If you have a cat who is about to have a litter of kittens, you will want to be prepared to help so they have a good chance of survival after they are born. While your cat will instinctively know how to give birth, there are a few steps you will need to take to ensure the kittens are healthy immediately following birth. Here are some tips to use when your cat gives birth so the kittens have a great start to their lives.
Check Your Cat's Location
Your cat will find a spot she wishes to use to have her kittens. If there are any items in the way that seem to be of risk, such as materials with protrusions or sharp edges, remove them from the area where your cat has selected. Place a warm blanket near your cat as she may wish to use it for comfort. It would also be a great place for her to keep her kittens for the first few hours as it will help keep them warm as they are getting used to their new atmosphere.
Observe The Placentas
When your cat starts pushing out the kittens, there will be a placenta for each one born. It is alright if your cat starts to eat the placentas as they are rich in nutrients. If your cat keeps eating the placentas after several kittens are born, remove them from the area as they can cause gastrointestinal problems if too many are consumed.
Remove The Sacs
Each kitten will be encased in an amniotic sac which had protected it within its mother's womb. The mother cat will lick each sac until it falls away from the kitten, allowing the kitten to breathe oxygen. If the cat ignores a kitten in a sac after several minutes, gently lift the sac material away from the nose and mouth of the kitten using a gloved hand. Wipe the kittens face with a clean piece of cloth to help it stimulate breathing and place the kitten next to the mother cat so she can continue with the cleaning process.
Know When There Is Trouble
While you do not want to hover while your cat gives birth, you also do not want to stay too far away if it happens when you are in the area. You can then observe the process to make sure none of the kittens get stuck in the birth canal on their way out of the mother cat. If there appears to be trouble where a kitten is not coming out all the way, you can help guide it out by gently directing it downward. If the kitten still will not come out, bring your cat to an emergency veterinarian right away. Click here for additional reading.