A little while back, we posted that our cat, Luna, had given birth to kittens.
I made a promise that I would do a more in-depth blog post about it when I had the time to fully concentrate and get it all down… So here it is. Sorry If you have been waiting but we have had so much happening all at once with renovating the house, building our extension and planning our trip to Scotland.
Get on with it then, I hear you all say…….
We believe that Luna fell pregnant somewhere in the middle of February this year as, unlike her, there was a night that she refused to come back inside the house in the evening and spent the night “out in the hood”. But it was more towards the end of March that we really noticed the difference. Luna has always been a vocal cat but not overly affectionate. As the next couple of weeks went on, she became very very affectionate. She used to snuggle in with my wife and allow her to rub her belly and she would just lay there purring away. It was insanely cute. As we got into April, she also began to look like a little barrel and she was eating like a horse!!
Now we have had cats in the past but never have we had a pregnant cat so we were clueless (as always). Now as I have mentioned before, I love to research EVERYTHING!!! So onto the web I went and scoured various blogs, fact pages, vet pages, you name it, for information. As I was saying a moment ago, we had noticed the changes in Luna so we were aware that she was pregnant. Upon our research, we now knew that a cat is usually preganant for somewhere in the region of about 65 days. From our educated guess of when she fell pregnant, we now had a rough idea of when the little kittens would be due.
As the days and weeks ticked by, Luna was eating more (we had out her onto kitten food as advised) and she was refusing to leave the house as often, but still in very good spirits and showing all of the signs of a healthy pregnant Queen. Now, it isn’t essential that you take your pregnant cat to a vet but if you are unsure of anything, concerned of anything or you just want clarification that your cat is preganant and how many kittens are cooking up in there, then by all means take her to see a professional. We didn’t feel the need to one bit so we decided to “wing it”, as we seem to do with anything.
Then came the fun guessing games amongst the family!!! When will they be born? How many will she have? What colours would they be? How many boys, how many Girls? We all kept chopping and changing our minds but it really was building some much needed family excitement during the pandemic that shall not be named.
Back to that first question……. When will she have them?
EVERY single post, article and fact-sheet that I read, all stated that it would be easy to tell when our little Queen was going into labour…. She would become more vocal. She would pace around in discomfort. She would begin to nest by nicking blankets or cushions and scouting the house for a nice quiet area. She would go off of her food and her body temperature would drop. All signs, that your cat was starting labour.
Fortunately, I had fashioned a cosy little birthing box out of a couple of cardboard boxes, taped together, with some snuggly blankets to line it and placed it in a quiet corner in the living room…. BECAUSE…. Luna decided to not be a normal Queen and showed none of the signs mentioned above…… Cheers for the warning then!
It was Monday 12th April and at about 11:00pm, I was snoring my head off and I was lovingly asked to clear off into the spare room to sleep in the spare bed so as not to disturb the wife any longer (this is the polite version). At 7:00am the next morning, I was woken to what could only be described as chirping. It sounded like a little bird at the window. As I came to a little more, it sounded like the chirping was coming from inside the house. My first thought was that a bird had come in through an open window in the bathroom or something? I thought “oh here we go”, I grabbed a pair of shorts, threw them on and then let my big ears follow the chirping.
It was coming from my eldest Son’s bedroom!!! As I got closer, I noticed that Luna was sat in a very small little recess between my son’s bed and his wardrobe and she had dragged a little cushion from his bed. I looked down and she was frantically licking away at this tiny little black furball. It was so dinky, about the size of a field mouse, and was chirping away with it’s little tea-bag looking placenta attached to it’s belly by its ambilical cord. There was just the smallest little patch of blood on the cushion and Luna was already cleaning everything up and being the awesome mummy that she is.
So, I thought back to my previouis research and then remembered the articles about the labour itself. It can take a matter of hours for Luna to give birth to all of her kittens and even on occasion, run into a second day, so I calmly woke my eldest son up (who’s head was pretty much just above all of the action). Lord knows how he slept through it? I then woke my youngest son up and lastly drudged back into the marital suite where I had been shunned from just the night before, to wake the wife and let her know what was going on.
Within MINUTES……. We all heard a second lot of chirping!!! WHAT ON EARTH WAS GOING ON?? This wasn’t in the manual!! Same as kitten number one, out it was, chirping away with it’s little Tea Bag in tow and Luna licking away to clean everything up. Kitten number two was almost an exact replica of it’s mother from what we could see, a lovely mix of black and white, almost like cow print. We stood back and let Luna do her thing (again, we had read that Luna will sort it all herself and we should only intervene should there be any clear distress or issues with her giving birth).
Literally 5 minutes passed and in a flash, kitten number 3 was born. Luna hadn’t made a sound, didn’t even appear to strain, it seemed effortless and the complete opposite of every article and blog that I had read. Typical!!
We now had 3 little kittens, all laying there chirping away on this little cushion on my son’s bedroom floor. They all had their placenta’s attached by the ambilical cord still. Usually Momma will chew the ambilical cord and dispose/eat the placenta’s. On occasion, she may not and you have to intervene and lend a helping hand. Of course, that’s what we had to do!!! Again, after a little more research, it is best to tightly tie some cotton/thread round the ambilical cord approx 1cm away from the kittens’ belly, and then tie another piece approx a further cm away. Then with some sharp scissors, cut in between the knots. The reason for this is so that the laking of blood and fluids is minimal. Being the totally prepared and organised people that we are (NOT), we didn’t have any string!!! After a very quick and frantic search of the house, we found some un-scented/un-flavoured dental floss…. That’ll do!! It actually worked just fine. There was no mess and the kittens didn’t notice one little bit. They were now left with just 1cm of ambilical cord from their tummy’s and after about 3 days, this had dried up and then fell off naturally on all of the kitty’s.
We have since moved the kittens down into the birthing box, all snug in the corner in the lounge. They seem very happy and content there and so does Luna. She is doing really, really well with looking after them. Laying with them, pretty much 24/7, cleaning them, helping them go to the toilet and cleaning after them, and, of course, feeding them. She herself is still eating like a horse and seems to love being back on kitten food herself (this is advised while she is nursing so to pass all of the nutrients to her babies through her milk).
We will keep you all posted and we will follow this blog with some updates so that you can follow their journey.