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Kitten has gone into heat...

PostPosted: Jan 24, 2005 8:39 pm
by Chris_W
Ugh, I can't believe we put off getting our two kittens spayed and now one of them is in heat :x Last week there was a male cat hanging around two nights in a row and I was worried that our little girls may have gone into heat so we made appointments to get them spayed and have kept them indoors ever since. But we hadn't seen any signs of them being in heat until last night when one of our kittens started being very vocal and presenting herself all the time. The appointment to get them spayed isn't until next week so I asked the vet if it could still be done with her in heat and he said that she should be finished by next week.

Anyway, here is my concern: Wouldn't the two kittens go into heat at about the same time? With that male cat hanging around last week, I am worried that the other kitten might have been in heat and may already be pregnant with his babies. It wouldn't be the worst thing, but we had planned to adopt from the humane society, not have another litter... Any way of knowing, or when will we know, if the other kitten is pregnant? And can she be spayed even if she had recently been fertilized?

Finally, any advice for dealing with a cat that is in heat? She seems very uncomfortable, and she is driving us nuts. Currently she is locked in the garage; won't be going outside any time soon :o

Thanks for any advice you can give me. I just wish I hadn't waited to get them fixed, but a part of me kept thinking how nice it would be to have a couple more kittens running around :blush:

PostPosted: Jan 24, 2005 9:28 pm
by janet
Ah yes, sex and the single cat! I can tackle some of your questions, Chris (thanks to years with the Humane Society promoting spay/neuter programs). Bottom line, yes, a pregnant cat can be spayed. Some vets (and owners) won't do it on moral grounds however, as it involves aborting the kittens. Cats can have their first heat at four to seven months, gestation is 63 to 67 days, and one cat and her offspring, if left unchecked, will produce 420,000 cats in seven years. :o Further, cats are "induced ovulators" which means that they pretty much stay in heat until they are bred. The estrus lasts from 4 to 6 days and then about three weeks later they're in heat again. There isn't much you can do to help her through it, and for all we know they aren't really uncomfortable, just horney as hell (can I say that here?). Spaying her will give the fastest relief to all parties. :wink: Hope all that helps...probably more than you wanted to know about the sex life of felines.

PostPosted: Jan 24, 2005 9:30 pm
by Deb118
Chris, the only thing I can offer is that Granny and Ellie Mae were from the same litter. They came into heat about a week apart. As for how to deal with the scwaling? Keep em locked in the garage! :???: Those two drove me NUTS!!! Probably not as nuts as they got, cause Rocket is fixed and all their antics did them no good :lol:

PostPosted: Jan 24, 2005 11:45 pm
by Snow
Be carefull - female cats in heat can find ways to get outside that you never realized existed :wink:

PostPosted: Jan 25, 2005 12:43 am
by Chris_W
Thank you for all of the information and advice :D

In all honesty I am happy to now know what the "signs" are of a female cat going into heat. These are the first two ladies that I've raised from kittens so it is still a learning experience. And I'm really glad that Cimi is the one in heat so I know she is NOT pregnant. We think she would make a terrible mother because she barely takes care of herself. Her sister is the motherly type and tends to groom both of them...

Because of that very determined male cat coming around last week my instinct is that our other cat, Cleo, was probably in heat already. I know she had been insistent about going outside more than usual... So now that she is probably several days pregnant I will have to make up my mind. Get her spayed or let her come to term. Since it was just an unknown outdoor cat we have no idea of his health or history. I do know that he is no longer alive (he was determined enough to cross the highway two nights in a row, third one was the charm), but he was a very pretty cat so they would be pretty babies.

I guess I'll call the vet back tomorrow and tell them that one of these kittens might be pregnant and see what he thinks about it. Time to make up my mind.

Any advice on whether or not to let her have kittens?

PostPosted: Jan 25, 2005 9:02 am
by Snow
If you let her have the kittens - plan on keeping all of them. Expecting to find good homes for them is usually wishful thinking.

PostPosted: Jan 25, 2005 10:09 am
by janet
And be aware that the mom can come back into heat as soon as ten days after giving birth (yup, while still nursing) and spaying when nursing is much trickier than spaying when pregnant. Ditto what Snow said on planning to keep all the kittens, and getting them all spayed or neutered as well. Early spay/neuter is being done by more and more vets, especially for cats. Might want to check that out so you don't wind up in this same situation with the next generation. There are 3,500 kittens born every minute and nowhere near enough homes. I vote for spaying and then adopting if you want more cats (but I am terribly biased on this issue :oops: ).

PostPosted: Jan 25, 2005 11:08 am
by Chris_W
Thanks for the advice.

After a night of thinking about it and with your advice we are going to have them both spayed and will visit the humane society to adopt another kitten.

We really could use another to help keep up with the wildlife, but the thought of a litter of 4, 5, or 6 would be too much to handle and too tough finding homes for some.

It's just that when you have a female cat with such a loving personality, such a good motherly instinct, plus the overwhelming desire to kill any rodent found even close to the hosta patch you really start thinking about babies :P

However, I am sure we will find another just like that, waiting for a loving home at the humane society.

