First Kittens of 2011

Katie has two kittens, born overnight last night – our first for 2011. Initial guess is one female, one male – a black silver shaded and a black ticked tabby.

Apologies to those who have been waiting for this update to go live – I actually wrote it on Tuesday evening, but have been having issues with the Internet since then, and hadn’t been able to get it to upload.  Hope it’s worth the wait!

Katie’s Kittens Are Here!

Well, Katie’s kittens arrived bang on schedule, just like last year. This time, she started having them at the rather more civilised time of 10pm, and had settled down to feed them and sleep by midnight.

Katie asleep with her kittens
Katie's kittens feeding while she sleeps

At about the 5th week of the pregnancy, we moved Katie from isolation into a room with Fiona, and she got quite upset about it. We moved her in the evening, and by the following morning, she had gone from looking fairly heavily pregnant, to having no visible bulge whatsoever. For a few days, we wondered if she’d aborted the pregnancy completely, but it gradually became apparent that she was still pregnant. We guessed, however, that the size reduction probably meant that she had reabsorbed some of the kittens.

It looks like that assumption was probably correct, because instead of producing the expected four or five kittens, she had just two.  Even more telling, she actually produced three placentas, but I couldn’t feel a third kitten still inside.  I took her to the vet this evening to get them to double-check that, and they agreed that there was no sign of a third kitten.  She must, therefore, have reabsorbed the kitten whose placenta the third one was, but not reabsorbed the placenta for some reason.

Her body definitely thought that she was going to have more than just the two, because she’s got lots of milk.  Last year, she was very economical with her milk production – she only had four kittens, so she only ever activated six of her eight teats, then dropped this to four teats when she lost one of the kittens.  She also seems slightly confused by the fact that she only has two kittens in her nest, bless her.

Katie Giving Birth

As before, Katie is proving to be a fantastic mother, having done everything herself, including removing the amniotic sacks, cleaning up the placentas and getting the kittens dry and suckling.  After the births, we gave her a big meal of (Applaws) tuna and prawns, and changed the bedding in the birthing box whilst she was distracted.

The first kitten is a black silver of some description – probably a shaded.  At birth, I though it was a female, though its not nearly as clear now.  I’ll leave it a few days and then check again, because it’s notoriously difficult to tell from when the kittens are a few hours to a few days – it’s supposed to be easier at birth, so I’ll assume that she is a female for the time being.  She was 85g at birth, and was up to 101g by this morning, gaining a whopping 16g in just 11 hours – that would be a good gain for a full day!

Female kitten
The Female Kitten

I’m pretty certain that the second kitten is a boy, and he looks to be a non-silver black of some description – probably a black ticked tabby.  He was just 79g at birth, but was already up to 93g by this morning, again a huge gain – 14g in less than 10 hours!  Clearly the kittens are making the most of the fact that their mum’s body is producing milk as if she had a litter of five to feed!

Male kitten
The Male Kitten

Both kittens are already attempting to stand, which is much earlier than either of last year’s litters. Hopefully these two are going to continue to make the most of having their mum’s attention split just two ways!

The two kittens cuddling
The two kittens cuddling

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