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Mama cat's strange behavior..

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions - big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

  
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Weeble

Weebs - I wobble but I- don't fall down!
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 5:15am PST 
Okay, just a little background to start with. This isn't my "first rodeo" (Yeah, I'm from Texas, lol we say that). I have birthed 8 litters in the past two years...8 different animals, never the same one twice. I have my own handful of animals here, which are all spayed/neutered, but it seems the strays spread the word that my house is a great hospital. They show up here pregnant all the time. I bring them in, nurture them, birth them, raise the babies to about 12 weeks, and find homes for everyone, including mama.

Now, two Mama's showed up here recently at the same time. One a definite Siamese, the other just a gray short-hair. The gray one, Gracie, seemed MUCH further along then the Siamese, Sami. I brought them both in.

Sami went into labor yesterday morning. I thought this to be very early, as she has no milk in her breasts whatsoever, and she was very small. I believe this is her first litter, and I'm guessing based on experience she's probably a year old or less.

She had 5 kittens yesterday, and sadly, one stillborn. cry She wanted nothing to do with the kittens. My husband and I had to clean them, get them breathing, cut the umbilical cords, all of it. She did not eat all of the placentas. We left them there for a bit to see if she would, as I know this is vital for the nutrients. No luck.

She acted like she wanted to move them. We tried several nesting boxes. None of them she liked. When she tried to move them, I thought maybe she was uncomfortable, and if that would get her to do her Mama thing, I'd let her move them to a safe place of her choosing. She'd pick up a kitten, walk 3 or 4 feet, and drop it. Go get another, drop it somewhere else. This was not normal Mama behavior.

I went to Petco and bought KMR and baby bottles. I am hand rearing the kittens, feeding every two to three hours. I feed as much as they will take, once they let go, I don't push anymore. Their tummies are full. I also stimulate, and they're all both urinating and defacating. Everything looks normal.

I keep them warm right now with something a vet suggested, a "water momma." It's a gallon jug filled with steaming water, wrapped safely in a towel. They seem to like it, and their mouths and bodies are warm.

I also burp after bottle feeding. I also keep them clean with a warm washrag (not too hot!) They are right now in my laundry basket inside a dog kennel I have in my home. They seem good, and act like normal kittens. Momma doesn't seem to care that they're in there. She goes outside, and doesn't fight to get back in, I have to bring her in myself.

However, when they cry when I feed them, she's all over me. This is the only time she shows any concern about them at all. She won't feed, clean, stimulate or anything else, but she hates their cries.

I guess I'm asking if I'm doing everything right here. If she absolutely refuses, I have to keep them fed, warm and taken care of. I don't feel comfortable turning them over to her, considering she won't do anything.

Also, before some of you ask...I did try seeing if the other Mama cat would take to them. She has plenty of milk in her breasts and should give birth any day now. She tried to kill them. frown Won't work. confused

Thanks for taking the time to read! I appreciate any helpful tips/suggestions.shrug

Edited by author Mon Mar 23, '09 5:24am PST

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QUINCY

I've never met a- kitten I didn't- like
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 8:09am PST 
It sounds like you are doing everything purrfect!!applause
I don't actually get to raise bottle babies except for maybe a day or two in emergencies since I work and can't be home to feed them, but I have had many foster Mama's give birth or already have babies when they come to me. One of my best friends is the one who bottle feeds for our rescue. I really can't add anything to what you are already doing. Your next step would be to introduce them to the litter box and more solid food at around 4 wks. You can add rice cereal to their bottle or buy the KMR 2nd step which is then mixed with the KMR. The next step would be getting them to eat out of a saucer, and you can start adding can kitten food or human meat baby food (no onions or garlic) to the KMR in the saucer.
She may not be taking care of the babies because she is young and inexperienced, or they may have something wrong with them. I don't want to rain on your parade, but they can sense when something is wrong. This may be why the other Mama doesn't want them either. Also, it can be difficult to get everyone to adoption age when they didn't have a good start. That being said, we do truely wish you good luck with them all. We hope they turn out happy and healthy and find good forever homes. We also are going to send you an invite to our group, Foster Families Forever. There are at least 3 good links on our page for websites with orphan kitten info.
Hugs and Purrs,
Quincy and his Mama

P.S. We hope you get the gray Mama fixed soon since she is going outside and can get pregnant again.
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DESERT

PICK ME !! PICK- ME!! TO BE PET!!
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 9:02am PST 
I dido every thing that Quincy said.

