Birth Of Kittens
Birth, kitten, spay, breeding, queen, vaccines, tome, gestation, nursing, panting, purring, restlessness, labor, placenta, over population, pregnant, cat
Birth Of Kittens
Queening. Sounds like a chess move. In actuality, it is the term used when referring to the birth of kittens.
It may seem incongruous to many, but I strongly recommend that all cats be spayed or castrated. No, I am not trying to put myself or colleagues out of business. I am trying to put an end to the very tragic reality of pet overpopulation. You may want your children to see the miracle of birth. Watching kittens coming into this world is very special. Seeing them grow and explore their environment is amazing. Visiting a shelter and realizing that so many absolutely healthy and loving cats will never find homes and will be euthanized is horrific. A great alternative to breeding is purchasing the national geographic video "in the womb, animals". You can see footage of the mating, intra uterine growth and delivery of an Asian elephant, dolphin and golden retriever. You can find this video online.
If you decide to let your cat have kittens, I would recommend that you do your homework first. Planned pregnancies are always best. You will want to be sure that the queen and tom are both in good health, are up to date on their vaccines and deworming. Investigate their lineage to insure that neither are known carriers of any genetic conditions that you would not want to propagate.
The typical feline gestation, pregnancy, is around 62 to 65 days in length. Some breeds, like Siamese, may deliver at 71 days.
One of the first signs of pregnancy that you will notice is swelling of the queen's nipples. This occurs in the 2nd or 3rd week after conception. In the 3rd week, it is also possible for most veterinarians to be able to palpate the fetal structures. A swollen belly usually is not noticeable until the queen is 5 or 6 weeks along.
As the pregnancy approaches its culmination, prepare birthing box. It can be a simple cardboard box in a quiet area. Line it with newspaper for warmth along with clean linens or towels.
If your feline mother has long fur on her belly, a week or two before the kittens are born is the perfect time to trim this belly fur. It will make nursing easier for her offspring.
There are several distinct stages to labor and delivery. Panting, purring and restlessness characterize the first stage. Once the queen settles into her nesting box, leave her alone. Disruptions can prolong the labor. This phase can last up to 6 hours. If this is the first time that you have observed a queening and the first pregnancy for your cat, it may be a time of increased anxiety for the two of you. Be assured that most cats deliver without any problems. But be prepared. Have the name and number of your veterinarian and emergency clinic close at hand.
The actual appearance of the first kitten is preceded by a vaginal discharge and sharp abdominal contractions. This second phase usually last for 30 minutes. If a kitten is not born after an hour of strong contractions, take the queen to your veterinarian immediately.
Kittens will enter the world either tail or face first. Both are normal. After each kitten is delivered, you will notice a dark green bubble passing from the vagina. This is the placenta that contained the newly born kitten.
Once the kitten is born, the mother will lick it in order to clean it as well as stimulate its respiration. She will groom herself and typically consume the placenta.
Kittens are born 15 to 30 minutes apart. During this respite, she will commence nursing.
If you notice that a kitten is not born after an hour's worth of labor, if only a portion of a kitten is visible in the birth canal, or labor stops before all kittens are born, take the queen and kittens to your veterinarian. Even with an uncomplicated queening, I recommend that kittens and queens be brought to your veterinary hospital for a checkup within 24 hours of the delivery.
Kittens are wondrous creatures. You may find fabulous homes for all of your cat's offspring but remember, you need to consider the fate of their progeny. Pet overpopulation, you can make the difference.
Have questions regarding breeding your cat? Just ask your veterinarian.
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