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Childbirth in a cat

Cat Childbirth

Despite the fact that the birth of a cat is a natural process, the owner of the animal will have a lot of trouble. A cat living at home needs to create a special environment for the birth of offspring, if necessary, provide veterinary care, "meet" new residents and make sure that they and the mustachioed mother have enough nutrition.

Signs of incipient labor

Pregnancy in cats lasts, on average, 60 days. But since each organism is individual, it is not possible to predict the exact date of the upcoming birth, even if the pet was brought together with the cat purposefully.

The most informative indicator is the following fact: before the birth begins, the cat's water and cork drain. It can be problematic to detect this phenomenon in time, since the expectant mother will lick herself, and not every owner will be able to be near her all the time. Therefore, you need to pay attention to other signs of approaching delivery:

  • for a day or two, the mammary glands of the cat increase in volume, colostrum is secreted;
  • the behavior of the pet changes – she becomes indifferent to food, meows a lot, can show aggression and hide, or, on the contrary, chase the owner on the heels;
  • a few days before giving birth, the expectant mother is looking for a suitable hiding place for this;
  • the cat often licks the stomach, genitals;
  • there is a decrease in the pet's body temperature;
  • approximately 5 hours before delivery, the spine of the animal acquires a characteristic bend.

Preparing for childbirth

You need to prepare thoroughly for childbirth. To do this, you will need not only to equip the place where the kittens will appear, but also to prepare some tools and materials that may be required in case of complications. In addition, you should take care of the availability of medicines at hand and be sure to write down the phone number of the veterinarian in order to be able to contact him at any time.

Arrangement of the "nest"

A large box is perfect for the temporary residence of a woman in labor and offspring. To make it easier for the cat to climb into it, one side can be made lower than the others. It is not recommended to make a slot along the entire height of the box to prevent the kittens from "escaping".

Mother cat with her kittens

The bottom of the box can be closed with a rubber or foam mat, or a piece of similar material, oilcloth. This will protect the cardboard from accidental wetting. A cloth or a disposable diaper is placed on top.

It is desirable that the box should be in the place chosen by the cat, but, in most cases, moustached mothers prefer closets or the owner's bed. The place where the box will stand should be quiet, warm, secluded. It is necessary to accustom the pet to the "nest" gradually, putting water for drinking and food next to it. In the end, she will understand what is required of her and accept the proposed option.

Preparation of tools

By the time of delivery, items that may be needed if the situation takes an unexpected turn should be prepared:

  • scissors;
  • sterile rubber gloves;
  • vaseline oil;
  • antiseptic agent (zelenka);
  • douching;
  • dishes for clean water;
  • cotton swabs;
  • threads;
  • syringes of different sizes;
  • disposable diapers;
  • pieces of cotton fabric (they need to be pre-washed and ironed).

All accessories must be in one place and in "combat readiness": be clean, disinfected.


In some cases, a mustachioed pet may need medical help, so in addition to tools, some medications should be prepared.

  • Oxytocin. It will help with the sudden cessation of labor or weak labor activity. Helps to reduce the walls of the uterus. It is used in the form of injections into the withers area in a dosage of 0.2 ml.
  • Traumatin. As soon as the woman in labor begins contractions, you can put an injection of this drug in a dosage of 1 ml. After the end of labor, the drug is used for the next three days, one injection per day. Traumatin eliminates pain, prevents the development of the inflammatory process, has an antimicrobial effect, reduces the likelihood of infectious complications.
  • Calcium gluconate. In the form of an injection solution, it is used in a dosage of 1 ml for the normal course of labor and the prevention of eclampsia.

How cats give birth

Conditionally distinguish three stages of delivery in cats.

What's going on
Immediately before giving birth, the cat becomes restless. She may have her mouth open, she is breathing heavily, meowing. There may be a small amount of blood discharge. Since the contractions are already beginning, the movement of the kittens can be determined by the surface of the abdomen – they occupy a position one after the other, turning their heads to the exit. This stage lasts from 5-12 hours to one and a half days (often at the first birth).
A kitten is born into the world. It may take 5-30 minutes for each. The break between the first and second baby is longer than the rest, then the kittens follow each other.
After the kitten, the placenta comes out.

Directly the appearance of offspring occurs as follows:

  • the animal pushes, contributing to the advancement of kittens outside;
  • a kitten appears, it can come out both in the amniotic bladder and without it (in the process of passing through the birth canal, it often bursts);
  • the mustachioed mother herself removes the remnants of the bubble from the cub, and then licks it, clearing the airways;
  • a woman in labor does not immediately bite through the umbilical cord, and when the placenta comes out (it is important to count the afterbirth so that there are as many of them as the cubs, the placenta remaining in the uterus is the source of infection);
  • the baby is applied to the nipple.