It really does sound like inexperiance. And the second Momma may have tried to kill them because she saw them as rivals to her babies since thier mommy is still around. I would suggest you try with the other mommy as second time a week or two after she gives birth her mothering instics will be stronger and will not see these little ones as much of a threat to hers. Also the first mommy should be kept seperate from the second mommy to avoid any rivalry that may come from them both being mommies. If you can afford it, I would suggest you spay the first mommy ASAP so as to prevent another litter and you can do t quite quickly with her because she rejected her babies.
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Gracie

I'm the baby,- gotta love me!
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 3:07pm PST 
Desert is right. If she rejected then and hasn't come back to them at all, she probably won't ever feed them herself. As soon as mother cats are no longer lactating, they can be back in business. Since yours never did, or never wanted to feed her brood, she is producing no milk, and could go back in heat any day.
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Genny In- Loving- Memory

Mommy's Angel
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 3:54pm PST 
I second the poster who said to wait til Sami gives birth and then see if she will accept the kittens. I had 2 barn cats last year give birth within a few days of each other..the 2nd one chose the same place as the 1st one did. They both nursed all the kittens...didn't matter whose it was. So maybe after Sami does have hers.. keeping my fingers crossed for you!
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Miss Tiny- Burr Burr

Love and adore.
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 5:53pm PST 
if you can, i would take momma cat and kittens to the vet.

If the mother rejects the kittens, it could be a sign she is sick, or there is something wrong with the babies.

eaither way goodluck with the babies. and if they are healthy, sometimes for whatever unseen reason, animals somtimes wont mother there offspring. shrug
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Weeble

Weebs - I wobble but I- don't fall down!
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 6:01pm PST 
Hello!

Well, Gracie had her kittens today too. There are no problems with her, she's a loving mom taking care of all of her babies. She had a total of 5. We took one of the kittens from Sami's litter and tried her out. She took to it like her own! She bathed it, fed it, did everything else she was supposed to do! This all looks great to me...but I wanted to see what everyone else thought.

I did some research and know that a litter of kittens can rarely be 10 kittens, but I am concerned if this is too much for one mom? I was thinking of trying her and watching the kittens development..helping with the KMR where need be..what do ya'll think?

Thanks!
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DESERT

PICK ME !! PICK- ME!! TO BE PET!!
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 8:12pm PST 
WEEBLE

Because the kittens survival is largly (nto always) dependent on getting anti bodies from mom I suggest that you lett all the kitties nurse the one momm Just be sure that she is fed a high quality kitten food I would even suggest free feeding her that way she will always have the nutrients she needs while nursing.

By doing this you will add to the overall health of the first litter.


I would also place a call to my vet and see what they have to say.


Keep us posted
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Weeble

Weebs - I wobble but I- don't fall down!
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 10:54pm PST 
Hey!

Thanks for all the responses. So far, so good. The entire first litter has been moved in with Gracie and her babies. Sami has been separated so as not to hurt the babies, or cause any "rivalry." So far all babies are feeding, I'm keeping a close eye on their weight and listening intently for any cries. Gracie just takes to them as if they were her own. I have the formula and bottles on hand just in case they need any supplemental feeding. I have my fingers crossed! I'll be getting a good kitten food for Gracie as well. Hopefully we'll have ten bouncing kittens in a few weeks. I'll keep ya posted. big grin
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Miss Tiny- Burr Burr

Love and adore.
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 24, '09 5:01am PST 
thats good that the other cat adopted them!

my only advice is to feed feed feed! i would leave out some kitten dry food at all times, and give her wet kitten food or KMR twice a day.

10 is alot of babies for poor ol mom. she might manage now but when the scamps get older its going to be a strain. you may want to consider supplmenting them with the bottle. good luck.
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