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Stray cat has given birth, please help

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by myname, Mar 12, 2017.


  1. myname

    myname PetForums Newbie

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    Hello I am really hoping to get some help with a stray we have been looking after for a couple of months now.
    She was very bloated when she turned up. About a month ago we took her to the vets and found no chip and they felt her belly and told us she wasn't pregnant. They advised us to just wait and see if she goes in heat and take her back if she does. This morning however my partner woke me up to tell me there were 4 kittens under our bed!! 3 of them were dead unfortunately :(

    I have rang the same vets who have just told us to give her a safe space food litter close by etc but I have no idea what I'm doing. If we'd have known then we'd have definitely prepared for this :(

    I am very worried as I have not yet seen the kitten nurse. The trouble is we have no idea when she actually gave birth. I didn't see her yesterday until about 7 and her belly had gone down. so it could have even been the night before. (I thought she had maybe been a bit constipated all this time, the vet had told us it must be fat distribution??) Up to that point her belly was just bloated at the sides not on the front.

    I have no idea how to tell if this kitten is lethargic, dehydrated or fine. It isn't squeaking much, and does move a little bit but I dont know if mum cat is even producing milk. her nipples seem slightly bigger than my other cats but the actual bit around it (the boob i guess) seems flat.
    I tried to move them both into a box with blankets just by the bed but mum cat took the baby back so whats more is that its very difficult to keep an eye on them. As we have 2 other cats, if we'd have known she was pregnant we would have found someone to look after her until she did give birth and the kittens were old enough and we'd have took her back but now its too late.

    I worry that moving her to a new home now would be too stressful so we will try to make this work as best as possible.

    If we do find we need to take them to the vet could someone please advise how is it best to carry them. its difficult to get her in the carrier anyway and i worry the kitten would just slide around in it whilst we're in the car.

    Any other help would be much appreciated.
    Sorry if this is in the wrong forum.
     
  2. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
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    I've moved this to a better forum to be seen and get more replies.
    It's a shame that your vet didn't realise that this poor girl was pregnant but you can only do your best with the results. I would leave her where she is for now as you have already discovered that she doesn't really want to be moved. The kitten needs to be warm so hopefully mum is happy to stay with it. You can check for dehydration by lifting the skin at the back of the kittens neck, if it springs straight back that's fine. If you don't think it has been suckling try putting a nipple physically in its mouth to help it latch on - the act of suckling will bring the milk down. Try squeezing mum's nipples gently to see if she actually has any milk. Check the kittens mouth for a cleft palate (or get your vet to check if you are unsure) If the kitten is okay but not feeding from mum you will have to try hand rearing so will need kitten replacement milk, bottles or syringes and teats - I will leave others to advise you best on that as personally I have never had any success in hand rearing :(
    If you feel you need to take them both back to the vet line the carrier with a fleece blanket or similar to keep the kitten warm and stop it from sliding around. A top opening carrier is always easier to get a cat into but if you don't have one you could try standing your carrier on its end and popping mum in from the top.
    I am sorry for the lost little ones :( but hope the remaining one can be helped to thrive
     
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  3. Babyshoes

    Babyshoes PetForums Senior

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    Personally I'd be considering seeing a new vet, it doesn't sound like they have been terribly helpful in this situation. I know it's possible to miss signs of a pregnancy, but as they know you're unprepared & the cat has lost most of the litter, I would have thought they would want to see the cat & remaining kitten, especially as it doesn't seem to be drinking. Did they say anything about coming in later on, or offer a home visit if the kitten should not be moved?

    I'm no expert, but from what I remember of seeing kittens born when I was a child, they usually latch on PDQ, and spend most of their awake time eating in the early days.
     
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  4. Purplecatlover

    Purplecatlover PetForums VIP

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    Hope you're okay! It sounds like a worrying time :-( if you search "kitten lady" on YouTube she has videos about newborn kittens and how she looks after them, e.g. Feeding them, looking after them etc. I'd definitely see a vet, wether that's the one you've seen before or a new one. You've done the best you can as you didn't know. I'd leave them under the bed, just keep checking on them So they don't get too stressed out - both mother and kitten. Good luck and let us know!
     
