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Questions about a young pregnant cat

February 24th, 2007, 12:09 AM
Hello everyone!

I'm a volunteer at my local SPCA, have been for a little while now. Usually I just walk the dogs and groom the cats, but recently I decided to get a bit more involved and signed up to be a foster home.

I just took in a really sweet little cat, she is estimated to be 6 months old by the shelter vet. She is about halfway into her pregnancy and should be giving birth in about one month. She will be living with me until her kittens are weaned, after which she will be spayed and they will all be put up for adoption.

I was wondering if anyone here has experience with birth in young cats. I hear that it is more likely that there will be complications, but would you say that this is the majority of cases? I am aware that pregancy can be aborted, but I imagine that the vet at the shelter deemed she was too far along to do it if they chose to put her in a foster home instead.

In short I am a bit worried because she's so young, especially since this will be my first experience with both fostering and cat birth (my own cats were spayed/neutered before they could reproduce, thank god). Any advice would be really appreciated. :)

February 24th, 2007, 06:46 PM
My cats have always been spayed so I don't know but wouldn't someone there at the SPCA be able to help you?

February 24th, 2007, 10:02 PM
I have never had a pregnant cat but all the cats I have seen come into the clinic over the years with complication due to pregnancy were a year old and under. I think it may have something to do with their age and when under a year may not be fully developed. I am sure you know but feed her a high quality kitten food throughout her pregnancy and while the kittens are nursing(canned and dry or just canned). When it comes time for her to give birth keep a close eye on her, I am not sure what is a normal amount of time between kittens being born but if she has one and nothing 2hrs later I would call the vet and see what they say. I think there is a higher risk of kittens getting stuck in the birth canal since mom is small and may not be as strong as an older more develped cat. If she doesn't tend to the kittens right after have some soft towles/rags handy to dry and clean the kittens off and maybe one of those ear washing bulbs or a syringe without a needle to suck out any fluids that may be in the nasal passage/mouth. Gently holding them upside down and cradeling them in both hand and gently swing in a downward motion will help get the birth fluid out of the lungs aswell(if they aren't breathing). Sounds bad and hard to explain.

Hopefully all will go well and instinct will take over, I would just make sure I had a vets phone number readily available and an off hours number if she seems to be having trouble or your unsure about something.

Hopefully other's will have some real experience and can give better advice than I.

Best wishes to you and the little one(poor baby she's just a baby herself), and thanks for taking this on and doing what you can for the furbabies at your shelter.:fingerscr :cat:

February 25th, 2007, 05:17 AM
We're working with a rescue to rehome strays and ferals in the area. I've probably known at least 100 kittens in the past 7 years that were born at home or on the property. Of all of the births I've actually witnessed, all have gone fine. We've had a few breech births, but mom seemed to right everything herself and delivered successfully.

I think with most animals, the first is always the most worrisome. A maiden mother is for some reason more likely to have problems delivering and is probably more likely to reject her babies. Eventually most of them settle down and do just fine.

Definitely call the SPCA for help if anything seems wrong or if you're not sure. Maybe in the meantime you could ask some pros at the shelter to give you info on a typical birth and to give you any suggestions that they may have.

Good luck :)