Cat Care Tips

How I Helped My Pregnant Cat Go Into Labor & Birth – Best Moment For A Feline Owner

Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook

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Being a mother is an irreplaceable experience and there is nothing in the world that will match a motherly feeling towards their babies no matter how big they grow. She is always your first friend will have – to laugh with you, cry with you, to provide a solution to your problem, taken for granted (as we often do) and for so many other reasons we can’t even keep a count. My mom is the first person I rush into whenever I have a problem or the first thing I ask my dad the moment I enter home is “Dad, where is Mom”? The world would come to an end without our parents.

I am a kitty mom and I just love the sense of responsibility, the bonding that I share with my cats. So when my cat got pregnant all I wanted to do was help my cat deliver little kittens in the most safest and easiest way possible. Here I am sharing few tips that I learnt during course of my cat’s pregnancy and my own first hand experience in introducing newborns to the world we live in.

Spay and neuter is often an under looked topic and many feline owners learn it the hardway. While at certain times its because the unspayed cat escaped the home due to “heat” at times you took care of a stray unspayed stray cat. If you are handling pregnant cat, there are many ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy and labor.

Is your cat pregnant?

Are you sure your cat is pregnant? Don’t know how to check if she’s pregnant? Unfortunately there are no tests yet for early detection of pregnancy in cats. The wise decision would be to consult a Vet. However there are certain signs that they exhibit:

  • increased hunger
  • swollen nipples
  • morning sickness
  • weight gain (usually won’t occur until the last 2 weeks)
  • increased voice

For those who are not aware, a pregnant cat is also known as the Queen. Yup, you heard it right? Ain’t it cute? So ensure that you serve the queen with foods that are high in protein (you might want to add tad more protein). As the pregnancy nears, your cat’s stomach may get little cramped because of the uterus size. She might need more smaller and frequent meals to satisfy her appetite. Few might undergo lack of appetite and if that’s the case, consult your Vet A.S.A.P. as it might be a sign of any medical problem.

The growing tummy of the queen might pose a problem for the cat at times especially when she is unable to reach out to any part of the body (especially near the anus area). Reach out to her and help her clean the area. Just like we humans, the tummy can put pressure on the bladder. So at times she might not be able to make it to the litter box. Don’t be angry and go gentle on her at such times.

The average time of cat’s pregnancy is around 65-69 days. One you realise your cat is pregnant, consult the Vet. He might be able to provide the right advice on how to go ahead and specific insghts on how to handle a pregnant cat.

Stage 1 of Labor

Here are some of the signs that cat show as they enter the first stage of labor.

  • restless behavior because they are looking for a place to deliver babies
  • contractions may begin though you may not be able to see it
  • vaginal discharge
  • raised voice

For new cat owners, this is often a crucial part because they get panicky and don’t really know where to start. Let me help you out. Note that cats need a dark and quiet place so that they can relax cozily and give birth. If you don’t want your cat to give birth in cupboard or closet, then make sure they are closed and unavailable. It is always better to create a birthing box for your cat – something with sides covered and quite large enough so that the queen can move and turn around easily. Make sure to put lining in box such as lining materials, clean shredded paper, blankets, towels, water etc. Make sure you introduce your cat beforehand stage 1 itself to the box so that they are familiar to it.

After looking around, your cat will find a suitable spot to deliver and will settle down. If it is not the place you opted, its okay. Let her have it. Ensure enough support. You can bring in the bedding materials to her and encourage to enter labor on them.

While some queen may social interaction while in labor, few prefer silent and a serene environment. At such times, make sure you limit the visitors and create a stress free environment by asking them to remain quiet.

Stages 2 and 3

Stage 2 and 3 occur together. During stage 2 a kitten is born and in stage 3 the kitten’s placenta is pushed out. This pattern is repeated till all the kittens are born. It can happen anytime from 2-24 hours for all the kittens to be delivered.

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During this time do not intervene unless you are absolutely sure that something has gone wrong. I understand you are trying to help your pet because she is in a lot of pain but that could do more harm than good. Call your Vet if you believe there is certain signs such as:

  • unusual smelly discharge during pregnancy or labor time
  • contractions for 30 minutes but still there is no sign of kitten
  • all the kittens are not delivered within 24-36 hours
  • you see a kitten crowning and the cat is straining to push it through but nothing is happening.

While kittens are born head first, few are born feet and tail first. They are born approximately 30-45 minutes apart from one another. Note that after kitten is delivered, placenta follows and your cat may eat this placenta as well. After the baby is born, the cat will tear the amniotic sac and bite the umbilical cord. If she doesn’t do the above, she might need your help. Here are some tips on how to initiate help.

  • Wear latex gloves to protect the kittens from getting infections.
  • Please do not use any sharp object to penetrate the amniotic sac. It will tear easily.
  • You can tie few dental floss to tie off the umbilical cord about 2 inches from the kitten’s body. Tie the dental floss again an inch further from the baby’s body. Cut between these ties.
  • Wipe the tiny nose and mouth using clean towels.
  • Stimulate breathing by rubbing the babies gently using a clean towel.

As and when the babies are born, count the placentas. It should be the exact number as the kittens. A missing placenta might still be lodged inside the cat. Twins however share a same placenta. If you see a missing placenta consult your vet immediately and they will look further into it.

Got any other tips that can assist cats to have safe delivery? Pin it down here.


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Debra M. Eldredge (Author)
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Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook
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Originally posted 2016-02-13 00:00:13.

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