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Kitten Watch begins for the Fall litter.

Kitten Watch begins for the Fall litter.

Kali’s Kitten Watch for her first litter officially began last week and her “due date” was today, October 23rd. But she isn’t late yet, she’s got the rest of the week and will likely take her sweet time. She has demonstrated some nesting and restlessness, but nothing to indicate the first stages of labor are impending. If she seems anxious on the cam, it is because she is looking for human company (namely mine). Siamese are highly social, and this is presents itself in seperation anxiety for many queens.

She has not yet taken to her kittening box, but this is not uncommon. Many breeders tell stories of queens choosing the middle of their own beds, as this is their preferred “safe place.” Kali has been isolated in the nursery, and so has spent most of her time resting out of the kittening box. If she chooses to have the kittens out of the box, they will be moved into the box once labor has finished.

The nursery cam has been turned on and will stay on. I will post updates to Twitter and Facebook, so stay tuned if you’d like to watch the live birth.

Click here to watch the nursery cam on Ustream.

In the meantime, while we are patiently waiting, here are some facts about feline pregnancy:

  • The normal gestation time for cats is 59 to 69 days, roughly two months. Average gestation is 63 days.
  • Several hours (and perhaps a whole day) of restlessness, grooming, nesting, pacing, panting, vomiting, and crying indicates that labor has begun.
  • Like the dog, there is often a drop in body temperature ( to less than 99 degrees F) indicating contractions will commence in the next 12-36 hours but this is not as reliable a finding as in the female dog.
  • The female cat secludes herself in her selected nest area and begins to purr.
  • The above first stage of labor progresses to the second stage of labor with
    the initiation of hard contractions and the birth of a kitten.
  • The third stage of labor refers to the passing of the placenta. Average time between kittens is 30-60 minutes, but this can vary wildly from cat to cat.
  • Total time in labor can vary from several hours to 24 hours or more, with the mother cat normally having some breaks and rest from labor in between kittens.

While most queens experience delivery of their kittens without complications, breeders will want to always be on the alert and be ready to assist their queens when needed. If there are going to be problems with the delivery, it seems to be most often the queen’s first litter wherein problems are encountered. This is why we will be extra vigiliant with Kali’s first pregnancy.


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