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Equus_girl 02-16-2014 01:50 PM

Rescued Cat - possibly pregnant??
5 Attachment(s)
Here's a bit of history. Our neighbour had a ton of barn cats. She moved recently and asked me if I would continue to put out some food for her cats once a week or so (she pays for the food). She used to have like 15 cats and kittens, but I found homes for most of them. However there were still three that were very wild and uncatchable. She wanted them left there as mousers.

I was on holidays, so my mom went to feed them a week ago. She went to top up the food and saw the little black cat lying in the snow. She is around a year and a half we figure but is very, very small. She wasn't moving and Mom thought she had died. However the kitty meowed and the cat's back legs were frozen to the snow (it was really cold that day). And her eyes were glued shut with yellow infection.

Mom brought her home and started caring for her. I got back two days later and started helping. We have her eyes on the mend with charcoal water and she is looking WAY better. One of her ears froze though, so we have been keeping vaseline on it. She has mites too and I have been cleaning them out and using either hydrogen peroxide or oil to kill the mites. I may just have to get meds from the vet for her mites though. It was so gunked up in there that it took me a half hour or more to completely clean out each ear. The sad thing is this morning we noticed half of one of her ears is falling off. It must have completely frozen.

We also are thinking she may be possibly pregnant. Keep in mind I know NOTHING about pregnant cats! I do a little kitten rescue spring through fall taking in unwanted kittens and then rehoming them (took in 20 just last fall), but I have not had experience with pregnant cats. Her belly does seem large to me, although her nipples are not swollen at all. When I rubbed her belly she rolled over and started purring which was highly unusual as she is still fairly wild and growls at us occasionally still. I am attaching some pictures of her and also of her nipples. Just interesting if you guys have any ideas if she might be pregnant from the photos.

My boyfriend helped me name her. We are calling her Muffin - Muffy for short.
I am hoping to take her to the vet on Wednesday to get an answer, but I am just interested if anyone on here has any ideas or advice. She is a real sweetie and I just feel so bad she has had such a rough life. All I know is that she is NEVER going back to our neighbour's place! I feel sorry for the cats left there, but they are big and tough and seem to be doing ok.

thetempest89 02-16-2014 04:05 PM

Poor baby.

Even the feral cats need warm places to lay in the winter. I'm so glad your mom found her when she did. Ugh this upsets me. We have a feral living in our house at the moment, it took a couple years. But she's the best cat ever, sweetest most affectionate thing. I can't tell if she's pregnant, but if there are any toms nearby it's possible.

kiltsrhott 02-16-2014 04:25 PM

It is impossible to tell from the photos if she's pregnant or not. Her nipples look unremarkable to me. It's always possible for a feral, female cat to be pregnant, but there are many other potential causes for a bloaty belly too, so keep that in mind. You'll just have to wait and see what the vet says. You and your mom are really good people for doing all that you do to help these strays live better lives. I wish more people would take action like this.

NeryLibra 02-16-2014 05:00 PM

4 Attachment(s)
She looks a little like Roxy did when we first got her around this time last year.
(We rescued/adopted Roxy from a family that never paid to have her spayed after her second litter, and she was very pregnant within the first month of us owning her. She gave birth to a litter of 8.)

The following 3 photos are of Roxy before her birth. You can see in the third picture that she is mildly bloated in the stomach and she looks more "fat" than pregnant. The other two are for perspective. Attachment 373417

Attachment 373425

Attachment 373433

However given that she is feral you could be dealing with a number of things aside from pregnancy. I'm no expert but aren't there worms that can bloat the stomach? Etc.

I'm going to link you to an excellent cat forum with a lot of experienced cat people, well versed in pregnant cats. This was my safe haven for when I had Roxy.

Though they won't be able to tell you if she's pregnant strictly based on pictures (need a living breathing vet for that) they can almost certainly answer any question you have regarding caring for her and her kittens.

Also, just for fun. This what a cat looks like a day or two before giving birth. In this case, 8 of them. lol :) Attachment 373441

tinyliny 02-16-2014 06:36 PM

feral cats are really hard to make into pets. if they aren't socialized when young, they usually can't change as adults. they are just closer to being wild, than dogs are.

oobiedoo 02-16-2014 07:37 PM

The biggest early indicator in a cat that hasn't had kittens before would be "pinking up". In a cat that's not pregnant the nipples are usually almost white very pale and almost flat. If they're kinda standing up (still very little) and pink instead if white she's probably pregnant. Thats the earliest physical sign if pregnancy in a cat and if I remember rightly will happen around 18-21 days after breeding. A cat usually gives birth around 63 days so you won't have to wait too long to know for sure :)
I have had feral cats, some of them never really come around but I've had two that after living in my house with me for over a year decided I wasn't all bad and shared the bed :) Good luck. Keep her in if you can until she's spayed at least. A lot of clinics will spay even very pregnant cats . I could never bring myself to do that if they were far enough along to birth live kittens though, after the 8 th week or so.
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DuckDodgers 02-16-2014 08:03 PM

I'm glad you're taking her to the vet- that poor baby looks awful!

Equus_girl 02-17-2014 11:38 PM

Thank-you for all the replies and advice! I really appreciate it! Thank-you for the link NeryLibra. That is an awesome site!

I have to work the next three days, but I will phone the vet tomorrow and see when I can get an appointment set up. In the meantime we have been treating her eyes and they are looking a lot better. She is eating well and loving the canned meat we give her as a treat!

She is definitely getting way tamer. This morning she rolled over onto her back and started purring when I petted her tummy. I was really impressed! If there are any loud noises or new people she still gets pretty scared though. It will take some time for her to get real comfortable with everyone.

I'm thinking that she is either pregnant or has a bad case of worms! I can feel her entire spine and her hips are rather bony too. However she is quite filled out in the ribs and tummy area. Hopefully I can get a definite answer from the vets.

4horses 02-21-2014 04:11 PM

Be very careful about vaccinating her. There is a certain vaccine which causes the kittens to be born defected. I would probably not vaccinate her. I would ask about which dewormers are safe for pregnant cats as well.

Cerebellar hypoplasia occurs when a cat gets vaccinated during pregnancy for feline distemper, Panleukopenia or from a natural infection. Signs of cerebellar hypoplasia can be noticeable in an affected cat, generally as soon as they start walking. Cerebellar hypoplasia sings include difficulty coordinating the limbs, hypermetria, and spasticity, swaying of the body, tremors and occasionally nystagmus. There are other congenital neurological diseases that may cause these signs, but in general with cerebellar hypoplasia the signs are non progressive which may help distinguish this disease from others with the same signs and symptoms.

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