SOS.. Just Helped A Feral Cat Deliver

packofbiscuit

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Hi everyone, I'm very new here and in need of your advice as I've helped a feral cat deliver her babies.

Backstory. These past few months, I've been taking care of two feral cats and they now love hanging around in my car port during the day (they made it as their base).

However, as of this evening, suddenly another cat came to me and she was very docile and kept meowing at me, so I petted her and she was very welcoming (which I find a bit odd, especially if she's feral). She was on guard towards the other two cats that I mentioned, but i didn't think it was to serious and expected the new cat to leave soon. As the title says, this scenario didn't happen.

She kept following me around the cars and seemed like asking for help/shelter. Then I realized she's pregnant after lifting her to separate her from the other two cats as they kept hissing at each other. I gave her a box outside and she curled up then broke her water immediately after, which confirms that she was looking somewhere safe to deliver. The two other cats kept attacking her as I was watching her, so I took her in straight away. 15 minutes later, 2 kittens spawned in my house.

Right here comes the main part, I didn't prepare myself for this because my professional and personal life made it hard for me to consider to have pets (otherwise I would've already taken the two cats in). But in the span of 1 hour, I've instantly/absurdly become a cat dad.

So I've decided to help the mother cat and her kittens for the next few weeks/months, but I'm a total amateur with cats, let alone helping one in labor.
What's the best way to help her and her kittens? I can't take her outside as I'm afraid the other cats in the neighborhood would harm them especially in this state. The mother looked really frail and might deliver more kittens soon.

My questions are:

How long should I take her in? (I might consider adopting her if she's down for it, so far she indulges in my scratches)
I can consider to adopt some of the kittens, but not all (It's a lot to take in), what's the wisest thing to do?
Will she be alright if I give her a protected shelter in my garden porch, as my other parts of the house is currently undergoing renovation?
How to provide the best care for the mother and her kittens?
Any signs that I need to pay attention to? (I'm worried of the mother)

I need your help in general really, I prefer to take tons of information right now as this is all very new and sudden for me. (This all happened in a single hour) I'll get some litterbox and some small shelter for them to sleep in tomorrow morning. I used to have dogs as a pet and have very little knowledge of cats, but I love taking care of a colony or any strays in my neighborhood.

Your advices will definitely be a huge help to me! If you want me to keep the situation posted, just let me know! Thanks.
 

crystal dawn

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My advice would be to do what you're doing to keep her safely inside for the time being and comfortable, so she can deliver her babies in peace. It can take a few hours sometimes for all the kittens to be delivered. I would look for signs that she's distressed panting, moving around ect and watch closely. If she seems to be struggling to deliver a kitten a lot or for a long time, I would call a vet. Though usually as long as she's in a place where she feels safe and relaxed momas usually deliver with no problems.

Be sure to provide fresh water for sure and at all times, and when moms done delivering food may be welcome as well. She likely won't be hungry right away, but may be shortly.

Due to dangers to both mom and babies I would keep them all together and inside if you can.
 

fionasmom

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Kitten Lady
How Old Do Kittens Have To Be To Leave Their Mother? – TheCatSite Articles
How Old Do Kittens Have To Be To Leave Their Mother? – TheCatSite Articles
Weighing Newborn Kittens (and How This Could Save Their Lives) – TheCatSite Articles
Hand Rearing Kittens: What You Need To Know To Save A Newborn’s Life – TheCatSite Articles
How To Save Your Cat From These 16 Life-threatening Pregnancy Risks – TheCatSite Articles

Welcome to The Cat Site! You have really stepped up to the plate for this poor mom and her babies and are to be acknowledged for your kindness to them. Try to take this one step at a time. You are not looking for homes for any kittens yet, so let that go. The Cat Site will be here for any concerns or advice in the weeks to come.

Having carefully read your post, I think that the mom and kittens need to stay inside the house. The other two ferals could potentially harm the kittens, especially if they are male. She is evidently not their friend, as she just arrived and they don't like her. I don't believe she is feral. Whatever her history, she is an abandoned pet or has lived in some proximity to humans who helped her. I have had three cats in my life approach me in that manner and after I rescued them (they were not pregnant but starving) they exhibited no feral behavior. On the other hand, I have had my share of truly feral moms who have had litters on my property or nearby and absolutely no one approached me for help or saw me as someone who could care for them. One who remained untrappable litter after litter actually died having her last litter using her last ounce of strength making sure that no one got near her.

