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Old 10-01-2012, 03:15 AM
 
Location: the wrong side of the tracks Richmond, VA
585 posts, read 1,913,400 times
Reputation: 790

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Hi all! Haven't been around lately as I moved to Richmond from DC and have been busy getting unpacked and all that good stuff.

As some of you know, I rescued a kill listed cat from the extremely high kill New York City Animal Care & Control back in May (to put this into perspective, we had some 50+ kill listed cats days EACH DAY at the peak of kitten season and daily lists are still around 30 or so these days). Well, yesterday I worked my butt off until 4am to pull a very young pregnant stray off the same list (at the same shelter too) and GOT HER today. She was kill listed the night before as well but either someone at the shelter really liked her or she cashed in one of her 9 lives, either way she made it out and THANK GOD ACC did not spay abort her before releasing her to us as that's what they usually do. I will of course spay her as soon as the kittens are weaned and she is cleared for it by the vet.

I suspect she is no older than 7 months as she is VERY small. We don't know how pregnant she is until I can get her to the vet, which I'm hoping to do tomorrow. She is VERY sweet and affectionate, I'm sure she will make a great mom, I am just hoping she has time to get over her URI (which is why she was kill listed, we think, though it could have also been the ONE flea they found on her - I found no flea dirt on her but fleas are apparently a terminal condition worthy of getting put down in the eyes of the ACC) before the kittens come. She is very congested but otherwise seems to be in good shape which I'm grateful for. And she is an absolute sweetheart, she was actually hugging us in the car on the way home, purrs up a storm and loves good chin rubs. She's just precious and I'm so glad we were able to get her and the kittens out of there in one piece.

So, that said, I have never had a pregnant cat. I furiously Googled what I could last night and this morning before I got in the car (I seriously spent AT LEAST 15 hours in the car today but so worth it!) so I have some idea what to do and did breed guinea pigs when I was younger so I do know a thing or two about animal births (our queen had to have a C-section on her last litter due to a stillborn she couldn't pass, at which point we fixed her randy husband so both of them could live out their days together healthy and baby-free) but would love any advice from those of you who have been through this for what to do, what to look out for, what NOT to do, etc.

She is quarantined in my guest bathroom right now. Hopefully she recovers from the URI quickly (I'm doing Clavamox and Lysine) and can mix it up with our cats in a few days but I think letting her give birth in the guest bathroom is the best idea.

Does anyone with experience birthing kittens have any advice/pointers etc? The rescue had plenty of tips but I'd love to hear additional thoughts from you all if you have any. I can't wait to meet the kittens!
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
38,831 posts, read 68,962,122 times
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I don't have any advice, but bless you for taking in this cat, and best of luck to you, to her, and to the kittens!

We, of course, will expect photos. No pressure.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:41 AM
 
Location: On Earth
399 posts, read 669,992 times
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Glad you were able to rescue her. That's sad that people do that to animals. I hate kill lists. Not fair for the animal. They didn't ask to be brought into a cruel world. Good thing for good hearted people like you. I already have 4 cats myself. 2 rescue cats. I wish I lived in a place where I could take in more but I'm already harboring 4 fugitives. LOL

Best to you. Yes, please post pictures if you can. Would love to see the little one's. LOL
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 13,737,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killabunnies View Post

Does anyone with experience birthing kittens have any advice/pointers etc? The rescue had plenty of tips but I'd love to hear additional thoughts from you all if you have any. I can't wait to meet the kittens!
I want to say that I think it's wonderful that you adopted this cat that is already pregnant. But the information you seek is all over the internet already. Do you have any individual questions so we don't have to more or less retype all the info already out there?

I will make on suggestion and that is to get her on a good canned food as soon as possible. No dry kibble except a TBS for a treat. And if she'll eat them, cottage cheese and cooked eggs (no raw eggs) for extra calcium etc.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:19 AM
 
Location: the wrong side of the tracks Richmond, VA
585 posts, read 1,913,400 times
Reputation: 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by =^..^= View Post
I want to say that I think it's wonderful that you adopted this cat that is already pregnant. But the information you seek is all over the internet already. Do you have any individual questions so we don't have to more or less retype all the info already out there?

