Pregnant Semi-Feral who won't go in a kennel

chaucer

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Hi, all. it's been a while since I've been on The Cat Site. When I first joined this site back in 2014, I had a pregnant stray and you all gave me wonderful advice. I still have the cat, but all her kittens were adopted back then. Now, for the first time in YEARS, I've got another pregnant semi-feral. She's been hanging around and I've been feeding her wet kitten food and some dry. She has been wanting in the house, but that cannot happen. I now have six cats of varying ages and circumstances and no place for a pregnant cat since my house is very open and has sliding doors that can easily be opened by cats.

I have a wonderful storage room - large with two doors and windows - where the first pregnant cat had her kittens and lived for four months until the last kitten was adopted and I could bring her inside. Unfortunately, that room is now back to being a storage room full of things. I have managed to get an XXL dog kennel in there and kitted it out with all that is needed for Charlie-Belle. The kennel is partially-covered for a feeling of security. I have been trying to kennel train her. The problem is that she will go in the storage room and look around, stick her nose in the kennel and eat food from a bowl sometimes, but the minute I make a move, she will run out the door of the storage room.She panics if I close the room's door. She still wants in the house, but that experiment did not work as my 18 year old female went into attack mode (and I thought it would be the three 1-2 year-olds who would be the problem because they are pesty and demanding Siamese mixes.) How can I help this cat have her kittens in safety if she is not going in the kennel? I already have a rescue with whom I work ready to take the kittens when they are ready and will spay Charlie-Belle, but they have no room and no fosters available at this time.
 

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chaucer

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Just be persistent and let her in more often and for longer. It is just a matter of getting her used to it and you are on your way. If she happens to have her kittens outside you could move them into the kennel and get her in that way.......
Thanks. I'm trying. Currently, she barely will enter the storage room to eat a bit of food. I've half a mind the next time if she noses in a bit farther to just push her in with the kennel door. I've got a desk for sale out there and wi-fi, so I can work out there, and a sofa where I can sit with her if needed. Picture was taken a few days ago, but I didn't want to scare her.
 

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chaucer

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This morning, she is now shut in the storage room but not in the kennel. I don't know if it was my other tuxedo male (I had him neutered five years ago) who shows up sometimes that helped just by being around early this morning. He doesn't fight with her. For whatever reason, she is in the storage room with all my things. She got up on the comfy sleeper sofa and walked down it toward the window, so I took that moment to sneak out. She saw me, but didn't race to get out. I have checked on her by talking through one of the doors. I cracked the door a bit later and didn't see her. She looked out from the other side of the room but didn't rush out. I think she knows her time is coming in the next few weeks and is looking for a place to give birth, simply because she didn't bolt. I'm concerned about getting in there to feed her though.
 

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Open the door very slowly and have a broom in your hands in front of you to “sweep” her back if need be. Close the door behind you quickly. Over time she should learn not to try to bolt.

You can put all the food and supplies for her in a bag and have it over your arm — canned food, can opener, clean bowls, bottled drinking water or KMR mixed in a container and ready to pour, dry food in a baggie, etc. and take dirty bowls out in the bag. Same for clean litter and bring an extra bag to scoop dirty clumps into.
 
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chaucer

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Open the door very slowly and have a broom in your hands in front of you to “sweep” her back if need be. Close the door behind you quickly. Over time she should learn not to try to bolt.

You can put all the food and supplies for her in a bag and have it over your arm — canned food, can opener, clean bowls, bottled drinking water or KMR mixed in a container and ready to pour, dry food in a baggie, etc. and take dirty bowls out in the bag. Same for clean litter and bring an extra bag to scoop dirty clumps into.
Thanks. Good ideas. I've been able to go in and out okay for some reason. I'm hoping she will become friendlier like she was outside once she adjusts. I noticed that she went to the litterbox near where she was staying on the other side of the room, but I think she might have pooped in the kennel where it is located The blankets were disturbed and when I had to climb inside to reach a small plate, I thought I could smell something. I'll check later and wash the blankets. I'm trying to go out there every few hours just so she knows she's not alone. I've been pretty upset with some friends who offered to help clear the storage room to prepare for a sale BEFORE I put her in there, but they backed out, so the place is still full of things that I need to get out of there, which is why I wanted her to be in the kennel.
 

