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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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My cat is pregnant what should I do, she is a year old and

Customer Question

My cat is pregnant what should I do, she is a year old and is otherwise healthy and happy. She will be getting spayed as quickly as possible after she gives birth. But I just want advice on what to expect during and after her labour, how long will it go on for, is there anything specifically I need to do other than comfort her and keep an eye on her and any things that I may need to buy before she gives birth, also I have made her a nesting box, which is a large cardboard box which I've made more comfortable with blankets but I was told that the kittens shouldn't be born on blankets/towels as they can suffocate is this true, I had planned to keep her confined in my sitting room with the nesting box, litter tray and food and water but she hates being confined to one room so would it be better to allow her find her own place. Sorry I know my questions are a bit erratic but I have no experience with pregnant animals and just want the birth and start of the new kittens lives to go as smoothly as possible.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Barbara :

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help. Paddy is a very lucky little girl (soon MaMa) to have you.

Dr. Barbara :

Cats generally have a pregnancy length of 63 days, and usually do just fine in delivering (queening) their kittens. Since this is her first time (and only time!) she may let out a yowl when contractions begin, but then instinct will kick in. She will give birth to each kitten and separate it from the amniotic sac and umbilical cord, and lick it vigorously to stimulate good breathing.

Dr. Barbara :

I would keep her indoors when she is due, and if she prefers to be free to roam your whole house, this may be more comfortable for you both. Your queening box seems perfect, but I would have the kittens delivered on several layers of newspaper as there will be quite a bit of fluid with each kitten. After each birth you can then remove the soiled layer of paper so the next kitten has a dry place for delivery. It does sound like good advice to avoid blankets or towels, as the kittens could possibly suffocate, but I have never heard of this happening.

Dr. Barbara :

As Puddy's (sorry to have called her Paddy at first!) time draws near, she will start nesting and picking a place for delivery. You could at this time move her queening box to her preferred location.

Dr. Barbara :

If you want to offer heat, this should be on low and beneath only 1/4 to 1/2 of the box. Cuddling with mom should be sufficient unless the ambient temperature is cold. You shouldn't have to use the kitten milk replacer if Puddy and the kittens are healthy, but it's nice to have this ready just in case.

Dr. Barbara :

Puddy should be keeping them clean, and will stimulate them to urinate and defecate as kittens cannot do these are their own. If you do need to feed your kittens, then you'll also have to stimulate them to potty after each feeding. You probably won't have to do this, but we are here for specific instructions should you need to and you can also go to VeterinaryPartner.com, click on cats at the left, health on the top right, and then kitten care.

Dr. Barbara :

One major suggestion for you now is to be feeding Puddy a high quality kitten food. If you aren't already, then pick one and switch Puddy gradually onto this new food. When the kittens are about 3 weeks old you can also offer this to them (you might need to make a mush with warm water). They will then gradually stop nursing and eating the kitten food.

Dr. Barbara :

If you have further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reply. . .and have fun! Dr. Barbara

JACUSTOMER-fox42m1e- : Hi you awnsered my question a few weeks ago when my cat was expecting, she has now had 3 kittens who will be 3 weeks old on Monday, I have a check up booked for them for next week and all seem generally healthy and are feeding well.
JACUSTOMER-fox42m1e- : but one of the kittens is being bitten and pawed at times by the mum and the mother has now 3 times taken this kitten out of kit tending box and put it into another room behind my sofa, I am quite worried about this as am not sure whether this is natural motherly behaviour or hormones or wether she is deliberately doing this as she has something against this kitten, mother cat is a bit annoyed as I'm not allowing her out as I don't want her to get pregnant again, she is also being very fussy with food as in refusing to eat even what she loved before, so could a mother cat actually injure her own kitten and what would you recommend in stopping this behaviour, I have told her off each time she does it.
Dr. Barbara :

Hi, I think that there are two threads that we have opened, and that this is the old one. I responded yesterday and you rated that. If I'm mistaken please let me know on here. I've also reported this to the category moderator so they can help us out. Thanks. . .sorry for any confusion!