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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 18137
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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my 2 yr old cat gave birth to a litter of three this

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Hi my 2 yr old cat gave birth to a litter of three this morning between 01:40 and 05:20. All kittens seem to be feeding well and she has cleaned them off well. Mother cat is eating and drinking well and staying with the kittens at all times. She is however every so often panting a little and breathing quite fast and fast purring. She seems absolutely fine apart from that.
Is this normal?
She also is shaking on her hind quarters when feeding the this just tired muscles from labour?
Thank you in advance for your help
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand that you are concerned about Izzy's fast breathing and panting, and shaking hind quarters when nursing after delivering 3 kittens earlier today.
This is a difficult question to answer without examining your girl.
It is a good sign however that she is eating and drinking, and tending to her kittens well.
Three kittens is a relatively small litter. It is possible that she has more kittens to deliver. Cats, unlike dogs can take a break of several hours, sometimes as much as a day, between kittens. As long as they aren't actively pushing without producing a kitten within an hour, or there aren't visible fetal membranes coming out this is normal. It seems to happen more in first litters or if the cat is very nervous. So she may have more kittens to deliver that are making her less comfortable. If this is the case you should see signs of active labor (pushing) within the next 24 hours.
If her symptoms seem to happen mostly when she is nursing it is possible that hormones responsible for uterine involution and milk letdown, which are released when she nurses due to her nipples being stimulated, are responsible for her symptoms. These hormones do cause uterine contractions which are uncomfortable. If this is the case you will notice these symptoms will wane over the next 24-48 hours.
Odds are what you are seeing is perfectly normal. Signs that she needs emergency veterinary care are active pushing with no kitten produced within an hour, fetal membranes present in her vulva with no kitten being born within 30-40 minutes, a fever (rectal temperature greater than 103.5F), worsening muscle tremors or seizures, refusal to eat and drink, vomiting, constant open mouth panting or severe lethargy.
Best of luck with your girl, please let me know if you have any further questions.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Dr Kara.
You have put my mind at rest. Mother cat seems more relaxed this morning and is occasionally leaving the nest for very short periods. She seems fine and I have not seen anymore shakes or panting. She may have been exhausted from delivery and took a while to recover.
This service is really helpful.
Many thanks
Sharron, thank you for the update on your girl. I am pleased to hear that she seems more herself this morning. I suspect that she was exhausted, a bit stressed and feeling the effects of uterine involution. Enjoy the adorable little ones, take care, Dr. Kara.