about to have new kittens - help!

Traci PetersonTraci Peterson Member Posts: 4
edited 31 August, 2009 in Kitten Corner
A few months ago I rescued the sweetest cat ever from a parking lot. I was with my boyfriend at a car meet and a couple guys walked past us on their way to work at a nearby restaurant and said she had been following them for quite a while. She was super skinny and just the most affectionate thing. I didn't want her to get hit by some stupid kid not paying attention driving around like crazy (since we were at a car meet) but I also felt bad for her for how skinny she was. I took her home and gave her food and water and let her stay outside. (My 3 indoor cats didn't quite like the idea of another one). She's stayed around this whole time but lately she's gotten quite big. For all the time we've had her we weren't ever really sure if she was actually pregnant or just been eating a lot since she was so hungry before. Now we're positive she's pregnant. She's getting pretty big so we think she's really close to having the kittens. We brought her inside, gave her a little hidey hole away from the other cats, with food water and a litter box. Since we've had her, we never really took her to the vet or anything... :-/ What I'm mostly wondering is... What do I do??? I know that seems vague, but after she has them, do I need to take them all, and/or her, to the vet? How much can I sell them for? How long do I wait to sell them?? Thanks for any help, its greatly appreciated. I've had so many cats but never any that had kittens themselves. |^|