Read all the articles and look at kittenlady's site. Not every word in each article pertains to you but it will get you started and might help you to troubleshoot.

So at this point as I am reading your post, you have seen two kittens born about 2 hours ago. Get a comfortable box inside with some washable bedding and see if you can get her inside. That is the most preferable scenario. Having the box outside is not a good idea for reasons already mentioned. Do you have access to a vet? You know someone who has one or still have contact with the dog vet? If the mom appears in distress, you will need a vet immediately or an ER if one is in your area. Get mom some food and let her eat as much as she wants once the kittens are born. It does not have to be the most expensive brand out there as she will probably be happy for regular meals. Get a litter box for the mom as well.

There is a forum on TCS especially for Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care. Post your questions about the mom and babies in that forum as the experts in this area will try to help you. You posted this thread in the right place because you believed you had a feral mom, but IMO you can take the word "feral" out of that subject line as you really have a stray cat who has come to you for help with her pregnancy and family.
 
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packofbiscuit

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My advice would be to do what you're doing to keep her safely inside for the time being and comfortable, so she can deliver her babies in peace. It can take a few hours sometimes for all the kittens to be delivered. I would look for signs that she's distressed panting, moving around ect and watch closely. If she seems to be struggling to deliver a kitten a lot or for a long time, I would call a vet. Though usually as long as she's in a place where she feels safe and relaxed momas usually deliver with no problems.

Be sure to provide fresh water for sure and at all times, and when moms done delivering food may be welcome as well. She likely won't be hungry right away, but may be shortly.

Due to dangers to both mom and babies I would keep them all together and inside if you can.
Thank you! Yes, I think she's having a difficult one and she's on an interrupted labor. I'll try to monitor her conditions for the time being per your advice.
 
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packofbiscuit

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Kitten Lady
How Old Do Kittens Have To Be To Leave Their Mother? – TheCatSite Articles
How Old Do Kittens Have To Be To Leave Their Mother? – TheCatSite Articles

Weighing Newborn Kittens (and How This Could Save Their Lives) – TheCatSite Articles
Hand Rearing Kittens: What You Need To Know To Save A Newborn’s Life – TheCatSite Articles
How To Save Your Cat From These 16 Life-threatening Pregnancy Risks – TheCatSite Articles

Welcome to The Cat Site! You have really stepped up to the plate for this poor mom and her babies and are to be acknowledged for your kindness to them. Try to take this one step at a time. You are not looking for homes for any kittens yet, so let that go. The Cat Site will be here for any concerns or advice in the weeks to come.

Having carefully read your post, I think that the mom and kittens need to stay inside the house. The other two ferals could potentially harm the kittens, especially if they are male. She is evidently not their friend, as she just arrived and they don't like her. I don't believe she is feral. Whatever her history, she is an abandoned pet or has lived in some proximity to humans who helped her. I have had three cats in my life approach me in that manner and after I rescued them (they were not pregnant but starving) they exhibited no feral behavior. On the other hand, I have had my share of truly feral moms who have had litters on my property or nearby and absolutely no one approached me for help or saw me as someone who could care for them. One who remained untrappable litter after litter actually died having her last litter using her last ounce of strength making sure that no one got near her.

Read all the articles and look at kittenlady's site. Not every word in each article pertains to you but it will get you started and might help you to troubleshoot.

So at this point as I am reading your post, you have seen two kittens born about 2 hours ago. Get a comfortable box inside with some washable bedding and see if you can get her inside. That is the most preferable scenario. Having the box outside is not a good idea for reasons already mentioned. Do you have access to a vet? You know someone who has one or still have contact with the dog vet? If the mom appears in distress, you will need a vet immediately or an ER if one is in your area. Get mom some food and let her eat as much as she wants once the kittens are born. It does not have to be the most expensive brand out there as she will probably be happy for regular meals. Get a litter box for the mom as well.

There is a forum on TCS especially for Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care. Post your questions about the mom and babies in that forum as the experts in this area will try to help you. You posted this thread in the right place because you believed you had a feral mom, but IMO you can take the word "feral" out of that subject line as you really have a stray cat who has come to you for help with her pregnancy and family.
Firstly thanks for the detailed response!

