I was not expecting my pregnant cat to go here to have kittens!

Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
edited 26 June, 2007 in Cat Health
We humanely trapped Persephone so she could have babies safe in the basement. I arranged a little commune area for her with two boxes as options for having her kittens, litter box- which she never used, catnip- that she never liked and cat food. I played Enya and other relaxing music, visited, petting and socializing and waiting and waiting .......... and waiting. It is an old house, basement is a little rickety so I made sure I could see behind or under everything, blocked off any potential escape routes- her previous litter was killed by Tom cat or raccoon. So, here I was hoping I\'d at least get to see the new kittens, if not actually witnessed their birth. I had no idea a cat as small and as pregnant as she could get where she is right now. I couldn\'t find her and we looked everywhere. Finally I saw a hole for tubing to a bathroom near the ceiling. I can only just see her if I tip toe and twist just right using a flash light. Here is where she is- or you can click on her page and see the photo http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/5940/persephone002tn9.jpg It doesn\'t drop down, the floor of that space is level with the bottom of the hole, but she\'s way back there cradled behind a large pipe. Should I let her proceed? I don\'t know what else I can do. Will the kittens fall? I put her food and water up there in case she gets hungry.
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Comments

  • Melissa FordMelissa Ford Santa CruzMember Posts: 3,914
    edited 16 June, 2007
    If that is where she feels comfortable, then I'd let her be. however, once the kittens are able to get around a bit on their own, you'll need to move them so they do not fall.
  • Alma (& Josh) Van DorpeAlma (& Josh) Van Dorpe ChicagoMember Posts: 49
    edited 16 June, 2007
    Mina\'s mom here: I remember hearing from someone that cats and dogs will hide or find a secluded spot when they\'re about to give birth. When my friend\'s cat had her kittens, she gave birth underneath the bed. Another friend\'s dog went to the back of a storage room in the basement to deliver her puppies. So I think that spot okay for the delivery. Best of luck! And let us know how it goes. =;
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 16 June, 2007
    Rut Row!! Wow....that is quite a spot she's chosen. When the kittens are first born, they won't move enough to fall. But you might want to see if you can rig something along the edge of the opening...it doesn't even have to be high...maybe a few rolled up towels placed across it...just a couple of inches so that Persephone can get in and out easily but the kittens can not get over the barrier and fall to the floor. But, here's another question...where is the litter box? And where do you put her food? This is all going to be very interesting...I can't wait to hear all the details!!!! PS....I agree with Hunter...at some point during perhaps the first week you will need to move the kittens down to ground level. If you settle them into a nice nest area and Persephone sees that they are okay, then she might settle in...and I certainly don't think she could carry them back up there even if she wanted to!
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 17 June, 2007
    Well, now I can\'t see her or hear anything so I am worried but it is very likely she is just in a spot I can\'t see her in. I set her food and water at the opening so she could get to it if she wants to. The litter box is another story. I never got her to use it. I tried putting it in different places, I put the dirt from the barn where she\'d been going in it....this basement has a dirt floor and I have yet to find where she\'s been doing her business! She is turning out to be a very particular cat. Very finicky in her likes and dislikes. I read that it is likely she will want to move them in a few days after birth anyway so hopefully we can manage moving them without having a problem.
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 17 June, 2007
    Can you set up a step stool or small ladder that you can climb up and look into the area at will? That way, you can check on the situation whenever you want. If you have a dirt floor in the basement, then I think we all know where she is doing her business :r As for the food and water....hmm... I'm thinking, why make it that convenient? Put the food and water on the main level of the basement floor so she has to come down and out to get to it....it will force her to realize that she can leave the kittens to eat and they will be okay.
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 17 June, 2007
    I didn\'t think of it that way but your the second person to mention it to me! I will do that - about where I put the food. The only way I can see any better is if I climbed in there. The space goes along the wall a ways. It may come to that eventually.
  • A RichardA Richard PetawawaMember Posts: 16
    edited 17 June, 2007
    That really doesn't seem like a safe place to allow her to stay. What if she has problems? You should be there to help her. You can convince her to have her kittens elsewhere. Like in a spare room. If you're worried about the carpet, just lay out old blankets. Block off a part of the room that you can keep the kittens and so they don't wander and try not to intrude on the space too often. My cat never "argued" when I did this. We closed off a spare room for her and she was quite content. We were there for the birth, and luckily too, because it was a difficult one. Just put a box sideways in the room or something so she has a place to "hide away". Anyway, I hope everything goes well :) Don't forget to post pictures!
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 17 June, 2007
    Tiki- I guess you hadn\'t read my previous posts here but I did arrange a space for her to have her kittens. I blocked off an area, gave her two different boxes to choose from with a sort of walled area so the kittens couldn\'t get out. I figured that even after all of my effort she\'d go under a shelf or behind a box but I\'d always be able to see and help if needed. I was not anticipating her to be able to go UP like this. The hole didn\'t even register when I set up her stuff. Persephone has lived all her life in a barn. She came with the barn that came with house we moved into. She\'s had other litters. Last one was killed by raccoon or Tom cat. Yes, she will be spayed after this and the kittens will be kept by us and spayed as well. I have been able to befriend her but just me. The reasons I chose the basement was- quiet, not bright light, not a lot of coming and going, 5 dogs and only 1 has caught on that something is in the basement. . Also, it has a door that goes straight to the outside. I had to humanely trap her to get her in the basement. The basement was the best choice.
