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Cat Reproduction Lecture

Cat Reproduction Lecture. http://www.mypetcaretv.com/videocontent/articles/Birth_Of_Kittens.html. Before Breeding. Provide proper nutrition for the cat. Provide necessary vaccinations . Important in passing protective antibodies to nursing kittens.

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Cat Reproduction Lecture

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  1. Cat Reproduction Lecture http://www.mypetcaretv.com/videocontent/articles/Birth_Of_Kittens.html

  2. Before Breeding • Provide proper nutrition for the cat. • Provide necessary vaccinations. • Important in passing protective antibodies to nursing kittens. • Vaccinating a pregnant cat can result in birth defects. It is important to vaccinate before breeding

  3. First Heat Cycle • This will depend on the breed of the cat • As early as 5 months to as late as 10 months of age • Heat = time period when the cat can be bred

  4. Estrus (Heat) • The female cat's heat period may be considered in three stages. • Initially, the vulva swells as her reproductive system prepares for mating and pregnancy. • Your cat's appetite may increase and she may develop a restless disposition. • She will generally refuse the attention of male cats during this period. • On the other hand, male cats will be much in evidence, particularly if she is allowed outside.

  5. Estrus (Heat) • Mating may occur during the second stage. • Vulvar swelling continues and becomes obvious. • The female's attitude now becomes most affectionate, her appetite decreases and she calls persistently for a mate. • A third stage develops if the cat is not mated. • The activity of her reproductive organs subsides and a period of tranquility exists until the next heat period. • During this third stage, she is still in heat but her interest in males usually wanes and she will refuse male advances. • Male cats, called toms, will continue to seek her out.

  6. Estrus • The feline "mating call" may be an alarming experience for the unsuspecting owner. • There is usually a good deal of growling, chewing and mauling during mating.

  7. Estrus • Induced by day light hours getting longer • Temperatures going up in the spring • A cat can come into heat every 15 to 21 days

  8. Breeding • Right after mating the female howls loudly and attacks the male • Ovulation occurs about 24 hours after mating

  9. Pregnancy • The mother-to-be will probably keep you guessing as to her condition during the first four weeks after mating. • 3 weeks into pregnancy the nipples start to become pink and the hair recedes from around them • At 6 weeks pregnancy is obvious • 2 weeks before birth the female will look for a quite place to give birth • Allow her to exercise and perform routine activities. • Pregnancy lasts for 60 to 65 days.

  10. Be sure she is vaccinated against infectious feline enteritis (distemper) and rabies prior to the pregnancy. • Temporary resistance to disease is passed on to the kittens. • Immunity must be present otherwise kittens may die. • Treat the pregnant cat normally. • She can run and play as well as ever until the last week of her pregnancy. • Appetite should increase during the fifth or sixth week. • During the last week, it is not wise to allow her to dash madly up and down stairs or to jump on and off furniture or other high objects. • Take care that she does not become wet and chilled.

  11. Maternity Box • During the last week of her pregnancy, your cat may often appear restless. • She may roam back and forth through the house in search of a safe place to bear her young. • The wise owner will have already introduced her to the maternity box. • A maternity, or queening box should be used while the kittens are being born and during the time they are nursing. • A suitable box is easily constructed from a large cardboard carton. • The entrance side should have a barrier 3 to 5 inches high, which will make it easy for the mother to step over and still hold in the kittens.

  12. The box should be large enough so she can stretch out at full length on her side and have room to spare. • The top should be left on the box to keep it dark inside. • It can be cut on three sides, with the fourth acting as a hinge for easy access into the box from the top. • Line the floor of the box with shredded paper and a clean towel. • Make sure you place the box in a quiet, warm, draft-free location, out of the family's usual traffic pattern.

  13. Labor • About a day before the kittens are due, the female's stomach will drop considerably. • You may notice a slight vaginal discharge a few hours before birth. • This is the time to make sure the mother-to-be returns to the box you've prepared. • Pet her reassuringly and leave her on her own. • She may stay in the box, but don't be surprised if she leaves it.

  14. Labor • The best thing to do at this point is nothing. • Keep quiet and do not attempt to help her. • Mother Nature usually takes over. • The first labor contraction may make your cat uncomfortable. • She will lie on her side and strain to bring about delivery. • In between contractions, there may be panting and more restlessness. • Let her walk around and do not insist that she stay in her box. • She will return to it in plenty of time. • Usually there will be a discharge of mucus, which is nature's lubricant.

  15. Delivery • The delivery of an average litter, consisting of three or four kittens, takes two to three hours. • The normal birth is head first with paws alongside the head. • Breech births, (buttocks first) are not uncommon. • They occasionally cause difficulty, especially if the kittens are large. • Consult your veterinarian if you suspect trouble.

  16. Delivery • Each kitten will arrive completely enclosed in a semi-transparent membrane. • The sacs are rather tough, but occasionally they rupture during delivery. • As a kitten emerges from the vagina, you will first see a bulge and then the whitish-appearing membrane sac. • Immediately, you will see the kitten and then the umbilical cord, to which is attached the placenta or afterbirth.

  17. Delivery • The female will tear the sac from around the kitten, nip the umbilical cord with her teeth and eat the afterbirth. • This is a normal procedure. • She will clean the mucus from the kitten's nostrils with her tongue and lick the newborn from stem to stern. • Do not be alarmed if she seems rough. • She is just stimulating the kitten's circulatory and respiratory systems.

  18. Delivery • If a newborn kitten does not start to breathe before the next one begins to arrive, you should help. • Cradle the kitten between the palms of your hands with the kitten's head pointed downward. • With a swinging motion, bring the kitten down sharply to remove fluids and stimulate breathing. • If the umbilical cord is not cut within an inch or less of the body, tie a thread around the cord about one-half inch from the body and snip off the longer portion with a dull pair of scissors. • Apply iodine to the end of the cord.

  19. After the births are completed, the mother will prefer to be left alone for a few hours. • At first, feed her in the box with the kittens. • She needs to nurse them frequently and usually will come out only to use her litter tray. • Kittens are born with their eyes closed and they will remain closed for about 10 days. • You normally do not have to worry about kittens learning to eat. • They will crawl by themselves to the source of supply, even though they are blind and deaf. • The have no trouble doing what comes naturally at this stage of their life -- eating. This means they will receive their colostrum in the first milk.

  20. They’re Here!!

  21. Quick-Look Kitten Care • First, let mom do everything. • If mom fails, then you may step in. • Kittens start with feeding every 2-4 hours around the clock. At the same time as feeding, they need just as many “potty breaks”. • You must use a wet, warm cloth to stimulate this through gentle wiping under their tail. • The interval time between these feedings/potty breaks lengthen gradually over the following weeks until 6-8 weeks of age (weaning). • (If this actually happens, do your research before attempting this)

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