When To Wait And When To Worry
While many authors believe that problems in parturition are rare in the cat, others feel that with the progression of selective breeding these problems are becoming more common.
The effect of this has been shown in a survey of over 700 breeding cats, which found that cats with extremes of conformation, such as Siamese and Persians, experienced much higher levels of dystocia , 10 per cent and 7.1 per cent of births being affected respectively, compared to only 2.3 per cent of births being affected in cats with normal conformation. It is therefore very important that breeders are aware of the details of normal parturition so that they can recognise a problem when it arises.
In pregnancy, the foetuses are spaced along each horn of the uterus. Each foetus is contained within its own membranes and has its own placenta through which it derives nourishment. The uterus may be considered as a muscular, sausage-shaped bag, capable of contracting both around its diameter and along its length. To help in its passage, each foetus is contained within a fairly tough double-layered bag of foetal membranes, which are filled with slippery fluid in which the foetus floats. This serves as both protection and lubrication and provides a distending, stretching and dilating force when the uterus relaxes in front of it and contracts behind it during the course of parturition.
Should You Let Cats Out At Night
Cats Protection recommends that you keep your cats in at night. Cats are natural hunters, making them more active at night time, and some studies show that more road traffic injuries happen at night. Therefore, we recommend keeping your cat indoors at night to protect them from the hazards of the roads.
Mammary Glands Will Increase In Size
During the final week of pregnancy, the mammary glands of your cat will increase in size. Her mammary glands are arranged in 2 parallel rows running along the outside body wall that extends from the groin area up to the underside of her chest. Cats usually have 4 pairs of mammary glands. Approximately 2 days before your cat gives birth, shell start to produce milk.
You may notice some cream colored thick secretions coming out of her nipples. Your cat might lick it off or she could just let it dry up and youll notice that her nipples will have small whitish scabs on them. Its commonly believed that each nipple has its very own unique smell, which kittens use to attach themselves repeatedly to the same nipple.
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Retention Of Foetal Membranes
Occasionally a cat may fail to pass the final set of foetal membranes after parturition appears to be complete. She will probably show some signs of restlessness and of abdominal discomfort and may be unwilling to settle with her kittens during the 24-72 hours after parturition. Her appetite will probably be poor and a brownish vaginal discharge may be seen. Examination will show a raised temperature and palpation through the abdominal wall will disclose a thickened lumpy area of womb containing the membranes. Broad-spectrum antibiotic cover is necessary and prostaglandin F2-alpha may help to induce expulsion of the retained membranes. If this fails, an emergency ovariohysterectomy may be required.
Licking Pacing Howling And Chirping
- You might notice your cat licking her genitalia frequently There is a discharge from the cats vulva a few hours before birth starts. Your cats water will break as well. Now is the time for pacing, restlessness, and howling, meowing, or chirping from your cat.
All of the above are good signs that will let you know when your cat is in labor. To learn more information, contact Guildcrest Cat Hospital today!
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Why Is My Pregnant Cat Bleeding
As a cat owner, you may be worried about your cats health during pregnancy. You may notice blood in her urine or stool, which can cause concern. If you suspect that your cat is bleeding, its best to take her to the vet as soon as possible.
Cats will sometimes bleed during pregnancy because they have an underdeveloped placenta. The placenta produces hormones that help regulate the mothers blood pressure and keep it from dropping too low during pregnancy.
When this hormone is not produced properly, it can cause uterine contractions, which can lead to bleeding. This type of bleeding tends to happen in early pregnancy and typically stops on its own by week 8 or 9 of gestation.
Any sudden change in your cats behavior including lethargy and loss of appetite should be taken seriously because it could indicate that shes experiencing an emergency situation like placenta abruption. Other symptoms include rapid breathing, increased heart rate and fever.
First Stage Of Kittening
The first stage of kittening lasts up to 36 hours and is usually shorter for queens that have had kittens before.
What to expect:
The second stage of kittening lasts five to thirty minutes for each kitten.
What to expect:
- stronger contractions
- foetal membranes appears briefly at the vulva and bursts. Liquid is usually cleared up by the cat
- active straining starts and the kitten usually comes out head first
- once the head is out, one or two strains from the cat should push out the kitten
- the mother breaks the bag and chews through the cord and licks the kitten. This cleans the kitten and encourages it to breathe
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Essential Items To Have Ready:
If you have kittens due, have these essential items ready – they could literally be life saving:
1. Royal Canin Kitten Babycat Milk – the best kitten milk we have tried. Essential to have in the cupboard if you have kittens due. This can go out of date quite quickly and if it is out of date, it will not provide the nutrition your kittens need so always check the date and buy a replacement if you have kittens due. .
