Fostering Pregnant Stray

DHall

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I’m brand new here and need some advice. I’ve done cat/kitten rescue for years, but have never fostered, and have been presented with a new challenge. I live in Spain and speak very little Spanish. A local shelter has asked if I could foster a pregnant mama cat and the kittens until they are weaned. I agreed. Well, it turns out that the cat is a stray that has always been outside (but not feral) and the shelter doesn’t even have it yet ... they hope to catch it tomorrow. I’m shaking my head. I’ve had two pregnant gals choose to come into my house to have their babies, but I’ve never had a captured cat brought to me like this before. Because of the language barrier and cultural differences, I know that I will have very little support, and I even fear they won’t do right and take charge of mama and babies later (I can do that, though). I have the small guest bedroom set up to keep her separate from my two cats and dog, fresh litter box, bowls, Kitten Chow for growth, and everything for bedding/nesting. Everything I’ve read about acclimating an outdoor cat to the indoors is just about them; I haven’t found anything about doing it with a pregnant cat. I could write a lot more, but I’m sure you get the idea. I’m freaking out just a bit. Should I treat it the same as the two that chose to come in, with room for issues of course, or is there more that I should do? And, it took a lot of work to get my animals parasite free ... can I flea-treat a pregnant cat? I know I can ask my vet in the morning, but I’m worried about it now. Thanks for any thoughts or advice!
 

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DHall

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Hi! Hopefully she's a stray that is able to remember human warmth and love.

I'm not familiar with flea treatments and pregnant cats, but in case you need to know;
How To Safely Bathe A Cat: The Complete Guide – Cat Articles
Thank you for your reply. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve bathed a cat. But seeing this made me laugh. I had been talking to my husband that either I can flea treat her and she will dislike me for a bit or I can use the vinegar wash and she will hate me. My husband bravely volunteered to do the vinegar bathe if needed so she could hate him instead.

I’m much less freaked out than I had been before sleeping. Thanks again.
 
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DHall

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Furballsmom

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I’m much less freaked out than I had been before sleeping. Thanks again
I'm so glad, and you're welcome :)

Hang in there, there will likely be more members who see your thread and post for you.
 

Jewely

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I know revlotion and advantage are safe for pregnant cats. Rather than vinegar, dawn soap, or a mild dish soap might not be as stressful if you have to bathe her!
 

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Yes, vinegarscsnt maybe tough but dawn dish liquid is something I use and it does well. I soap them up and then pour rinse water over them. The prescription flea treatments are great if okay for kittens. Get one that kills flea eggs and larvae. Some people have used food grade diatomaceous earth on kitties but I don’t know about kittens.,I use Advantage on my cats and it works very well. It is made for kittens too if they are big enough.,if not, they may be old enough to take part of a Capstar. Capstar only work for 24 bours though. It good for getting the worst of the fleas on any cat you cannot bathe or treat innother ways.
Hopefully the stray will settle quickly with her babies. If not, the babies are the key to taming them all. That’s wonderful that you are willing to help them. Thank you for saving a precious family!
 

StefanZ

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. Everything I’ve read about acclimating an outdoor cat to the indoors is just about them; I haven’t found anything about doing it with a pregnant cat.
Ah, this should be even easier with a high preg! This about shy semi-ferales! Because cat mommas are no fools. They know they need security for their babies to come. So, as soon they had landed, they had realized nobody is threating nor mean, the humans are docile and even friendly, this being the best practical chance for her children, she will adapt and cooperate. And let you help out with the babies. Because its not freedom as such which is most important for her, but the welfare and wellbeing of her children.
So taking care of such a high preg shy mom may be even easier than taking care of a shy semiferale. Its not sure you will manage to foster her into a home cat, but you shouldnt have too big difficulties to handel the kittens and foster them - as long you do it respectfully, so momma sees the whole time you arent hurting them, and are friendly to them.

Its one of the big miracles of working with helping shy homeless cats.... Of course, nothing is ironclad, exceptions do occur, but this said is a good rule of thumb. As yours is a friendly stray, this should be even easier.

Your preparations are excellent. Essentially the first you do, is to place her into this prepared safe room, and let her land there...

Re bathing - yes, this is an adventure. IF you must, so you must, but the optimal is, not to do it. My respect to your loyal and brave hubby! Its possible the wisest is to do it immediately, so she sees is not as part of her being in your home, but as part of the bewildering transition, as part of the self capture. My the same reason, a vet check up is good to do at the same time. And after the vet check up / bathing is done, she is released in her safe room, and can land there in calm, and her new life begins then and there, with you whom are letting her out from the carrier.

