Pregnant cat, 10% excitement, 90% major stress

Aqua

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My Tonkinese is 6 weeks pregnant, with an unplanned pregnancy. She's 2 years, 5 months old - i got her as a kitten, from a formally registered breeder. She's strictly indoors, but goes outside in a double (enclosed) catio for fresh air / sun / outdoor stimulation. I delayed getting her speyed because I wanted the option for her to have a litter, but ONLY if the circumstances were right - i.e, , I found a suitable male cat, had the full health screening, and if it would work out timing wise in my busy household. Any kittens would be fully vaccinated, vet checked etc, and speyed/ neutured before going to new homes. Until last month, she had only been on heat half a dozen times, and very mildly (would meow every few minutes for half hour, a couple of times a day, wasn't desperate to get outside, overall as relaxed as usual. As the circumstances hadn't lined up, i was in the process of organizing for her to be speyed. I was a bit sad about it, but ultimately, due to her age, had decided the time was right to let go of the idea of having a litter of kittens. I went on holiday for 2 weeks. I had a friend house / pet sit (I have 2 small dogs, 6 cats, a 240L tank of tropical fish, and an outdoor fish pond). Little Miss went into what my friend described as 'a heat on steroids'. She escaped, despite microchipped cat flaps and the catio being zipped, tied with string, and metal pegs wrapped into the netting. My friend caught her after 24 hours. I didn't think she was pregnant at the time as my understanding was her heat lasted for several days after she escaped and at 3 weeks there was no nipple changes at all. Then I realized I'd got the dates wrong, and a few days later, nipple changes. She was 6 weeks yesterday, has a noticeably round belly and I've begun to feel kitten movements. As per thread title, a small part of me is excited, but overall I'm finding it all really overwhelming and stressful. I'm a midwife, and reading up about cat labour and birth, I'm well aware of the long list of possible complications, some of which of course, could result in her, or one or more of her babies, dying. Looking for support for the coming weeks / months. T.I.A.
 

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Kitten Lady

Since you are a midwife, you are probably quite versed in this area. The Kitten Lady is a very comprehensive site which covers almost all questions about birth and early kitten raising.

Of course, you are more than welcome to come here to The Cat Site as we would love to know how this little family develops and would be happy to try to help out.
 
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Aqua

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She's now 8 weeks 2moro.. I'm still stressed to the max, but have some moments of thinking it'll all be OK. I have a house FULL of pets - 2 dogs, 6 cats, in a small space as my house is 1 bedroom, open lounge and kitchen, and a bathroom with the laundry in it. They all get on (for the main).....but the idea of having half a dozen kittens running around is stressful as heck! Then I remind myself, they won't be 'running' anywhere for a while, and in a blink of an eye, they'll have new homes (hopefully!).

I've set up her birthing nest in the bathroom, and feed her in there 3 x a day (she has access to kitten food 24/7 though as I have a microchip cat feeder for her in the kitchen). But when she's in labour and needing quiet, we'll both be in the bathroom, door firmly shut, so we'll be away from the rest of the busy household.

She's not showing any interest in her birthing nest, but im thinking that'll change as she gets closer to birthing?

It's crazy that I'm never really that stressed about human labour and birth, even when things are not going so well - but a cat labour and birth - yikes. I suppose that's because, as a midwife there's almost a never ending list if things my colleagues and I can do to 'fix' it!!!

I've got everything I can think of all ready, it's really just a waiting game ...but please can she go into labour in her due date?!!?! 😅
 

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If you are a midwife, then helping a cat is not much different when it comes to the actual delivery. Remain calm, and assist if needed, as in if a breech baby presents, you only pull when she is pushing. If she has dystocia and cannot labor strongly enough to push out babies, a vet is needed to first give a shot of oxytocin to stimulate contractions, and if that doesn’t work, a C-section is needed to save both mom and babies.

Most cats do just fine, and most only go to a birthing area when they are ready to push.

Hang in there. She’ll let you know. The worst thing you can do is transmit your anxiety to her. Stay calm. Cats can go past their due dates just like humans.

Please keep us posted!
 
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Aqua

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If you are a midwife, then helping a cat is not much different when it comes to the actual delivery. Remain calm, and assist if needed, as in if a breech baby presents, you only pull when she is pushing. If she has dystocia and cannot labor strongly enough to push out babies, a vet is needed to first give a shot of oxytocin to stimulate contractions, and if that doesn’t work, a C-section is needed to save both mom and babies.

Most cats do just fine, and most only go to a birthing area when they are ready to push.

Hang in there. She’ll let you know. The worst thing you can do is transmit your anxiety to her. Stay calm. Cats can go past their due dates just like humans.

Please keep us posted!
Thank ypu for that timely reminder. 🥰
 
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Aqua

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Question- just noticed she has light yellow discharge coming from her vulva..it's mucousy in consistency, no blood, doesn't smell, she's eating normally - is this normal for 8 weeks??? She's licking herself more often there, but the area isn't irritated...
 

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Question- just noticed she has light yellow discharge coming from her vulva..it's mucousy in consistency, no blood, doesn't smell, she's eating normally - is this normal for 8 weeks??? She's licking herself more often there, but the area isn't irritated...
Sounds normal. Theoretically, it could be pus, but as you notice its not smelly, so it should be a normal discharge. Yes, fluidy discharges are normal and common.