I will make on suggestion and that is to get her on a good canned food as soon as possible. No dry kibble except a TBS for a treat. And if she'll eat them, cottage cheese and cooked eggs (no raw eggs) for extra calcium etc.
Ha, let me explain I guess then - I'm NOT lazy I swear and have been Googling my butt off but thought maybe some here who have experienced the miracle of birth might like to recount their experiences and share their sage advice... you know, so we could all have a little bonding moment ahead of the kittens and then gush together once they are here. Plus I know I can put faith in advice from you all, don't always know when you Google what can be relied on ya know? So I have the general stuff down: give her a box, keep the room warm, look out for panting, make sure there is a placenta etc etc but maybe there's some small detail I wouldn't think about.

The cottage cheese and cooked eggs suggestion is exactly the kind of "insider advice" I was looking for, I wasn't sure about people food but figured as long as it is cooked it would be OK and the more calories the better, she is about 6 pounds if that and very bony. As for no dry kibble, is that because you disagree with feeding dry kibble generally speaking or is there a specific reason for that? I was told to give her a high quality canned food with KMR and allow her a good dry food to snack on if she wants it. She is not eating yet as she is still so stuffed up so I am hoping she clears up quickly.

Is the panting thing the best indicator she's going into labor? I also read she'll stop eating and be restless, rearrange her little nest, get either standoffish or very affectionate, etc.

Can I be in the room with her or is it best to just leave her be? I know not to touch the kittens or disturb her, obviously, but not clear on what is best there. Some things I read said she might get upset by my mere presence, in which case I would just leave her be but if she is not hostile, is it OK for me to sit in there with her?

Is there anything I can do to make this more comfortable for her? Not like blankets and towels on the floor, I mean like lighting candles and putting on soft music... joking about the candles of course but I'm just thinking of how we comfort human mothers who choose an all-natural home birth

Sorry for all the questions, I am just excited and worried about her since she is so little herself and has been through so much lately!
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
6,487 posts, read 8,075,651 times
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I always prepared a nest in my bedroom extra closet using old towels. One large bath sheet size doubled and spread out flat and then several more towels rolled up and placed around the sides of the flat towel sort of like crib bumpers. I kept the light out and the door just cracked enough for momma cat to go in and out. I would place her in the closet several times a day just to make sure she knew where to go when the time came. .

After the kittens were born and cleaned up I could not resist looking at them and after a day or so I would sit on the floor at the closet door and pet the momma and lightly stroke the kittens. The momma never minded a bit.

I am jealous! I wish I had kittens.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 13,737,698 times
Reputation: 5431
Quote:
Originally Posted by killabunnies View Post
Ha, let me explain I guess then - I'm NOT lazy I swear and have been Googling my butt off but thought maybe some here who have experienced the miracle of birth might like to recount their experiences and share their sage advice... you know, so we could all have a little bonding moment ahead of the kittens and then gush together once they are here. Plus I know I can put faith in advice from you all, don't always know when you Google what can be relied on ya know? So I have the general stuff down: give her a box, keep the room warm, look out for panting, make sure there is a placenta etc etc but maybe there's some small detail I wouldn't think about.

The cottage cheese and cooked eggs suggestion is exactly the kind of "insider advice" I was looking for, I wasn't sure about people food but figured as long as it is cooked it would be OK and the more calories the better, she is about 6 pounds if that and very bony.
Try and get her to eat as she needs the calories and nourishment for her kittens and herself. Sometimes "smelly" people foods will get them started, such as sardines or tunafish. But as you know, you can't keep them on such a diet. A congested cat can't smell food as well as one that isn't congested.

