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Unread 06-17-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Question Pregnancy questions TIA

Hello, about a month ago I got two 7 month old female cats off of craigslist. About 2 weeks later it became very obvious that they were both pregnant. These are outdoor cats but very sweet and spoiled! They come inside for visits often and have a nice roomy house of their own right outside the door. They aren't exactly roughing it, KWIM?

We had planned to get them both spayed as soon as we could afford it, but obviously the surprise pregnancies threw us off a bit. Vet care is not in the cards right now with the economy the way it is. But we will get them both spayed as soon as possible after the kittens arrive.

So my questions...

Is there a way to guess when they are due or how far along they are? I can feel the kittens moving a lot right now which I've only been feeling for the last week. We have had them 5 weeks and I know cat gestation is around 9 weeks so I'm guessing they will give birth within the next week or two?

Also, I've always heard that cats generally don't need much help having kittens, but what should I know going into this? Any advice?

How many kittens to an average litter?

I'm feeding them kitten food for the extra nutrients. I have large boxes inside their house for them filled with soft blankets.

I have had cats for years but never pregnant ones, so this is all new to me, but very exciting and fun! I guess the bottom line is that I hope I can find good homes for all the kittens.

THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ALL THE ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE ME! AK.MAMA
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Unread 06-19-2009   #2 (permalink)
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MMM, another from the great Alaska! Wooo... Well from previous replies I've seen running around the forum, and since this thread's been up a couple days no replies I guess I'll throw my thoughts out.

As far as helping them give birth, it really depends on the cat. I've heard of some that won't birth without your presence, some that don't want you anywhere near them. The average number of kittens varies greatly too.. Anywhere from 3 to 7 I've been told. It seems to me you've got a lot done already, giving them boxes with blankets for them to give birth in (if they so choose to use them).
You say the kittens are moving.. Well I'm not one to know, but I would say you have less than a week, 2 at the most! The kittens will rely on mom cat for food for the first couple weeks, and others here can fill you in on what should go on after that.

Hope this helps! Nice to meet another Alaskan on here.. Thought I was the only one
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Unread 06-19-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Hi! Welcome to the forum. Glad that Brandon has given you some answers. Since you said you're new with pregnant cats, I wish to add here : there's a thread called Pumpkins Kittens (General Cat Discussion, Cat Chat section), started by Isaac (Forgeteden). He wrote some details about his recent experience with her kitty, Pumpkin who just gave birth to five cute kittens. I believe you will find it useful.
BTW, it's very important to plan your kitties' spaying. Please make it your first priority, it's far more important than expecting another litter of babies, if you forget to spay them. Then financial issue will get more and more serious, even with more unwanted strays !
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Last edited by Irene Jims; 06-19-2009 at 08:47 AM.
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Unread 06-19-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Brandon and Irene,

Thanks for replying. I did find forgeteden's thread informative. Thanks for recommending it! These cats are pretty self-sufficient, but they also love to hang out with us so I'm guessing that they may want me there but not need too much help. I'm really hoping they don't go into labor at the same time. But they are sisters so they may just do that. I'd really have my hands full then!

I got them initially to help keep the mouse population down (they are GREAT mousers), but imagine my surprise when I found part of a baby hare this morning, I truely thought they were too pregnant to hunt much less chase down rabbits!

I'll be sure to update the thread when they have their kittens. I do plan to get them spayed as soon as possible after but right now it's more important to make sure they are fed and have a home. My first call will be the local pound to see if they will do it at a discount for me since money is tight. Thanks for all the advice!

AK.MAMA (& Biscuit and Birdie the mama's-to-be)
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Unread 06-19-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for helping both pregnant kitties. Yes, you can try some organizations who offer discounts on spay/neuter programs they launch. Speaking of eliminating (reducing) mouse populations... I remember my Princess who used to live at hubby's restaurant, and they noticed the mice/rats have all gone (the vet said, it's Princess' scent that helped get rid of them -- coz my Princess never caught one single mouse... hehe !)
Therefore, I still sometimes, bring my kitties to the restaurant just to spread their scent...
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Unread 06-20-2009   #6 (permalink)
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Ha Ha! That is too funny Irene! That is part of the reason we let them in so often (the other part being that we love having them hang out with us) and we haven't seen or heard a mouse since we got them. Between them they catch at least 1 mouse/shrew a day (that we know of) and the last three days they have caught a baby rabbit a day too. They are awesome!
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Unread 06-20-2009   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak.mama View Post
Ha Ha! That is too funny Irene! That is part of the reason we let them in so often (the other part being that we love having them hang out with us) and we haven't seen or heard a mouse since we got them. Between them they catch at least 1 mouse/shrew a day (that we know of) and the last three days they have caught a baby rabbit a day too. They are awesome!
WOW ! So all your babies are mousers, even hunters !

None of mine is. ..I think it is bad gene ... they got it from me... I'm too timid to see bloody things ... and will definitely faint when I see it, even a live mouse !

It's always hubby who "catch" the mice .. and not my furry babies ! My babies just sent them away peacefully ...
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Unread 07-05-2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default We have kittens!!!

Birdie had her litter of 4 about 1am on July 1st and Biscuit had her 5 at 11pm that same night. Mama's and kittens are doing well and the babies are so cute! Two kittens have really kinked tails and one of those also has 6 toes on each foot.

Birdie keeps taking charge of 1 or 2 of Biscuits kittens when she is off eating or whatever, I find them in her box with her kittens. Biscuit doesn't seem to mind as much as I would have thought, but I keep moving Biscuit's kittens back to her box. As Biscuit's kittens are noticably smaller I think they should not be in with Birdie's larger ones. Both sister's are being great mama's and I am having way too much fun petting kitties! LOL

When do their eyes open? When are they typically weaned? When can they be given away? I had 8 weeks in mind but not sure if that is right. I will be giving all 9 babies away so if anyone knows an Alaskan who needs a kitten around the beginning of September let me know!
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Unread 07-05-2009   #9 (permalink)
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Yes, 8 weeks minimum. Others say 12 weeks, but the shelter on Elmore starts adoption at 8, so that's what I have to say about it... I don't know anyone in particular who's looking for a cat, but I'm sure if you post some ads on craigslist, they won't last long before someone comes to adopt them ... As I believe I'm the only one in AK on this forum besides you.

They sound like cuties, you have any pictures of them? We around here love pictures !!
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Unread 07-05-2009   #10 (permalink)
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Yippee ! Hurray ! The kittens have arrived ! Congratulations to new mommies (Birdie, Biscuit and YOU !) ! Now I'm sure, you're a busy meowmy ! Please take time to get us some pictures..hehe ! Hope they all will be able to find new loving homes.

I also have 8 weeks in mind, and apparently Brandon also suggests the same thing (minimum). I guess 2 or 3 weeks until their eyes are all open.
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