Good you are watchful. After all, complications do occur now and then.
 
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Aqua

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62 days today, no signs of labour, albeit a bit early of course.

Keen to hear from orhers what is the most reliable sign labour is going to start?
1) temp drop
2) reduced appetite / not eating
3) nesting/ hiding

Or anything else?
 

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Dropping... Not all have a visible dropping, but its the common - ie they suddenly looks less pregnant.

You CAN measure temp, but my recommendation is to measure in the armpit of forearm, or such a modern distance termometer.
Less invasive then into the behind.
Observe, temp in the armpit is 3F / 1C lower than in the behind.
I presume distance termometer is too a little lower, but I dont have sure numbers.
 
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Aqua

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Dropping... Not all have a visible dropping, but its the common - ie they suddenly looks less pregnant.

You CAN measure temp, but my recommendation is to measure in the armpit of forearm, or such a modern distance termometer.
Less invasive then into the behind.
Observe, temp in the armpit is 3F / 1C lower than in the behind.
I presume distance termometer is too a little lower, but I dont have sure numbers.
Thanks for the tip the armpit..ill try that. Some things ive read suggest it can be a fleeting drop in temp and you can miss it? Is checking twice a day enough?
 

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I wouldn’t rely on temperature at all. It’s still early. She’ll let you know when she’s laboring.
 
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Im worried at how big she's getting. Granted, it could mean there's several in there, but im worried they will grow too big for her to birth them, as she's Tonkinese. Shes 63 days today, ate her dinner tonight..no nesting behaviour, belly hasnt dropped. Maybe a bit quieter tonight if anything, but that's all.
 

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If her water breaks and she doesn't have contractions soon take her straight to the vet. I researched discharges, liquids coming out water breaks etc and in this forum and there are cats who delivered well, after many days of water breaking but that was not the case with my precious cat. I regret doing "after a litter" thing so much, I also regret not taking her to vet after a day I see liquidy discharge. Even vet saying the result would be same I feel like I could save kittens because I felt them moving that time. They said kittens didnt make it to the birth canal and stuck there. She never proceed contractions or what she had was very light so I didn't understand. Was eating very well and talkative so I didn't suspect. I didn't want to stress her out and waited it happen in a natural way because she already an anxious cat. When I didnt feel kittens moving and was like 68ish day (i was not sure with this too) i took her to vet. Guilt is real :( i cant even sleep since. better be safe than sorry. If possible an ultrasound would be great but if not watch her carefully and please take her to the vet if anything suspicious. Made her spay with the surgery. I wishhhh I did earlier :(
 

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Sorry for the bad vibes, though. I just can't get out of this and just want people to be aware. I always thought the "spaying after a litter" thing is so irresponsible but also didn't have the courage to make her spay, too. Cycles were getting more intense, and I just gave it a go saying if it happens, it happens. If not, I am taking to her vet to get spayed after this cycle. I just wanna go back and slap myself thinking like this. If kittens arrived healthy, I know I wouldn't think like this and be grateful instead. But again, I should have known better.

To anyone considering mating their cat, please go find a kitten there are thousands out there waiting for a warm place. And to those who have pregnant cat, please have a vet check or two throughout the pregnancy if possible and if not watch them closely.

I hope dear Miss delivers safely and healthy 🙏
 
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Aqua

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Sorry for the bad vibes, though. I just can't get out of this and just want people to be aware. I always thought the "spaying after a litter" thing is so irresponsible but also didn't have the courage to make her spay, too. Cycles were getting more intense, and I just gave it a go saying if it happens, it happens. If not, I am taking to her vet to get spayed after this cycle. I just wanna go back and slap myself thinking like this. If kittens arrived healthy, I know I wouldn't think like this and be grateful instead. But again, I should have known better.

To anyone considering mating their cat, please go find a kitten there are thousands out there waiting for a warm place. And to those who have pregnant cat, please have a vet check or two throughout the pregnancy if possible and if not watch them closely.

I hope dear Miss delivers safely and healthy 🙏
I'll be erring on side of caution and phoning the vet for anything out of the ordinary happens. I'm a midwife, so I'm aware of the risk of infection once waters break. I'm sorry to hear about yr kittens, that's awful. Your vet is probably right though - even if you had taken her to be seen, it doesn't mean the outcome would have been different. Maybe the kitten/s would have been okay when at the vet, and passed 5 minutes later.. or had hidden abnormalities that meant they'd never have survived birth no matter what. It's like that with human babies, unfortunately- sometimes even with all the scans, monitoring, drs checks, bad things happen. It's often unpredictable. So I hope you can let ho of the guilt you feel. None of your fur babies would want you to be stuck blaming yourself; even the ones that passed - they would know you wanted the best for them.
 
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Aqua

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She's been hiding a bit today. Nowhere too crazy, but digging at blankets, and hiding under things. Her nipples have become books- I'm not going to squeeze them, but there are wee bags, under her nipples that are full, esp the back two. The fur around her nipples has finally come away, definite wee circles. She didn't eat all her breakfast, so fingers crossed things might happen soon (day 64). Will be interesting to see if she eats dinner! She's not vocal or restless.
 
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