what to do when cat gives birth?

Newborn Kitten Advice

Congratulations! Your cat is about to give birth to a litter of adorable kittens. As a responsible pet owner, it's important to be prepared and know what to do when your cat goes into labor. In this article, we will provide you with essential newborn kitten advice to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother cat and her precious little ones.

Postpartum Cat Care

After the exciting and sometimes overwhelming process of giving birth, your cat will need some extra care and attention.

Here are some important tips to help you provide the best postpartum cat care:

Cat Birthing Process

what to do when cat gives birth

Before discussing what to do when your cat gives birth, let's first understand the cat birthing process. Cats typically have a gestation period of around 63-65 days. As the due date approaches, you may notice some changes in your cat's behavior and physical appearance:

  • Nesting Behavior: Your cat will start seeking out a quiet and comfortable place to give birth. She may rearrange bedding or even choose a different location altogether.
  • Decreased Appetite: Some cats may lose their appetite or eat less in the days leading up to labor.
  • Increase in Body Temperature: A few hours or days before giving birth, your cat's body temperature may drop slightly. Keep an eye on her temperature to anticipate when labor may begin.
  • Restlessness: Your cat may become restless and exhibit pacing or digging behavior.
  • Mucus Discharge: A clear, gel-like discharge from the vagina is common as labor nears.

Once labor begins, your cat will experience contractions and eventually give birth to her kittens. It's essential to provide a calm and stress-free environment for the birthing process. Avoid unnecessary disruptions and keep other pets or children away.

What to Do When Your Cat Gives Birth

When the moment arrives and your cat starts giving birth, here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Observe Without Interference: It's important to let your cat handle the birthing process on her own. Monitor from a distance and resist the urge to intervene unless there are complications.
  2. Prepare a Birthing Box: If your cat hasn't already chosen a suitable spot, prepare a clean and warm birthing box. Line it with soft blankets or towels for comfort.
  3. Assist if Necessary: In most cases, cats are capable of delivering their kittens without assistance. However, if you notice any prolonged straining (over 30 minutes) without progress, reach out to your veterinarian for guidance. They may advise you to bring your cat in for examination.
  4. Provide Quiet Encouragement: Offer gentle words of encouragement to your cat during the birthing process. Your calming presence can help reassure her.
  5. Ensure Each Kitten's Safety: Once a kitten is born, the mother cat will usually remove the amniotic sac, clean the kitten, and stimulate breathing. However, if she doesn't, you may need to step in and gently remove the sac yourself, using a clean towel or tissue. Rub the kitten gently to stimulate breathing.
  6. Monitor the Placenta: After each kitten is born, the mother cat will also pass the placenta. Keep track to ensure that each placenta is delivered. If any placentas remain inside the mother, it can lead to complications, so contact your veterinarian for further instructions.
  7. Allow Bonding Time: Once the kittens are born, facilitate bonding between the mother cat and her newborns. Minimize handling during the first few days to allow them to bond naturally.

During the first few weeks, keep a close eye on the mother and her kittens. Ensure that the mother cat is nursing the kittens regularly and that they are gaining weight. If you notice any signs of distress or health issues, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Providing a warm and clean environment for the mother and her kittens is vital. Keep their nesting area clean, warm, and draft-free. Provide a litter box nearby, as the mother will need to relieve herself during the nursing period.

As the kittens grow, you can gradually introduce them to solid food. Start weaning them around four weeks of age by offering a small amount of moistened kitten food. Consult your veterinarian for specific guidelines on feeding and weaning.

Remember, having kittens is a significant responsibility. Ensure that you have the resources and commitment to properly care for them. If you're unable to keep the kittens, consider reaching out to local shelters or rescue organizations for assistance in finding them loving homes.

By following these newborn kitten advice and providing the necessary care, you'll help your cat and her kittens thrive. Enjoy this precious time with the adorable new additions to your family!