Can you bathe a nursing cat? During the first few weeks after giving birth, you must have the necessary skills to observe the mother cat and her newborn kittens. Aside from looking for signs of illness, you can also check for their physical development.
While a cat can get postpartum, it’s essential to ensure that the mother cat and her kittens are warm and comfortable. Having a thorough check-up also helps identify any abnormalities, and it can help you get immediate veterinary help.
Can You Bathe a Nursing Cat?
You don’t need to perform anything on a nursing cat before or after birth. If your cat is expecting to give birth, you probably don’t need to encourage it to move around.
A couple of signs indicate that she is about to give birth, such as the movement of the uterus, which can make her yowl. You can also check for active labor by looking for signs of pain, such as contractions.
If the birth went smoothly, the mother cat and her kittens should undergo examination by their veterinarian within 24 hours.
Read also: Flea Treatment For Nursing Cats
How to Take Care of a Mother Cat and Its Kittens?
The first couple of weeks are crucial for a cat and her newborn kittens. If the mother experiences any issues during this period, it will prolong her postpartum period.
The mother cat should be the one to set the pace for you. If you keep her as your pet, she may welcome your visits. However, if you are a foster or stray cat, you may want to stay away as the kittens are still nursing.
A separate room is also ideal for the mother cat and her babies. It will allow them to keep warm and prevent them from getting cold. However, the babies could get out if the mother uses a litter box or leaves to eat or drink. Blankets and a heat lamp are also helpful to keep the newborns warm.
To keep the mother and her kittens comfortably, place a large box inside with towels. When the kittens defecate, the towels will become soiled quickly, so it’s essential to remove the top one.
Keep the mother cat’s food bowls, litter box, and water bowls close. She must receive the nutrients she needs during her postpartum period. To guarantee that she gets the nutrients she needs, feed her high-quality canned kitten food.
Read also: Why Do Mother Cats Abandon Their Kittens?
Postpartum Health Issues
A new mother’s pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period can be very stressful. There are a variety of ailments that can affect her body. Keep an eye out for these conditions in your mother cat.
When a cat’s milk ducts are blocked, the animal’s mammary glands become inflamed, causing the milk to become hot and swollen. This condition is mastitis, and you can treat it with antibiotics. However, since the mother cat can take a long time to recover, the kittens may need to be hand-fed.
Although hypocalcemia is rare in cats, it can occur during pregnancy and nursing. It can cause seizures and other unusual behavior. Cats that are nursing or pregnant may also experience muscle tremors and restlessness.
When a new mother cat gives birth to her kittens, she usually has normal vaginal drainage. However, if she begins to vomit or has a foul-smelling discharge, this could be a sign that her uterus is infected. Other symptoms include fever and lethargy.
If the mother cat is experiencing this condition, she might need to go to the hospital. She will eventually recover and be able to care for her kittens.
Observing Your Nursing Cat and Its Offspring
After three days, a kitten’s eyes will open, and its umbilical cord will eventually fall off. It happens because the animal’s nervous system is not yet fully developed. While sleeping, the twitching may indicate that the animal’s muscles and nervous system are developing.
By two weeks, the kittens will be crawling and trying to stand. When they start to come in, their teeth will begin to grow. You can feel their tiny teeth by putting your finger in their mouth.
During the first three weeks, your cat’s mother will nurse her kittens to encourage them to get rid of their waste. To simulate this task, you will need to prepare a warm and damp washcloth.
At three weeks, the kittens should start to walk around and play. They should also be fed wet food and KMR. You should also introduce them to the litter box. The best litter for young cats is a non-clay litter.
Read also: Best Food For Bengal Kittens
What Are Possible Issues for Newborn Cats?
Intestinal parasites are the most common cause of illness in young kittens. Other conditions such as respiratory and congenital diseases can also affect their development.
If a kitten exhibits signs of the syndrome, it’s essential to contact a veterinarian immediately. This condition can affect a cat’s development and behavior. One of the signs of the syndrome is that it tends to be more sluggish and tired than its siblings.
Read also: How Much Sleep Do Kittens Need?
What Problems Can You Expect From the Mother Cat?
Cats have solid defensive instincts against people. When approached, they may growl, strike out, or hiss. The presence of humans usually triggers this behavior. If you come across a mother cat with these characteristics, move slowly around her and the nest.
You should also wear a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself from the sun as you clean around the house. Try to bribe her with treats such as chicken baby food. Also, do not react if she growls or hisses. She is acting out of a natural urge to protect her young.
Mom cats are known to aggressively attack other animals to protect their young, such as dogs and cats. This behavior can be very stressful and can also lead to the loss of their foster family. To prevent this, please do not introduce your cats to other animals.
If a mother cat sees another animal, immediately get out of the room. Also, do not try to comfort or reassure the animal. If the mother cat is upset, leave the room and come back later to check on her. About 8% of kittens die from maternal neglect.
The most common cause of death for cats is hypothermia. It usually occurs when a cat strays away or is not retrieved. In other cases, cats with poor maternal instincts might neglect their young. They might also be able to cannibalize them if they have congenital disabilities.
It is also essential that the environment is clean, quiet, and calm to prevent stress from affecting a mother cat’s well-being. Cats should only be left alone for the first two weeks after birth. It is also essential to watch out for signs of neglect, such as the lack of food and activity.
Generally, leaving the nursing cat alone after birth for a few days is the best decision you could ever make. Only you should be allowed to visit their mother to protect their young. Doing so could potentially lessen diseases in the kittens and make them sick. Also, it is essential to wait until the animals are at least four weeks old before visiting.