A week before birth a cat starts licking itself more frequently especially its belly and genitals. It may become angry, irritating, it starts rushing about the house looking for a place for its "nest". Your cat may roam about closets, wardrobes, it may turn your linen, clothes upside down, it "digs" owner's led, digs in the garden, your pet is exciting and looks for seclusion.
It is the best time to acquaint your pet with a box for birth. Let it lie there, have a sleep in the box. In other words, let it feel comfortable there. If your cat gave birth in that box some time ago, it will feel easy there. If it decides to give birth in some other place, you should put the kittens in that box just after the birth.
Starting from the 61st day you should take your pet's rectal temperature. 12-24 hours before birth it falls from 38,6 °С to 37,5 °С or even lower (but you may miss this moment). Normal temperature means that your cat has a chance to give birth in some hours.
You have to keep your pet at home just before birth. If it is out at this time, it may give birth in the shed or haystack.
Birth and your help
There are three periods of birth - during the first period cervix of the uterus and birth canal open, during the second period kittens are born and during the third - placenta comes out. Birth, as a rule, proceeds normally and without man's interference.
The first period may least 12 hours or more. It begins with chaotic uterus contracts (labour), the breathing becomes more frequent and the cat purr in time. The cat becomes irritating, it "digs" the floor, turns its head to the back as if trying to bite its back, makes efforts as during defecation and meows sorrowfully. During uterus contracts (birth pangs) the fetus is pushing towards the cervix of the uterus and it becomes wide. Belly muscles also contract and the fetus goes to the vagina. The cat is completely in the power of birth.
If the cat gives birth for the first time, it may be scared, it cries and wants the owner to help it. Calm it down and put into the "nest". Speak with your pet, smooth it and caress it. As a rule, cats give birth on their own and they often spit at their owner's presence want him to go away.
From this moment the second period of birth begins. Water bag surrounding the fetus, appears in Regina, tears and light-yellow liquid flows from it. Amniotic liquid lubricate Regina making the passing of the fetus easier and in some minutes the kitten is born.
If water bag tears during the labor, the kitten is to be born in 30 minutes.
About 70% of kittens are born in the position of a "diver" - the nose and the forepaws forward.
After the appearance of head, the rest of body of kitten appears quickly. Instinctively the mother-cat tears placenta, gnaws umbilical cord and starts licking kitten's muzzle clearing its mouth and nose. Kitten makes a deep breath, its lungs widen and it starts breathing.
One shouldn't interfere with mother's instinct. These ties mother-cat - kitten are very important. Mother cat understands that this is its "babe" and it must take care of it. One may think that mother-cat acts rudely but it only stimulates breathing and circulation of blood.
If mother-cat, paying attention to the other kitten, forgets to tear placenta you should remove it very quickly otherwise the kitten may suffocate.
The third period is marked by separation of placenta which comes out in some minutes after the birth of each kitten. Mother-cat tries eat all or some placenta. This is an instinct which was remained from that time when animal had to do all the traces of birth away to rescue its descendants. However it can not to do. Eating of placentas up results in diarrhea. You can limit the amount of placentas or give to eat them all.
Mother-cats gnaws the umbilical cord (blood vessels are over wound and there is no blood). If the umbilical cord is crossing close to the umbilicus, there may be bleeding. You should press the umbilical cord and tie it with the thread. One should treat the wound with iodine or other antiseptic.
When all kittens or some kittens are born, mother-cat lie on its side and push them to its nipples. Sucking stimulates abbreviation of uterus and colostrum secretion (the first mother's milk) containing all necessary maternal antibodies.
As a rule, kittens are born every 15-30 minutes although this interval can vary in considerable limits. The birth lasts 2-6 hours in general. Sometimes the birth stops. Mother-cat comes down and takes care of its kittens. Then after 12-24 hours the birth starts again and mother-cat gives birth to the rest of the kittens. This is quite normal and one shouldn't worry a lot.