Questions about kitties, weaning, etc. posted pics too

carla17June 30, 2010

Our cat had kitties on June 3. One of them died after a couple days. Sigh. It just wasn't strong and I knew from it's breathing it was doomed. Anyway, here is the little survivor. We love her so much. I have questions. I've read on internet about withholding water from mother to help her milk dry up. Is this correct? I don't always trust the internet and don't have any good, reliable net sources. Also, does anyone know if I need to wait for mother's milk to dry up before she gets spayed. Thank you so much for your help. Here is kitty, not named yet but thinking of Panda. I have cleaned her/his eyes since this pic was taken. It has a big spot around it's but and tail is striped.


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I would never withhold water from any animal unless told to specifically by the Vet and then only with an explanation as to why!
This kitten is not even a month old yet. You are rushing this. Kittens typically nurse for 6-8 weeks. She is not old enough yet to wean. From my experience, the mother will handle this herself. She will wean the kitten when she is ready. I feel it is best left up to her unless there is some sort of medical condition and the Vet has told you otherwise.
As for spaying, Yes, you do need to let her finish nursing this baby before you spay her. I know they can come in heat again quickly, but if you keep her confined indoors, that should take care of the problem until you can get her spayed. It is asking an aweful lot of her to to carry babies, deliver them, make milk to nurse them AND recover from surgery. As always, when in doubt call the Vet. They should be able to advise you reguarding what is in the best intrest of your kitties.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 12:28PM
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Great advice Susan

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 2:08PM
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Susan, thank you. I have no intentions of weaning the kitty but as I said, that info. about helping dry up mother's milk was from an internet source. I'm not comfortable calling the vet too many times as I don't know how much they will answer until they "cut me off" from additional info. although we have spent our fair share of money there over the years.
AND, I will certainly not have her spayed until the time is right.
Can you possibly tell me at which age the vet can identify the sex of kitten? It's hard to give a kitten away that you have helped bring into the world, I had to cut umbilical cord on both kittens. If it is a boy, we won't keep it.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 3:59PM
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The kitty is adorable, but I don't understand your last statement. Why wouldn't you keep it if it is a boy? Neutered male cats, in my opinion, make better pets than girl cats--very loving, even tempered, and affectionate. Just curious what your thinking is here.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 5:29PM
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marita40, thank you for the compliment on kitty. I know boys make good cats but so many of them still continue to spray even after neutered. I always thought male dogs were better pets too but they are all different just like people.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 7:14PM
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Male kittens who are neutered before reaching sexual maturity (5-6 mos.) will not spray. I have never had a neutered male cat who did that.

Why would anyone consider trying to dry up a mother's milk when that happens gradually and naturally? Our litter of four kittens are now 7 weeks old and still nursing even though they are now eating dry food and drinking water. We are also in a hurry to have the mom spayed since she is outside regularly, but won't rush the process. I figure in another 5 weeks she will be done nursing completely.

Holding back water will not dry up the milk anyway --- it will just dehydrate the mom and cause medical problems.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 7:21PM
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What a sweet little kitten! Everyone is right about neutered males...they are every bit as cuddly as females. I've had 3 males...none of them sprayed or acted out in any way associated with 'tom cat' behavior.

My first cat 'accidentally' had a litter before I spayed her (I was in college and dumb). Miss Kitty was an indoor-outdoor cat. It was fascinating to watch her raise her kittens...especially when she taught them to hunt by bringing stunned but live mice into the apartment. When they started eating real food (and no, they didn't have to depend on prey...I fed them)and they would try to suckle, Miss Kitty would have none of it...she would stand up and nudge them away. There was no need for human intervention.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 9:02AM
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S/he is a cutie! I also have to throw in my .02 about what great pets neutered male cats make. I've never had a spraying problem either. The male cat I had before this last one wasn't neutered until he was almost a year old, and he never did anything inappropriate. The one I have now was neutered at 5 months; he is not as laid back as the previous cat, so I think earlier was especially good for him, but would recommend an early neuter for any cat.

My experience with sprayers (both male and female, and neutered) is that stress plays the biggest role. I'm not sure that's always the case, but it's been my experience. Relaxed cats who do not feel threatened in their environment are happy cats who are good about always using a box.

