Her First Litter,
Written by Moggy Midwife
"James - quick put the light on her waters have broken all over my side of the bed".
It all started nine weeks ago, when our lovely girl cat Pawsha was mated, we have been breeding for about ten years and carefully choose the right stud boy for the right girl cat. No cross breeding. We always make sure she has the correct food and vitamins to ensure the best for her and her kittens. You would be amazed how much they eat from fresh chicken and fish to cat food pouches and biscuits.
After about two to three weeks you can tell if they are pregnant or not by their teats pinking up, or like some of our cats who, like their human slaves have morning sickness. This can go on for a while. You begin to walk around every morning with kitchen roll and a plastic bag.
We know roughly when they are due and most of the time it tends be just either side of the date. As the time drew near she was putting on weight nicely and looking healthy.
A few days before time we gather everything ready. Vets phone number. Birthing box with sheets in, kitchen roll, scales, scissors, pillowcase and heat pad. Hot water and towel I hear you say.
No! Energy drink and coffee more like
This is her first litter which can be a bit strange as they do not know what is happening and they all handle it differently. We always stay close to them on the final few days just in case something goes wrong. This is why they are born in our bedroom. So we are there day or night.
We carried her into the birthing box and tried to make her comfortable. Stroking and talking to her constantly.
She looked at me in bewilderment as she had each contraction as if to say what the heck is going on?
James made the coffee as we waited. Half an hour into the birth the contractions were getting stronger and she started to scream trying to snap at us wanting to get out of the box and away from the pain.
She became more agitated as they got stronger and I could see the kitten was slowly appearing. The more the kitten was emerging the more frantic she became, As she tried yet again to get out of the box I went to hold her, she lunged at me trying to bite. I put my foot in front of her and she bit my toe, thank goodness I had my crocs on only bruised but throbbing. I could imagine the cartoon caricature with the toe ballooning out in time with the throbs.
She forced her way out and she was yelling so much I am sure the neighbours thought we were killing her. (Thinks of lights flashing on and the curtains twitching)
The kitten was nearly out as I managed to secure her, one hand on the cat, and the other supporting the kitten that had popped out but was still attached to her by the umbilical cord. "Where is a man when you want your hands are full"?
I shouted for my husband to help. He managed to hold her while I cut the cord. He then got her back into the box while I cleaned up the boy kitten, giving it to her to finish off the cleaning.
She looked at me as if to say "is this mine"? I told her it was her baby and how good she was. Watching her as she cleaned it up, we could see she realized this is what the pain was all about.
She went on to have another four kittens, with each one she behaved slightly better. By the time she had her fifth kitten she handled it like a pro. She was purring and looking so proud of her self.
That just left us to replace the bedding, putting the babies in the warm with their mother, she was purring while letting them feed. By 8.30am all done and cosy.
It's surprising how much it takes out of you both as well as the cat. Feeling shattered, I showered and changed and went to see to the rest of the cats. James had fallen asleep on the bed. Bless him.
I kept checking on her and the kittens. She soon settled down with them after she had a drink and something to eat.
I slept in micro bouts any small noise awakening me,
Ready to leap into action if required
The next morning the kittens were very noisy. I had a look and noticed mum had a couple of lumps under each front arm. She had mastitis. I put her on antibiotics straight away.
As I woke up on their second morning I checked the lumps again and it had travelled down to another nipple. I weighed the kittens; they were not gaining weight, they had not lost much but it was time for me to help out.
I mixed up a recipe we have for kitten milk which is high in calories and has plenty of goodness. I began topping up the kittens every four hours during the day.
Thank goodness on the morning of day three I find the kittens were putting on weight and the mastitis was breaking up, but she is not producing enough milk yet so I have to keep topping up.
As the week went on I carried on giving her the course of antibiotics and feeding the kittens. Weighing them every day they were gaining weight. Mum was eating well and was happy. With the help of mum and the goop we were winning.
Now they are a week old and feeding well from mum, I am still doing the top up 3 times a day but it looks like all is going well.
I can relax…..For now.
As Breeders we know these problems do happen and we know what we must do. Not all births are bad but not all births are easy either. When you buy a girl kitten as a pet and think she should have at least one litter. Think about whether you could handle it. Not all cats know what is happening to them and it can be a great shock to them.
No reputable breeder will let you use one of their stud boys. There is a code of ethics and breeders stand by this. You either spay the kitten and let her enjoy her life as a spoilt pet or let the poor girl have a litter by the local tom. Which ever way you look at it the results of the litter will be moggies. Not half Siberian. To people who want to buy these kittens they should know they are moggies and no way should they pay more than £50. Plus allergies don't come into the equation.