by: Larry Chamberlain
So, you’ve got yourself a pregnant cat.
Was it a stray that adopted you? You heard a plaintive meowing, opened your back door and there she was. You won her confidence, gave her some scraps and a drink of water, spent some time petting her and then left her to it. Next day she’s back. And before too many days have passed you decide that as she has no collar, no address tag, that you have got yourself a cute new companion.
As well as not having an address tag, she also didn’t have a sign reading, “I am a pregnant cat”.
Or perhaps you’ve had your cat since she was a little bundle of kitten fur. She was always going to be a strictly indoor cat, no need at all to have her spayed, she was never ever going outside, she would never be a pregnant cat. But…
…she did get out, and she is pregnant!
What do you do now? Take your pregnant cat along to your veterinarian, she will need to be examined, and your vet will confirm if she is indeed pregnant.
Do you let the pregnancy continue? Before you answer to yourself “Why yes of course!” there are some important considerations to think hard about. Your pregnant cat could produce a litter of maybe four or five kittens. Are you going to keep them all? “No”, you may say, “but I’m sure that I’ll find good homes for them.” Do not be so sure, every year tens of thousands of cats are put down, simply because there are not the good homes for them. If you ask one of your friends if they would like a kitten, they may agree if they have seen the cute little mites, but are they going to care for it long term? How long before the novelty wears off, and that kitten ends up another feral cat?
If your friend really does want a kitten they can adopt one from a shelter.
What is the age of your pregnant cat? If under a year, or older than eight years, your cat will not have an easy time with birthing, and the possibility of deformed kittens is increased.
Your veterinarian may advise abortion for this reason alone.
Be aware of how much commitment caring for a house full of new kittens is, it will take much of your time and attention. How do other members of your family feel about it, you will need to take everyone’s view into consideration. You will need a special safe place for your cat and her kittens where they will be safely separated from other cats, other pets and young children.
Okay, you have made the decision that your pregnant cat is to give birth. Or perhaps your veterinarian has advised that it is too late in the pregnancy to consider abortion.
During the later stages of pregnancy feed your cat small meals frequently, remember that her abdomen is full of little ones and she will not be able to handle a full meal in one go. She will need plenty of water.
Seek advice about kitten care and remember also that mother cats need a special diet, one that is high in nutrients.
Naturally, as soon as possible after birth you will have your cat spayed to prevent the same thing happening again. You will won’t you.