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 17 June, 2007
    YES!!!!! We have touch down! We can see her plainly, still in the hole but closer to view and she is nursing at least two kittens. There appears to be more. I am so happy she is ok! I am also happy she will be spayed when they are weaned so I don't have to worry like this every again! ;) Now that I know she is safe we will start figuring out how we can get her and the kittens out to a safer place.
  • Michelle DawsonMichelle Dawson BaltimoreMember Posts: 1,619
    edited 17 June, 2007
    Persephone ... congrats on the kittens, and good luck with moving them!
  • Renae AultRenae Ault Member Posts: 16
    edited 17 June, 2007
    Congrats Miss Persephone. I hope your babies are doing well and you let your human servant see them very soon so she can help if they need anything. Babies are a lot of work. I know. Before I came to live with my mom, I had seven of the little buggers at the rescue. No more for me now, though. You'll be happy to get spayed and not have to worry about finding them a safe place anymore. Make sure you get lots of kitten food for you so you can make lots of milk for those babies. Maybe your servant will give you some meat, too. From Eden's servant- Definitely make sure Persephone has plenty to eat and lots of high protein stuff. When I was a kid I had the unfortunate experience of seeing my cat (a nursing queen at the time) catch and begin to eat alive a mourning dove before my dad could get it away from her. So keep her inside and keep her fed!
  • Heather BellamyHeather Bellamy Perry / StatesboroMember Posts: 5,506
    edited 17 June, 2007
    Congratulations on the kittens, Persephone! I bet they're so adorable!
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 17 June, 2007
    Persephone has been eating kitten food for awhile now and that is what she gets. She never liked the moist food I gave as extra, just the dry, but she does like meat I bring her that is from human food- chicken and ham, etc. We have been able to see two so far. One is black and the other is colored just like her. I am going to attach my camera on a stick and try to get a picture. I am going to keep her food where it has been so she is compelled to come out some times. I will put a little barrier so she can get out but kittens can't fall out. I am going to wait and see about going in and getting them. She may move them on her own. I am going to put some boxes under the space, stack them like a stair way to make it easier for her to get in and out.
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 17 June, 2007
    Congratulations, Grandma! It still sounds like you have a good handle on things...I like the stacked boxes so there is a step-down idea. Let us know the count when you know for sure!
  • alyssa elkinsalyssa elkins east brunswickMember Posts: 169
    edited 17 June, 2007
    Newborn kittens can crawl well enough to be in danger of falling if she gives birth up there. My son crawled a whole yard in pursuit of me when I stepped away from the kittening area, and he did this when he was only a few hours old. There will be no box walls or anything to restrain them if they crawl around after their mother when she leaves to eat, drink and do her business. You're going to want to coax her out of there before she gives birth and then block off this hole. Try using a really enticing food to do it, like tuna fish or Fancy Feast wet food {that's what we eat now, and we love it!} Edit: I read now that she has already had her babies. I'm glad the birth went well. Now, to get her and her babies out!! If you remove the kittens first and place them in one of the kittening boxes {which has also got to be nuch cleaner than where they are!} the mother will come out on her own to rejoin them. You can then block off access to the hole. She may be a bit distressed at first {depends on whether she's a laid-back mother or a worrier who moves them every five minutes} but it's decidedly better than having a kitten fall eight feet.
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 17 June, 2007
    I posted pictures on her page. It was the best I could do. I had to put my camera on a timer and on a stick.
  • A RichardA Richard PetawawaMember Posts: 16
    edited 18 June, 2007
    Congrats on the kittens ^^ Sorry, I didn't catch that she was a barn cat the first time. :P Glad everything works out well!
  • Michelle DawsonMichelle Dawson BaltimoreMember Posts: 1,619
    edited 18 June, 2007
    Persephone's mom -- I just left you a rosette saying good luck with the new kittens, but I'm going to leave you another one for putting your camera on a stick! I wish I could have seen that!!!! Good luck, and please keep posting updates!
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 18 June, 2007
    Thank you Waverly! :D On a late night visit momma came out for a bite to eat and some petting. As soon as heard my voice and saw the flashlight she came to me. A kitten meowed, she looked back, meowed then came out. Instead of using the step ladder system I arranged for her she jump straight down. She looks good. She was all over me for attention I was worried she\'d not go back and take care of her babies but after she was down eating I put her back on the ledge and she went back to her babies. Oh, and I her food on the ledge. She totally ignored it and went looking for it where it originally was so it is back on the ground.
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 19 June, 2007
    Any count on the kittens yet? And, do you think you'll be able to get to them to move them? They look SO far back there!
