Caring For A Friendly Moms & Kittens
Mama cat and her babies should be set up in a room or area that is quiet and private, away from household noises. A spare bedroom or a bathroom works great. To make a nest for them, you can use a big basket bed, a cardboard box, or even an extra-large dog carrier. Youll want enough room that mom can stretch out to nurse and edges high enough so that the babies dont fall out. The key is to make sure the area is private and clean. Keep the other animals in the household away from them. Also keep the area warm, as the kittens get chilled easily. If you put mom and her babies in a spare bedroom, she may move her kittens around the room repeatedly. In the wild, this is how they protect them. Dont worry too much about it; she will gather them all up to nurse.;
Keep Pregnant Cats On Safe Flea Preventatives
During pregnancy, its even more important to keep your cat on a safe, vet-approved;flea preventative. Always check with your veterinarian to ensure that a specific flea preventative is safe for use in pregnant cats.
Keeping your cat flea-free isnt just for their safety, but for the safety of their kittens. Flea anemia is one of the most common causes of;death in young kittens.;
Will My Cat’s Diet Need To Be Changed During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the queen’s nutrient requirements will reach one-and-a-half times her pre-pregnancy level. By the time of weaning, it may exceed twice the pre-pregnancy level. It will be necessary to increase the number of meals given and feed a diet formulated for pregnant females or kittens, since this provides the additional nutrients required for pregnancy and nursing.
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Three Weeks And Older The Critical Socialisation Period:
The key socialisation period begins at three weeks of age and it is important the kittens receive adequate socialisation, if deprived, kittens have a higher risk of developing into adult cats who are fearful and aggressive.
At three weeks, kittens begin to explore and are curious and outgoing. During this period, kittens need the following:
- Exposure to people .
- Exposure to other animals, including members of their own species (this is especially important with orphaned kittens who dont have a mother or siblings to interact with
- Being handled away from their littermates and mother. Gently touch the ears, mouth, paws, limbs to get the cat used to veterinary checkups, grooming and claw clipping.
- Exposure to different environments. During the early days, avoid places with unvaccinated cats.
- Playtime. Provide a range of different toys for the kittens to interact with.
Let the kitten lead, if she shows signs of discomfort or fear, stop and try another time. During this critical time, it is important that the kittens experience is always positive. Socialisation should continue beyond these early weeks and into their new home.
What Should The Mother Cat Eat
Feeding kittens use up a huge amount of the queens energy . Nursing mothers with more than two kittens need between 2 and 2.5 times the calories they needed at the time of mating . Feed a highly palatable, high-calorie food during this time, your veterinarian can recommend the best product to meet the queens needs.
Ensure fresh, clean drinking water is also available.
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Why Do Cats Shake After Giving Birth
Things to do following the birthKeep the room temperature warm and the bedding clean and dry. Feeding – the kittens should start to suckle from their mother almost immediately. If they haven’t started after half an hour, gently guide them towards the teats. If the kittens don’t start feeding, ask your vet for advice.
Similarly, why is my cat meowing after having kittens? The reasons change as they grow from kittens into cats. Kittens meow to their mothers when they’re hungry, cold, or scared. But once cats get older, they use other vocalizations — such as yowling, hissing, and growling — to communicate with each other. Meowing is reserved for their communications with people.
Also know, are cats aggressive after giving birth?
Feline protective aggression rules queens in the first three to four weeks following the birth of the kittens. This is when the new kittens are most vulnerable . Anything unfamiliar is identified by the cat as potentially dangerous and therefore a threat to the babies.
Do cats scream when giving birth?
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.
For Kittens Aged 8+ Weeks
Got kittens with razor-sharp teeth on your hands? Find out whether or not you can give kittens adult cat food in our Q&A here.
Adopting 1 or 2 of the kittens from the newborn litter? Learn the 7 steps to take care of your new kitten here.
Lastly, kittens aged 8+ weeks are at a healthy age to get spayed/neutered. Make sure to take care of this responsibility sooner rather than later!!
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Ensure The Bed Is Comfortable And Warm
Cover the bottom of the bed with a thick towel, a blanket, or a piece of old clothing, and then place the bed in your chosen spot. Make sure you also move the cats litter tray and any food or water bowls. In the end, what;you want to create is a place where the mother will feel comfortable and the kittens will be safe and warm.
Emergency Funds And Phone Numbers
I talk more about this;here, but keep adding to your emergency fund as you get closer to the due date.
If youre fostering a pregnant cat for a shelter or a rescue, know what their emergency protocol is, and have their after-hours numbers handy.
