Shelter and Rescue Resources, Vet Minute

How to Help a Pregnant Feral Cat

What can you do to help a pregnant stray or feral cat? In this Vet Minute, Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, talks about what to do if a pregnant stray cat adopts you. Dr. Greer will address nutrition, shelter and suggest other tips on how to care for a pregnant feral or stray cat. If you need help or have additional cat pregnancy questions, call us at 800.786.4751.

How to Help a Pregnant Feral Cat

How to Help a Pregnant Stray Cat

Feral cats will sometimes have three maybe four litters a year, so once you start this, you’re going to be busy! The most important thing is to make sure she has adequate nutrition. A lot of feral cats don’t have great sources of food and catching little mice is not enough to feed the babies, so feed her well. And of course remember, once you start to feed her, she’s your cat.

What to Feed a Pregnant Stray Cat

Kitten food would be the most appropriate food for a pregnant stray cat. Adult cat food is not as nutritionally complete as kitten food so give her kitten food. Make sure she’s got access to water. Particularly when it’s really hot and it’s hard to find water or it’s really cold and it tends to be frozen. Even though cats don’t drink a lot during pregnancy their blood volume expands quite a bit so they do need to drink additional water and they really need to drink a lot once they have the kittens and start to lactate.

You want to provide her with a nesting box preferably with some sort of a heat source in the wintertime in particular. There’s a lot of good products on the market that have outside type of weather resistant heating units that have a coil wrapped around the cord so that it keeps the cord safe from being chewed through or damaged. So provide her a kitten box. There’s some companies that make poultry and dog and cat kind of heating units. They can have heated water sources, they can have heated boards that you can put into a box or into some kind of an area where the cat can be provided with a quiet area. And it should be some place that’s safe and unlikely that predators will come along and snatch one of her kittens. So try to make her feel as safe as you can. Try to give her as much food and water as possible and remember, she’s yours!

Written by: Marty Greer, DVM

Director of Veterinary Services

Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 40+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019. In 2023, Dr. Greer was named the Westminster Kennel Club Veterinarian of the Year.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.