March 2, 2009
This really early morning, I was surprised to discover that Keera was in labor. She was having some serious issues with stealing Monkey's babies and then biting them...then licking them. Monkey kept wanting to see what was wrong with Keera and was licking her and purring and meowing. I moved the kittens out of the shower into the reserved area in the bathroom. But Monkey was upset and Keera was upset, and kept trying to steal the kittens. So eventually I took all the kittens and placed them in my bedroom, and locked Keera in the bathroom.
She was in very active labor at this point. A few minutes later I went into the bathroom and there was a kitten on the floor and Keera was in the shower. The kitten on the floor wasn't moving a whole bunch and was still in its sack. So I broke the sack open and placed the kitten right near Keera's head. She proceeded to eat the placenta and wash the newborn, however as she was doing that another kitten was born. So she started taking care of the newest arrival. Soon the first one began screaming loudly.
Remember, Keera is a long haired kitty? Well the first born was having issues not being able to find a nipple. Meanwhile, its chaos for poor Keera cause now she has two screaming babies and is still in labor. Monkey is out in the bedroom screaming her head off, scratching and clawing at the door trying desperately to come to the aid of the screaming newborns. She was unable to understand that all of her 24 day old kittens were fine. She was sure that these newborns were hers and they needed her!
Eventually things quieted down. Unfortunately Keera is a first time mom and is way too young, so I am going to keep a close eye on her and the babies. I did not plan to breed her, and her kittens are adorable but not a purebreed of any sort. It can make it more difficult to find good quality families to be responsible pet owners if they are just getting a run of the mill tabby type kitten. Of course that is not always the case and lots of nonpurebreed kittens and cats find loving forever homes.
I'm going to go check on Keera and then take some photos of her babies. She has six by the way! So that makes it an even dozen kittens in this house! This will cost me a lot of money and time and could have all been avoided had I gotten Keera spayed before she was six months of age. If you have a stubborn vet that won't do a spay prior to six months of age, don't listen to them, find another vet! Many vets will do a spay as soon as your kitten weighs 2 pounds. The female can go into heat at or BEFORE six months of age and this is really too young for them to have the best litter and best health. There can be alot of medical complications as well as the new mom only being a baby herself! And if you think you can just ride out the spay, wait for her to stop caterwaling you are mistaken. She will do everything in her power to get to a male! She will jump through open windows or dash out between your feet if you open the door for even a moment. Its biological and she can't resist. It causes many issues in life. They say that letting your cat go into heat once doubles her chances of having mammary(breast?) cancer later in life.
The miracle of life is wonderful but I do not recommend allowing your kitty to have a litter just to experience it. There are many cat shelters that will gladly let you foster a pregnant momma cat, that way you are saving the mom's life as well as the new born kitten's lives. Many shelters are so overfull of unwanted animals and they do not have enough foster homes that when a pregnant or lactating queen comes in they do not have the resources and are forced to put mom and babies down.