Foster Cat Concern

fostercatattic

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So, my roommates brother recently moved and needed a place for his 2 cats to stay for an estimated 2 months.
Everything is great and they are loved and welcome staying at our place, but one of them I am very convinced is pregnant.
When they first arrived, I noticed Phoenix’s nipples showing, which I thought was weird. Over the past 5 weeks, her nipples/teats have grown significantly to the point where it is undeniably unusual.
I have also been monitoring behavior and food intake and generally it does seem in line with a pregnant cat. She’s gotten less active/playful and grown a prominent belly. But she’s a little chunky so its hard to tell.

My question is primarily, is there any other reason a cats nipples/teats would grow like this??? Is there a sickness I should be concerned about that might cause something like this? And could it spread?

I know she needs a vet but I can’t afford it and the owners/other people involved don’t think she needs it. I’ve built her a whole den and planned as if she is pregnant so at this point I’m just wondering about the possibility that she isn’t, and then it turns out she has some illness.

And I’ll post some pictures
 

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fostercatattic

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Thank you so much, these are helpful. One question, do you know if I can use a normal human thermometer to take her temp? Or does it need to be special cat one?
 
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fostercatattic

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So, my roommates brother recently moved and needed a place for his 2 cats to stay for an estimated 2 months.
Everything is great and they are loved and welcome staying at our place, but one of them I am very convinced is pregnant.
When they first arrived, I noticed Phoenix’s nipples showing, which I thought was weird. Over the past 5 weeks, her nipples/teats have grown significantly to the point where it is undeniably unusual.
I have also been monitoring behavior and food intake and generally it does seem in line with a pregnant cat. She’s gotten less active/playful and grown a prominent belly. But she’s a little chunky so its hard to tell.

My question is primarily, is there any other reason a cats nipples/teats would grow like this??? Is there a sickness I should be concerned about that might cause something like this? And could it spread?

I know she needs a vet but I can’t afford it and the owners/other people involved don’t think she needs it. I’ve built her a whole den and planned as if she is pregnant so at this point I’m just wondering about the possibility that she isn’t, and then it turns out she has some illness.

And I’ll post some pictures
ALSO big question is if pregnant cats typically still play/run sometimes? She’s still fairly active but not nearly as social or active as when I first met her

Like in the past 5 weeks, she really has become a different cat, behavior wise.

Sometimes she acts wild and runs a lot. But usually not. And she used to be fine being picked up but now she’s not.

I just keep thinking I’m imagining these symptoms, but I mean her nipples and belly really give it away...right?
 

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StefanZ

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Hi! This is about the only one thing I might be able to help with! A pediatric digital rectal thermometer is the most appropriate one to take a cat's temp with. Here is an article about taking a cat's temp.
Taking a Cat's Temperature Doesn't Have to Be Difficult
Its the most reliable, but less invasive, is a modern ear termometer or similiar. Just be sure its calibrated to the real temperature, not to humans.

Also, measuring in the armpit of the foreleg works. Train the cat its a sort of play you are doing... Just observe, the temp there showes 3F or 1 full Celsius lower, comparet to the rectal temperature.

We dont rekommend temperature measuring in a normal pregnancy with a healthy cat, its usually just stressing them, and it comes when it comes.
But is very useful if we think the cat may run fever... For example as complication after birth.
 

Sarthur2

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I advise NOT taking her temperature. It’s uncomfortable for cats and is not a reliable indicator of labor. She is clearly pregnant.

Is the other cat an intact male?
 

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Did you talk to your brother's roommate about what he wants done if she is pregnant? If he wants her to have the kittens or spay her now before the kittens are born?
 
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fostercatattic

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So I did take her temp, I hadn’t read these yet. She was cooperative and fine. I won’t take it again tho. Her temp was 101.

I really hope I didn’t mess anything up

And the cat owners/roommates brother just do not believe she is pregnant and don’t really care otherwise. I’m sure they want Phoenix to have the kittens but they won’t be the ones caring for them so...I guess that’s a different story.

