Pregnant feral and TNR?
Due to our newest neighbor leaving her trash on her back step (She moved in last March.), I have been feeding a feral cat and her 3-6 month old kitten. I recently contacted an organization about TNR and they can provide traps and the necessary spay/neuter, vaccines, etc. However, the mom cat looks as though she might be pregnant again. Although I have had cats my entire life, I know nothing about heat cycles, gestation or anything related to feline pregnancy, nor do I know if or when she conceived. We've almost always had male cats that came from shelters/rescue organizations and were neutered before we took them home. Can someone let me know if it would be safe for her to be TNR, and if so, is there a point in her pregnancy when it would be unsafe to do so? Additionally, is there a way to figure out how far along she is, even though she won't let me touch her?
on Nov 12th 2009
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You really can't tell by looking at a cat how far along she is in her pregnancy. When they are about to deliver, their nipples do become pink and protrude, but unless you can see her close up, that would be difficult to observe as well. As long as you have an organization on board who is willing to loan you traps, etc., this is the route to go. Make sure this organization also provides you with the name of a vet who will spay/abort this cat for you and when you do trap her DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE HER FROM THE TRAP TO A CARRIER! This is not a cuddly, little kitty. This is a wild animal who will react to being trapped by being vicious. Let the staff at the vet's office do this. You can be very badly injured by a feral trapped cat. Let the vet's staff decide if this cat is too far along to abort, etc. If stray/feral cats are a problem in your neighborhood or you feel they could become so due to people like your neighbor, I would contact your local heath department about her bad trash habits.
Izadore (Izzie) answered on 11/12/09. Helpful? / 1
First, I would confront your neighbor about her "trash habits". Second, borrow a have-a-heart trap and trap this cat ASAP. Cats start going into heat in late January (when the days get longer) and have a 63-day gestation period. Once you get the cat to a clinic to be spayed, they will determine whether or not she is pregnant. I took a feral cat to be spayed and didn't know she was pregnant. When I returned that evening they had informed me that they aborted the kittens. I was upset, but at least they made the decision for me and I didn't have to make the decision myself. The cat had to recuperate in a dog crate for 10 days due to her late stage pregnancy. DON"T ever try to handle a feral yourself. Leave it to the clinic to transport the cat into a proper crate to recuperate. Some clinics will keep the cat for you if you don't have any place to let it recuperate. Best of luck to you. You are doing the right thing by having this cat fixed. Next, get that little kitten fixed.