How To Care For A Cat After She Delivers Her Litter
Cat breeders have one of the most exciting roles in the pet care industry. Helping to bring a new litter of kittens into the world is an incredibly moving time, and the prospect of being surrounded by tiny kittens is enough to tempt many people to breed from their pedigree cat. Cats have been delivering kittens without help from their human keepers for millennia, so it is unlikely that you will need to intervene. However, in the time following the birthing, there are some important steps you can take to help your cat care for her litter.
How do I know when labour has finished?
Cats are notoriously independent, and they are no different when it comes to giving birth. It can be difficult to tell when the labour has finished, and a queen may take a break of up to 30 minutes between each kitten. It is unlikely that you will need to intervene, so just keep an eye on the kittens and placentas to make sure everything adds up. Placental delivery can happen some time after delivery of the kittens, so keep an eye on proceedings. If you end up with more kittens than placentas, you might need to seek help from a vet.
How long should I wait before cleaning up?
You should avoid disturbing the queen and her kittens as much as possible, but she will also appreciate fresh bedding once she is done delivering. You may need to wait a while after birth to be able to clean up, so just keep an eye on her and look for an opportune moment.
What should I feed the cat and kittens?
Your vet will have advised you how much your cat should be eating in the days and weeks following the arrival of her kittens. She may be eating as much as three times her normal diet to help her keep up with the demands of nursing.
You should also keep an eye on the kittens when they are feeding as some may struggle to latch on, or they may be pushed out if it is a large litter.
When should I take the cat and kittens to the vet?
A few days after the queen has given birth, it is usually a good time to take to take the cat and her kittens to the vet to get checked out. Your kittens will need two rounds of vaccinations and they will need to be fitted with pet microchips. Many people have the first round of vaccinations at 9 weeks, the second round at 12 weeks and will usually wait until the kitten is 8 weeks old, or when they weigh 2 pounds before fitting them with pet microchips.
Should I get her spayed?
If your female cat is around unneutered male cats, they will likely come into season again very soon after giving birth. If this litter is going to be your only litter, you might want to get her spayed a few weeks after giving birth. If you aren’t planning to get her spayed, you will need to keep her away from unneutered males