  • Skye LoweSkye Lowe Sqwee VilleMember Posts: 69
    edited 19 June, 2007
    Aww! thats funny :) all my cats had their babies in either boxes, under beds, or under tables. Nice name for your cat by the way! hehehe ;)
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 20 June, 2007
    At first I was certain there was a dark one but I don\'t see any signs of one. I know for sure two white and orange ones- just like her. Possibly a third. I think she made a dip in the dirt and that is why I can\'t get a real accurate count. The ones I can see seem healthy, moving a lot. Mom is having no problems getting up and down to care for them. I think she won\'t have a problem with me handling the kittens when it comes time. I\'d heard people say get them now, 1 week, 2 weeks if she hasn\'t brought them out herself. Today I talked to the vet and she said she had a litter there right now that at 1 week opened their eyes and started getting around so that is my round about time span. I check on them frequently day and night- but not too much to distract mom. Mom looks great, very healthy appetite, got herself nice and clean. Going after the kittens will be something. I\'m the obvious choice as I am the only one that could reasonably fit in there. There are some bugs- nothing dangerous, and cob webs to creep me out so it will be a matter of looking like I\'m on a Hazmat team. I think I\'ll wear my moped helmet. Just completely covered and secure so nothing can creep on me and a mask. We have everything we need so I\'ll let you know if i have to take this little adventure.
  • Alana RobertsAlana Roberts BrooklynMember Posts: 758
    edited 20 June, 2007
    Yuo sound like you have successfully socialized this cat, after her kittens are old enough are you going ot keep her? Cats are amazing at all the little nooks and crannies they can get into which is why I am so fussy about blocking off any small openings. A basement is a good spot as it's isolated but there are so many little places for her and the kittens to hide. Soon the kittens will be old enough to really get into trouble, it's time to think ahead where will they go next, they cant stay in the basement forever.
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 20 June, 2007
    No, they can\'t stay in the basement forever. And they won\'t. We have been discussing and plotting at age to do what. We don\'t have a solid plan yet. We are still discussing. I am considering her life before and after. She\'s not a house cat. She\'s socialized to me. She hesitantly lets other family member pet her. She is an outside cat. We also have the 5 dogs. I\'m thinking I need to socialize, at the least the kittens when they are old enough, to the dogs and vice versa. Sort of an Ambassador of sorts. We are keeping them all, including mom. They will all get spayed or neutered and go t0 the vet. We want them to stay a family.
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 20 June, 2007
    I am so glad they will all stay a family! =) Will the kittens be indoor cats (I figure they'd have to be for a little bit, until they get big enough to fend off the predators who picked off the last litter) as adults, or are they gonna be indoor/outdoor like mama cat?
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 21 June, 2007
    Indoor/outdoor eventually. That is our goal. Indoor enough that when we need them we can take them in and they won't freak out. I know, everyone, the ideal would be for them all to be indoor pampered babies. The three cats I have had in the past live/lived that life...but this is situation is a little different. They will be fixed, they will get shots, and we will introduce the dogs. We want them to be able to hang out around the barn, have a safe place to go and not attract outside cats. This is our utopian ultimate goal. To all live in harmony on our little hobby farm. PS. The cats I referred to above, one died and the other two live with my grandmother in Texas keeping her busy and keeping her company. I had had health problems years ago and they took my kitties in. It was great for all involved. But like I said, it was so different compared to my Sephe that 'came with the barn'.
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 21 June, 2007
    I think I\'ve got a clear head count! 3. 2 seem to look like her, white with orange and one orange tabby. They are really moving their heads around and meowing a little. They haven\'t moved from their spot but they look like they REALLY want to so it may be sooner than 1 week for me to go get them. We shall see.
  • emma clarkeemma clarke Nottingham Robin Hood CountryMember Posts: 6,819
    edited 21 June, 2007
    I'm thinking she went up there because she didn't like the Enya music:))
  • Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonMember Posts: 445
    edited 24 June, 2007
    Four of them! I had decided to leave the kittens where they were for a few more days but wanted to go in to get a head count and a sort of re con mission. Well, it was so hard weaving around to get to her and the babies I decided I wasn't going to climb in a second time so I went ahead and got th kittens out. Funny thing, I had to go back in anyway! As soon as we set the box of kittens down she grabbed one and jumped right back in that hole faster than lightning. I got her and that kitten out and we made sure the holes are covered well. I had her in her box with the kittens petting her. I put her over where it is darker. I think she feels safe enough to keep them there, just have to make sure there isn't anybody down there disturbing her. These pics are right after she was in the box so she seemed a little unsure at that point. By the time I left her to it she seemed comfy there. I didn't take the time to sex them. They all look like their mom, white with orange. I don't know how we'll tell them apart.
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 24 June, 2007
    HEY! Where are the pictures??? Four orange and white kittens...just like my first foster litter...the Gunsmoke gang. Don't worry...you'll be able to tell them apart soon. And, you can always do what I did for George and Harry...get some different colored ribbon at Walmart and make little collars with velcro to hold them on (although, they do tend to get them off now that they are older during their playing...almost time for collars with buckles!) This is good, because it will get them used to the collars early...and you might want them to have 'real' collars once they have the run of the farm. Good job getting them into the box...I hope they're still there in the morning!
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