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How to Deal With a Pregnant Cat


cat litterYour cat has gotten pregnant or a pregnant stray has adopted you? Don't worry! Caring for a pregnant kitty isn't as difficult as it can be. If spaying is not an option for you while your cat is pregnant, then here is a quick guide to help you prepare for what will be an exciting but new phase of life.


1. Exams
Just like in women, queens (pregnant females) need to be examined by a doctor throughout their pregnancy to make sure that they, and their kittens, are all healthy and happy. While getting an exam done, discuss the option of spaying. Early term spays are easier on the animal than late term spays. Vaccines should also be discussed if the animal is a stray. Though they are not generally considered safe for the fetuses, sometimes the benefits to everyone outweigh the risks.


2. What to feed?
You can continue your cat on whatever food they are use to eating, however you will want to start working in a high quality canned for so that you are sure they are receiving all the protein and nutrients they possibly can. Litters can take a lot out of a queen (imagine how draining four or five babies would be on a woman), so it is important and absolutely necessary that nutritional needs be met.


When your cat is a few weeks from delivering, you will want to switch her to a high quality kitten food and keep her on this till the kittens are weaned. These foods provide even higher amounts of protein and essential fats so that kittens get the right start out in life. Think of it as giving pre-natal vitamins to your kitty.


If your cat appears to be an undernourished stray, just start them on the kitten food right off. This will help to build her strength up quickly and get the fetuses back on the right foot.


3. Calcium
Pregnancy and nursing can cause depletions in calcium which can result in eclampsia which is life-threatening. Consider getting your cat a calcium supplement to make sure that this is avoided. And be sure that your cat has access to fresh, CLEAN water all the time.


4. Maintain the Quality of Life- or Introducing a Stray to a Good Home
Make sure your cat has a comfortable place to sleep, a clean litter box and a quality litter. These are things that every cat deserves and should get in addition to quality food and plenty of fresh, clean water. Get your cat a cat tree or scratching post and some toys. If your cat is a stray, just imagine how thankful she is to have such a wonderful home to raise her kittens in away from the fear of coyotes or other wild animals.


5. The Birthing
The day is here! A few days before hand your cat will have begun "nesting" or looking for a place to have the  kittens and preparing it. Closest or other dark spaces tend to be the location of choice, so be sure that piles of laundry or other items are off the floors. Move a litter box, food bowl and water bowl into the area you have both chosen and then give her a box with a fresh towel or worn blanket to rest on. Most cats will move on their own into the area and begin to live there.

Once she goes into labor, keep an eye out for any problems.


Experienced Queens should let you know if there are issues. In my own experience, it is best to let them be unless they come to get you. Cats tend to be very private animals and if you are hovering they will become upset. If they need you they will call. Being on hand is the best support your cat can have. If they know you are there then chances are everything will go just fine.



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