New to being a Kitten mom

Sarthur2

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I agree. It’s important to see what’s happening in her belly.
 
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Melissa0904

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She literally would have had to get pregnant while pregnant. She will not go 20 feet away from me when I let her out. She hasn't been out at all alone. I have been working from home for since Covid. I am the only one who has been tending to them in the work shop. I don't see how this is possible.

Cat food. What do you recommend? The mama cat will eat Rachel Ray and 9 Lives Dry.. that is it. Wet cat food is Friskies gourmet. New to cats, is Friskies or Rachel Ray good?
 
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Melissa0904

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Agreeing about the VET. I had an appointment for next Wednesday but I don't think it can wait. She was sickly looking thin after she gave birth.
 

Sarthur2

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Speeding up the vet check is the way to go. Can someone see her this week?
 

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She literally would have had to get pregnant while pregnant. She will not go 20 feet away from me when I let her out. She hasn't been out at all alone. I have been working from home for since Covid. I am the only one who has been tending to them in the work shop. I don't see how this is possible.

Cat food. What do you recommend? The mama cat will eat Rachel Ray and 9 Lives Dry.. that is it. Wet cat food is Friskies gourmet. New to cats, is Friskies or Rachel Ray good?
Then there is definitely something wrong, by all means see if you can get an earlier appointment and get her checked out ASAP. It may turn out to be nothing serious but if it is something bad the longer you wait the worse it will get, and it's obvious you don't want to see her die.

As far as food goes, what cataholic07 cataholic07 said is true, a raw diet will all but eliminate litterbox odor but a raw diet is not for everyone. There are some commercial raw foods available for people who want to feed raw but are squeamish about grinding and mixing it themselves but they are quite expensive. But if eliminating odor is a big concern then any food that does not contain a lot of plant based ingredients will help.

Dry food is bad regardless of how good the ingredients are, Cats are designed to get their moisture intake from prey and do not normally drink water so it can lead to mild dehydration if they don't drink enough to make up for what they're not getting from their diet. The only reason dry food exists is because it is cheap and convenient for humans.

For canned food pay close attention to the ingredients, if a type of meat is not the #1 ingredient it's garbage. If it has any plant based protein listed, it's bad. Foods like Friskies, 9 lives, and Meow Mix are pretty much bottom of the barrel and full of junk ingredients. Rachel Ray is....eh. It's better than Friskies at least. Powdered Cellulose is 100% filler and is zero nutritional value, and gum based thickeners are totally unnecessary and are also basically filler.

There are some very good brands of canned food like Tiki Cat that have varieties that contain nothing but meat ingredients and supplements, and some good brands like Dr. Elsey and Instinct that contain small amounts of plant based ingredients but not as a protein source. A lot of people feed Fancy Feast classic, but I haven't tried that with my Cats.

Personally I feed mine balanced blends raw and this canned food. Expensive, but it's not like I spend a lot on myself.
 
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Melissa0904

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It turned out that mama cat is just fine. Not pregnant. She is just eating a lot and gaining weight. What a relief. The kittens are all doing well. All are eating wet food now. One I have to feed with a spoon until she decides she will do it herself! I am pleased with the outcomes so far. As far as rehoming them, I haven't decided yet. It would be extremely expensive to keep all of them but then, I am so attached to them!
 

Sarthur2

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Glad to hear that she is not pregnant or unwell. Sometimes really skinny cats do look pregnant when they finally begin to gain weight as it goes straight to the belly first. I know you must feel relieved! :)
 
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Melissa0904

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I really am relieved! Now I just have to wait about three more weeks to have mama and all the babies spayed/neutered. The babies are doing absolutely well. They are now all eating solid foods. It took one of them a little longer but she finally got tired of me spoon feeding her! I am toying with the idea of keeping all of them if I can't find them good homes because now they are all like my babies, but my problem will be the expense of food. I am feeding them Authority at the moment and they like it. I would LOVE to be able to afford something better but I honestly can't. We will see how it all goes.
 

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I really am relieved! Now I just have to wait about three more weeks to have mama and all the babies spayed/neutered. The babies are doing absolutely well. They are now all eating solid foods. It took one of them a little longer but she finally got tired of me spoon feeding her! I am toying with the idea of keeping all of them if I can't find them good homes because now they are all like my babies, but my problem will be the expense of food. I am feeding them Authority at the moment and they like it. I would LOVE to be able to afford something better but I honestly can't. We will see how it all goes.
That's the biggest problem with anyone doing animal rescue/rehabilitation work. You get attached to them and it's hard to let go, but you can't keep them all.
 
