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Tuesday, March 5


  • How to Prepare a Birthing Box
  • Birthing-Time Tips
  • Moving the Kittens
  • Weaning

    PawHow to Prepare a Birthing Box

    Is your kitty expecting to give birth soon? Here are some tips on how to make an ideal birthing box.

    • Line a large cardboard box with newspapers and some soft sheets (flannel works nicely).
    • Cut an entrance into one of the sides (for easy access).
    • Make a cardboard cover to go over half of the top (makes a partial roof).
    • Be sure to leave the box in a warm, quiet room.
    (This information can be found in our May 2000 Newsletter.)

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    PawBirthing-Time Tips

  1. The plug can burst prior to one week before the birth of the kittens. (This may cause premature babies but usually not.) You need to watch for this carefully to ensure that you will be around when the cat gives birth.
  2. If one of the kittens is very week, keep it on a heating pad wrapped in towels. Keep massaging the baby as much as possible, stroking it gently.
  3. If it seems like all the kittens have been born, remember there may be one last addition. A cat can give birth for up to 8-hour intervals.
  4. If you have tried everything, be ready and willing to let the kitten go. Sadly enough, these things happen sometimes.
  5. Ensure that the remaining kittens are suckling the milk and their stomachs are showing signs of being full.
  6. Do not give the weak kitten too much a bottle. It can collapse the lungs of the kitten, and he/she will pass away gasping with air. Use the eye dropper or the ear dropper and put very few drops in the mouth. Remember the kitten is weak, and he/she can also choke.
  7. Have wonderful friends with whom you can share the experience over the telephone, Internet, or in person.
(This information came from Sam and can be found in our March 2000 Newsletter.)

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PawMoving the Kittens

A cat in the wild will move her kittens to keep them away from predators. It is just instinct. All mother cats will move their kittens at least once from their birthing spot due to the smell of the blood.

Generally, it is fine to let the mother choose a spot and move the kittens. She should calm down soon after. However, some mothers can get carried away and continue to move the kittens. If this happens, it is important to make sure that the mother has not punctured their skin causing abcesses to form.

Mother cats tend to feel safer keeping their kittens in dark, enclosed spaces. A suggestion for calming nervous mothers is to clear out a lower cabinet in your home that is large enough for the mother and her babies. Cover the bottom of the cabinet with towels. Drape the towels over the outside edge to prop the door open for Mom to come and go. (Also, put towels on the floor in front of the cabinet - just in case a kitten should tumble out.)

(This information came from Debbie L. and Michelle C.)

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Kittens are generally weaned around the age of 6 weeks old. If weaned too early, there can be problems with diarrhea and/or vomiting. Then dehydration becomes a risk, and it can be life threatening if left untreated.

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