barn cat just had kittens--questions!!!

claraserena(4)April 17, 2009

A week ago a neighbor's barn cat came to live with us. SHe had been hanging around--is very gentle with us and our chickens and has been socialized by their children. The neighbor said we are welcome to have her. We have 20 acres but no barn so I set up a large plastic crate filled with pine shavings and towels and blankets over that and she has been sleeping there

I just got home from work to find her with 4 kittens (a 5th died). They are in her "bed" She has food and water nearby. Is there anything I can or should do? Should I try to change the towels? that would mean taking them all out and putting them back. Will they be warm enough with her in the garage (low in 40's tonight but nights in the 30's coming).

I could put them in a back entry room that sould be warmer.

I have no idea what to do--any advice appreciated!

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She will keep the kittens warm.Food and fresh water,she will need.My cats always were ravenous when they had kittens.I fed dry food and some of the cheap canned food.Some cats do not want you messing with the kittens and will move them and hide them.Sounds like the bedding you gave her is fine(nothing that the kittens can get tangled up in.An old wool sweated that has been shrunk works good.)I would leave her be and just provide food.One of my cats had her kittens in a bag of trash trying to hide!Posy Pet

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 8:04PM
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Yes, Posy gives good advice :) One of my kitties just had 4 kittens in the garage on Good Friday. I have not yet "touched" them since that makes even the most social of cats nervous. I've made of them and congradulated momma who is quite proud. She has been eating non-stop! I give dry food for all my cats and give a small can in the morning as a treat. They only must get a very little taste each but they look forward to it. Keep doing what you're doing, a momma cat won't have her kittens anywhere that she thinks there is a danger so she obviously trusts you. Just don't mess with her babies until they are a bit older. Lori

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 9:33PM
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Thank you Posy and Gardengal. I did bring their bed into the back entry way. She got up to eat and I took out the wet/bloody towel and replaced it. I give her dry food and canned. I have touched the kittens just to help her rearrange them--she does not mind at all.
She obviously isn't litter box trained and now that she's in a confined space that might be a problem. I bought the "attract" cat litter and it's in the room with her but she hasn't used it. Don't know what my odds are. When the time comes, I'd like to litter train the kittens as that might make them easier to place. Any websites on all of this?
My name here, Claraserena, is the name of my Siamese who died 2 1/2 years ago at age 20. She was a dear and I didn't think I would ever want another cat. I think this cat is changing my mind!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 11:40PM
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Congratulations on being adopted by Mistress Cat, claraserena! It sounds as if she has completely accepted you as her new servant. lol (Dogs have masters; cats have staff.)

The only thing I've ever found necessary to litter train kittens is to provide them with a litter box. I wouldn't be surprised if momma is just as easy.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 12:19AM
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They won't need the box for a while. Mama takes care of that.
See if your vet will give you a discount for neutering 5 cats. They often will. I think your neighbor would feel obliged to contribute.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 8:28PM
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Our cat had five kittens about four weeks ago. I have had cats my whole life and we currently have 15 of them on our farm. I have found that handling the kittens as soon as possible helps them get used to be handled and they won't be so fearful of you. I started petting and holding them as soon as mom dried them off after being born. You don't have to handle them THAT soon but start slow and help them to know you're a friend and not a foe!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:32PM
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My Sweet and Beautiful Kitty just had her kittens. She is an outside barn cat. I am worried about her and the babies because there are so many male cats around (strays by the way). Is there anything I can do to find the babies? I have been looking for about and hour now with no luck I have even tried following her but that is not working either. I know she that is feeding them because her nipples are distended and she is starving plus eating like crazy.
Any advise would be appreciated right now.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 11:00AM
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Hey batgirl25 - you are probably not going to be able to find them. She'll bring them out when she's ready for you to meet them. It does happen that some males will kill the babies. We've had momma's show up with babies in tow and we have stray males too. Hopefully she has them well hidden and she'll be able to raise them. Finding them would be great, because the sooner handled the better.

We spay all females as soon as we can capture them. I would rather pay to spay (they will spay them pregnant too), than have a lot more cats to be responsible for or try to give away.

Here is a link that might be useful: MY BLOG

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 11:41AM
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Like I said I was just worried because she was pregnant this past winter, but we never saw any babies, but it was very cold and I also assumed they either did not survive or the stray males in the area killed them.
All I really want to see is that they are ok and safe also, begin to socailize them.

My kitty(Snowy) is very social and lovable so I want that for her babies too.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 12:30PM
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OUr kittens are 3 weeks now and doing very well. They are with the mom in a back entry way (3 doors: to house, to garage and to outdoors). We don't have a barn (on our wish list) nor do we have any pet doors so they are either in or out. How/when should I try putting them in the yard? We have some pens around the chicken coop (could keep the chickens out) so that's an idea for during the day but there isn't a shelter in the pen so I'd bring them all in at night. Mom uses the litter box and I want her to teach the kittens to so would I put a litter box in the pen too? Also, when will they need kitten food? I handle them often--they let me know when they want to go back to mom. Oh--a couple of times when I've left the door to the house open, mom has carried kittens into the house into the back of a closet. I'm guessing HER long term goal is to move the family in with us!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 10:49AM
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