Archive for the ‘Reviving a kitten’ Category


Homeopathic Birth Kit

5 March, 2007

Here are the most important homeopathic remedies I have on hand during birthing. They are not always used, they are there just in case. I know some breeders use them pre-birth, to prevent certain conditions, but that is not classical homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies should only be used only when there is a symptom, not to prevent a symptom – this latter is allopathic thinking. If you use or take homeopathic remedies to prevent something, chances are you could prove the remedy, i.e. induce the very symptoms you want to avoid. Sorry to go on and on, but I do worry about people who think homeopathy is harmless, when it’s actually very potent.

1. Arnica 30C – good for blunt trauma, bruising, bleeding and shock. Indispensable for post birth, to bring down swelling.  It is the No. 1 remedy in any first aid kit.

2. Caulophyllum 30C – used only when prolonged contractions are not resulting in birth, or when there is uterine weakness and nervous exhaustion during the birth.

3. Cimicifuga (or Actaea Racemosa) 30C – symptoms as with caulophyllum but the queen will also be agitated and fearful.

4. Carbo Veg 30C – aka the “corpse reviver”. If you’ve had to revive a kitten that was born not breathing, you may wish to follow-up with Carbo Veg if it isn’t breathing strongly.

According to Dr. Richard Moskowitz in his book “Homeopathic Medicines for Pregnancy and Childbirth”:

“For the newborn with respiratory distress and persistent cyanosis [i.e. blue lips], Carbo Veg can actually save life and prevent irreversible brain damage.”

I used this myself in a newborn kitten I had to revive – I dissolved a pillule in a cup of water and put just one drop into the mouth of the kitten.

I also have a good 43-remedy kit from Ainsworths.

Arnica and Carbo Veg can usually be found in a good homeopathic kit.  Caullophyllum and Cimicifuga may have to be bought separately.  You can also get homeopathic birth kits, but I have found that the remedies are at 200C potency – I was advised by Michelle Bernard of Blakkatz that this is too strong, but some homeopaths believe that giving birth requires that level of potency. Helios do a birth kit at 200C potency. Ainsworths do a general dog kit and a cat kit (but without the birthing remedies, alas), but honestly, I think they’re overpriced for what they are: sure, the pillules are softer and therefore easier to dissolve, but what you’re paying for is the swanky wooden box in which the remedies are housed. It’s a very nice swanky box, though. You don’t need the pill to dissolve to work, all it needs is to touch the tongue of the dog or cat. And if you dissolve the pillule in water, it’s easy to administer, anyway. So save your money and spend it on the 43-remedy kit instead. If it’ll do for humans, it should do for cats!

In addition, the classic guide to homeopathy for childbirth and pregnancy is Richard Moskowitz’s “Homeopathic Medicines for Pregnancy and Childbirth” – it’s for humans, but is very applicable to cats as well.

In all instances of dosing, the rule is: one pillule. Wait. If no results in 10 mins, re-dose. A safer way is to dissolve in water, then dose. If no results, agitate the water by either stirring it, or hitting the bottle against your palm, several times. This potentises the solution and increases its strength. Then dose again.


Kittens – The Birth – Tuesday, 10 July 2006

5 August, 2006


The kittens were born on Monday, 10 August 2006 between 7.35pm and 9.30pm.

They were due to be born on Tuesday which is day 65 and the average gestation period for a cat (actually it can be anything from something like 60 days to 74 days).

I was expecting them on Tuesday because last year their mother was spot-on day 65. But no, this year she was a day early. (not sure why she was early … maybe because there were 7 kittens? Maybe because it was a full moon and it’s a documented fact that more babies are born at the full moon?)

On Monday morning I woke up and found my girl rooting round the foot of the bed. Oh-oh … that was what she did the previous year just before giving birth. So I watched her carefully, but she wasn’t nesting or settling, so I went off to work.

I decided to play safe and left work early. Good thing too. I got home and she was restless and unsettled. For two hours I shadowed her (she probably thought I was mad and just wanted to be left alone!). Finally at about 7pm I took her into the bedroom and she jumped on the bed and started crawling under the blanket and moaning. I’d got two boxes ready for her, but of course, being a cat who knew her own mind, it was a comfy bed she wanted, just like last year. So I spread towels and Pampers Babychanging Mats, plonked her on them, and prepared to wait.

At about 7.30pm I went out of the bedroom to speak to Hubby. I was gone just minutes. When I returned to the bedroom she was gone from the bed. Oh no! Relief when I saw she’d gone into one of the kitten boxes I’d prepared.

Then I heard a squeaking noise, and I realised that she’d had a kitten in the five minutes I was away!

I looked in the box and mum was busy doing everything she had to do – she didn’t need my help at all until a few kittens on. (for last year’s litter I’d had to break the sac and cut the cord for the first kitten).

Anyway, there were seven of them. Was I expecting seven? Well, last year there were six kittens in the litter so I was hoping for six. But for me, it was more important that she have a safe delivery so six, four, three kittens – the number wasn’t important. At least two kittens would be good though, so I could at least cover the stud fees.

The first two kittens arrived in a hurry, within 10 mins of each other. Then there was a long wait of about 30 mins, and I remember thinking “two’s a good thing really – means she’ll have plenty of milk for them.”

After number four arrived there was another long break and I was honestly happy with just four. Mum did seem rather big for just four kittens, though. Maybe it had just been pregnancy fat.

Then after another long wait came kittens five and six. For kitten five I had to cut the cord because she was getting tired.

I almost lost kitten seven.

By then, my girl was (not surprisingly) exhausted. I was counting placentas and wasn’t sure if the sixth placenta had come out or not. So when she gave a throaty cry I just thought she was giving birth to the placenta, especially because she swung round and then lay down abruptly. Hubby who was watching said “isn’t that a kitten behind her?” I said “naw, that’s the placenta”. Mum just lay there looking exhausted. A few minutes later I looked closer at her and saw something sticking out under her. It looked like either the end of a cord or … a tail.

I immediately lifted Mum up and it was a kitten. I felt as though I had been kicked in the stomach – it was a kitten and still in its sac. I pushed it towards Mum and she sniffed it but didn’t do anything. So I tore open the sac and cleaned the kitten up.

It wasn’t breathing.

I pushed it towards Mum and she just ignored it. So I had a dead kitten on my hands and it was all my fault.

Out of desperation I did something I’d read about but was hoping, as a novice breeder, never to have to do. I picked the kitten up and put it between my hands, head secure between my fingers, and I flung my hands down to try to shake any fluid out of its lungs.

Still no signs of breathing and Mum couldn’t understand why I kept pushing it under her nose. It was a black kitten, it was perfectly-formed, there was nothing wrong with it. Just that it wasn’t breathing, and I was probably too late to save it.

So I held the kitten between my hands and shook it again. Then massaged it with a towel, trying not to cry.

Suddenly its sides expanded. Just once. Then again. Mum nosed it.

I had a homeopathic remedy on hand, carbo veg (aka “The Corpse Reviver”). It squealed as I picked it up. Yes, it was definitely breathing! I did debate whether or not to give it the carbo veg, but decided to be safe, and gave it a drop.

I put the kitten down and Mum started cleaning it.

The colours and sexes of the kittens: Two tortie-mackrels (girls), one silver mackrel with smoke (girl), three cream tabbies (boys) and one red (i.e. ginger) tabby (boy).

To date, all healthy, breathing and suckling well.