I've moved to another city since then, so I might try to contact a local vet or friends to recommend me one. Yes! She started eating a couple hours after giving birth so that looked like a relief, but she's very drained until now.

As per your last note, yes, I'm a bit confused to determine her as feral or stray. This is something that I've been wondering for quite sometime. Though my readings always point to refer them as strays, I live in a developing country and feral cats are a huge part of our society and is heavily socialized (maybe because neutering programs have never been a priority yet here). A lot of them are introduced to humans very well and some hangs around for food/temporary shelter, which makes it hard to distinct between the feral and stray. I really want to thank you for the kind welcome and help here.

Cheers.
 

fionasmom

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Please don't feel as if we have to figure out exactly if she is feral or not. It does not make any difference to you getting help here on TCS. I am basing my opinion on the fact that around here "feral" usually means a cat who is not approachable or adoptable, maybe even very hard to manage or touch. A friendlier cat like the one you have at your house is more like a "stray" for us. I hope this is all progressing smoothly for both of you.
 

GustifursMom

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If your garage is warm keep them in your garage. Provide plenty of food and water (seperate the food and water). Provide a litter box (keep that away from food and water). Cut a hole in a big box, big enough for them to go in and out of. Put a thick blanket on the ground, then put the box ontop. They will like being in there. Get some corrugated carboard for the kittens to play with.

Kittens need to be with their mom for awhile, so don't consider re-homing them for at least a couple months.

Watch the mom carefully, make sure she's attending to all her kittens. Sometimes feral cats aren't always the best moms to their kittens, so be aware of that.

Otherwise, you're an awesome human being and it's great the world has folks like you around to help out our volunerable fur friends. You rock!
 

StefanZ

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I want to add, if you dont have any secure place to stow them away - repairings and such as you mention; a big dog crate may be a temporary solution.
Not necessarily to crate HER in, but to protect her some from the others...
Its no ideal solution, she will be stressed anyway, if hostile cats are immediately nearby. But better such protection than nothing...
 
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packofbiscuit

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Please don't feel as if we have to figure out exactly if she is feral or not. It does not make any difference to you getting help here on TCS. I am basing my opinion on the fact that around here "feral" usually means a cat who is not approachable or adoptable, maybe even very hard to manage or touch. A friendlier cat like the one you have at your house is more like a "stray" for us. I hope this is all progressing smoothly for both of you.
Absolutely! Thank you for the knowledge.
 
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packofbiscuit

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If your garage is warm keep them in your garage. Provide plenty of food and water (seperate the food and water). Provide a litter box (keep that away from food and water). Cut a hole in a big box, big enough for them to go in and out of. Put a thick blanket on the ground, then put the box ontop. They will like being in there. Get some corrugated carboard for the kittens to play with.

Kittens need to be with their mom for awhile, so don't consider re-homing them for at least a couple months.

Watch the mom carefully, make sure she's attending to all her kittens. Sometimes feral cats aren't always the best moms to their kittens, so be aware of that.

Otherwise, you're an awesome human being and it's great the world has folks like you around to help out our volunerable fur friends. You rock!
Thank you for your words! Yes, She's doing well at the moment, but wants to go out occasionally to her usual litter spot though I've bought her a litterbox. I've got to follow her each time to make sure the other cats aren't trying to attack her (which nearly happens each time).

Cheers!
 
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packofbiscuit

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I want to add, if you dont have any secure place to stow them away - repairings and such as you mention; a big dog crate may be a temporary solution.
Not necessarily to crate HER in, but to protect her some from the others...
Its no ideal solution, she will be stressed anyway, if hostile cats are immediately nearby. But better such protection than nothing...
Hi there, that's true. I bought them a closed shelter for them to sleep in as I've tried bringing them inside for the night, but they preferred being outside at the moment. The other cats didn't really attack her but kept staring at her through the window/following her when she went to her usual litter spot, which made her feel on guard/uneasy. So we have to accompany her whenever she goes outside.

I feel pretty bad for her for keeping her in, but if its for the best, I'll try my best to make her feel as comfortable as possible. Thank you for your time!
 

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You will be blessed for helping her and her babies. She needed help so badly and you stepped up. She is surely a stray, someone most likely dumped her because she was pregnant. Ferals would NOT want their head scratched. This is a wonderful life experience for you, you'll find that cats are much easier to keep than dogs, they can be left alone because they have a litter box. You might want to leave hard food if you are gone. I salute you for your big heart!
 

