Cat Birth




Cat Pregnancy.
Normal short and long haired Cats are rather fertile and can produce a litter size normally between 4 or 5 kittens. Siamese cats can have a larger litter where Persians and other exotic breads seem to have a small litter.
Complications during your Cats pregnancy and birth are very rare with the exception of Persian cats. Almost all cats give birth on their own without any problems what so ever. But I guess we are talking about your cat at home and you'd like to know everything is going to plane. I hope the following information is useful, making you aware of what may happen.

Cat Birth Gestation.
Cat gestation is the length of time your Cat will be pregnant, this will last around 64 days that's 9 to 10 weeks. Noticeable signs of your Cat being pregnant may show after about 3 weeks with her nipples swelling and the colour of them changing to a rose pink colour from a normal white colour. At around 4 to 5 weeks of pregnancy, your Cats tummy should appear swollen. At this point you Cat needs a calm stress free environment. A better quality cat food may also be a good idea for nutrients, along with a dry cat food left out all day for her to eat as she wishes.


Veterinarian Examination.
A trip to the vets may be a good idea in the early stages of your Cats pregnancy, in order to cheek your Cat is in good health. Your vet can normally feel the foetuses at about 26 days of pregnancy as lumps in your Cats oviducts. Some vets may use an ultrasound, with this they can find out if your Cat is pregnant sooner and give a more accurate count on the size of the litter expected. After 45 days the kittens will have enough calcium in them to show on an x-ray. However this is not suggested unless their is a suspected problem as the process can be stressful and the radiation dangerous to the unborn kittens.

When to Expect Labor.
If you wish to be present as your Cat gives berth, you need to start taking your Cats temperature daily. You should start taking her temperature about 2 weeks before her due date and try to take her temperature at the same time each day. With a thermometer, you may like to use a bit of KY jelly or margarine for lubrication, then insert into the rectum about a half inch, holding it there for around 3 minutes. A normal temperature should be around 38.3C and 39C ( 101F to 102F). If the temperature drops to below 37.8C (100F) your Cat will be due within the next 24 hours.
During your Cats pregnancy you should expect her to put on around 2 to 4 pounds that will be about 25% more than her normal weight. Your cat will not normally eat more than she needs to, however a very over weight cat can struggle giving birth.

Before and During Cat Birth.
It can be 3 days before birth when your cat becomes anxious and restless looking for a place to give birth. When this happens it is best to keep her in the room you wish her to give birth in. The room should be darker than normal and not to hot or cold. Depending on the floor, be prepared to clean up the mess. During the 3 days in the room you have chosen, feed and water her in there so she gets used to it.
When your Cat is about to go into labour she will continually lick her abdomen and vagina. Normally fluid will be discharged at this point but your Cat will lick it up as fast as it comes out. By this time your Cats cervix will be dilating without any signs of birth.
Your Cat will now loose interest in everything except licking her self, you may also notice her breathing rate has increased. It's also very common for your Cat to pace around the room or site and meyaw loudly. When the time is rite, she will lay on her side while her uterine contractions begin. She will then periodically stand and squat to give berth to her kittens. During this process it is important not to disturb her, if watching then do so quietly.

The first kitten should arrive about an hour into labour. This may take only minutes to happen followed by between 10 minutes to an hour for the next kitten to follow. The kitten will be inside a jelly membrane sack filled with a clear fluid, Amniotic Sac. A good mother will straight away start licking the kitten with force in order to shed the sac off the kitten allowing the kitten to breath. The forceful licking also stimulates the kitten to breath by stimulating the respiratory and circulatory systems.
On the very odd occasion, the mother may not lick her kitten and remove the sac in order for them to breath. This is when you step in, taking the kitten in a towel, rubbing them firmly without forgetting they are a tiny kitten. This is to stimulate the kitten to breath like the mother should. After licking her kitten clean and stimulating them to breath, she will chew the umbilical cord in order to remove it. If the mother forgets the umbilical cord on any of the kittens, you can tie the cord off with a piece of dental floss or piece of string. Then cut the cord around an inch long.
If getting involved can be prevented, its best for the mother and her kittens. Through the process of berth and the licking, the mother bonds with her kittens and they are recognized as her young. This also helps with the mother producing milk and letting it down.
Before the mother gives birth to the next kitten she would normally begin nursing the first kitten. If this doesn't happen, then place the kitten on one of her nipples. The kitten nursing stimulates the uterus and will make her contract again resulting in a possible discharge of a bloody or greenish substance from her vagina. The mother may decide to eat a few of the afterbirths in which case this is not a problem.
It can take between 2 and 6 hours for all the kittens to all be born. If birth continues for 7 hours, it may be time to carefully take the mother and kittens to the vets.
During labour and birth, try to keep from getting involved as it is important for her to do it her self if possible. Keep her area dimly lit, calm and quiet. When all the kittens have been born, you may carefully and quietly clean up any mess left behind. Also leave a fresh bowl of water and food next to her as she will not want to leave her kittens for the first couple of days.


