kittens, kittens, kittens

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HermitJohn, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I apparently opened HJ's Nursery for Unwed Cats. I had been feeding neighbor (Crazyboy) 's 3 young cats (siblings) while he went somewhere to maybe return or not (gone several weeks now). Seems all turned out female and pregnant. Brought them here to give birth as no safe dry place for them over there. First one to give birth did so with 5 kittens. All healthy and now with eyes open and well looked after by their mother (I nicknamed her 'June Cleaver'). Second cat gave birth to 3 kittens. Not so strong of maternal instincts, one kitten finally died. Other two kinda scrawny but eyes now open. Third cat gave birth to 4 kittens and seems to have good maternal instincts. All kittens healthy, eyes not open yet.

    All in same room, all with separate rag lined boxes. Well second Mom occasionally would move two kittens to cubby hole on top of pile of mouldings. Kittens didnt like this and would cry. Finally whole bunch crying and I looked and two mama cats in cubby hole with all kittens except one of cat #3's kittens who was still back in cat #3's box. Separated everybody and cat #3 was insistant on grabbing one of cat #2's kittens. Weird but now cat #2 is with cat 3's kittens in box and cat 3's kittens are alone in cubby hole and cat #2 is on my computer desk.

    I really dont care who feeds who but I am worried about somebody getting neglected or layed on when both mama cats try and get in same box. Oddly the mama cats dont hiss at one another, just #2 is very confused.

    I really dont have anywhere but computer room to put the cats. My house is tiny with three rooms and my old cat lives in downstairs two rooms and she doesnt want any other cats in her domain and I dont want to stress her by forcing a situation on her. Should I just put all #2 and #3 kittens in same box and let mamas work it out even if some kittens may get smushed or whatever? Apparently #3 has very strong attachment to #2 kittens so without being able to move #2 family to separate room, no way to keep them apart.
     
  2. Topaz Farm

    Topaz Farm Well-Known Member

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    Even though I have cats, it has been years since I had a mama cat have kittens, and never more than one at a time. :)

    Try finding one or two larger boxes so they will have more room, and I guess let them sort it out. It kinda confused me reading it. :) But, what fun.

    Any of them black & white long hair or solid white long hair, that is my favorit. I would take one...... Oh wait a minute....... I have 10 already.

    A pregnant mama cat adopted my daughter a few days ago, just what she didn't need, she has 5 cats already. Maybe one of them will be LH BW.
     

  3. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    our queens all birthed in the same box and shared the mothering duties . last year our old girl did not have much milk so the other two did most of the feeding.(i say ours but they are free as the wind ,only come for the buffet and lodgings) .have two right now with their litters combined, with handling since birth the kittens will be placable and the moms are getting tamer.one has a home as soon as weaned with a coworker of my wife but the others will go quick too!!
     
  4. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Police, police!!! HJ is running a cat house.

    I am glad that you are looking after all of these mousers. I'd just let them hash out the mothering duties by themselves. They will probably learn from each other and all wind up good mothers before all is said and done.

    I've heard that cats are good at killing small snakes. The purchase of some food as you are doing will probably be an excellent investment.

    I love your June Cleaver moniker for the one mom.
     
  5. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Windy, you're right. They will kill small snakes...and leave them on your doorstep. Stepping outside barefoot is a no no in the summer around here!

    I agree with putting them in a bigger box and letting them work it out. If sharing is how they work it out, then I say you've got some lucky kittens...two mommies = double the food!
     
  6. mommymushbrain

    mommymushbrain Well-Known Member

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    Man, and I thought I had a cat house! We have 11 full grown cats and 2 of them gave birth yesterday... but that is it for us! Well, of course until we rescue some more strays..... ;)

    Just let the cats hash out the mama duties. I no longer use boxes for the cats. We lined the floor with plastic sheeting, then throw down piles of old blankets in 3 of the corners... the 4th corner is for the litter box, and the food and water goes in the middle.

    I've had three of them give birth all about the same time... and it is nice because we had one mama who wasn't making enough milk for all the kittens, so we just pulled a switch on one of the other mamas.

    OH and if need be, where you have to force another mama to take a "strange" kitten, the best way is to rub the kittens all together, so they smell the same. :)
     
  7. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Well new configuration this morning. Each now have one of #2 kittens and two of the #3 kittens. As long as none get neglected or abandoned, I am ok with it. Still not sure why I care so much what happens to bunch kittens that arent mine.
     
  8. 59classics

    59classics Member

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    Good grief. Do everyone a favor and get the females fixed. Look online under the topic of TNR, trap-neuter-release. Even if you DON'T agree with their opinions/politics their sites can help you find low-cost or free places to get cats neutered. This is a never ending situation (and I love cats!) unless you break the chain somewhere. Even if you take them to the pound or they mostly all get wiped out by some cat disease, it will never get them all. And the survivors will start to breed again at alarming rates.


