Vet Minute: How to Help a Pregnant Feral CatLast updated: August 25, 2020
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.
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Video TranscriptShelley: Time for a Vet Minute with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer. Dr. Greer the question is what can I do to help a pregnant feral cat?
Dr. Greer: Yeah, this is a tough one because these feral cats, they're kinda sneaky little gals. And they'll have sometimes three maybe four litters a year, so once you start this, you're going to be busy! So the most important thing is to make sure she's got 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. Now of course remember, once you start to feed her, she's your cat. You can tell me all day long she's not yours, she belongs to somebody else, or she's the neighbors cat but if you are feeding her, she is yours. So feed her well. Kitten food would be the most appropriate. 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!
Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 35+ 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.
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