During and After Cat Birth.
You should see the mother spending around 70% of her time with her kittens nursing. You should keep a comfortable temperature in the room she is nursing in, as the kittens can not regulate there own body temperatures for the first 6 days of there lives.
During a normal delivery, a combination of uterine contractions and abdominal contractions result in the kitten being born. When this begins, the first thing you will see is a small green like sac that is visible in the vagina. Following this will be the kitten also followed by the placenta that will still be attached to the kitten.
It may take up to 2 hours for each individual kitten to be born, though it normally takes between 30 and 60 minutes. When being born, the kitten should not be in the berthing canal longer than 15 minutes as pressure on the umbilical cord starves the kitten of its oxygen supply. If you believe one of the kittens is stuck, using a soft clothe, grip the kitten gently pulling it backwards and down. Grip the kitten by its shoulders or its hips and not its head or legs. Kittens normally arrive head or tail first.
For a period of around 10 days after your cat has given birth, she may discharge a bloody fluid. She will normally lick it up as this happens. Don't be concerned unless the discharge looks pus like or smells strongly.

Things you may need in advance.

  • Have many clean towels to hand

  • Purchase some tame iodine solution as an antiseptic

  • Q-tips

  • A blunt pair of scissors

  • Some dental floss if you need to tie of the umbilical cord

  • An ordinary baby nose suction bulb can be handy to have in order to clean the mucus from the kittens nose and mouth

  • Depending on the heat conditions, a heating pad or blanket may be needed

Problems to lookout for during Cat Birth.
If any of the following occur, it is best to contact you veterinarian for professional assistance.

  • Your Cats pregnancy last longer than 66 days

  • Your Cats temperature stays below 37.8C (100F) for longer than a day or drops more

  • Loss of appetite leading to your Cat becoming weak and lethargic

  • If a kitten becomes stuck in the birthing canal for longer that 15 minutes and you cant remove it

  • If your Cat has contractions for longer than 4 hours with producing any kittens

  • If 5 hours pass and you believe there maybe a kitten left

  • If your Cats vaginal discharge appears infected and smell very bad

  • If there are less placentas than there are kittens

  • If the new born kittens will not feed and appear weak

  • If one or more of your Cats mammary glands is hard, painful or hot

  • If the kittens appear agitated and don't seem to sleep

  • If the kittens are not feed enough to the existent there stomachs are not extended

  • If your Cats temperature is over 39C (102.5F) for 2 days after birth

  • What can be done about Cat Birth ?
  • What are the symptoms of Cat Birth ?
  • Cat Birth treatment
  • Does my pet insurance cover for Cat Birth ?
  • Questions about Cat Birth ? Seek advice from your veterinary surgeon !
  • Is Cat Birth contagious ?
  • Can I vaccinate my cat against Cat Birth ?
  • Is Cat Birth a serious problem ?
  • Need information about Cat Birth ?
  • Symptoms of Cat Birth health problems
  • Can I insure my pet cat or kitten against Cat Birth ?
  • Guide to Cat Birth - a cats health problem

Cat Birth


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The intensions of this site is to give you helpful information about the health of your pet cat. It is to provide helpful facts and information to help aid in raising your cat or kitten. This site and its information is not for self diagnosing your pet cat with any illness or sickness. Professional help should be sought - Visit your local veterinary surgeon or practitioner, you may also need to consider whether your pet cat or kitten should be taken to a Cat or cat hospital. Be warned vet bills can be very costly, we strongly recommend the purchase of pet insurance before health problems occur. Cat health insurance is a must as Cat illness can be very expensive, insurance will give much needed help in affording health related bills.

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