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Melissa0904

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I haven't checked in for awhile. The babies are 9 weeks old and doing wonderful!! Mama cat is too. I love to hear her call them. I have learned the difference. They are all inside as it was just too hot in the workshop. I bout a heat and A/C unit but it didnt work. Waiting on replacement now. They haven't been horrible inside, it just like having (8) 2 year olds. :-) Mama cat continues to gain and her coat is becoming more soft. I settled on Tractor Supply's 4Health brand. If is affordable and good it seems. They like it. They all sleep in my room at night. They are learning to sleep more at night. They still have one midnight romp but I am learning to mostly sleep through it. Mama cat gets spayed next week and the babies two weeks after. I haven't started rehoming yet and not sure I can. :-/ The litter box has to be maintained every two hours or so but it keep my house from smelling like a crazy cat lady... which I have become. They aren't especially cuddly anymore as they prefer their independence. I have two males who are more cuddly. One wants in my nose! All have unique personalities and I discovered I dont have 4 males and 4 females...I have 6 females and 2 males! The calico females are more standoffish. I am not sure why? The two tabby heads (my orange hair girls) seem smarter as I am teaching the to jump in my arms instead of climbing up my legs. I have had to learn to close the toilet lid as there have made their way in. Hey, has anyone taught theirs to use a toilet? What are your thoughts on it? The mama cat is still highly protective. Now that everyone is sharing living quarters, she does not tolerate the male cat we have. He wants to play with the babies but she isn't having any of it. For his safety, he stays outside a lot. She is a scrapper! They are all weaned but she tolerates (almost welcomes) one or two of them occasionally. I guess that will fade. I have enjoyed this little surprise she gave me immensely. I would love to do it as a volunteer but uncertain of I can let go. If I can with these, I surely will. If I cant, I will end up with 100 cats!
 

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It's best to have multiple litterboxes, that way you don't have to constantly scoop. The general rule of thumb is 1 box per Cat plus one extra.
 

cataholic07

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Make sure you get mom spayed asap. Otherwise she will get pregnant again. Cats are non stop breeding machines.
 
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Melissa0904

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Babies and mama are all spayed/neutered now. I thought I was going to lose all of the the kittens because they went for about 4-5 without eating after that. They bounced back. :-) I guess they had an adverse reaction to something? I am almost ready to start rehoming them. They are 13 weeks old and very healthy!

Mama cat had quit nursing and was even hissing them away before she was spayed. She had started tolerating our male cat Gen. However, since she was spayed she has reverted to nursing the kittens (they are about as big as she is), she is meaner to Gen AND the dog. It has been a week and a half. Is this a hormonal thing and does it get better? She has gone a little psycho. She also will not go outside anymore and I am guessing it is because she wants to be around the babies. Before she was spayed, she wanted out all of the time just to get away from them. She hadn't gone back into heat yet, she just wanted to be outside.
 

Sarthur2

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It’s all normal. There are hormonal changes occurring as well. She just needs time to heal and settle down and be with her kittens. :)
 
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Melissa0904

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Hi guys. It has been awhile since I have been up here. I have been super busy with two moves!! First to Montana, then Arkansas (job). I wanted to post about my babies! They are very healthy. Two were regimes to a great home. I have three with me and three at home in NC. They turned out wonderful, each with their unique personality. I have one that has traveled with me and was without her littermates for a couple of months. I swear she is part human. She loves to play hide and seek and she does this thing in the middle of the night where she touches my face over and over with her paw until I wake up. She doesn’t want anything in particular. I have tried everything and she still does it. It is sweet as can be because she is so gentle about it. I am going to try and post the video. All of them have turned out very loving. Some more than others but they all want to be loved. The biggest shocker is that none have forgotten me. My last stint away from them, except Nubbin, was 2.5 months and they still knew me. Different story with Nubbin. The other cats knew her but she didn’t know them. It only took her 2 days to be reacquainted tho. The mother has gone back outdoors and has not so politely distanced herself from them. She still comes home tho. My hope is to get them all after I buy a house here. I couldn’t have made this cat journey without y’all. I am mystified now on how cats get such a bad rep. I don’t understand how people don’t like them. It has to be that they don’t take the time to get to know them and respect them. All 8 of my babies turned out wonderful. My pickiness on rehoming them left me with 6. :-) I still keep up with the two that were rehomed. What an incredible journey it turned out to be!!
 

Sarthur2

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Such wonderful news! :lovecat2:

Like you, I kept a pregnant stray mama cat and all four of her babies. Everyone is spayed and neutered and the “kittens” will be 6 years old in March. All of mine are very sweet also. I fell in love with them and did not have the heart to rehome any of them. I’ve always had cats though, and I’ve added a few more strays since then. I now have 11 cats total - 2 I took in 4 years ago when a friend died, 2 that I took in a year ago, and 2 six-month old kittens that a neighbor brought to me 3 months ago that followed him while he was out walking his dog. I swore I was not keeping the last 2, but I’ve had both fixed and 3 months later I have not found a suitable home for them - lol.

Thanks for the update. I’m really happy that your situation is working out! :)
 
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Melissa0904

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Thanks! I have only found two homes acceptable for them. LOL A lady who took two and will take another one soon and mine! They are amazing creatures. I do wish I could have posted that video! It is so cute to watch.
 
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