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I feel pretty bad for her for keeping her in, but if its for the best, I'll try my best to make her feel as comfortable as possible. Thank you for your time!
Dont feel bad. She asked and begged you for help and protection because she knew she needs it desperately, so she will surely cooperate.
For most cat moms, its as for human moms: the well fare of her children is more important than "freedom".
 
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packofbiscuit

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You will be blessed for helping her and her babies. She needed help so badly and you stepped up. She is surely a stray, someone most likely dumped her because she was pregnant. Ferals would NOT want their head scratched. This is a wonderful life experience for you, you'll find that cats are much easier to keep than dogs, they can be left alone because they have a litter box. You might want to leave hard food if you are gone. I salute you for your big heart!
Totally, it's an amazing experience and as you've said, they're so much independent from dogs which helps me a ton in taking care of them in my busy days. The fact that we can now work from home is also a good addition.
 
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packofbiscuit

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Dont feel bad. She asked and begged you for help and protection because she knew she needs it desperately, so she will surely cooperate.
For most cat moms, its as for human moms: the well fare of her children is more important than "freedom".
Dont feel bad. She asked and begged you for help and protection because she knew she needs it desperately, so she will surely cooperate.
For most cat moms, its as for human moms: the well fare of her children is more important than "freedom".
Agree! I ended up checking them out a bit too often as they're way too adorable to be left unattended. Thank you for stopping by!
 
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packofbiscuit

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I don't know if anyone would still visit this thread, but I'd like to update you...

One of the kitten (the second one, the one in the picture above is the first born) has passed away this morning. I realized that she wasn't moving and as I tried to reposition her in her bed, her body felt stiff and unresponsive. I've never thought that I'd get this affected by an event that was only happening in less than a week, and by coincidence at that.

I ended up going to the vet yesterday as I was worried she was carrying another baby (her belly is still huge), and they said they're all fine. The mom just had a bit of complications (maybe because she had spent most of her life outdoor, also the vet mention that she was around 3 years old) but nothing serious, and I went home glad. Finding the fact that one of then passed was shocking to me, and the feeling was definitely unpleasant for me.

I looked up online for the causes and yet I still have gotten any clues, maybe its because of the fading kitten syndrome? Not sure.

So I'm currently taking care of the only kitten left and her mom, hopefully better this time. Bought some milk, as I am afraid one of the main causes is because they didn't feed enough as her mom is a bit fidgety in a new environment.

Well yeah, thanks again for those of you that stopped by these past few days and you recent visitors :)
 

StefanZ

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I don't know if anyone would still visit this thread, but I'd like to update you...

One of the kitten (the second one, the one in the picture above is the first born) has passed away this morning. I realized that she wasn't moving and as I tried to reposition her in her bed, her body felt stiff and unresponsive. I've never thought that I'd get this affected by an event that was only happening in less than a week, and by coincidence at that.

I ended up going to the vet yesterday as I was worried she was carrying another baby (her belly is still huge), and they said they're all fine. The mom just had a bit of complications (maybe because she had spent most of her life outdoor, also the vet mention that she was around 3 years old) but nothing serious, and I went home glad. Finding the fact that one of then passed was shocking to me, and the feeling was definitely unpleasant for me.

I looked up online for the causes and yet I still have gotten any clues, maybe its because of the fading kitten syndrome? Not sure.

So I'm currently taking care of the only kitten left and her mom, hopefully better this time. Bought some milk, as I am afraid one of the main causes is because they didn't feed enough as her mom is a bit fidgety in a new environment.

Well yeah, thanks again for those of you that stopped by these past few days and you recent visitors :)
The trick to know if they get enough from momma is to weight them every day. Every 12 hours in the beginning, if its critical.
A healthy kitten adds typically 10+ grammes a day (1/3+ ounce). If its lower than 6 grammes a day (1/5 ounce) sound the alarm bells.

An experienced rescuer notices often by the looks and weight in hand, but for all less experienced, is the daily weighting gold worth.


The little one could pass from almost anything. The most common for healthy born infants to die quickly is a pneumonia. If they for example, got fluids in lungs when birthing.
And such happens even to experienced breeders.---
RIP little one.
 
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