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Kittening Tips

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First and foremost, do you have a basic persian cat book, if not you need to get one that covers pregnancy and kittening. It can be extremely complex. Usually the success of raising a healthy litter depends on whether or not the queen is a good mother. Some queens can be rather stupid when it comes to mothering. I usually help the queen only when she needs it. I find it is best to let nature take it course.
If the queen refuses to break the sack or is slow to clean up the baby, you'll need to take those steps for her, to ensure the baby's health. Sometimes I will rinse the newborn kitten off under very warm water (body temperature about 102 degrees), then I'll blow the baby dry with the low setting, and return it to the queen. I will help the newborn attach to the queens nipple, only if it continues to cry, and is searching around for several minutes without success.
Whether or not to use the heating pad depends on the temperatue of the birthing room. It is better to turn the temperature up to 78 or 80 degrees in the room than to use a heating pad as most queens don't like it. They will lay away from their babies, rather than stay on the heating pad.
As for the queen's diet after giving birth, I usually offer liquids the first 24 hours, then I spoil them rotten during the first few days, giving them treats of, hamburger, cooked chicken, cottage cheese, evaporated milk (diluted with water), and chicken noodle soup. Keep fresh water and dry food available at all times.
Watch out for the baby that crys continuously, as this usually indicates something is wrong. Is the baby getting enough nutrition from the mom? If not, you may have to supplement feed with a kitten milk replacer. Is the baby's belly swollen? If so, the queen may not be stimulating the baby often enough. You may need to stimulate the kitten to elimimate by wiping it with a wet-warm cotton ball.
Some things to keep in mind. Heathly-content babies are warm to the touch, they seldom cry, unless they are scrambling for a nipple or mom is cleaning them up. Healthy babies seem to grow everyday. Hope these tips are helpful to you. These observations are from my experience of breeding for about 30 years.

Good luck with your next litter.


Contact Information:
Sue Dahlstrom

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