What do we do after the babies are born?

Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
edited 16 June, 2007 in Cat Health
Our cat is due any minute. We want momma to be spayed after this and the kittens to get proper care. So, after they are born how long before mom gets spayed? I know she has to nurse, but I want to know when so I am ready before she ends up pregnant again. Also, when do new kittens go to the vet for the first time?

Comments

  • edited 9 June, 2007
    Congratulations, and I hope the delivery goes well. She should know what to do, but make sure that she doesn't eat into the babies when she's eating the placenta (sometimes can happen, though gross). The main thing is: don't let the momma cat out AT ALL. She can get pregnant again, even though she will have just had the litter. Even as soon as 12 hours later! You should wait until after she is done nursing to get her fixed, and you can have the kittens fixed as early as 4 months. Feel free to p-mail me with questions. I've been through this, had a litter of two boys.
  • Robi KerbesRobi Kerbes Member Posts: 1
    edited 9 June, 2007
    New kittens should go to the vet for their first shots at about 3 months and the vet can tell you how to procede from there. Usually you would wait about 4 weeks give or take before weaning the babies and having their mommy spayed. If in doubt, I always say ask the vet. Keep a close eye on things for the first little bit though. Some mommy kitties will hurt their babies or deny them food, especially if it is their first litter. Good luck!
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 9 June, 2007
    Miss Kitty, my first foster appeared to be going into heat a bit before the kittens were 8 weeks old. She was brought in for her milk to dry up and spayed the day the kittens turned 8 weeks. 8 weeks is more than long enough to wait after the birth. Depending on how well she nurses, a mother cat can actually go back into heat relatively soon after the birth...so just be sure to watch for 'the signs.' I am watching 'Ma' Bailey closely, because she only has two kittens to nurse and they are over 4 weeks old already. Also, double check with your vet about shots...because by 3 months I think they should have had all of their first round of shots...which is usually 2 or 3 visits.
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 9 June, 2007
    I realized she could get pregnant quickly after a litter. It isn't her first litter. She had one in our barn. 3 kittens. She was caring for them fine and we were so enchanted with the whole thing then on the 3rd day we found them dead. The next day Tom cats showed up and she was pregnant again! We were told it could have been the raccoon I spotted one night or more likely a Tom cat that killed the kittens to get her to go into heat again. Regardless of how this goes she is getting spayed. I hate the thought of her having litter after litter just to have them die everytime. Well, that and I don't want a whole colony of cats, just a small healthy family.
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 9 June, 2007
    Phoebe's Mommy and The Bailey's foster mom here: Persephone's Mom... I remember you going through this while I had Miss Kitty! It is hard to believe another litter is almost here. Again, you know better than any of us just how quickly a cat can go into heat after birth. Here is something to consider... Contact a local cat rescue or humane society about what would be involved in hand raising the kittens...either you could do it or foster them out... Then, right after the birth, have Mom spayed. She will be easier to trap with the kittens, then the kittens can be checked while she is taken for spaying. She can return to the barn within a day or two and will then be fine and you can be assured of no pregnancy. Meanwhile, you will have totally non-feral kittens who will be much easier to manage... What do you think?
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 9 June, 2007
    We have Persephone in the basement for her delivery. We decided it would be easier to trap her before she has them and get used to the basement. She seems quite content down there actually but I know she'd like to get out. This way she can raise her babies and she is available for us to take to the vet. I just wish she'd have them because I think she is getting bored. I am going to call our vet to talk about arranging kitten checks and spaying/neutering. We want everyone to be fixed and live with us on our little farm. I didn't consider hand raising them. Then mom would be able to be fixed and back out. I'll consider that. I'd rather they have their mamma though. I guess I'll find out more when I call because they know more about cats out here than I do. I am used to spoiled indoor house cats. ;)
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 12 June, 2007
    It sounds like you are way ahead of the situation this time. Let us know what the vet says and keep us posted on the progress!
  • Lis CareyLis Carey Member Posts: 5,402
    edited 13 June, 2007
    Hand-raising kittens has a high failure rate, and it's not something to do by choice. Momma Cat, if she's a good momma, does a much better job of raising newborn kittens than humans do. Let her raise her kittens, and wean them, unless she seems to be either neglectful or destructive. Make sure she has no chance to get out. Have her fixed as soon as the kittens are weaned. Consult with the vet on when he feels comfortable fixing the kittens. Most feel that 4-6 months is optimal. Some will spay/neuter younger, even as young as 8 weeks, but that's mostly for shelter kitties who need to be fixed before they can be adopted.
