Are you a neighbor or backyard cat owner who has seen a lost cat? Seeing A cat that appears in need of help is hard enough, but if you notice they seem to be carrying an extra load around the middle you might start to wonder…a pregnant Stray cat – what do I do?!
If you’re a cat lover, like us here at Fluffy Kitty, you’ll likely want to offer the pregnant momma some help. But how do you do that? But how? Should You do. And what are you doing? shouldn’t You do?
This article will provide all the information you need to care for your furry mom-to be.
- How to determine if a cat has been abandoned or is straying
- Signs of pregnancy for cats
- What to feed a pregnant kitten
- How to tell if a feral kitten is ready to have a baby
- Aftercare for feral mother cat and her kittens
Let’s start with the most important question – Is this momma really in dire need of help
While it might be easy to spot a pregnant cat that is being owned and cared after, you may be a little unsure.
It can be difficult for a cat owner to distinguish a stray or feral cat from a neighbor cat. They are so easy to slip their safety collars these times.
On another note, a feral cat may accept food but won’t want or need any help with her kittens. A stray cat will, however, usually be more accepting of food. Find out Thank you for your support.
In any case – you wouldn’t want to make the mistake of handling them or unnecessarily stressing them out if they don’t actually need your assistance.
How can you tell if your pregnant cat really needs help?
This handy table can help identify a feral or wandering cat.
|Outdoor Pet||Stray Cat||Feral Cat|
|Good Coat Condition||✔||X||✔/X|
|Prone to Begging||X||✔||X|
|Wandering in Daytime||✔||X||X|
|Wandering at night or dawn||X||✔||✔|
If you feel certain that you have found a stray cat, the next step is to determine. If the cat is In fact pregnant. So let’s look at how you tell when a feral or stray cat is ready to give birth.
Pregnancy symptoms in Stray Cats
The two Most commonSigns are everywhere Swollen belly and darkened naples.
Cats have very quick pregnancies, so if you’ve seen the cat around before, you will notice a They can see a dramatic change in their bodies very quickly. This can help you distinguish between a simple weight gain or a real pregnancy.
The mother’s belly will be Very well rounded She will stand taller, but she will still be lean in her body.
If you are able to get close enough to the cat you might be able see some Bewegung inside.
A soon-to be mother cat might exhibit nesting behaviors She will be especially keen to give birth at the end of her gestation. So she will be looking for a warm, quiet place to give birth – this may mean she is a more frequent visitor and seems more persistent to get inside.
The appetite will increase A pregnant stray may eat more food and be louder when she is hungry.
Some pregnant cats experience the same symptoms as humans. morning sickness! So you may notice some vomiting – though this may be harder to discern unless you have a better sense of what ‘normal’ is for this stray.
How to help a pregnant Stray Cat?
So now you know that Yes this stray cat is pregnant – how to help?
Avoid physical contact with cats unless they are willing to have it. This will help to reduce stress. This could mean that you need to spend time with the momma, building trust and friendship. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a full week, because pregnant kitties may be more cautious than usual.
Start With Food & Water
To build trust, it is important to provide food and water for your child to stay hydrated and healthy. Place them in a safe, secure place. This may help her to become more comfortable with your presence by slowly moving closer to you each time she visits.
What to Feed a Pregnant Stray Cat
Ideally, a momma cat needs a high-quality kitten/growth/development food in multiple small meals – especially small if the food is new to her to avoid any stomach upset.
Offer a Nest
A pregnant stray will search for a safe place to give birth as she approaches the due date. This could be the perfect opportunity to lead her inside to a safe, secure space such as a wardrobe or secluded container with toweling. You should keep her from other pets.
If possible, and you think it wouldn’t cause excess stress, see if you can take the mother for a wellness check with your vet. They’ll be able to offer you some advice on the delivery, and whether the mother cat is microchipped. If you are unsure, a call to your vet could be helpful in ensuring a safe delivery.
Keep a distance
Keep your distance if you feel the momma is nervous, especially during birth. But do keep an eye on how she is doing, perhaps by putting a web camera or baby monitor around the den area, and if you notice any of the following it’s best to call your vet:
- Do not train for more than 40-60 minutes without a kitten arriving
- A kitten seems stuck
- The mother seems to be extremely distressed
- She is excessively lethargic
- She is bleeding heavily
Once your stray or feral mother cat and kittens are well after delivery – What next?