2. Pettex nutridrops – excellent for slow birthing or struggling queen, to give her extra energy. Also very helpful to support a kitten who is struggling or won’t wean and is at risk of chronically low blood sugar. We have used this many times and it is an essential part of our kittening kit.
3. Pipettes, in case you need to feed a newborn kitten with kitten milk. Pipettes allow you to do it as safely as possible. Bottle and syringes risk forcing milk into your kitten’s lungs, giving them pneumonia which can be fatal. Pipettes are much safer as they have a slow, drip by drip flow. .
Cat Bleeding From Her Private Parts: Cat Giving Birth
When it comes to a cat giving birth, it is normal that she might bleed through her vulva.
Before delivery, a cat will not only bleed through her vulva, but will also seem more restless. A cat that is about to give birth will also look for a safe place to birth her kittens. Once this spot is found, your cat will expel some mucus: the mucus plug that indicates that delivery is about to take place.
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Is Premature Birth Common In Cats
Occasionally, a mother will deliver a litter prematurely. The kittens may be small, thin, and have little or no hair. Although it is possible for them to survive with an enormous amount of care, most premature kittens die regardless of your best efforts. If you wish to try and save premature kittens, your veterinarian can provide you with specific and detailed instructions, including how to feed kittens that are too weak to nurse.
Third Stage Of Labor: Afterbirth
The thirdand finalstage of labor is the passage of the placenta.
A greenish-black mass of fetal membranes is expelled after passage of each kitten.
Retained placenta is a condition that can occur if the mother cat fails to expel the placenta during birth. This can lead to fever, infection, lack of appetite, and failure to care for the kittens.
If the queen has a retained placenta, you will need to seek veterinary care for her as soon as possible.
How Long Should Vaginal Discharge Last After a Cat Gives Birth?
Vaginal discharge may last for up to three weeks after the kittens are born. The discharge will normally appear reddish-black since it consists mostly of old blood. If the discharge is overly bloody or looks like pus, the queen should be examined by her veterinarian as soon as possible.
Once your cat has given birth, the real work begins. Heres what you need to know about postpartum care, nutrition, and lactation.
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How Do I Know When My Cats About To Give Birth
5 Signs To Know Your Cat Is In LaborMammary glands will increase in size. During the final week of pregnancy, the mammary glands of your cat will increase in size. Nesting behavior will begin. Temperature will fall. Behavior changes. Decrease in appetite. Licking, pacing, howling, and chirping.
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Length Of Time For The Total Birth Process
It takes, on average, half a day for a queen to give birth to all her kittens. The first kitten should arrive within an hour of the start of active labor.
In between kittens, the mother cat will rest and should be allowed to nurse and clean the kittens that were born. If you have been keeping the kittens in another box, move them back with the mother cat and help them find a nipple. A break in birthing is a good time for you to offer her food, kitten milk replacement, or plain, unflavored yogurt.
If you think the mother hasn’t birthed all the kittens after 12 hours, contact an open veterinarian.
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Do Cats Bleed Before Or After Giving Birth
- Date: July 5, 2022
- Time to read: 5 min.
It is normal for female cats to bleed before giving birth. The blood is a sign that the cats body is preparing for labor and delivery. This can happen anywhere from one week to two weeks before kittens are born.
If your cat is bleeding and there are no kittens in sight, it could be due to a medical condition or an injury. If you notice blood coming from your cats vulva, dont panic this is perfectly normal!
Cats bleed before giving birth because their bodies are preparing for labor and delivery. They will also experience contractions during this time, which may be painful but arent dangerous unless they are severe enough to cause complications such as prolapsed uterus or umbilical cord prolapse.
Cats do bleed after giving birth. Its normal for them to bleed for a few days, but you should be concerned if it continues after that time.
The bleeding is a result of the placenta being expelled from the uterus and from the uterine lining being shed, both of which are required for the cat to stop lactating and become pregnant again.
Once it has stopped, your cat will be able to go back to normal activities. Most female cats will want to clean themselves after giving birth, and their kittens will need plenty of milk in order to grow strong and healthy.
Its important not to disturb your cat during this time because she may feel threatened by you or your children, which could cause her to run away or attack you out of fear.
How To Help A Cat Give Birth
Last Updated: April 2, 2020Approved
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 27 testimonials and 96% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,070,910 times.