I hope you consider keeping kitty, even if he's a boy- maybe he will change your mind. My inlaws were people who mistakenly believed that all males sprayed whether they were neutered or not- after watching our household for 20 years, they now know that is not the case. ]

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 10:12AM
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First of all, let me make clear that I am NOT going to try and dry up her milk. It's something I read on internet and it sounded sketchy anyway. NOT DOING THAT.
Thank you for the comments about kitty. We really need a male in the mix, I don't really want to give this kitten away. I had a bad experience once when giving away a rabbit and I can't handle anymore animal heartbreak. Husband might not let us keep though. I do believe that males are sweet.
Thank you for the advice and comments.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 12:36PM
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Hey Carla!
I'm gonna give you my 2 cents as well. I live with 16 cats( and 11 rescue dogs) in the house. All are spayed or neutered. All are rescued strays. Some are related, most are not. All came to me a different ages. Some were born with me ( took in a pregnant mother), some were young, some were old. There are 6 females and 10 males here. I have 4 that will pee in the house. 1 old male does spray. 1 is just so feral that she freaks out, hides and then pees in my stove burners! 2 are siblings, a male and female, that suffer urinary tract trouble. The female is actually being x-rayed for stones tomorrow. They stopped using the box when it started to hurt. They associated the box with pain and thus avoided it. Needless to say, they both have seen the Vet numberous times for this trouble. I believe the problem is just hereditary with them. Looking into their mother's possible mates, I feel strongly that she bred back to her own father. The entire liter has had problems. I was able to do this because she was a stay that my mother was feeding and she was able to give me this information. The other female that freaks out so bad is also from this mother so we are not surprised that she a little mental, as some of the others from that litter are. I truly believe that all 3 of these cats have litter box issues because of their inbreeding.

The 1 male that does spray came to me as an adult male tom cat. He has the big cheek patches from fighting and is FIV ( feline AIDS) possitive. He is now neutered, but does spray. I agree with quasifish that this is a behavior issue due to stress. I think he objects to there being so many cats in the house. There's only one problem with that, all my cats are people's "throw away" cats. Cats that people have dumped or abandoned. Most have problems, physical, behavioral or mental. There is no other home for them. No one wants them but me. So we have to think outside of the box to solve the problems. How I solved this one is I gave them their own room, a spare bedroom. It has a window and we removed the door and put up a screen door so they could see out and get air flow. This works great! They love their room where they only have to deal with each other and it enables me to keep an eye on the 2 with urinary trouble. If they stop using the box, I don't have to wonder who did it. The floor is vinyl for easy cleaning and the walls are painted in a semi-gloss. Everything wipes up with ease. But honesty, since Caleb (the sprayer) was put in the cat room, he hasn't sprayed. I have floor length drapes and have never found a mark on them. Now understand it is a cat room. It has beds everywhere, toys and things to climb and claw on. Everyone seems happy. All eat well and maintain a good weight. Also know that I clean houses for a living. I am a bit fussy about how clean things are kept.

So to end this book, I would have to say that in my experience I don't think you have anything to worry about with this kitten. The chances of him being a sprayer are very very remote, or pretty much nonexistant. Just neuter him before 6 months old and there won't be any troubles.

As for asking your Vet questions..... I used to work for a Vet and you need to remember he/she is a paid employee! You are paying them to help you and answer your questions. If this Vet or his/her staff is making you feel uncomfortable about asking for information then you need to fire their butts! That is what they are there for. That is what they are being paid for! I don't work at my Vet clinic anymore, but I call them all the time and ask questions! I even call the emergency clinic and ask them questions! If they get offended then they are a lousy clinic!

As for sexing. When they are young or a male has been neutered young it is a little tougher to tell, but I will do my best to describe the difference. Pick the kitty up and face him to you, butt first. First find his rectum. It is right below the tail. Just below the rectum is his genital area (where he pees from too). In males there will be a little bit longer distance between the rectum and genital area. This is to allow for the testicals. In females, you will see that the genital are is a little bit closer to the rectum and there will be a very faint line between the rectum and gential area. If you need to, look at you other girl cats to see what I am talking about. I found a good picture, but I don't know how to post it here. So, if you email me directly, I will send it to you.
Hope all of this helps.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 6:30PM
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