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Question about lactating cat



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 9th 03, 02:50 PM
Nord Stjern
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Default Question about lactating cat

I trapped a stray this morning, who is still lactating. I was unable
to locate the kittens to determine how old they are - but it must
either be a small litter, or they are already older, as she is only
lactating from two or three of her mammary glands. The cat is
currently at the vet, they agreed to spay her right away so that she
could be re-released asap. Anyone willing to make a prediction about
how long the kittens can survive without her, depending on their age?
What's the minimum time (under these circumstances) that I should keep
her in recovery? Until she is fully awake, or 24 hours?

Nordstjern
  #2  
Old July 9th 03, 05:47 PM
Arjun Ray
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In ,
(Nord Stjern) wrote:

| I trapped a stray this morning, who is still lactating. [...] The cat
| is currently at the vet, they agreed to spay her right away so that she
| could be re-released asap. Anyone willing to make a prediction about
| how long the kittens can survive without her, depending on their age?

Under 2 weeks of age, not much more than a day. Up to 4 weeks, longer
(say, up to 3 days). If they've started to wean, maybe longer.

No one seems able to say for sure. The vets we've asked have been more
conservative in their estimates. But as anecdotal evidence, I offer the
following:

There was a case reported in these newsgroups of a kitten about 2 weeks
old who fell through a crack behind a wall in a house - it took quite a
while to figure out that the faint mewling was coming from behind the
wall! The kitten wasn't rescued for three days.

My cat Phoenix was about 2 weeks old when we trapped his mother (the
last intact female of her feral colony) in March 2002. For various
reasons, we couldn't get her back to the colony for over three days. He
survived, but admittedly we don't know if he had littermates.

| What's the minimum time (under these circumstances) that I should keep
| her in recovery? Until she is fully awake, or 24 hours?

I'd say a minimum of 24 hours. Not only does she need to work off the
drugs, the incision needs to start bonding properly.

Also anecdotally, our feral specialist vets can estimate the age of the
kittens based on the "condition" of the mother - nothing more accurate
than "under two weeks" or "2-4 weeks", but useful information anyway.
Do you have vets with such experience in your area? It's a brutal
tradeoff - health of mother versus survival of kittens - but the longer
you can afford to keep her for recovery, the better for all of them.

  #3  
Old July 10th 03, 04:16 PM
Nord Stjern
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Arjun Ray wrote ...
| What's the minimum time (under these circumstances) that I should keep
| her in recovery? Until she is fully awake, or 24 hours?

I'd say a minimum of 24 hours. Not only does she need to work off the
drugs, the incision needs to start bonding properly.


Well, I had to keep her for 24 hours - she was definitely still too
drugged last night to let her go. I put her back outside this morning,
and a strange thing happened...she wouldn't walk off, but came right
back to rub at my legs. I staid outside for a while and she finally
headed for a house about one block off and just looked at me
inquisitively when she found the door locked. She didn't meow or
anything, just calmly laid down on her side. I didn't have the guts to
knock at 6am in the morning, and I didn't want to leave her on her own
either, so I'm sending my daughter back there later in the morning. My
best guess from this behaviour would be that her kittens are probably
not tiny (otherwise she'd have headed right home and would have put up
resistance to coming back with me?) and are secure inside the house?

Nordstjern
  #4  
Old July 14th 03, 07:17 PM
Nord Stjern
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"MaryL" wrote ...
Are you sure this is a stray? This almost sounds like she "belongs" at that
house.


My daughter knocked at about 9 am, but no-one answered, so she left a
note with our number. When she returned to try again at midday, the
note was gone, but till today we never got a call. I tried again in
the evening to no avail but talked to some neighbors; no-one knew
anything about the person living there except that she works the night
shift, nor any kittens. Meanwhile, the cat never tried to leave my
house, even with the door wide open...

Nordstjern
 




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