If this is your own cat, ask your vet how to get a hold of her in case of an emergency, and get the phone numbers of a backup vet if necessary. Also, reach out to local 24-hour, emergency vet clinics. Having these numbers available will help ease your mind, and a calm mind is exactly what your cat needs you to have if shes in trouble.
OK! Youve gathered your supplies. Now youre ready for;Setting Up The Birthing Suite.
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What To Feed Your Pregnant Cat
If you notice signs that your cat may be pregnant and it has been confirmed by your veterinarian, you will need to discuss nutritional needs for your pregnant cat. Now that your cat is eating for two she will need additional nutrients and more of them!
Your veterinary team might recommend switching your cat back to kitten food, which will provide nutritional benefits to her kittens, too. Your cat will need more calories to sustain her kittens, so the general plan may be to increase the amount of food you feed her as your pregnant cat nears her term. However, there will also be less room in her stomach as the kittens grow, so feed her smaller amounts but more often throughout the day.
Drinking lots of water is essential for keeping your pregnant cat hydrated, so you may want to keep a few different water bowls around your home in areas that are easy for her to get to. If your cat has pre-existing health needs, or a sensitive stomach, always check with your vet before making any changes to her food and/or feeding routine.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant
If youre not sure if your unspayed cat is pregnant, there are a number of things that may signal that kittens are on the way.
- Physical changes: A pregnant cat can suffer from bouts of morning sickness, and will also generally eat more as the pregnancy progresses. Additionally, your cat’s stomach will be noticeably bigger after about five weeks, and it will continue to swell until she gives birth. Additionally, her nipples may appear swollen and/or take on a darker, red color.
- Behavioral changes: You might find that your previously loving, friendly cat will go into hiding, or an otherwise apathetic cat has suddenly become a snuggle bug both of these types of changes in behavior are normal for pregnant cats.
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Abnormalities Of The Second Stage
Secondary inertia arises after prolonged second-stage labour, and may be associated with obstructive dystocia, muscle fatigue, or excessive pain. Obstructive dystocia may occur for many reasons, but probably the most common causes are maternal pelvic malformation following a pelvic fracture, and foetal malpresentation/malposition/malposture. Interrupted labour, as already described, is definitely not an inertia, as the cat is manifestly normal, labour recommences normally, and kittens are born alive and normal. An important point of difference between the two is that secondary inertia follows previous difficulty or delay and the cat is often restless and exhausted.
Foetal malpresentations, malpositions and malpostures may all lead to dystocia. Presentation indicates which way round the foetus is coming , position indicates which way up it is and posture indicates the placing of the head and limbs . Some people believe that foetal malpresentation in cats rarely causes dystocia, except when combined with other problems such as poor cervical relaxation or relative foetal oversize. However, others have found foetal malpresentation to be the most common cause of dystocia of foetal origin, while relative foetal oversize was very rare.
What Should I Do To Be Sure That Breeding Is Successful
Breeding cats is different from breeding dogs. The female can be bred at any time during her active phase of her heat cycle because cats are induced ovulators. This means that the act of breeding stimulates the ovaries to release eggs. Therefore, eggs are only released from the ovaries when the sperm are deposited in the reproductive tract. To ensure that ovulation occurs, most female cats require three to four matings within a 24-hour period. All that said, it has been shown that 35-60% of cats in a colony may spontaneously ovulate. Once ovulation has occurred, the female cat will go out of heat within a day or two.
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Is Premature Birth Common In Cats
Occasionally, a mother will deliver a litter prematurely. The kittens may be small, thin, and have little or no hair. Although it is possible for them to survive with an enormous amount of care, most premature kittens die regardless of your best efforts. If you wish to try and save premature kittens, your veterinarian can provide you with specific and detailed instructions, including how to feed kittens that are too weak to nurse.
Set Up A Kittening Area
Approximately 2 weeks before your cat is due to give birth, you should prepare a kittening area cats are notorious for choosing to nest in the most inconvenient of areas if there is no suitable box available! Most cats will prefer a covered box and you must make sure it has no rough edges. It should have an easy to clean flooring and a small ledge at the doorway so that the kittens cannot fall out. Popular choices include:
- Front opening plastic pet travel carrier
- A cardboard box
- Laundry basket
- A brand new litter tray
Place the kittening box in a dark, quiet area away from any drafts or frequent foot traffic. Your cat will want to feel private, comfortable and safe. Once youve found the perfect location, place her litter box, food and water nearby, and let your cat sleep in the box so that she becomes familiar with it. Of course, when the moment comes, your cat may choose a different spot to have her kittens – if so, its best to leave her be.