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chaucer

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She is HUGE today and hissy. She also seems to want to leave the storage room. The bedding in the kennel is disturbed, so I'm just going to leave her alone today. There's plenty of food/water but if I can I'll move it closer to the kennel, as well as her litter box. I put another bed on the sofa for her. Praying this will not be a difficult birth and the kittens will be healthy and that she has them in the kennel. I've been feeding her since she became pregnant and have included kitten food in her diet. She's still a bit too semi-feral to trust me completely although I petted her yesterday.
 
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Just updating for any following this. This morning, there was a little wetness on her new bed in the kennel .It appears she had a small accident. I'm not washing it because I don't want to change the scent and perhaps keep her from using the kennel for the birth. Later today, I'm moving her litter box not far from the kennel and placing her food and water near it. I think she may have the kittens in there since she clearly has been sleeping in it. She's still eating but less than before. Definitely is wanting food when I go feed her in the morning. She's getting quite large. I still don't see movement, but she is very black and that makes it difficult. She also doesn't lie on her side, but I have seen an enlarged pink nipple when she rolled partially. Just hoping and praying the she and the kittens will be okay. I've been feeding and caring for her through the pregnancy.
 

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chaucer

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Still no kittens and she has gotten more aggressive and wants out when I try to leave so I think the kittens are coming soon. I'm afraid this is getting beyond my control, and I've rescued cats now for 10 years.
 

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Hang in there! Her hormones are driving her now. Do not let her out. Provide a covered private place for her to give birth which will hopefully make her feel more safe — a box with only a door cut out but with a blanket inside, a closet, etc. Anything that gives her privacy and a safe space.
 
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chaucer

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Hang in there! Her hormones are driving her now. Do not let her out. Provide a covered private place for her to give birth which will hopefully make her feel more safe — a box with only a door cut out but with a blanket inside, a closet, etc. Anything that gives her privacy and a safe space.
Thanks for the encouragement. I think she doesn't want me to leave her out there. I'm afraid she will bolt when the door is open. This morning, she tried to jump on the sofa next to me. I admit that I'm wary of her now. The storage room is private. I visit her out there for a bit but that's it. I'm the only one she sees. There are numerous places in the storage room for her to give birth - I've put blankets under chairs near the back, under a desk with a small table that pushed under it, a kennel with a cover over most of it with a bed and puppy pads, but she goes in there to urinate on the pads. I had to take out the extra blankets in it because she went on them! There is a litter box where she defecates nearby with a puppy pad with it. There's a box with a puppy pad in the back corner because she urinated there on the blankets. There is food/water in the front of the room and back. I am hoping that she will have a safe birth and healthy kittens. I'm by myself here with no help. I also hope she won't become more aggressive. She had been friendly up until yesterday, but I've only been feeding/taking care of her for two months when she showed up during mating season with two males following her.
 
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Aggressive how? Is she hissing, growling or spitting? Has she tried to scratch or bite? Or is she just getting bolder in trying to escape?

I know it's easier said than done, but try to remember that if you're tense and wary, she's going to pick up on it, and she's going to get more stressed out too.
 
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chaucer

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H HeyKat She is trying to bite me, usually when I leave. She is bolder in trying to escape going to the door with me. Part of me thinks she doesn't want me to leave. This has just been in the last day or so. I don't know her personality as she is semi-feral and has been coming here for only two months or so. She has been very loving until yesterday. She was rolling in front of me, rubbing around my ankles, and purring loudly and then the attempt to bite me as I'm walking. This morning, she was friendlier again but didn't want me to leave. I think she may be lonely out there, but I can't let her out and I cannot stay out there with her for very long. I've tried using both doors to the room to leave but she just goes in front of me to one of them meowing and sometimes stops and half-heartedly hisses. Hormones? Close to birth?
 
