. Follow our advice on how to pick the right vet practice for you and your pet.
Make sure they are registered
It is illegal for anyone that isnt registered to practice as a vet. You can find a full list of qualified vets on the RCVS website.
Word of mouth
If you are in touch with local cat owners, ask around to see what vet their pet is registered to. Recommendations are a useful way of find a vet that is right for you.
Choose a local vet
Choosing a vet that is close in distance to you is important. As well as being convenient, it is good to know that your vet is close by in an emergency.
While most vets can carry out various medical and surgical procedures, there may be times where your cat needs specialist care. For example, your cat may have a complex fracture that needs treating. Your local surgery should be able to point you in the right direction.
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Other Kitten Weaning Tips
When you are weaning a kitten onto solid food, its important to use a food formulated specifically for kittens. These formulas have the higher levels of calories, protein and calcium that growing kittens need. If you are caring for a mother cat and her litter, its okay for the mom cat to eat the same kitten food while shes nursing.
Weaning kittens must be kept warm. Build a nest by lining a high sided box or pet carrier with towels. Benson also recommends adding a layer of diapers above the towels, cutting the leg holes to make them lie flat. Theyre going to get messy, he says, and this makes clean-up much easier. Place a heating pad or hot water bottle under the towels on one half of the box. This gives the kittens plenty of heat, but also a place to cool off if they are too hot.
Kitten weaning is a natural process they may just need a little help from you. The key: a little patience and a lot of love.