Whether you are breeding purebred cats for a living or you are responsible for a cat that has become pregnant in your care, it is important to know what to do when the cat goes into labor and begins to give birth to her kittens. The typical gestation period for cats is around 65-67 days, so once you have confirmation that your cat is pregnant, its important to begin preparing for the eventual birthing. Here is how to do so.
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Keep The Nest Area Warm
Kittens are unable to regulate their own body temperature until they are 3 to 4 weeks old. So for the first four weeks of their lives, you should provide a warm, clean box or bedding for the mother and kittens to share.
Use a heating pad below the nesting box or a heating lamp above it to keep the kittens warm. But make sure there are accessible unheated areas, as kittens will need to be able to move away from the heat source if they become too warm.
The warm area should be about 97°F.
Take Your Cat For A Fecal Test
Its recommended that you have a fresh stool sample checked by your veterinarian, as intestinal parasites can be spread to the kittens both in utero , and during nursing.
Do NOT use over-the-counter dewormers on your pregnant or nursing cat, as some of these could be dangerous. Your veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate medication if her stool sample shows evidence of parasitic infection.
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What Are The Signs That Your Cat Is Going Into Labor
Your cat is going into labor. What does that mean? Labor is a process in which the uterus contracts to expel the fetus and placenta. This occurs after birth, not before, so its not something you need to worry about when your cat is pregnant.
What are the signs that your cat is going into labor?
While some cats exhibit no symptoms of labor at all, others show signs such as:
Restlessness Your cat may be restless and pace around her home or sit at an open door or window.
Increased vocalizations She may meow more and make more frequent sounds than usual.
Lethargy While most cats are active and playful most of the time, they may become lethargic or sleepy during labor because of the stress hormones released during this time. This can also happen after giving birth, so dont panic if your cat seems tired after giving birth as well!
Diarrhea A change in water consumption leading up to labor can cause diarrhea during birth or shortly afterwards . Diarrhea often goes away on its own within a few days after giving birth unless its caused by another health issue like parasites or illness.
Warning Signs For Cat Labour Problems
As you cat goes into labour, she will become more agitated before she lies down to give birth. You should check on her regularly throughout labour, but dont feel the need to stay with her at all times. You should only need to interfere and contact your vet if:
- There are no kittens 3-4 hours after the start of labour. See Labour and Giving birth.
- She has been having strong contractions for more than an hour without producing a kitten. You should be able to see this by tension in the abdominal area.
- The kittens are not all delivered within 24 hours of labour starting .
- There are not enough placentas delivered for the number of kittens born – this may indicate retained placentas.
- You can see a kitten at her vulva but despite straining she fails to give birth.
Although it can be sad for you, its quite common that some kittens might not make it, and it shouldnt upset mum. If one or more of the kittens do pass away during birth, you dont have to contact your vet.
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When To Call The Vet
You should call the vet for advice during the birth if:
- the first stage is lasting longer than 24 hours without any sign of straining
- the cat has been straining for more than 30 minutes without producing anything – this could indicate an obstruction
- the kitten has arrived and no further kittens appear after an hour
- the cat suddenly seems weak
- there is excessive bloody discharge or greenish discharge without a kitten. However, there may be a greenish discharge after the kitten or with the afterbirth
- a kitten gets stuck half-way out and cannot be delivered by gently pulling
In some cases the kittens may need to be delivered by caesarean section.
What Happens If A Kitten Is Stillborn
It is not uncommon for one or two kittens in a litter to be stillborn. Sometimes, a stillborn kitten will disrupt labor, resulting in dystocia. At other times, the dead kitten will be delivered normally. In almost all cases, there is something wrong with the stillborn kitten, such as a developmental abnormality or birth defect.
|Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM|
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How To Know If A Cat Has Finished Giving Birth
If the cat has had an ultrasound or radiography, it is possible the veterinarian will have told us how many kittens she can expect. By counting them, we will be able to tell when the delivery has finished. Many guardians of a pregnant cat will want to know how many kittens there are in a litter. The average amount of kittens per birth is 3 to 5. However, it is possible for a cat to have larger litters. Although much less common, it is also possible to have only one kitten. In these cases we have to be particularly careful in case there is another baby trapped inside.
In cases where we do not know how many kittens to expect, we can look for the normal behavior of a mother cat after giving birth. They will likely stay calm and relaxed, letting their kittens start to nurse after they have cleaned them appropriately. Some of this might involve a little blood, especially if it is a large litter.
However, there are some signs a cat may not have given birth to all their kittens. If you see a cat is making movements that they are trying to give birth without a kitten being born, it could be a sign something is wrong. The kitten may be stuck in the canal or there may be some tear of tissue. In both cases, bleeding may occur.