What's the latest that most vet clinics will abort?

Umerwhat

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As the title asks, what is the typical cut off for giving a cat an abortion? Also, at what point should the mom's safety be a concern?

We finally caught one of the last 2 unspayed females at the cat colony down my road. She slipped away from me briefly when I tried to transfer her to our spare bathroom. In that little struggle I could feel a very round abdomen. I'm not very experienced in telling how far along pregnant cats are. Compared to the pregnant cat I took care of last year, I would guess she feels as big as she did when she was 3-4 weeks out. I'm also really concerned as last year, the first of that colony had kittens on March 14th. We had a warm spell early January as well. I'm not positive if she'll cooperate for me to take pictures. At the moment I'm trying to give her some quiet time so she isn't so stressed.

We have the spay appointment this Thursday. It sounds like the local vet does have a cutoff line, but I have no idea what it is. I don't feel like they would do an unnecessarily risky abortion, but I guess I'd feel better hearing a second opinion on what the norm is. Thank you to anyone who is able to give any insight.
 

Kris107

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I would think that if late it would almost be like a c section. Actually, regardless, isn't it just a c section? I took a cat in who was already pretty round. I guess your vet will determine!
 
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Umerwhat

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Are c sections considered reasonably safe in cats? Well compared to giving birth anyways?
 

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Some vets will abort right up to the end when the kittens must be euthanized. Others will refuse to spay and terminate the last 2-3 weeks when the kittens are getting full fur and are almost fully developed.

If she’s round and showing, she’s likely at least 5 weeks along — about halfway. I personally think very late terminations (last 2-3 weeks) are hard on mom and … cruel.

Let us know what you decide to do. It’s fantastic you’ve got mom cat off the streets either way.
 

Kris107

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C sections generally have surgical risks but can be done very safely. On the cat we TNRed, she recovered for a day then could hardly be contained afterward. She looked good for quite a long time after.
 

StefanZ

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You must call the vet and ask. If they dont take late spaying / abort, try to find someone else. Vets cooperating with shelter usually have experience with late spay abort. But its hurry. Late spaying abort isnt pleasant ethically, but its double unpleasant if the kittens are viable and must be euthanized...

Medically speaking, a c-section is usually OK for momma, but its hard on kittens, its one of the reasons we often recommend to wait it out if there is a good chance of natural delivery.
 
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Umerwhat

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Thank you everyone for the responses! Some good news, the lady taking care of the cats caught the last unspayed female. Bad news is, she is also quite round.

Unfortunately, I've been trying to call the shelter for days and can't get in contact with them. They left a message saying they won't spay if the cat is too far along in the pregnancy. I called the vet office that does the actual surgery and they said they spay and even euthanize kittens that are ready to be born. I'm not really comfortable with that, nor is the person who is taking care of these cats. Even more so she's worried about the mamas being at increased risk of complications.

At the moment, my plan is to go the shelter in the morning with the 2 mamas and ask if any of the staff are knowledgeable enough to feel them up or something to see how far along they are. They have their own vet or vet assistants there, but I don't know if they're available first thing in the morning when cats are dropped off.

I feel like I'm of similar standing to Sarthur2, in that the 2-3 week mark is too close for termination. Luckily the lady who cares for them is on the same page. She has her little cat colony outdoors, but has no problem adding said possible kittens, if they can't get homes. She provides food, water, shelter, flea treatment/deworming, and won't let anyone go unspayed/unneutered if she can help it. So while not a perfect situation, these potential kittens would not have the chance to make the problem bigger and would have somewhere to go.

A few questions that maybe you folks can help clarify further. Is that last 2-3 weeks when it would need to be a c-section, or is a c-section needed even earlier than that? At what point does this become significantly riskier to the mom? Also to note, these mamas should be around 3-4 years old and have both likely had at least 3 litters each. I've heard first time litters are more risky, but are too many litters also a big risk? Long shot, but any other tips on how to tell how far along the mamas are? Thanks again everyone.
 

