help! cat had kittens in flower pot!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mel-, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    I have a stray cat that someone dumped her mom here last year. she was raised out in a barn with no contact to humans and is barely tame. her mom disapeared with them at two months old then brought them back last fall. then the mother disapeared again. two of the by then 6 or so month old kittens decided to stay since I was feeding them but they aren't tame. the female will let me pet her but she will scratch your eyes out if you try to pick her up. I've been hoping eventually I could get her in a cage to get her spayed without losing all the skin on my arms :(

    she was meowing around my door so I put some food out. I figured she was pregnant, she is fat. I look out just now and find a kitten in my flower pot right beside the door and her in the middle of giving birth to another!

    I managed to get the kittens in a coke crate inside my sunroom with towels without her killing me and even managed to pick her up and bring her in (wrapped good in a towel to protect me from her claws). so now they are inside where they are safe from predators.

    now what??? I don't want her outside where the kittens will be neighbors dog food (or neighbors tom cat food). I don't really want her and her fleas and diseases in my house. I have two yorkies and 14 baby chicks in the kitchen! I don't want my babies (my yorkies! though they are 2 years old) catching anything from her. but I do have a door between the sunroom and the rest of the house to keep her in and them out.

    What I figure is once she's done giving birth, try to move them out into another shed I have that holds my business's inventory. it's completely animal proof and I'll get a litter box.

    so IF I can get her and the kittens in there:

    how long should I wait? It is unheated.

    how will I know when she is done birthing? her mother had 4. she has had two so far.

    the shed is unheated, should I put a lamp out there? I will leave the overhead light on for her.

    does she need anything special? she has a bowl of food and I just put down a bowl of milk. should she have water instead?

    I'll have to keep the door shut for her sake and my inventory's sake. how often will I need to let her out if I put a litterbox in there or should I not let her out? who the heck knows if she would ever go back in. I thought she might be pregnant this winter but no kittens ever showed up. I don't know if she is a good mother.

    what diseases COULD she give to my dogs? her fleas are bad enough but I'll bomb this sunroom after I get her out of here.

    how soon can she be spayed with ktitens and given shots? If I could get a cage big enough for a litter box and her and the kittens, I'd keep her in there until she can go to the vet ! is that feasible or are we talking weeks?

    I was planning on putting these chickens in that shed as soon as I thought they could be moved and get them out of my kitchen! I guess I can forget that for the next two months :( They are 3 days or so old and a long ways from going out into our indiana weather.

    help! I have no experience with cats or kittens or birthing or even baby chicks (much). now I have them all ! darned cat, if she would have just let me put her in a cage before now she would be fixed. I should have just thrown a bag over her :(
     
  2. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    oh crap, make that three kittens. she had another while I was typing this.
     

  3. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    here is a picture of the setup I have for her:

    [​IMG]

    is this going to be good enough/ does she need a bigger box? will I need to dig out clean towels to replace these? should I let her eat the afterbirth or dispose of it?

    sorry for all the questions! I am a middle aged woman who has never had children and am totally out of my league with this whole birthing thing!!!
     
  4. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Hey, she looks pretty darn happy to me.

    She'll probably know what to do, just keep her fed and watered. If the towels start to get a bit dirty, then change them out. I believe they consume the kitten's poo, so she should keep things pretty clean.
     
  5. Nan(TX)

    Nan(TX) Well-Known Member

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    If it were me I'd call my vet and ask them what needs to be done if anything.
    Nice picture!
     
  6. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Might give mom some goat milk too.
     
  7. BertaBurtonLake

    BertaBurtonLake Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on being a surrogate feline grandma, mel!

    Having had cats most of my adult life, I can tell you she will take care of those kittens all by herself. She will "potty" them by licking them while they are nursing, so you won't have to worry about their mess till they are about 4 weeks old and start adventuring out of the box. The box you have set up for her is fine. I f she did not find it satisfactory, she would have moved out of it. A litter box for her and some fresh water and a good dry food is all she needs at this pint. I would suggest avoiding milk right now as it has a tendency to cause diarrhea if they drink too much of it. She will clean up the afterbirth of each kitten and that will aslo give her some extra protein. Unfortunately, you cannot do anything about her fleas right now without endangering the kittens; kittens are very sensitive to flea control products, even on the mother cat.

    She will know you are trying to help and may become more friendly due to your kindness to her. You may have just become a cat owner! The vet may not spay her until after the kittens are weaned, but kittens grow up fast. T 8 weeks thay will be ready for you to adopt them out.

    Good luck to you and you will be blessed for carring for her and protecting her in her time of vulnerability

    Warm Regards,

    ~Berta
     
  8. sapphira

    sapphira Well-Known Member

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    i am going to keep you in mind ! What a kind thing to do. And sacrificing your time. I would take one of the kittens if I could get there. We love indiana. Sapphira in VA
     
  9. mjwood0

    mjwood0 Member

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    Looks like you are fine with what you are doing. Cats are usually very good mothers, and as other's have said, if she didn't like the arrangements you gave her, she'd leave.

    If you can, you could put her in the shed with the kittens and some food and water. I wouldn't necessarly lock her in unless there is an immediate need. Perhaps only at night. As long as her kittens are in there, she won't go anywhere.

    However, if you put her in the shed and she doesn't like it, she'll move the kittens out on her own. Don't worry too much, she can take care of them pretty good on her own.

    Good luck! She'll do all the work if you provide her a place to "mother".