The cat, as a rule, eats the outgoing afterbirth. Placental tissue contains hormonal compounds and biologically active substances that facilitate contractions, promote milk production, and positively affect the recovery of the pet after labor. But you don't need to give her more than 2-3 – vomiting or diarrhea may appear.

Attention: a baby born after being licked by a cat should squeak. If this does not happen, you need to check if he is breathing, and if necessary, take appropriate measures.

Features of the first childbirth

The first birth is stressful for a cat. You should not rely only on nature, as the situation may get out of control. It is important that all the necessary materials, medicines and tools are ready by the time of delivery.

During childbirth, the cat needs to be supported morally: talk to her, calm her, stroke her. There are also cases of cannibalism among the representatives of cats, so you need to monitor the behavior of the pet when kittens appear. It happens that a tired woman in labor presses a newborn kitten with her body or does not want to lick it. Then the owner will have to remove mucus from the baby's respiratory tract with a syringe.

There is often a situation when kittens are born not with their muzzle forward, but with the back of their torso, or "get stuck" in the birth canal. There is nowhere to wait for help at such moments, so the owner must know how to deliver a cat and what to do in critical situations.

Problems that may arise during the birth of a cat

The table below shows the most common problems that arise during childbirth in cats and kittens, which the owner can overcome independently.

What's going on
Contractions stopped or became weak
It is necessary to wait for some time. When 1-2 kittens are born, the labor activity may subside, and then be activated again (in some cases, it may take up to a day). You can stimulate childbirth by massaging the mammary glands, nipples. In extreme cases, it is possible to use oxytocin, a drug that promotes uterine wall contractions. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that improper use of the remedy can cause the death of the mother and offspring.
The fetal membrane remained intact
If the mustachioed mother has not torn the shell of the fetal bladder, you need to carefully tear it, starting with the muzzle of the kitten.
The cub can't go outside
If the baby gets stuck in the birth canal, the owner will have to help him: to do this, grab the kitten by the skin (on the withers or back of the trunk) and slowly pull it out. Manipulation should be carried out in gloves, the tips of which should be lubricated with vaseline oil.
The umbilical cord remained intact
If the woman in labor has not chewed through the umbilical cord, and more than a quarter of an hour has passed since the kitten was born, it is necessary to do the following: stepping back from the kitten's tummy about 4 cm, bandage or squeeze it, and after half a minute cut it at the place of compression. The incision site should be treated with an antiseptic agent (zelenka).
The newborn is not breathing
You can try to gently shake it by lowering the muzzle down. The pink color of the newborn's tongue is a sign of oxygen entering the respiratory organs. In addition, it should emit a squeak.
The cat ignores the cub
In this case, the primary treatment of the kitten should be carried out by the owner. It is necessary to wipe the newborn with a cloth and remove mucus from the respiratory tract with a syringe. After that, you need to put the baby to the nipple.

In which cases you need to urgently contact a veterinarian

During childbirth, critical situations may arise that can only be solved in a clinic. This:

  • more than a day has passed since the first contractions;
  • it is not possible to extract a stuck kitten from the birth canal by yourself;
  • there are no harbingers of the onset of labor, although more than 65-70 days of pregnancy have passed;
  • the cat has a high or, on the contrary, a low body temperature;
  • the animal does not push and does not move, breathing is weak;
  • contractions are strong, but the kitten does not appear;
  • unpleasant-smelling contents with an admixture of pus and blood are released from the birth canal.

How to find out if all kittens were born

There may be a situation that after the appearance of the first kittens, childbirth seems to have stopped. However, the lull does not mean that all the cubs have come out – the cat can take a "pause" from fatigue. Ignoring kittens is a sign of ongoing labor activity. The duration of the break varies. The alarm should be sounded if the woman in labor does not pay attention to the offspring for a long time, her temperature rises, she does not get up and does not push at the same time.

You can check if the babies are still in the uterus by feeling the cat's stomach. As a rule, palpation allows you to accurately determine the presence of a kitten in the womb. With a positive test, you need to wait some more time, and if the birth does not continue, contact the clinic.

End of labor

Labor activity can be considered over if more than 2 hours have passed after the last contractions. The cat after giving birth behaves as follows:

  • her breathing is restored – it becomes smooth and calm;
  • she shows an active interest in newborns – licks them, turns them over;
  • takes a different position, adjusts to the kittens to feed them;
  • thirsty and hungry;
  • goes to the toilet.

