Days long pre labor? Normal?

KW.Bengals

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Hey everyone, thanks for reading. We decided to start breeding Bengals approximately 2.5 years ago and haven't ran into any complications thus far (we have only had one queen who had litters so far as our future "queens" had to wait to be of age). Please don't judge us because of this, we are doing everything properly and our kittens are highly sought after - however, not the point. Our snow queen is pregnant with her very first litter. We don't have an "exact" mating date as they were put together for almost a full week without complaints (we own all parents but keep the male in stud pants and seperated until it's "time"). She IS close to the end though and I know that for sure. Now my question is, how long should pre labor be for a first time queen? Our first queen, Coco, was truly the easiest cat to guess when she was going into labor (she will not have the kittens unless I'm beside her so she will actually come meow at me to get my attention when it's time to go to the nesting box). This is her third litter and she's done this every single time. Now our snow queen, Marvel, looks like she's been in pre labor for a few days now. She has NO energy (not like her usual playself self), she is constantly in her nesting box or just laying down on our laps, she had a small amount of yellow discharge approximately 3 days ago and it looks to me as if her privates are "open". She loves having her belly rubbed and is still such a happy girl, I just worry because it's her first litter. Note, we did contact the vet yesterday and because she isn't having strong contractions and/or trying to push, they said let nature take its course and to bring her in next week if she still hasn't delivered on her own.
Some words of encouragement would be nice! I'm worried for our poor girl! Also, would love to hear guesses about how many kittens you think she will have.
Pictures of our beautiful girl included 😻
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StefanZ

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The prelabor usually isnt that long. I wonder, can it be the first was really the Braxton - Hick? This looks as prelabor if you arent very experienced. It comes about one week before delivery.
Has she dropped? its no sure sign, but very common. This happens 1-2 days before.

Had you held count when she got red "hindberry" nipples? This happens quite exactly on day 21 after mating.

Anyway, keep your eyes sharp open, but if you arent sure its much overtime nor visible problems, the experience tells its usually better to wait it out, than to do something desperate... Cesarean has its dangers too.

During the time, be sure she gets calcium rich food - whatever she fancies, but be sure she has it - low lewel of calcium may cause weak labor.
And if she is visibly tired, you can also give some glucose sugar - in USA it will usually be white caro syrup. Say a tiny droplet on the gum, or with her drinking water.

@K.W.Bengals
 

StefanZ

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Hey everyone, thanks for reading. We decided to start breeding Bengals approximately 2.5 years ago and haven't ran into any complications thus far (we have only had one queen who had litters so far as our future "queens" had to wait to be of age). Please don't judge us because of this, we are doing everything properly and our kittens are highly sought after - however, not the point. Our snow queen is pregnant with her very first litter. We don't have an "exact" mating date as they were put together for almost a full week without complaints (we own all parents but keep the male in stud pants and seperated until it's "time"). She IS close to the end though and I know that for sure. Now my question is, how long should pre labor be for a first time queen? Our first queen, Coco, was truly the easiest cat to guess when she was going into labor (she will not have the kittens unless I'm beside her so she will actually come meow at me to get my attention when it's time to go to the nesting box). This is her third litter and she's done this every single time. Now our snow queen, Marvel, looks like she's been in pre labor for a few days now. She has NO energy (not like her usual playself self), she is constantly in her nesting box or just laying down on our laps, she had a small amount of yellow discharge approximately 3 days ago and it looks to me as if her privates are "open". She loves having her belly rubbed and is still such a happy girl, I just worry because it's her first litter. Note, we did contact the vet yesterday and because she isn't having strong contractions and/or trying to push, they said let nature take its course and to bring her in next week if she still hasn't delivered on her own.
Some words of encouragement would be nice! I'm worried for our poor girl! Also, would love to hear guesses about how many kittens you think she will have.
Pictures of our beautiful girl included 😻
Look above.
 
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KW.Bengals

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How old is she?

