Part 13 – So you want to be a Cat Breeder – The Birth15 May, 2011
It’s the Big Day!
For the past few days your queen has been checking out the kitten box and pulling out all the newspaper and towels that you lovingly-prepared for her.
If all goes well, then you’ll hopefully have a boxful of kittens nursing and a purring mum.
However, if there are complications then you may need a visit to the vet.
(I’m sorry if I keep making it sound like a horror story, but I want you to go into cat breeding with your eyes open.)
If a queen is showing distress and can’t kitten … and it’s 3am on a Sunday morning (and it will always be in the middle of the night because that’s cats for you) … and you’ve had to rush her to the vet … and the out-of-hours vet examines her … and decides she needs a caesarian … which means general anaesthesia … then be prepared to hand him your credit card.
An out-of-hours caesarian can cost up to £2,000. (Bye-bye holiday and new clothes for the whole family.)
And don’t forget that you may have to hand-rear the kittens if your queen is too weak from the surgery to nurse the kittens. That means feeding every two hours on-the-hour night-and-day. That’s why as a precaution I always took two weeks off work around the time of the birth. Fortunately I had bosses who thought I was a mad cat lady, so that’s all right then. Fortunately I never had to hand feed.
You’ll also have to watch your queen because she may decide to take out the stitches herself. It happened to the mother of my Bengal cat. Twice. Each time she had to be rushed to the vet. She and her husband enjoyed two sleepless weeks feeding the kittens.
But if all goes well … a box full of warm bundles of … what looks like little blind mice, but are actually kittens. And the promise of loads of funny moments in the weeks to come.