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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21663
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Took my cat in to be spayed said to the vet we had thought

Resolved Question:

Took my cat in to be spayed said to the vet we had thought she was pregnant a few days after op found her under a bed with three kittens which were trying to feed from her the vet has said she must have stolen from another cat but have checked with neighbours on my street and none have cats that have had a litter are they covering something up ? They have taken the kittens of us our cat keeps returning to the spot under the bed
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Can you confirm that she went to be spayed, yet you found kittens after the procedure?

How old did the kittens look when you found them?

Did you see mucus/discharge/blood on mum's backside, the kittens, or her nest under the bed?

Did she have milk or developed mammary glands the day she went for the spay?

Has she had it now to feed the kittens?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Found kittens after op had been away for the weekend they still had eyes closed up got in touch with vet they said they would meet me at the shop 10:30 that night took the kittens away said my cat wouldn't have milk to feed them all seems very strange and far fetched to think she would steel them a few days after op
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hi again Andrew,

I agree that it is a proper mystery and we need to be Sherlock Holmes here.

First, if the kittens did not have their eyes open, then we have a <10 day window of age. to work back from. So, the first questions we have to ask are:

What day was she spayed?
What day did you find the kittens?

Had she looked heavier, had pink prominent nipples, or developed mammary glands before she went for the spay?

Does she have milk and developed mammary glands when she was found with the kittens /now?

Does she have a spay wound from the surgery?

Did you find any mucus/.discharge staining the nest (to give us a clue if they were born where they were found)?

Did you find any mucus/.discharge staining the nest (to give us a clue if they were born where they were found)?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She was heavier noticed the pink nipples at the vet when we took them back in the evening the op was last Thursday found the kittens Tuesday cat has been shaved with stitches I suspect she had them just before op but think maybe they should have noticed she had just had them but I'm no expert ­čśĽ
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Andrew,

It does sound like she may have been pregnant and had the kittens prior to the spay if that is our timeline. Now it can be difficult to tell an in-heat uterus from a post-pregnancy uterus (especially since there is no indication to open the organ). So, that could have passed by unnoticed since spaying cats in season isn't uncommon. Furthermore, unlike dogs, cats do not show significant vulval inflammation or signs post pregnancy. And while we'd have hoped they would have noticed, if they did spay her via the flank, then they could have potentially missed the fact that she had milk.

That all said, the key to who's kittens these are will be her mammary glands. So, if you check her now and she has enlarged glands (since they won't have totally regressed since Tuesday), these are likely her kittens and she had them prior to the spay (possibly between the 18-20th).

So, it is quite a wee mystery since she cannot tell us what has happened. But if she has milk, then I suspect they are hers and she is not a kitten thief.

All the best,
Dr. B.
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