And the other cat being fostered is a female, but both cats lived in a different foster home before living with me, so who knows what happened there, obviously that is where phoenix got pregnant
 
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fostercatattic

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Oh my goodness I am going to have so many questions once these kittens are born

I mean really my main question is that she is pregnant right???? I swear everyone thinks I’m crazy because I am so sure she’s pregnant but....I mean look at her; and those pictures are from a while ago

QUESTION (thanks so so so much to everyone who answered): should i separate the two cats? They are both females, and usually get along well, cuddle and groom each other and stuff, but sometimes they can get aggressive. I’m really worried about leaving phoenix all alone if I have to be gone for long periods of time during the day, I don’t want her to feel trapped and alone, but I also know that the presence of another cat might make her more anxious? Not sure what to do
 
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fostercatattic

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I advise NOT taking her temperature. It’s uncomfortable for cats and is not a reliable indicator of labor. She is clearly pregnant.

Is the other cat an intact male?
Thanks I know I replied to the thread already but just want to respond directly. Other cat is not a male. I took her temp earlier, honestly she didn’t hate me for it, I don’t think, or I guess I really hope not

But as far as labor indicators, anything you think I can specifically look out for? I am watching her almost constantly, but I also do have to leave for work for sometimes up to 12 hours, and I’m worried about leaving her alone in labor, or with another cat by her while she is in labor.

Like do I leave my door, to the attic, open so she can move freely and the other cat can get up, or do I keep the other cat downstairs and close the attic door so phoenix can be alone

And it can get cold in the attic so thats another thing im worried about

Sorry to dump this all in a reply, its just on my mind constantly
 

Sarthur2

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If the cats enjoy being together, I would let them be together and have access to one another.

A cold attic is not ideal for kittens. Is there another part of the house that is available?
 
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fostercatattic

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Sadly no. They do really enjoy being in the attic, I leave my door open and they just come up here no matter what, I think at this point its just their ‘place’ and also their mobility in the house is limited because of allergies. I try to be with them as much as possible
I do have a space heater and try to keep it nice and toasty for them and I have made an insulated den with a box and bunch of blankets so its a little warmer too.
 

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It takes 61 days for a litter to be born- so you will all know soon enough. I am not sure what you are asking. If you are convinced that she needs a vet than have her owner pay for it.

Judging by your concern and by some of the photos, I take it he has never gotten her spayed and that she has been around unfixed males?
 
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fostercatattic

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It takes 61 days for a litter to be born- so you will all know soon enough. I am not sure what you are asking. If you are convinced that she needs a vet than have her owner pay for it.

Judging by your concern and by some of the photos, I take it he has never gotten her spayed and that she has been around unfixed males?
I assume so. I don’t really know. The owners did NOT say ‘no she can’t be pregnant we got her fixed’ which I imagine one would say if she were fixed. Plus she looks pregnant and I can’t think of any other reason why she would have breasts like that if she weren’t pregnant. So initially, thats what I was asking about.
 
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fostercatattic

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I assume so. I don’t really know. The owners did NOT say ‘no she can’t be pregnant we got her fixed’ which I imagine one would say if she were fixed. Plus she looks pregnant and I can’t think of any other reason why she would have breasts like that if she weren’t pregnant. So initially, thats what I was asking about.
The owner will not pay for a vet. I can’t actually force them. So i am asking about pregnancy precautions and such.
 

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Honestly, it might be a good idea just to see if the owner would surrender her to a rescue. To not really care at all if the cat is healthy or not.. sounds like she would be better off.
 

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Look around for a low-cost spay clinic in your area, and once the kittens are weaned she can be spayed.

The attic sounds like you keep it warm so it should be okay!

Thank you for caring for these cats! :)
 
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fostercatattic

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Honestly, it might be a good idea just to see if the owner would surrender her to a rescue. To not really care at all if the cat is healthy or not.. sounds like she would be better off.
I seriously doubt they would surrender her, they have two young children and everyone (including me and roomies) are very attached. Plus not that they don’t care, they just think she fine and doesn’t need a vet. She is in good hands living with me at the moment, I’m just trying to learn and prepare.

But thanks for the response, I feared she would be better off being surrendered but now I believe I am able to effectively care and support her. So she’s good at least for the time being.

If it turns out she isn’t pregnant, or once the pregnancy is over, I will seriously push the owners to bring her to a vet. I think the hang up on not bringing her to a vet is because they think ‘well if she’s pregnant she’ll have kittens, don’t need a vet to tell me that’
 
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fostercatattic

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Look around for a low-cost spay clinic in your area, and once the kittens are weaned she can be spayed.

The attic sounds like you keep it warm so it should be okay!

Thank you for caring for these cats! :)
I’m happy the cats are with me! I love them!

And yeah after weaning (which is about 6 weeks right??) I will definitely definitely try to get her spayed. Maybe even try to split cost with owners, or offer to continue caring for her.
 
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