PostPosted: Jan 25, 2005 11:31 am
by Annika
Finding really good homes for kittens is not easy ........ but I would think yours is a good situation. With all customers coming to the nursery there are bound to be at least one or two that has recently lost a cat or is looking to add another...... and if you can consider keeping at least one or maybe two .........
Oh, I know, the right thing is of course to spay both now ...... but I keep thinking of that poor daddy-to-be who gave his life in the pursuit of procreation :wink:


PostPosted: Jan 25, 2005 12:28 pm
by Chris_W
:bawl: I keep thinking the same thing! It was just so sad :cry: He was pure white but had a gray striped tale. Probably didn't help that he was running across the road in the snow... If we find the owners of that cat (if he had owners) wouldn't it be nice to give them one of his babies?

I have a week to think about it...

PostPosted: Jan 25, 2005 12:31 pm
by Snow
It sounds nice Chris - but if they didnt get him neutered and let him roam the neighborhood - might not be wise to furnish them with another :???:

PostPosted: Jan 25, 2005 12:32 pm
by Annie
I think you are doing the right thing. I wish more people would take care of their kittys like this. I too would get them spayed. And good luck finding your new kitty!

PostPosted: Jan 25, 2005 2:21 pm
by newtohosta-no more
I know it's a real tough decision, Chris, but I have to put in my two cents worth and say get them both spayed ASAP! Like everyone said.....finding homes for a litter is near impossible since there are sooooooo many out there, especially in the Spring. So unless you want to take the chance of having an additional 3-6 more cats to feed, care for, worry about, and take to the vet then you should do something about it now. I know how I am....once kittens arrive I fall in love with all of them anyway and then we end up with a bunch of them here. Then it breaks my heart when any of the outdoor strays get sick or injured. You know what a terrible year I just had this last summer with the cats and kittens, so I'm doing everything possible to keep the population down. I got all the outdoor cats fixed, except one and she's about 3 yrs. old and has never been pregnant. I might be taking my chances with her, but DH thinks she's sterile or just unable to carry a litter. So I would suggest you fix all the cats you currently have and adopt if you want more. But if you do end up with a litter......I want to see lots of pics!! Please ...please....pretty please?? :lol:

PostPosted: Jan 25, 2005 6:27 pm
by patsue53
You're getting very good advice. But a litter of kittens is so darned CUTE!!!! :D :D :oops: Sorry, I know the responsible thing to do is to get her spayed now but we sure enjoyed Sylvie's litters. She was spayed while still nursing her 2nd litter without any complications and when she came home she went right back to nursing the remaining kittens.

Is there a local pet store that would sell your litter? That was our situation. We have a locally owned garden/feed/pet store that will take the kittens when they're 12 weeks old, worm them, give them their first shots and sell them. I asked them what happens if a kitten doesn't sell and she replied "that doesn't happen...we always sell them." Sure enough...within a week mine were all of them back to me! :lol:

So...whatever decision you make Chris...please be sure to post pictures of the kittens. :lol: :lol:

PostPosted: Jan 26, 2005 2:27 am
by Tundra_Queen
Chris, I'm sorry that u have such a hard decision on your hands.
But couldn't u spayed one and let the good mother/mouser one have a litter, if she is even pregnant and then get her spayed afterwards? She would be a great teacher of the kittens how to catch critters u don't want around your hostas. Just don't let her outside anymore until u know if she's pregnant?


PostPosted: Jan 26, 2005 8:32 am
by janet
Chris_W wrote:It's just that when you have a female cat with such a loving personality, such a good motherly instinct, plus the overwhelming desire to kill any rodent found even close to the hosta patch you really start thinking about babies

Here's something else to think about: Sixty-four percent of shelter animals are put down each year. That amounts to 6 to 8 million healthy dogs and cats every year, or 16,500 to 22,000 every single day. Wouldn't it be great to give just one of them a home?

Furthermore, puppies and kittens sold thru newspaper ads and in feed stores are frequently sold to abusers, labs, and sickos...those that are given away are even more likely to go to such 'owners'. Do you have the time to check out the background of each prospective owner of your kittens?

PostPosted: Jan 26, 2005 8:48 am
by Justme
Way back when I was in highschool (maybe Jr. High even) Our family cat got Pregnant, had one kitten which we kept. She then got pregnant, again! We were lucky and found homes. My sister (the cats owner) got a discount coupon to pay to have Snowball fixed. Sure enough we get a call from the Vet, she is pregant, is he to proceed. Yes. And yes it was a sad decision, but far kinder to her, the kittens and us. And I have, as an adult, always gotten my animals fixed as soon as the Vet would do it.

Besides, there isn't anyway of knowing what kinds of personalities the kittens would have. They could all be little Garfields who lay around sharing the lasagna with the voles!


PostPosted: Jan 26, 2005 9:48 am
by jmboyer
I don't envy you this decision, Chris. It's going to be a difficult one. I've never had to deal with a feline in estrus because I have always had mine spayed very young. I think you are wise, however, in having your kittens spayed and then adopting another from the shelter. Let us know how it goes and good luck with whatever you decide.

PostPosted: Jan 27, 2005 6:23 pm
by wild4flowers
What a decision for you. Yes kittens are adorable, and loving and fun, and entertaining. I enjoyed every minute of the litters we had. But they were siamese and I sold them to good homes. People actually want siamese kittens and will pay for them. But , while domestic shorthair's are equally as cute, most people don't want another cat. You are a very busy person, with a new business season coming up. Enjoy the young cats you have (after neutering), and when it is time for another cat, adopt. They are equally as cute that way. And you only have to get one at a time instead of 6. CHAR

PostPosted: Jan 28, 2005 8:17 am
by patsue53