It turns out the abandoned cat I brought home is pregnant, suggestions?

Cats It turns out the abandoned cat I brought home is pregnant, suggestions?, I took her to the vet the day I brought her home and the vet said she was old enough to have already had her first heat. We've kept her ...

26-12-08, 14:31
  It turns out the abandoned cat I brought home is pregnant, suggestions?
I took her to the vet the day I brought her home and the vet said she was old enough to have already had her first heat. We've kept her inside and only allowed her a few ventures into the back yard (accompanied of course), so I know she didn't get pregnant here. That means the weekend she was dumped at my office is probably when it happened. That was six weeks ago so I figure she's got 3 weeks to go - give or take a few days.

Any suggestion on what I can do to make her more comfortable and what I can do to get ready for the kittens?

p.s. I had her tested for feline leukemia and feline aids before I went any further with vaccinations, etc. Please don't lecture about more cats, I didn't have the money to do any more than I did at the time. Vets are expensive, it cost me over $200 just for the check up, blood tests, vaccines, bath and flea dip. She will be spayed after this litter.

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26-12-08, 14:56
  Re: It turns out the abandoned cat I brought home is pregnant, suggestions?
Give her a box to nest in so she will feel her kittens are safe. Look at your home from her point of view and start evaluating every little nook and cranny to see if she might find it an attractive place to which to move kittens as cats are inclined to move their kittens often. This is particularly true if you also have dogs. Make sure you put her nesting box somewhere the dogs can't easily get and also from where kittens won't have far to fall (if at all). You might also try supplementing her diet with tuna, which will help her produce more milk for her kittens and still maintain her own weight, coat, etc. If you decide to supplement, supplement while she is pregnant and while she is nursing. I bring up tuna because it is cheap and high in protein. When she has kittens, keep her food and water as close to her nesting area as possible.

When the kittens are born, handle them OFTEN. After their eyes (usually at about 2 or 3 weeks of age), try to get them used to being held on their backs. We do this with our kittens and they become very docile and pliant. One of the kittens we have right now will fall asleep almost immediately after you flip him over. All of our kittens like having their bellies rubbed, too. Kittens will wean themselves. So, you don't have to worry about what age they should start eating hard food. They will move to hard food on their own. They will probably continue suckling from their mother until they are 8 or 10 weeks or older, even if they get nothing from her. This becomes a bonding action for them and they get re-assurance from their mother while suckling.

Don't be in a rush to spay, either. She won't go back into heat while she has kittens to tend and, once they are gone to new homes, she will still probably not go back into heat for a couple of months. So, you have time and you don't have to feel like you have to do it while she has kittens to nurse. You can fix her after the kittens are gone to new homes or when the kittens are 10 or 12 weeks old would be just fine, too. Vets won't spay her while she is nursing because the kittens have claws, could tear the stitches, the pain medication would be in the milk (medicating the kittens), and the mother would stop nursing them because she doesn't want her belly touched after the surgery.

Also, get a squirt bottle for training the kittens. If they scratch on something they shouldn't, squirt them. If they try taking your food during dinner, squirt them. Basically, it's a training tool and it doesn't hurt them. They just go clean themselves off and find another way to get into trouble later.

By the way, you probably only have about 2 more weeks until she gives birth as cats' gestation period is about 64 days. When she goes into labor, try to give her a calm, quiet place to have the kittens. Don't have a lot of traffic through the room. She should be able to handle the birthing process just fine without any intervention, but monitor her to make sure she breaks the placenta, cuts the cord, cleans the kitten, etc. Have twist ties, scissors, towels and blankets around just in case things go sideways. You might have to break the placenta, cut the cord, clean the kitten, etc., but most likely you won't have to do anything at all. The twist ties are for tying off the cord after it has been cut to prevent bleeding. Make sure the scissors are SHARP. Chefs' scissors (for cutting chicken bones) are the most effective for this.

If you have more questions, let me know.
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abandoned, brought, cat, home, pregnant, suggestions, turns

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