It is undesirable to take kittens in your arms, some mothers then refuse to accept cubs. The place where the birth took place needs to be put in order. To do this, the woman in labor and the offspring are carefully moved to a temporary litter, and after cleaning they are returned back. So that the pet does not leave the kittens for a long time, it is better to put the tray and bowls side by side.

How to take care of a cat after giving birth

The postpartum period is important both for the recovery of the woman in labor, and for the development of kittens who will be next to their mother for another 1-2 months. First of all, the pet needs to be provided with high-quality, high-calorie and balanced nutrition.

How to feed a cat after giving birth? If the animal was originally on industrial feed, then you need to choose such compositions that are suitable for nursing moustached mothers. In the case of a natural diet, the first two weeks preference should be given to products with easy digestibility: broth, lean meat, sour cream, porridge, cottage cheese, milk. Subsequently, fish and other familiar products are introduced. It is necessary to feed the pet at least 5-6 times a day.

Postpartum problems

Childbirth is left behind, but the owner must remain vigilant – the cat may have new problems. The table shows those that occur most often, and ways to solve them.

What to do
The cat refuses to eat
Immediately after giving birth, the cat may not ask for food for up to 6 or more hours because of the eaten afterbirth. When fasting for more than a day, you can give her a low-fat broth; it contains extractive substances that stimulate the digestive activity of enzymes and the work of the gastrointestinal tract. In case of intestinal disorder (it may occur due to a large number of eaten afterbirth), you need to give the pussy sorbents. When the condition of the woman in labor stabilizes, she will have an appetite. It is important that during the refusal of food, she drinks water.
The animal does not visit the tray
In the first four days after delivery, the cat may not want to go to the toilet. This is a normal phenomenon associated with the formation of milk and the restoration of internal organs, which requires a lot of fluid.
There are secretions with an admixture of blood
With a small volume, the cat's discharge within two days after childbirth is considered the norm and passes independently. It is necessary to sound the alarm if the discharge has a pronounced scarlet color, lasts for more than two days, and increases. This may be a sign of internal uterine bleeding, the presence of serious tissue ruptures. The cat should be urgently shown to a veterinarian.
The woman in labor has no milk
There can be many reasons for this phenomenon – from the stress state of the cat to internal endocrine disorders. It is important to provide the newly-made mother with complete peace: care should not be excessive. No need to move the box with the family to a new place, take kittens in your arms. It is necessary to make sure that they are not disturbed by other pets, children. If the bowls with food and drink, as well as the tray are far from the place where the cat and kittens are located, the pet may worry about the cubs, leaving as needed. In addition, for a sufficient amount of milk from a cat, dairy and fermented milk products and water must be present in its diet.
The stomach remained
First of all, it is necessary to exclude the possibility of the presence of a kitten in the uterus, while a dead fetus is a great danger. You can independently determine its presence by palpation, but it is better to go to the clinic and do an ultrasound. In the absence of a fetus, the cause of the abdomen may be intestinal disorders, helminths, difficulties with defecation.
An empty bubble came out
The fetal bladder may burst during the passage of the kitten through the birth canal, or the cub will be born in it. In some cases, the fetal membrane comes out before the kitten appears. You can't let the cat tear it up before the baby arrives. An exiting bubble without a fetus after delivery is not considered a pathology and does not pose a danger to the animal – this is a physiological feature.
There were signs of eclampsia
Eclampsia is a phenomenon based on calcium deficiency in the cat's body. Symptoms: increased salivation, impaired coordination of movements, anxiety, fever, convulsive muscle contractions. Such a condition leads to the death of the animal, therefore, at the slightest signs, it is urgently necessary to take the cat to the clinic. A preventive measure is the intake of calcium-containing products during the period of kittens' gestation and feeding.

Is it possible to sterilize a cat during childbirth

If a cesarean section is performed on a cat according to indications, then the question arises whether it is possible to sterilize it immediately. Operative delivery in itself indicates problems in the reproductive activity of the animal, therefore, repeated pregnancy, as a rule, becomes undesirable. At the same time, it is impossible to carry out sterilization and childbirth at the same time – such an intervention poses a threat to the health and life of the cat. It is better to sterilize the pet after 3 months from the moment of delivery.

In most cases, the cat itself is able to cope with childbirth. However, there are also artificially bred breeds of feline representatives, whose body cannot bear such loads without outside help. The participation of the owner in the labor activity of the cat reduces the risk of postpartum complications in the woman in labor and ensures healthy offspring.

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