    Mark
     
  10. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    i went into town to get kitty litter and some more catfood and she had another while I was gone. that makes four now.

    thank goodness I am the worse sort of packrat. my brother gave me two kitty litter boxes a year ago that he found in the trash (lol, he works for the city) and I have been saving them to use as hen nest boxes. will she use this litter box on her own? I put it about 4 feet away from the box they are in.

    [​IMG]

    thank you all so much. I can't put her in that other shed without closing the door, I have all my business inventory in there and I can't let animals or weather in there. the OTHER shed I have, the one she has been living in, well I assume she didn't want to have them in there since she came up to my porch and gave birth. she lives in the attic of it, during the day she'll jump down from there if I go out there for something. If I could get her and the kittens in the attic, they'd be safe from anything except climbing things but I'm just about positive that she was pregnant this winter and tom cats killed them.

    this shed has a completely open side so possums and raccoons can get in. how old will these need to be before it would be safe to try to move her to the attic? her mother raised them in that attic and only lost one baby which I found laying out in the yard when they were about a month old (I think it fell out of the attic).

    she now is laying in a corner back behind my computer desk (the sunroom is my office). should I try to see if she wants out? I'm afraid I'll never get her back in though she would love to be a house cat, I keep a child gate by the door because she tries to come in. I'm just afraid if I let her out now to do whatever, I won't be able to get her back in.

    thank you all again so much for your help. holy cow, I've been planning on taking foster parenting classes this summer if I get the second bedroom finished. maybe I'm not ready! (I'm a woose).
     
  11. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    In all honesty, if she's feral, and had the first baby on the porch with intentions to have them all there...she must trust you. Feral cats will have babies away from people, not on their front porch! Maybe she thinks a little more of you, than you think!
     
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Just so you know, momma cats always move their babies at least once. I think it's an instinct to get them away from the birth smells, which might attract predators. Possibly also to get them away from an overgrowth of fleas, etc., also, which *can* get to be a problem. There is some mechanical means of trapping fleas. I can't remember what it's called, but I think it is like flypaper, only you lay it on the floor. Something about it attracts the fleas (color, pheromone?), which jump onto it and get stuck. Frequent vacuuming will also help (vacuum, even if the floor is hard surface), with insecticide in the vacuum bag. Make sure you get all the cracks around the edges of the room. And frequently change and wash in hot water the bedding under the cat.

    Now might be a good time to make friends with momma, but make sure to handle the babies frequently, starting as soon as they are dry. Cats are only tame if they've been handled constantly as babies.

    Kathleen
     
  13. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    They are attracted to light, so put that sticky paper under a nightlight froma low outlet. You can do the same witha bowl of water and soap.

    I prefer boric acid, because it's not harmful. You sprinkle it on the carpet, and it gets under the shell and kills them.
     
  14. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    thank you all again so much. I reall am pretty terrified of getting fleas in my house. yorkies and fleas absolutely do not mix.

    I'll try the water and soap in bowl and get some more towels ready to change her bedding. she knew immediately what the kitty litter box was for!

    I guess for the moment everything is ok, it LOOKS like she is done, no more kittens for the last couple of hours.

    well, looks like I'm going to have to simplify my chicken run plans as I'm going to need a bunch of neutering money! thank you all again.

    if you know anyone in central indiana who needs a cat ;) the two black ones really are cute.
     
  15. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    wendy, is boric acid safe for animals? I think I've read before people use it to sort of scrub it into their carpets? I'm sure she's infested, what few cats I've been around (kittens) seemed to always be overrun with them.
     
  16. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on your new kitties! Mama cat looks just like our precious Chipper who passed away March 17th of old age....

    We had a stray cat thrown out here in September and she had six kittens in our bathroom....

    I put her and the kittens in our pantry room and that's where they stayed while she raised them all. I don't let ANY of my cats outside.

    We have one now that lives in the main house with us and the other five live on the back porch where we built a "room' just for them... We wound up keeping mama kitty and one of her babies...

    We had her spayed as soon as the kittens were weaned....

    Best wishes and thanks for being so kind to her!!!!
     
  17. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    Oh---and using those old kitty litter boxes with tops as laying boxes is a stroke of genious! They should work great with a little hay in them! or in the one you know have left!
     
  18. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with teh kitties. Sounds like the mom has you figured out as a "good joe." :)

    One of our barn cats had kittens in a nest box last week when we had snow -- terribly cold out there -- one of the hens could see one of the kittens so kept pecking at it. I felt I couldn't leave them all there to be pecked to death like mice, so scooped them all up and put them in our dog crate in teh basement.

    Teh mom (first litter) was very attentive but the kittens all died :waa: It seemed to me like her milk never came in.

    This was pretty hard on our kids.

    Ann
     
  19. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    In regards to chickens and cats...

    My grandpa had a cat have kittens in his barn. When the cat moved the kittens, there were a couple eggs the hens had laid in the same spot the mom had the kittens for a while. Papa chucked them on the ground, and when they busted, he could see the partially developed chicks.
     
  20. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    You can actually use Frontline or Advantage on the momma cat. It will travel across her skin and onto the kittens. They are very safe products because they disrupt neurotrasmitter (brain chemicals) receptors that only insects have. Mammals and birds, etc. cannot be affected because they don't have those types of receptors. Although they are not labeled for very young animals they are very safe. They are not labeled for them because FDA would require additional testing. ($$$$$) I have used Advantage on momma cats with newborn kittens with no adverse effects.