Quote:
As for no dry kibble, is that because you disagree with feeding dry kibble generally speaking or is there a specific reason for that? I was told to give her a high quality canned food with KMR and allow her a good dry food to snack on if she wants it. She is not eating yet as she is still so stuffed up so I am hoping she clears up quickly.
Dry kibble contains too much inexpensive useless filler such as corn, vegetables and fruit and can cause serious constipation. It also contains dyes and preservatives that some suspect is behind some of the health problems common to cats that were rare before kibble hit the market. Cats are obligate carnivores. See: Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health by a lic vet. See: Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health

Quote:
Is the panting thing the best indicator she's going into labor? I also read she'll stop eating and be restless, rearrange her little nest, get either standoffish or very affectionate, etc.

Can I be in the room with her or is it best to just leave her be? I know not to touch the kittens or disturb her, obviously, but not clear on what is best there. Some things I read said she might get upset by my mere presence, in which case I would just leave her be but if she is not hostile, is it OK for me to sit in there with her?
Cats react differently in labor just like women. They don't seem to mind the presence of their humans but keep other cats, dogs, noisy children and strangers away. If you think you yourself are stressing her, move back a little. Most cats give birth without a problem. You may surprised one morning and find she already had them and they're dry and nursing.

Quote:
Is there anything I can do to make this more comfortable for her? Not like blankets and towels on the floor, I mean like lighting candles and putting on soft music... joking about the candles of course but I'm just thinking of how we comfort human mothers who choose an all-natural home birth
I would give the mothers I fostered a good size box with an old soft folded towel that was tossed in the wash after the birth and replaced with a nice clean one. I had a pile of old towels friends and neighbors donated. But be careful, kittens can get tangled in towels, chill off and die. Use safety pins to keep them folded so they are less inclined to tangle or bunch.

Quote:
Sorry for all the questions, I am just excited and worried about her since she is so little herself and has been through so much lately!
Her loss of appetite would be what would worry me. Yes, we will be here to share the experience with you and we all love pictures, the more the better.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:52 PM
 
Location: the wrong side of the tracks Richmond, VA
585 posts, read 1,913,400 times
Reputation: 790
She still hasn't eaten anything at all. My last ACC rescue didn't eat until the second day and her nose was way more stuffed up than this girl's so I am not too worried yet and hoping once the antibiotics kick in now that she's out of that filthy environment, she will show some interest. I keep offering her small portions of salmon, mackerel, etc on the off chance she'll eat but nope. It'll happen. I offered her water too but she was more interested in tipping it over and walking through it than drinking it, haha.

I called a local rescue, they suggested a vet who does rescue herself and the vet will not charge me for the exam which is awesome since I'm paying her vetting out of pocket myself, getting her in tomorrow - hopefully we get a due date and a kitten count! We just moved down here 2 weeks ago, I haven't even been able to unpack completely let alone find a vet for my existing crew so that was a relief. I hope I like the vet and can keep her for my kids going forward, I didn't really like our vet in DC at all.

I am hoping she isn't that far along and has time to recover from her URI and get familiar with me and the house before the birth. At least she is affectionate to begin with, I would hate to have to deal with a sick, pregnant AND fearful/mistrusting cat.

Just so anxious for this vet visit tomorrow.

I read somewhere that it's a good idea to put a heating pad under some towels for the kittens, what do you guys think? My bathroom is warm (it has heating lights above the vanity). I have a space heater I can use in there too, not sure what would be best.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:03 PM
 
Location: the wrong side of the tracks Richmond, VA
585 posts, read 1,913,400 times
Reputation: 790
OH and about those pics... first one was taken last night. We got home from NY at like 3am, took this one as soon as I got her into the bathroom - I think she just sneezed so that's why she was licking her nose but she immediately jumped up on the vanity and admired herself in the mirror. Second pic was taken a little bit ago.





See what I mean? She is just a baby herself, poor girl!
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
6,487 posts, read 8,075,651 times
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Oh, she is beautiful.
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