Advantage II is reported as very safe for such moms, advantage I probably OK too. Revolution too, Revolution has a variation especial for high pregs (I suppose somewhat weaker). Both these are drop on, so you can just do it, drop on backside of her neck / shoulders, and let her be after this.

I think its wise of the local shelter, to first be sure they have a fostering home waiting, and not rush things with catching first and first after it hopefully find a fostering home.
Shelters without prepared fostering homes tend to be a death sentence for high pregs. For what shall they do if they dont have adequate resources???

And its wise of you to take contact with a good international cat forum to get some mentoring and advices, than to rely on this shelter with limited resources and spanish language.... Good also you do have access to a vet.
You are the right person in the right place!
 
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Sarthur2

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First, never use ANY Hartz products ever. They are hideous and cause severe reactions in most cats (and dogs). Flea collars are very dangerous on cats because kittens can get their limbs caught in them and they are poisonous to the kittens.

A bath may not be necessary if the cat is not too scruffy and dirty or is highly pregnant. Wiping her down with a warm, damp cloth may be preferable. You can apply a tube of Advantage II for cats or Frontline for cats to the back of her neck and these are safe for pregnant cats. Kittens are not treated until they are 5 weeks old. If the cat is staying in a separate room, any flea problem should be contained and not spread.

A diet of kitten chow and high quality wet food is necessary for pregnant and nursing cats.

It sounds like you are well prepared! Thank you for fostering! We’d love to see pictures at your convenience! :)
 
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DHall

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The vet gave me a tube of Frontline yesterday. The packaging was in Spanish, but I used my translator this morning to check it out. Ended up going online only to find out that Frontline canNOT be used on pregnant cats. Of course, the vet is closed today. But, the cat still isn’t here either. They said they would bring her today. I guess I can go one day without flea treating her ... or, if they already flea treated her yesterday, even better.

Thank you, everyone, for your support and encouragement. I have a bit of PTSD from two kitties I wasn’t able to save when their babies got stuck and the emergency vet was nowhere to be found. These two overshadow all the other successes. But, I am also excited to get to know this gal and help her all I can. I went out and got everything I’ll need for Kitten Glop and even some bottles (just in case), and some nice tidbits (bribes) for Mama. Now, I’m doing lots of laundry so I’ll have plenty of clean cotton blankets for use.

I’ll send a photo as soon as I can.
 

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I’m so sorry about the kittens that didn’t make it. Thank you for being willing to help this mother out despite that experience. I posted this info I found about frontline. If it’s one for cats, it should be safe. We’re excited right along with you!!

179EF64C-A409-4460-BF5F-155E307BABE4.jpeg



BEA6721B-8396-412E-B6AB-27FD00C0A92E.jpeg
 
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DHall

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I’m so sorry about the kittens that didn’t make it. Thank you for being willing to help this mother out despite that experience. I posted this info I found about frontline. If it’s one for cats, it should be safe.

Thanks for the info on Frontline. I’ve never used it before, so I was researching the unfamiliar chemicals and found myself on one of those so “helpfully” wrong sites. After seeing your post, I dug in a little more so that I could feel totally comfortable in treating the Mama if she needs it.
 
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DHall

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The kitty is here and we have decided to call her Mitzy. She’s a tortie with a few Calico splotches, fully grown and sweet as can be. She is a love. I totally didn’t need to worry about acclimating her to the house as it is obvious that she had been someone’s pet at some point. She checked out her room, ate and drank, made note of the litter box, and got lots of attention.

I think she’s about half-way through her pregnancy and the rescue group already has two applications for two of the kittens ... we don’t know how many she is carrying, though. The rescue people suggested I take her to the vet if I wanted to find out. So, I was right about that ... I’m on my own with this cat, except for taking the kittens that have been “claimed” already.

They actually were very nice and kept hugging me. They only rescue dogs. All of their support network is for dogs. They were so happy to find me, and they did offer to help me in anyway if I needed it. I probably will take her to my vet just to make sure she’s okay. Once I’ve gotten her flea-treated, we will try to let her roam the house if she wants.

Thank you to everyone who offered advice and encouragement. I’m sure I’ll need more of it as time goes on. I’ll upload a picture tomorrow. She’s a cutie.
 
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