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What If My Cat Gives Birth In The House?

If your cat gives birth while you are at home you may be wondering what you should be doing…

What should I do after my cat gives birth?

If your cat has given birth, the best thing that you can do is to make a nesting box for her somewhere close to you, if it’s quiet in your room, or out of the way in another spot – whatever is the most peaceful.

So, now you know. But, how do you make this nesting box? How do you know when it’s likely to give birth? Where do cats normally give birth? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

How do you make a nesting box for your cat?

To make a nesting box, take a cardboard box and line it first with some plastic and next with some newspaper. This way, if mom soils the box, you can easily clean it.

Make sure that the walls are high enough to keep any wandering kittens inside and now you’ve got a spot where mom can feel safe raising her young.

How do you know if a cat is about to give birth?

Three little kittens on top of hay.

Three little kittens on top of hay.

Mom will be very vocal when she is getting close to giving birth, so listen for a bit of chirping, quicks and sharp meows, and even the occasional howl. She will be grooming a lot and if you examine her, her mammary glands will be noticeably swollen.

Her temperature will lower – don’t panic – just start preparing a nesting box for her to have her kittens in because they are coming soon.

Where do cats normally give birth?

Mom is usually going to find a spot that is secluded and soft, and might even choose a spot in your bedroom if she feels safer there.

You can help things along by lining a box with some plastic and newspaper, and consider buying a couple of soft ‘throwaway’ blankets that you can launder and switch out as-needed. If mom has already had the kittens, don’t worry, as she may transfer them once she knows about the box.

Just make sure that it’s in an area that is low-traffic and the quietest spot in the house if you can and be sure that mom has plenty of nutritious food – raising kittens is hard work, after all, and mom needs vitamins right now to be up to the task!

Do I need to call the vet if my cat just gave birth?

Generally, no, but if mom is straining during labor for more than an hour, then you may well need to contact your vet. Aside from this, unless she is abandoning her kittens or putting one or two kittens aside and ignoring them, you shouldn’t need vet assistance.

Barring any health problems or abandonment stress, your cat is already equipped with the necessary instincts to successfully rear her young. In most cases, vet assistance will be unnecessary.

Where should I keep the kittens after my cat has given birth?

Your best bet is to build a nesting box by taking a cardboard box, lining it with plastic and some old newspaper, and perhaps a blanket that you don’t like to make it a bit more comfortable inside. If you have a dog, consider blocking off the room with a baby-barrier.

This will help to keep the dog out and should any kittens start wandering when mom is asleep (and this WILL happen), then they cannot get out or accidentally get harmed by a well-meaning dog that’s a bit too large to be playing with kittens!

Place the box in a corner, so that mom will feel safer, and check it periodically so that you will know when it has been soiled and might need a fresh change.

How do you know if your cat is pregnant?

Aside from the obvious changes in size, there are a few things that you can look for that will indicate that your cat might well be pregnant. She might vomit as a symptom of morning sickness, but not all symptoms will be as obvious.

Look for behavioral changes, such as creating a nesting spot or sudden, excessive grooming, and look for physical changes like swollen mammary glands.

When a cat is pregnant, it will show pretty quickly – usually within 30 days – so if you see this, then it’s time to make a nesting box and prepare for cute, fuzzy new family members.

Is it good if a cat gives birth in your house?

It is certainly a lucky occurrence, although that will depend from person to person, as not everyone is ready for new family members. That said, now that you’ve got them, you should stock up on a little kitten formula just in case mom rejects any of the kittens and you’ll want to keep a close eye on them.

If you haven’t made a box for the mom yet, consider doing so. A comfortable box can make the kittens more manageable and if you line it with a bit of plastic and newspaper then it is easy to change in a pinch.

Around 8 to 12 days, those adorable little fuzz balls will open their eyes, so be ready to fall instantly in love with your newest family members. There really is very little in this world as cute as a box full of playful kittens!

Can I touch newborn kittens?

You can, provided that mom approves, but you should leave them alone as much as possible until their little eyes start opening up. Don’t worry – this will happen within 8 to 12 days – so you can play with them soon.

If mom seems unhappy with you handling the kittens, however, then you should back off. Playing with them anyway will only stress an already-stressed mom and your scent on the kittens can make her uncomfortable.

So, unless mom seems okay with touching them, leave the kittens alone until they can come to you on their own.

Do mother cats reject their kittens if humans touch them?

A kitten beside his mother.

A kitten beside his mother.

No, a mother cat isn’t going to reject her young, just because you’ve handled them. Cats are very mindful of scents, but the mother can easily smell and identify her babies, no matter how much you handle them.

While your scent might stress her a little, if it’s a stray litter then it will be more worried about you as a potential predator. If it’s a litter at home, mom will certainly recognize the scent and either approve you handling them or she might start being a little sharp with you if she doesn’t want you touching her kittens.

Just try not to handle them too much before they open their eyes. Kittens are quite delicate and you won’t have very long to wait, as they should open their eyes within the next week or two.

Once they are wandering around, bright-eyed and curious, then you scoop them up and get to know the little kittens personally. Just be patient for now!

Will cats eat their babies?

No, a mother cat is not going to eat her babies, this is just a rumor. She WILL eat the placenta after giving birth, which is normal with many animals, as this helps to reduce the chances that another animal will smell this and come hunting for the kittens.

Mom will also chew the umbilical cords to separate the kitties and again, this just makes good sense, but don’t worry that the chewing will continue on and result in mom gobbling up her young. That’s definitely not going to happen!

Lindsey Browlingdon