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chaucer

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I have petted her on her back but only a few times. I will not be trying that again though given her new attitude. This morning, I went out there dressed in riding boots, double-pajama bottoms, and my long coat. I do not want a strange cat to bite me. I've had a tetanus shot and I can deal with antibiotics, but I do not want to have to start on a course of rabies vaccines because this is a semi-feral and I don't know any history. Pictures are prior to her change in attitude yesterday. Usually, my rescues are males. I haven't had a pregnant female here for 10 years and that one has a whole thread devoted to her on here in April 2014 because she was my first ever rescue. I found it. LOL. Same topic. Nicer cat. ,New to caring for a very pregnant cat who happens to be semi-feral
 

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chaucer

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Updated! She is close to giving birth. Out there just now and she was friendlier. I saw kitten movement for the first time in her belly and I also saw her stop meowing for a moment. She's a constant talker, so this was interesting. She was trying to get under the sleeper sofa. It's a narrow gap but I had to block it. That is NOT a safe location. IF she manages to go under that sofa somehow, it will be nearly impossible to get the kittens out (or her) without trauma because of the folding springs and mattress. I've put old curtains (silk/linen) in the big kennel along with the plush bed, and I've added tablecloths to provide more cover for it. I've turned out the light - but there is a little light coming in from one window with the curtains pushed back. She's investigated that too. Hoping she picks a safe place. I've put fresh litter in her box and she has plenty of food and water, and blankets in a lot of places. Hoping for a litter of healthy kittens. She's at least been getting good nourishment since she's been pregnant. And she is HUGE right now.
 

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She just sounds lonely and a bit frightened. Hopefully all goes well with birthing. She should calm down even more once the babies arrive. She’s not accustomed to not being “free.”

Can you put a radio out there so she has some music and talking to listen to? Also, can you spend even an hour a day with her? Sit on the couch and read and let her smell you or get closer if she wishes? It may help her to have a bit more stimulation and a little more time with you.

I feel for her but you are doing a fantastic job by saving her and giving her a safe place to have and raise her babies.
 
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chaucer

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Sarthur2 Sarthur2 I do try to spend some time with her each time. I've gone out there and read for an hour or I'll sit 15 minutes a few times a day. She's glad to see me and rubs around my legs, purring, but she doesn't like me to move (or leave). I hope things will be okay because she is ready to have them today! I found the nesting spot this morning at 3:00. It is the one place I didn't think she could get to. Unfortunately, it was next to my covered antique, handmade family heirloom bed (dismantled). It took 45 minutes to crawl over things and to move it piece by piece elsewhere while she was eating and following me around. I'm so afraid it's stressed her, but I added another blanket to the spot and arranged the coverings so that there are still the other things pushed up in there to give her a good hiding space. I am worried the babies will be stillborn after all her stress. I'm panicking about that. I don't think she will want me when she gives birth, so I turned out the light and left. I'll check about 7:00.
 

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They do tend to stress after moving stuff around, but I'm sure I've done much worse when I trap highly pregnant moms. No stillborns so far, so they seem pretty resilient. If you think she's in labor between kittens, you can offer food. That won me some brownie points with a previous foster mom.
 
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She has had at least two. Maybe a third. I can't tell by the way she is lying and they are still wet. She had them in the next worse location. An old chair without a blanket (now covered with blood so will be thrown out) and with large paintings leaning against it. However, she did let me take the photos. I will have to remove the pictures in case they slip, but I'll wait until later this afternoon.
 

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Leave her in the chair for a couple of days. She feels safe there. Cats are weird if you move their kittens the first 2-3 days. Their hormones need to settle and moms are tired from labor and delivery.
 
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