Sarthur2

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First, it sounds like the female mama kitty you have caught is pretty far along. A spay, or a spay/terminate, is always a C-section, even for just a normal spay, because spaying a cat involves an abdominal incision and removal of the uterus and ovaries. Any kitten fetuses would be removed at this point and in early stages of development are not viable. The kittens would not need euthanizing because in early stages they are not developed enough to survive anyway. However, if mama is in later stages the kittens may need euthanizing. I am not a fan of this.

As for the second cat, do you have her in hand or is she roaming free? How far along is she?

Kittens are very easy to re-home, as opposed to putting them outside to live with a colony. If they are born and raised inside, they are tame and learn manners and litter boxes and by 12 weeks can be adopted.

And so you know, a spay of a pregnant mom is riskier for mom in late stages, but is catastrophic for the kittens. Mom usually does okay, the kittens not so much — even in full-term when an owner must resort to a C-section to save the kittens because mom’s labor is not progressing. The kittens are exposed to anesthesia, and it takes several vet techs to receive each kitten, suction them out to get them breathing, and get them into an incubator.

If either of these moms are very round, can they be fostered through pregnancy and kittens? That is best. The kittens have good chances for being adopted, and later the moms too.
 
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Umerwhat

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Both mamas are in their own crates with no food or water in preparation for spaying. I'm hoping someone at the shelter can tell me roughly how far along they are. Or is that wishful thinking?

The first mama is round, perhaps more visibly droopy in her abdomen. I'm not sure what to think on her size, as she feels as big as the pregnant cat I took care of last year at 3-4 weeks out. She also has a way bigger frame than that cat, so I don't trust my perception on that.

The second cat I feel hopeless at guessing. She's even more shy and a poofball. Most people would think she's just fat, but I would guess she looked 2/3rds her current size in the fall.

I'm aware kittens are easy to adopt out, I was just listing the worst case scenario. Just wanted to mention it so no one thought there wasn't someone willing to care for them. I fostered 5 different litters last year, but only 1 from birth. Having really young kittens again is nerve wrecking, but I doubt anyone else would volunteer to do it. Kitten season seems to be already starting despite the fact I live in a cold region.

If we decide to not spay, what basic care should they get? Like are vaccines safe? Dewormers? Are any ear mite treatments safe? For some reason this colony is disease free, but has the worst case of ear mites in the county. I'm sure the shelter knows this stuff. But they're so busy in the mornings, I feel like I need to bring up specific stuff to get it done that day.
 

Sarthur2

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It sounds like both cats are headed for spays tomorrow so your questions are moot. Let us know how everything goes, which I hope and expect will be well. It will result in 2 more cats unable to reproduce whether in a colony or in a home. I assume your earlier posts about spay/terminate were just to gather information for your own edification, as opposed to changing any outcomes.
 
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Umerwhat

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Nothing is set in stone. Rather I'm leaning against spaying unless someone at the shelter can reassure me that the cats are not within 3 weeks of delivering. It's not worth risking the health of the mamas. The lady who cares for them is very attached and I couldn't live with the guilt if something happened.

In person, will they be able to tell roughly if they're 3 weeks out or more? I'm so inexperienced with pregnant cats I'm hoping they'll tell me I'm an idiot and they're not even a month along.
 
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Umerwhat

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To add, this is possible to cancel spaying last minute as the shelter always has cats waiting for a spot on hand. They actually sounded like they were in a hurry to get someone in if the second female wasn't caught.

I figure it'll also be good to let the shelter do a quick check over on them even if they aren't spayed, as they have never been vaccinated or tested.
 
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Umerwhat

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So we decided hold on the spaying and let them have their last litter of kittens. Unfortunately, the only person they felt some confidence in checking the mamas was not in today. Elizabeth(the long hair mama) bit the one lady who tried to handle her. Once I told them that Ella(first mama) was an escape artist, they decided against checking her. Honestly I was feeling like an idiot for holding off on spaying until I saw Elizabeth just about waddle out of the carrier when we got back. She might be further along than Ella.

