Cat gave birth 12 hours ago and still seems pregnant
March 28, 2009 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Cat gave birth 12 hours ago, three healthy kittens, still seems pregnant (bulgy belly) and seems to be having contractions. What should I do?

I adopted a stray cat who was pregnant. She just had her kittens at 4 in the morning, three kittens who all appear healthy and are nursing. My cat seemed fine at first but after she got up she still seems pregnant - like there might be another kitten or two in there.

It is now almost 12 hours later and she just took the kittens from the bedroom where she gave birth to them (she gave birth at the foot of the bed while I was asleep) and she took them to a box in my closet in another room. But she now is purring very rapidly, almost like panting, and she's having contractions, like she's trying to expel something.

My vet is not open right now. There is an emergency vet listed on my vet's answering machine. But is this normal? What should I do? Is there any vets who consult by phone anywhere?

Just to be clear, I fix all my cats but this is one who I found living in the basement of a property I manage and we were going to have to board up her home so I adopted her. She's a very sweet kitty.

Here is a youtube video of her and one of her kittens
posted by Melsky to Pets & Animals (12 answers total)
From here:

When should I call a veterinarian?

There are many possible problems your queen may encounter during birth, which are too numerous to cover in this article. A week or so prior to the birth you should take your cat to the veterinarian for a final check up & discuss the birth & potential problems with him or her. They will be able to advise what is 'normal' and what requires veterinary attention. Some problems you should be watchful of include;

* Gestation lasting longer than 70 days
* Stage 1 labour lasting longer than 24 hours
* 20 minutes of intense labour without birth.
* Straining for 10 minutes if a fetus or a fluid filled bubble is visible in the birth canal
* Acute depression
* Fever (above 103°F)
* Sudden discharge from the vagina of bright red blood lasting longer than 10 minutes
* Thick, black, foul smelling discharge from the vagina.

If it were me, I'd be calling a vet to ask for advice at the VERY least.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 1:09 PM on March 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't have a clue, but I would be calling the emergency vet to ask if this is normal or not. When I was freaking out about one of my kittens acting weird after a shot, I called the emergency vet (weekend evening) and described the problem. They told me it was not necessary to bring her in, and what to look out for, that would necessitate a visit. Hopefully your emergency vet will be similarly helpful. 12 hours seems a long time to me, so please call now.
posted by Joh at 1:20 PM on March 28, 2009

my husband is on hold with the emergency vet.

She's been fine in the meantime, she just started having the contractions in the last hour or so.
posted by Melsky at 1:22 PM on March 28, 2009

It's not unusual for cats to give birth in two or three "batches" over the course of a day. In all likelihood your new mommy is fine, but I'm glad to hear you're asking a vet, just in case.
posted by amyms at 1:58 PM on March 28, 2009

I'm not a vet, but I grew up in the country with a passel of cats and got to deal with a lot of litters being born - more than once in my bed with me, due to one mamacat who preferred to get things done under the covers between my knees.

Three is a very small litter - not impossible, but not as many as the norm. She might well have a dead kitten in there that is blocking up the works (sad but does happen), or as amyms says she might just be doing the litter in stages.
Purring can be an indication of pain, so keep an eye on her temperature and overall state - restlessness or immobility, unusual amount of vocalization, neglect of the kittens and of course temperature and bloody or smelly discharge from the uterus would be your danger signs (smelly beyond the usual birthing odor, which is pretty strong).
As long as she's not doing any of that there's probably no immediate danger, but you're already communicating with the vet and should probably arrange to bring her in first thing during normal business hours if she's still having contractions and no more kittens have popped out..
posted by Billegible at 3:00 PM on March 28, 2009

Forgot to ask - has the afterbirth come out yet? Looks kinda like... a kitten-sized chunk of messy liver, iirc (not prepared to swear on a bible about the exact appearance).
If you weren't with her the whole time you might have missed it as they eat it; but if it hasn't come out she's not done.
posted by Billegible at 3:12 PM on March 28, 2009

We called the emergency vet and took her in. There was a dead kitten in her, the vet removed it and mother and the three kittens are doing fine.
posted by Melsky at 3:25 PM on March 28, 2009 [4 favorites]

Sorry to hear about the lost kitteh, but glad everyone else came out okay. Dead kittens can cause sepsis, so you definitely did the right thing.
posted by Billegible at 7:16 PM on March 28, 2009

Props to you, Melsky, for taking her in; the video is touching and you did the right thing. So sorry she lost one. You were quite observant to notice something wasn't right and to contact the emergency vet. Mocha's a lucky mom.
posted by ourroute at 10:02 PM on March 28, 2009

Thanks for updating, I've been worrying about her since last night!
posted by lunasol at 4:27 PM on March 29, 2009

thanks to everyone for the help! Mocha is doing great and her kittens are adorable. She's a great mother and the kittens are growing fast. Their eyes are already open!
posted by Melsky at 4:19 PM on April 5, 2009

The kittens are doing very well, here is a video
posted by Melsky at 5:23 PM on May 18, 2009

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