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 13 June, 2007
    Retsina...I don't know about the failure rate on hand raising, because they chose to remove 3 out of (Ma) Bailey's 5 kittens to hand raise because she was so sick when she delivered. Those three survived, but so did the two that I am raising now...with Mom. I do agree that they should stay with the Mom as long as possible...but, it Mom starts going into heat, then it could be time to separate them... But, let's cross that bridge when we get to it...
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 13 June, 2007
    Persephone's mom... if momma cat is getting bored, have you thought about getting her some more toys? That way she has something to chase around in the basement, and it will keep her mind off the wait. If she lets you near, this would maybe be a good time to see if you can use something interactive like a feather toy to socialize her a bit more, as the more socialized she is by the time the kittens are born the easier the whole thing might be...
  • Lis CareyLis Carey Member Posts: 5,402
    edited 14 June, 2007
    The Baileys--If you have a normal, healthy mother, the survival rate of kittens raised by Mom is much higher than the survival rate of hand-raised kittens. There are also potential developmental/behavioral issues. This doesn't mean the success rate is zero, and and when the kittens are hand-reared by people with experience doing it and adequate support, there's a greater likelihood of success. Ma Bailey was sick and needed the demands on her physical and mental capacities reduced so that she could recover, and they still didn't take all her kittens from her--just some of them. That's because being deprived of the kittens too early is hard on Momma, too, not just the kittens. If Persephone is healthy and well and a good mother, as long as she continues to care for her kittens, there's no reason to separate them from her and hand-rear them, and a lot of reasons not to--even if she goes into heat! The main things are, Is she a good mother? and Is she effectively contained, so she can't get pregnant again before the kittens are ready to go and she can be spayed? Separating them early wouldn't even have "convenience" on its side, given the work involved in hand-rearing young kittens. If she loses interest in the kittens, or becomes hostile to them, that's another matter entirely.
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 14 June, 2007
    I have been making regular visits to play and pet her. She is quite socialized with me now, very affectionate so I shouldn\'t have trouble with her letting me handle the kittens when I need to. She is well contained so I think letting her be a mom is best. I talked to the vet and they say the kittens go in at 5 weeks of age and mom gets spayed when the kittens are weaned so we are good for some time. I just wanted to get an idea of what is next so I\'ll be ready. I try to play with her with the usual cat toys and she hasn\'t been interested so far at all. Little balls rolling by, a feathery boa string type thing and cat nip. Not much interest at all. She mainly wants to be petted and sit in my lap. This might sound goofy but I put a cd player down there too and I\'ve noticed her behavior as more at ease since then. I guess Enya will do that to anyone. She doesn\'t even pay attention to the occasional beetle that shows up. I think she\'s holding out for a live mouse ;) She must not have been as close to due as I thought. She shows every sign of being ready but no real sign of labor. We are joking that she is holding them in there on purpose for some reason. I keep telling her she needs to let them out. :)) She is a small cat so her big belly looks so uncomfortable. I can feel the kittens and their movement. Her nipples appear to be ready. Just a waiting game I guess.
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 15 June, 2007
    I thought the same thing about Miss Kitty! They sent her over saying 'any day now' and I twiddled my thumbs waiting for almost 2 weeks! I joked that she was 'crossing her legs' because she liked it here. She was not much on 'playing' either, but she loved petting and brushing. Bailey, on the other hand, is ready to play. She loves every toy I bring into the room. BTW...I just LOVE the Bailey's new main picture! It was a happy accident...they were all resting together, but just as I was ready to snap it, George reached up and touched his mom's face...and I love how her arm is around Harry... ahhh...they grow up so fast!
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 16 June, 2007
    I forgot to mention... if you think playing a CD player is goofy, then let's not even DISCUSS the fact that I turn on the radio in the morning and then at night shut it off, leave a night light on, give them all kisses, and say, "It's nite-nite time.' :r
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 16 June, 2007
    That picture is really beautiful! I took pics of Persephone but my computer is being obstinant and can't put them on her profile. Years ago I had a cat named Miss Kitty too. She has passed away though. She's been searching the basement so I'm hoping she's looking for a spot. I mean, I have made her two spots but she probably won't go for a cardboard box with towels if she is used to the barn. She had her previous litter, the one that something got to, in our wheel barrow....
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