Do not let this happen
As hard as it is to ignore those little fluff balls, don’t handle the kittens during the first few days after birth. Unless they are sick, you should not take them to the vet. It reduces the chances that the mother will abandon her kittens. Don’t worry, if she’s ready to introduce them to you you’ll know.
Keep Them All Together
To reduce stress and to avoid the possibility of abandonment, you can bring your entire family to the vet if you are concerned.
If the kittens were born in your house and you intend to foster them, it may be a good idea for you to create a kitten-proof area for them to grow up. As they grow, they’ll want to explore and play, so will need space in which it is safe to do so.
How to Care for a Kitten without a Mother
Sometimes it’s not the mother that wanders into our life, but her lost babies. Here’s how to help a lost kitten:
- Keep your distance to avoid momma returning. Kittens with mom have a higher survival rate, so be patient.
- If they are very young (eyes, ears and mouth closed), keep an eye on them for approximately 2 hours. If there is no sign of mum, or the kitten is clearly in a high state of distress, then call a local vet, rescue, or advice line and inform them you are taking the kitten in. They can help you determine if the kitten needs emergency care or if it can be nursed by you.
- Older kittens may be left alone for up to 4 hours. If you are unable to wait, then it is time to try and rescue them.
What to feed newborn kittens in an emergency situation?
The following are some options if you’re faced with caring for a kitten without enough supplies:
- Start by ensuring they are Warm – with an old towel and a heating pad or hot water bottle (be sure to supervise the use of any hot water bottles).
- Use some evaporated milk with warm water (50/50), yogurt or goat’s milk with a syringe or dropper feed. The rule of thumb for a child of any age is to consume approximately 5ml per daily.
- Kittens will need to be fed often Every 1 to 3 hours.
- Do it as soon and as possible Kitten Replacement Milk.
Long Term Plan
You’ve already done an amazing thing by opening your home to this momma and her babies. So well done!
You can decide what your next steps will be, but here are some suggestions to help mom and her kittens live a happy life.
Mother – If you brought the mother cat into your home to finish out her pregnancy, you could choose to release her again or adopt her permanently. Either way, it’s a great idea to at least neuter Before she continues with her life.
This is considered the most humane thing to do. It prevents her having more litters. If you intend to release her.
You can read more about the many benefits of neutering for both the mama as well as the world around her. here.
Kittens –The kittens should be allowed to stay with their mother until they are at least 10-12 weeks old. To prevent them from getting sick or becoming pregnant, they can be spayed or neutered.
You could post on social media, contact your local shelter or hold a fundraiser to pay for treatments – feel free to get creative!
If possible, don’t simply release them outside. This is because outdoor cats are more likely than indoor cats to get hurt, illness, or even die.
The Pregnant Stray Hero kit
If you’re worried about what to get to help the pregnant momma and her babies, here’s a handy list of everything you might need:
- Cat trap – If you are certain that the mother cat is in need of veterinary care, you might have to capture her. You can either borrow traps from your vet or purchase one. You can also DIY a version. this.
- Mother & Kitten Food – It is a great idea to choose something soft and easy to digest. This is what you want. Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse is formulated to support immune health and healthy digestion, plus it’s a lovely soft texture that helps wean kittens.
- Nesting box – In addition to the DIY outdoor version, you can also use a cardboard box, laundry basket, or an enclosed cat pen if you have an indoor stray. this oneTo keep the kittens contained.
- Blankets – Kittens need to be kept warm, so a few old towels that you don’t mind losing or an old blanket are a great addition to the den. If you don’t have any blankets, these cozy onesYou will succeed.
- Low litter box – If indoors, little kittens need a low-sided litter box that’s easy for them to use. You could use a disposable, eco-friendly option like Nature’s Miracle (just cut an opening) or invest in a purpose-made litter box like this.
- Nanny cam – A nanny cam is a great way to check in on your family while you are away or working. Wyze Cam v3 Pet CameraIt could be a good choice. It’s weather-resistant and has night vision, so can be used outdoors too.
We hope you find this guide useful.
Have you ever helped a family with stray animals? Are there any other top tips you can share for fostering babies and their moms? Leave a comment below with your top tips for caring for newborns and their moms.