So no vaccines or anything was done today. They offered to make an appointment with the person who could handle them, to get them checked out, but we figured it wasn't worth stressing the mamas out more for the time being. I'm going to research what dewormers are safe. Luckily that colony usually doesn't have fleas as the lady who cares for them treats for that. Is there a safe treatment for ear mites that doesn't require me to put something in their ears? I suspect I could sneak a topical flea treatment to treat the ear mites if it's safe.

The plan is to have both mamas roaming free in our spare bathroom. We checked it over last year, it's very cat/kitten safe. The 2 mamas will be together as they've been having litters side by side for at least a couple years. They're quite likely sisters from the same litter. Should the nests themselves be totally separate so the kittens don't mingle til they're older? Any guides to setting up a good nesting area would be appreciated.
 

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I'm going to research what dewormers are safe. Luckily that colony usually doesn't have fleas as the lady who cares for them treats for that. Is there a safe treatment for ear mites that doesn't require me to put something in their ears? I suspect I could sneak a topical flea treatment to treat the ear mites if it's safe.

The plan is to have both mamas roaming free in our spare bathroom. We checked it over last year, it's very cat/kitten safe. The 2 mamas will be together as they've been having litters side by side for at least a couple years. They're quite likely sisters from the same litter. Should the nests themselves be totally separate so the kittens don't mingle til they're older? Any guides to setting up a good nesting area would be appreciated.
Advocate II is said to be safe for preg moms. [Advantage II ! There IS also Advocate, and I hope Advocate should be OK for preg moms, but I meant Advantage 2, as Sarthur2 Sarthur2 reminds us} U Umerwhat
I dont know the exact difference to the more common Advocate. Anyway, advocate takes both worms and fleas.

If the moms are good friends, you can have them together. they will probably help each other with minding the kittens.
Mixing kittens touchy only with purebreds, where you must know exactly whom is whoms momma.
HERE the problem is, if several kittens are very much alike, you must mark them out in some way... So you do know whom you are weighting.

Weighing kittens every day is the easiest way to know if there are any problems oncoming; and if you must do something extra, feks handfeed a runt or two.
 
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Umerwhat

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I totally forgot about the likelihood of the kittens looking very alike. The litter of kittens I took care of last year were easy as they had different sized patches of white on tabby. This time, most of them will probably be typical brown tabbies, maybe a gray tabby or two. I'll have to look into methods for that. I'm afraid Elizabeth isn't going to be very keen on me touching her babies.

I plan to order some KMR, kitten chow, syringes, and some miracle nipples. It's recommended to supplement the mamas with kitten chow and KMR, right? Or is there anything else I should add to their diet? Thanks again for the info!
 

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StefanZ StefanZ meant Advantage II for adult cats.

It sounds like you have things well in hand. Yes, give moms kitten chow, wet food, and KMR through their nursing days.

Their nests can connect as they will likely care for each other’s kittens.

I’m excited that they will be together through their final litters.

Do keep us posted!
 

StefanZ

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Your planning sounds good!

the only to say, is if you are tight on budget, goats milk is an OK subsititue, esp for mommas as a supplement to them.
Raw goats milk is even a remedy in some touchy situations.

Also, as you are doing things as rescuer, get home glucose sugar / dextrose. Useful in many emergencies... (And better than white caro syrup as is used as substitute by rescuers in USA). In USA its difficult to find it for end consumer, but I hear Amazon has it. And you can probably find some from a deliverer to bakeries... Or simply contact a bakery and ask them to get some. :)
 

StefanZ

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Tx! Dextrose is a commercial brand name for glucose. And on the greenish paper bag, making visible their declaration, they do write expressively dextrose is another name for glucose sugar, and its this which the cells in the body use as their fuel.

So, at least this greenish paper bag seems to be it. If the others do contain some extra ingredients, I dont know.


Ps. ONE extra plus with glucose sugar / dextrose is, its barely sweet, and its a mild tasting sweetness. So if you add it to drinking water, you can add more of dextrose than say, honey... And the overall taste becomes less intensive than with honey. (honey, because honey does contain 50% of glucose sugar)
 
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Umerwhat

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Didn't realize that glucose was better for this. Going to look into getting some. What would be the typical ratio of glucose to water for giving to kittens in an emergency?
 
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