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  • Sallie Rhodes

Kitty Post: Caring for a Pregnant Feral Cat

Updated: Apr 26


Caring for a Pregnant Feral Cat

Caring for a pregnant feral cat is a task that requires a delicate balance of providing support and space while respecting her natural instincts. One of the initial challenges is ensuring that the feral mom feels safe and comfortable in her temporary home. This involves creating a quiet and secluded area where she can rest and prepare for the arrival of her kittens.

Once the feral mom is settled, the next step is monitoring her closely without causing unnecessary stress. This is where a pet camera becomes an invaluable tool. It allows you to keep an eye on her from a distance, ensuring that she is doing well and preparing for the birth process.

The anticipation of birth brings about a mix of emotions, from excitement to nervousness. It's important to remember that nature often knows best, and interfering too much can lead to unnecessary stress for the mother cat. Observing from afar and stepping in only when necessary, and possible, is key during this stage.

When the time for birth arrives, it's crucial to be prepared. While you cannot control the outcome, you can ensure that the environment is conducive to a smooth delivery. Providing a warm, clean, and comfortable birthing area with plenty of towels and blankets is essential.

After the kittens are born, the focus shifts to monitoring their development and ensuring they are nursing well. This involves gently handling the kittens to check their weight and overall health every day. Tools like a long-handled litter scooper or a soup ladle can be used to safely move the kittens without causing harm or distress to the mother cat.

As the kittens grow, the role of the caretaker evolves into supporting their development while still allowing the mother cat to take the lead in caregiving. This includes providing a nutritious diet for the mother to support milk production and ensuring the kittens are gaining weight appropriately.

Overall, caring for a pregnant feral cat is very similar to caring for a pregnant pet cat. It is a labor of love that requires patience, compassion, and a deep understanding of feline behavior. By striking the right balance between support and non-interference, you can help ensure a healthy and happy outcome for both the mother cat and her kittens.

If you have experience caring for pregnant cats and/or newborn kittens, consider volunteering for Beltsville Community Cats (BCC). We need foster homes for pregnant mother cats, mother cats with very young kittens, and neo-natal kittens that need to be bottle fed. If you just want the joy of fostering a young kitten or an adult cat with no special needs, BCC needs you too. Contact BCC at 240-444-8353 or rescue@beltsvillecats.net.

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