I agree with StefanZ StefanZ and your vet. Wait it out and keep us posted.
She is just over a year old, approximately 15-16 months. As of yesterday afternoon, kittens have visibly dropped.
 

di and bob

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Premature kittens have a very low survivability rate, so waiting is better than trying to rush things. First litters, and the fact that she is not very big, points to the guess of two to three kittens. My experience is that if mamas are content, not visibly distressed and pacing, meowing, hiding, everything is well. She may still have a week to go. First litters are the most dangerous for both mama and kittens, so she may need some assistance. PLEASE keep us informed!
 
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KW.Bengals

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Premature kittens have a very low survivability rate, so waiting is better than trying to rush things. First litters, and the fact that she is not very big, points to the guess of two to three kittens. My experience is that if mamas are content, not visibly distressed and pacing, meowing, hiding, everything is well. She may still have a week to go. First litters are the most dangerous for both mama and kittens, so she may need some assistance. PLEASE keep us informed!
Thank you for the advice. Our oldest Queen (2.5 years old- we are still fairly new to the breeding world) has had 3 litters and even with her first one, I never had this much anxiety. However, she was very easy to read and clearly let me know when she was ready because she wanted me by her side. However, I'm not sure if this queen will be the same. They both have the same type of personality, absolute sweethearts who adore their humans so I'm really thinking she will want me by her side as well but it worries me that she will have them when I'm asleep or gone out.
Currently we are still waiting with no more true signs of labor approaching! She has been cleaning herself a little more lately, but that's about it regarding "signs". She has always been a huge suck who LOVES attention so nothing with her personality is changed either. She does really look like she dropped but the kittens are still fairly active (I think there may only be 1-2, which is why they could have so much room to move but could be wrong).
I will make sure I update the post as soon as we progress further 🥰
 
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KW.Bengals

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Thank you for the update! Looking forward to hearing about kittens!
She was just laying down on her side while I was rubbing her stomach and I noticed her nipples were bright pink. They were of course always "pink" ever since she got pregnant, but now I'm wondering if this could be a sign of labor or that her milks come in? They have grown a little in size as well. I tried to search it on the internet but I can't find any info and I don't want to bother my vet with this one question.
Thank you everyone!!!
 

di and bob

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Around three weeks of pregnancy the nipples pink up. About 4 weeks in they enlarge a little and turn brighter pink and may even have a little milk. But this can start as early as 18 days into the pregnancy. (First pinking). When the kittens 'drop', or line up in the canal to be born, that can still be at least a week before. There is no real hard rules about how far she is if you don't know for sure when she got pregnant. Pregnancies last from 63 to 71 days. Losing her mucous plug is an indicator it is close, but that can still be a week out! As long as she is not distressed, she is doing well. PS just Google pinking up of nipples in pregnant cat, or signs of labour in cat, that may help
 
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KW.Bengals

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Around three weeks of pregnancy the nipples pink up. About 4 weeks in they enlarge a little and turn brighter pink and may even have a little milk. But this can start as early as 18 days into the pregnancy. (First pinking). When the kittens 'drop', or line up in the canal to be born, that can still be at least a week before. There is no real hard rules about how far she is if you don't know for sure when she got pregnant. Pregnancies last from 63 to 71 days. Losing her mucous plug is an indicator it is close, but that can still be a week out! As long as she is not distressed, she is doing well.
Thank you. So if her nipples are even bigger right now and brighter pink, it doesn't mean anything? I know she is closer to the end than beginning. She is due anytime as we know the timeframe she mated with our male within, it's just the waiting game. She is doing great though!
 
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KW.Bengals

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Still no kittens. However, vet isn't concerned because she is still eating, drinking, acting like herself (except for the low energy) and not in any discomfort. We do have an appointment booked for this coming Sunday afternoon (3 days from today) to do an ultrasound and examination if she hasn't had them. We haven't had any more discharge but she has been extremely vocal for the last 12 hours or so.
Will post updates when I have them!!
 
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KW.Bengals

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At 2am this morning, Marvel woke me up with loud meowing. While she was walking around, I noticed she had discharge coming out of her. Half an hour later, she was laying in her nesting box and her waters broke!! Within 3 hours, she had 6 beautiful kittens. 3 males and 3 females. Are all healthy and nursing like pros so far!
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