    K
     
  9. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My first husband and I started a commune with some other friends from college. The guy who rented us the house asked us to look after his cats- assured us they were all fixed :p they weren't- they all gave birth within a week of each other. All good moms, but the food was in the kitchen and whenever one momma went to eat her babies wouod start to cry and the other two moms would run off with her kittens and put them in with their own litters- when the momm cat came back and found her nest empty she would wait for the other momma cats to go into the kitchen and run to the nests and start stealing kittens- They got ALL mixed up!! (We could tell by the colors of the kittens) It was a kitty commune I guess :haha:
     
  10. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If cat #2 is not being a good mother, I'd take her out of the picture, get her fixed NOW (she'll lose her milk as soon as she's fixed) and let cats #1 and # 3 raise the kittens. Be aware that they can breed before the kittens are weaned, so if you want to get them fixed, you'll need to keep them locked up until the kittens are old enough to wean and the mamas can be fixed.

    Cats are social animals, and it's not uncommon for them to raise kittens communally. The mothering instinct can also be pretty powerful -- I have a female cat I had fixed at six months, before she ever had a chance to have kittens, and she still "adopts" any kitten she's given. No milk, but that doesn't stop her from cleaning them, sleeping with them, letting them go thru the "motions" of nursing, protecting them, and generally being a "good" mother. So don't be at all surprised to see mama cats steal kittens not their own! *LOL*

    Leva
     
  11. cathyharrell

    cathyharrell Well-Known Member

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    Lucky cats to have you to take care of them. Also good mothers to take care of the others' kittens.
     
  12. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    get a bigger box, co mingle all the kittens, and let the mommies all feed them , that would be my suggestion,
    had this happen here last year, momma 1 had 3 kittens, she lost one ue to overzealous cleaning when it was born ( accidentally tore its little innards out, she was afirst timer )
    then she took very very good care of the remaining 2,
    when they were about a month and a half old momma 2 had kittens, she was a good momma, found home for one of number ones kittens, and kept the other one, momma one simply dried her milk up , kitten discovered momma 2 was a good sort of gal and fed the neighbors kittens too, was funny to see tiny kittens and 2 month old cat together nursing, but , it went fine, eventually momma dried up and all kittens were weaned....

    they will sort it out ,
    with that many mommas none will get neglected
    Beth
     
  13. KindredCanuck

    KindredCanuck In Remembrance

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    Love it HJ... What a GREAT Spirit You are.. Kudos.. from a fellow feral cat owner of 7.. all fixed now tho.. but love them rejects..

    KC~
     
  14. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Well all kittens look ok despite all the moving about. One of cats has all of them secured in cubby hole this morning.

    Interesting to hear all the stories of communal kitten raising and to know that its normal. This is first time I've seen multiple batches of kittens since I was little kid on farm. Always get any cat I adopt spayed/neutered so rare to even see kittens.
     
  15. puglady

    puglady Well-Known Member

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    We're pretty much in the same boat. My dd's calico got snagged by a stray tom we were keeping in the basement to fix up his leg (had been bitten by something). He was the sweetest disposition! At the same time, inherited a feral female, but tamed down wonderfully. UNFORTUNATELY, she had to have a C-section to deliver two of her four. $$$$$$$$$$$$!! When she came home, totally stoned to the gills, I was frantic. I gave one of hers to the calico, and gave the two doped-up kittens that were inside her temporarily to our pug bitches, who thoroughly licked them and cleaned them until they were awake. The calico promptly moved her three and 1 adopted one to my dd's TOP bunk bed! She had given birth in my ds's hamper...he promptly demanded a new one.
     
  16. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Two litters of half blood siamese in the last 10 days the last litter was last nite 3 kittens the other one was about 10 days ago the queens are full sisters , there fantastic RAT cats too. total 7 kittens 2 look siamese 4 orange and one gray.
     
  17. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    We've watched a video about cats that has a segment filmed on a farm in England -- the farmer lets dozens of cats live in his barns, and researchers have been studying them for years, to see what kind of social structure domestic cats have when they are basically feral (friendly, and the farmer puts milk out for them, but they aren't pets or housecats). They found that it is normal for two or three mommas to share a nest with their litters. It was really interesting . . . . found it at the library.

    Kathleen
     
  18. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    I saw a show on national geographic about an elderly man who raised barn cats he had close to 150 cats most mature and intact so as you can imagine he always had kittens, they followed a pair of females for about 8 weeks one of them already had kittens and was the mother of the other female, both females birthed in the same little hole under some logs and they ganged up on the dominant male that got too close, I guess when there're 2 pairs of eyes and claws watching after the kittens it's better than just one lone momma doing the job.
     
  19. margo

    margo Well-Known Member

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    we have a new momma out in a large cage inside a coop, just waiting to bear her litter. This girl was a stray (dumpd,no doubt), but, anyhow, preggers before i was able to get to pick her up. She was skittish of course. Now, she loves me, and I am massaging her belly, I am sure she is getting about to deliver. Well, I wont take any more of your thread, I'll post my own.
    Good heart to take such good care of the cat-moms. They are pretty interesting, and you have to have a soft heart to take them in...Margo