Comments

  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 24 August, 2009
    First of all, I'm not sure what you mean by sell. It sort of implies that you would keep this cat to breed it again, and I doubt that's your intention (right? right?). You may certainly ask for a donation to cover costs for their care that you incurred prior to adopting these cats out. And yes, that means that you take the cat in to the vet (even before she gives birth, as the vet can help you determine how much longer she has to go, and go over with you on what to do in case of complications from the birth), and definitely get those kittens in to be vaccinated and later spayed/neutered. I would recommend you take this upon yourself, as trusting the adopters to do that leads to more abandoned pregnant strays more often than not. If it doesn't sound financially feasible for you to take care of a momma cat and her 3-5 kittens (that's an average figure, some cats can have more or less, it really depends on genetics+prior care), now would be a good time to start investigating what rescues there are in your area, and seeing if they will help you care for and place your cats with good adoptive families. I generally tell people to go to a site like petfinder.com, enter your zip as if you were looking for a cat, and take notes of which rescues are active in your area. Compile a list with phone numbers and contact persons, and you start calling out and explaining what's going on (like you did in the original post). Hopefully you may find a rescue that can help (be aware that you might have to be persistent about asking for help). Good luck.
  • Vicky ChanVicky Chan MarkhamMember Posts: 3,542
    edited 24 August, 2009
    I was confused by your question too, but do what Gracie said. I hope you do not sell the kittens to make a buck. I knew somebody in the past who rescued a yorkie from a Byb and then bred her again a year later. Yes she had all the health testing done, but still, poor mama. Please do not do the same thing with your new kitty. Once you have the kitties adopted out, make sure you sign a contract with the new parents that if anything goes wrong, they'll return the kittens to you. Please have mama spayed after the babies are weined. Whatever profit you get from this whole thing, make sure it all goes to the care of mama and the babies, not yourself. Hope everything works out bye
  • Traci PetersonTraci Peterson Member Posts: 4
    edited 24 August, 2009
    right, sorry i had worded it kind of weird, i just meant SHOULD i ask for money for them?? i mean... not to be immoral or something but.. people sell their new puppies on the street corners and in parking lots all the time. is there something wrong with selling the kittens?? Like i said i dont really know what all to do about all of this, i wouldnt give them to anyone i didnt know or didnt think would take care of them. i dont mean to sound bad or anything i'm just asking.... and yes i'll see if i can take her in to the vet tomorrow... i am out of a job so extremely short on cash :-/ thanks for the help yall, please keep the answers coming :)
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 25 August, 2009
    Well, breeders of purebred kitties more often than not just break even when it comes to how much it cost to give their momma cat pre-natal care, and the post natal care for each kitten they sell. In the case of purebred cats, they come with certificates that attest to their lineage, so adopters are willing to pay all the costs in order to have that piece of paper (they also come with a stipulation that the cat should be neutered/spayed before said certificate is issued, to prevent someone from adopting a PB cat just to initiate their own backyard breeding program...). Where you're dealing with a stray cat and her brood, it will be a little more challenging to convince people to pay for everything, but you should definitely try to recoup the cost of vaccinations and spay/neuter proceedings. Those people who you see selling puppies by the side of the road do neither of these things, and are the quintessential backyard breeders. They "sell" puppies and kittens that have had absolutely no vet care, are not vaccinated against common pet diseases, nor are they wormed. The kittens/puppies may often be too young to be separated from mom, which can have disastrous effects on their health. The kittens/puppies may go to a new home with all sorts of diseases that will at best endanger existing pets in the home, and at worse cause the poor little puppy or kitty to be too sick to be successfully treated by the vet chosen by a new adopter (i.e., that pet ends up being euthanized). The people who you mentioned may sometimes do this over and over again... hence the term "backyard breeder"... they definitely don't ear accolades from animal lovers, who know that there are already enough cats who need homes wandering the streets (like your momma cat), and who believe that to raise litters of mix-breed cats on purpose is just a slap in the face of those who try to help cats in true need (again, like your own momma cat... It's likely she was a product of such a litter, she was given to someone who was never told to spay her, and then was just tossed on the street once she was no longer young and cute and was going into heat... It's sad how often that happens). Vaccinations and spay/neuter are not cheap affairs. Especially if you are low on funds, you would need to investigate whether there are any low cost programs in your area, which is why I suggested getting in touch with any and all local rescue groups. They might not take momma cat in, but might be able to steer you towards resources you might not have known about, and may definitely help you with placing the kittens to forever homes, so long as you are willing to foster them (i.e., keep them for 9-12 weeks after birth, until the kittens are ready to go to their forever home). They can also be a great source of advice on what to expect and when.
  • Paige CampbellPaige Campbell NanaimoMember Posts: 40
    edited 25 August, 2009
    First thing you should do is take the mom to the vet before she has kittens. My friend rescued a cat 2 years ago and it got pregnent. Unfortunatly they didn\'t take her to the vet. She never had her kittens and died from complications of a miscarriage. Most people I know adopt cats out for about $100 to try and cover vet bills, if they don\'t take them to a rescue. Good luck! |^|
  • Traci PetersonTraci Peterson Member Posts: 4
    edited 25 August, 2009
    Ahh, thank you both. Esp Gracie, lots of help there. Yes, I figured if she were to have the kittens while she's with us, we would pretty much HAVE to foster them until they're old enough to be given new homes. (Which is fine with me, I'm more than willing to take care of a few itty bitty kitties ! :c9) although I am prepared to find out how much work it can be. I will definitely get back to you all on this. :)
  • Carrie JohnsonCarrie Johnson Iowa CityMember Posts: 230
    edited 26 August, 2009
    Hi Miles - Personally, i think it is important that you would ask for some money for the kittens. Not "sell," but more of an adoption fee. The sad truth is, sometimes free animals make it easier for someone to use an animal for testing, or abuse, etc. So i would definitely charge something for them. If you decide to get them spayed/neutered, i would, like Miles said, find a cheap spay/neuter clinic and include that price in the adoption fee. Also, i would make an adoption application for these kittens to make sure they are going to good homes where they won't be mistreated. Its up to you and depending on how much you spend on them, but i suggest not charging more than $100/kitten. That should cover vaccinations and spaying/neutering if that is done. Good luck, and keep us updated!
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 26 August, 2009
    Here is a link on the care of the queen, momma cat, and queening, giving birth, and care of the newborn kittens. Bless you for taking in this momma cat and giving her and her kittens a chance at a good life. :-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h:-h http://www.peteducation.com/category.cfm?c=1+2138 If your financial situation allows it, get the kittens spayed/neutered and their shots before you let them go to a new home. Then ask for a "donation", which is how it is usually termed, this is to cover some of the costs of the s/n and shots. Look thru the pet section of your local paper, you might find organiztions that are willing to help with low cost s/n and/or advise you how to find homes for the kittens, and what you need to do. Best of luck. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  • Traci PetersonTraci Peterson Member Posts: 4
    edited 26 August, 2009
    thank you thank you thank you guys :)
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 31 August, 2009
    The kittens have probably been born already, but they and the Momcat should go to the vet soon--all together, since the kittens need Momcat's body warmth for at least the first week. Since she was a stray, she could be infected with FIV or FeLV, and just having her in your house could endanger your other cats. I don't want to sound alarmist, but learning her health status is important. You will also want to have the vet give the kittens a health check. If she does have something like FIV or FeLV, either keep her in a separate room and, if your're really paranoid, shower and change your clothes after tending to her. Actually, I'm not an expert on this; I've never fostered a cat, I run a small cattery, and no one goes outside, and all the females get booster shots and are checked for FIV/FeLV (and other things) every time they give birth (which is about once a year). If the kittens have already been born, congratulations! I hope everything went well. Chibi gave birth 10 days ago, and apparently there was a dead fetus that blocked the birth canal; she lost 3 out of 7 kittens (Maine Coons often have big litters). The rest are doing fine, at least for now. In theory, you should weigh the newborns daily on a kitchen scale for the first few weeks and pay special attention to ones who aren't gaining weight or who are losing weight. You may have to supplement their diet (preferably after their eyes are open) with kitten milk (available in pet stores) through a syringe or kitten baby bottle. Forget about "selling" them. Even good breeders often can't sell all their cats--I still have one left over from Leila's litter last fall. You do have the right to charge their new owners fees for vet visits, vaccinations, and food and litter--all of which don't come cheap. They should have their first set of vaccinations at around 4 weeks (some people say 5) and their second set at three months. I don't know about rabies shots because we con't have rabies in my country and thus no rabies shots. Many people think two months is the age when kittens can be rehomed, but many professional breeders prefer to keep them for three months--they learn better kitty manners (about scratching, etc.), and are better socialized and (usually) more affectionate. But most people want a cute itty bitty kitten, and it's easier to home kittens when they're small. I would advise that you wait at least until 2 months, and never rehome a kitten whose eyes are still blue (unless it's a blue-eyed cat; all cats are born with blue eyes). Whatever you do, try to avoid being put in the position of putting them in a shelter, and make every effort to home them with people you've personally interviewed and think will be responsible (responsible friends and relatives are your best bet). Putting kittens in a box marked "Free Kittens" can attract people who are best irresponsible, and at worst, want a kitten to torture and kill, or to use as dog fighting bait. Good luck!
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