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  5. myname

    myname PetForums Newbie

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    hi all thanks for the replies. I rang the vet todayand insisted on bringing them in. its the same vet as nowhere else is open today unfortunately.
    She is producing milk and the vet says the kitten seems normal but we tried to get him to nurse and wouldnt latch on at all. ive bought some kitten milk and tried with both bottle and syringe but I'm unsure if anything went in the mouth or just dribbled down the side lol
    i tried to get him to latch on again and he seemed to for a bit but its difficult to see when his little head is covering the nipple.

    i will keep trying but I think we will look to the shelter for help tomorrow as I really dont know how to tell if he's doing well or not.
    could someone tell me if how I can tell whether he is nursing or not. he doesnt seem to be able to hold his head up enough so I kind of lean him in place with my finger but I cant tell if hes doing anything.

    i hope he lasts through the night
     
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  6. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    You got any kitchen scales that weigh in grams? If you have weigh the kitten in front of mum & weigh at about the same time tomorrow. Record the weights, keep going.
     
    lymorelynn likes this.
  7. Purplecatlover

    Purplecatlover PetForums VIP

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    This could be helpful for you, shows you how to do it.. My advice would be to weigh the kitten after every meal that you give and write it down so you know it's putting on weight if the kitten is unable to latch! this lady on YouTube has videos about all sorts regarding newborn kittens, might be worth taking a look!
     
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  8. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

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    If you watch the kitten carefully, you may see its ears moving indicating it is suckling.
     
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  9. myname

    myname PetForums Newbie

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    hi everyone thanks for advice i think i have managed to get him suckling a couple of times but he just does so for a short while about a minute id say then nods off again. not sure if this is normal?
    he also feels cold to touch has done all day even the mum cat has been around him and when shes gotten up to eat ive taken him to try and warm him up. there is the odd squeak when mum is cleaning him and hes responsive when touched (when im rubbing to try and warm him up) but in between that he just seems to be still i dont know if this is normal? im checking on them every half hour or so and i havent yet seen him nurse on his own.
     
  10. myname

    myname PetForums Newbie

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    just to add i tried putting a hot water bottle underneath the blankets but whichever way I did he just kept rolling off it so i thought best not to leave him on there. i also warmed up some rice inside a towel and used that for a while but again i didnt want to leave them alone with it incase mum cat got the rice out or something!
     
  11. myname

    myname PetForums Newbie

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    he didnt make it :(
     
  12. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Administrator
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    Oh, I'm so sorry. You did everything you could , gave him every chance. Bless you for showing him the love and care he deserved.
     
  13. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    So sorry to hear that. You did your best for him...such a shame that mum has none left. XX
     
  14. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    @myname I'm so sorry for the loss of the little baby you tried so hard to save. The important thing is he knew love and care for his tiny short life. It's possible there was something so wrong with him he might have had a miserable life if he had lived.

    You did a wonderful job caring for him, and by taking the mother in, in the first place. You are a True Angel. You, and people like you, are the reason I am able to get out of bed every morning. xxxxx
     
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  15. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    So sorry, it's possible the kittens were premature. Now the mother is your priority - she needs spaying as soon as your vet will do so, otherwise she will get pregnant again. :(
     
  16. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    I'm so sorry, you tried so hard but it just wasn't meant to be. Bless you for helping that poor family. Are you keeping the Mum?
     
  17. Purplecatlover

    Purplecatlover PetForums VIP

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    So sorry, You did everything you could to help and save them. Sometimes it's just not meant to be xx
     
  18. TallulahCat

    TallulahCat PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear that. You did all you could. Sadly this happens sometimes. Hope the mum is doing OK.
     
  19. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

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    I am so sorry, that is an awful thing to go through.
    It is a little early in kitten season, but maybe worth contacting local rescues to see if they have any orphan kittens that need a foster mum?
     
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  20. myname

    myname PetForums Newbie

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    hi thanks all for the replies yes we will be keeping the mum. if we'd have known about this i think things would have turned out better but theres nothing that can be done now.
    On the plus side mum cat seems much more closer to me. even yesterday when i was trying to get him to nurse she would put her paws around my arm whereas up to now she has just sort of hid away. its like she knew I was helping.
    Ill be calling the vet today to see when we can get her spayed.

    She's quite young herself and she seems to be doing ok, Ill speak to the local shelters and see if there are any kittens in need. Thanks all x
     
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