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Abnormalities Of The First Stage
Abnormalities of the first stage can include all forms of primary inertia, and occasional rare disorders, such as torsion or rupture of the uterus. These latter two conditions can result in major emergencies in late pregnancy or first stage labour. Torsion implies a twisting of the uterus, cutting off its blood supply, and making delivery of the contained foetus or foetuses impossible. It also causes what is quite obviously an acute emergency with a very ill and shocked cat. Torsion is usually presumed to have occurred during jumping or some violent movement which imparts a swinging motion to the heavily gravid uterus. Rupture is more usually the result of an accidental blow from a vehicle or other violent trauma, or can occur from violent straining upon a complete obstruction. A rupture occurring at the time of parturition will give rise to the same signs of acute emergency as a torsion. It has been known for rupture to occur early in pregnancy and for the foetus to continue to develop outside the uterus in the maternal abdominal cavity. In these cases, the placenta becomes attached to one of the abdominal organs but it is unusual for such foetuses to develop to full term and, of course, impossible for them to be born without an abdominal operation.
Do I Need To Help My Cat Raise Her Kittens
Occasionally kittens will be born prematurely. They will be small, thin, and have little or no hair. These kittens require intensive nursing care. Premature kittens often fail to nurse, and need to be fed with a syringe, bottle, or stomach tube.
They also need to be kept warm if the queen rejects them.
“A normal healthy kitten, when warm and dry, needs no assistance in finding its mother’s teat and suckling.”
A normal healthy kitten, when warm and dry, needs no assistance in finding its mother’s teat and suckling. Occasionally an exhausted, restless, nervous, or ill queen may fail to assist her kittens. If the queen fails to nurse her kittens, she should be checked by your veterinarian. If the mother is unable to care for the kittens, they may need to be hand fed. .
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Taking Care Of Your Pregnant Cat
During her pregnancy, you will want to keep your cat relatively active in order to ensure she is fit for giving birth. Avoid any excessively rowdy activity towards the end of your cats pregnancy, however. You will need to help her stay calm as she nears her due date, as anything too active could cause her stress. Throughout the pregnancy be sure to pay attention to her appetite and her comfort level. If your cat loses interest in her food or is visibly distressed or agitated, it could signal a problem with her pregnancy.
How To Feed Neonatal Kittens
Use kitten bottles, and try to get the elongated nipples if theyre available because they are easier to use. You may have to make your own holes in the nipple with a sterilized pin or razor; be sure you do this correctly so that the KMR drips out slowly when the bottle is turned upside down. If you notice the kitten is having a hard time getting the milk to come out of the bottle, the pinhole on the nipple may need to be larger; alternately, if the kitten is having a hard time keeping up with the amount of milk coming out, consider changing the nipple to one with a smaller hole. And cleanliness is key, so sterilize the bottles and wash your hands before and after each feeding.
Hold or place kittens on their stomachs and tilt the bottle so less air gets in. Do not feed kittens on their backs. Always warm the KRM and test it on your wrist to be sure it is warm but not hot, like you would do with an infant. Remember, do not feed chilled kittens. Follow the guidelines on the formula label for how much to use, but they will usually stop eating when theyre full.
What to Feed a Neonatal Kitten
Stick to kitten formula, such as kitten milk replacer , which can be purchased at most pet supply stores.If you find yourself with a kitten and pet stores are closed, this emergency kitten formula can be made at home. Only use it in emergencies.
Should you feed newborn kittens goat milk?
Never feed kittens cows or goats milkthis causes diarrhea.
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Helping Your Pregnant Cat Give Birth At Home
If your pregnant cat is expecting a litter, make sure you feel prepared and able to support her in a stress-free birth with our simple guide.
With a litter of kittens on the way, it’s important you feel prepared and confident for when the day arrives. If you choose to have a home birth, then there are a number of simple but essential things you can do to make sure your cat is happy, healthy and able to give birth in a stress-free environment.
Preparing your home for your cat to give birth
Ideally, your pregnant cat should be allowed to have a room or space to herself at the end of her pregnancy. Queens can become aggressive in the final two weeks of their gestation, so isolate her and keep her away from children. The room needs to be quite warmaround 72°Fto help her feel comfortable and reduce the risk of hypothermia, and ideally needs to have 65-70% humidity.
You should put together a nesting box where your queen can give birth. This can be a cardboard box that’s big enough for her to lie down in and with tall enough sides so the kittens won’t fall out. Line it with plastic and then newspaper, which is easily removed if it becomes soiled, and cover it with a blanket.
The nesting box should be warmer than the rest of the room to support the kittens when they are at their most fragile during the first few days of life. An infra-red lamp is a good way to do this as it doesn’t direct heat too harshly in one area, and it should be set to 86°F.