During my time as a cat breeder, I have many experiences of birth and death of kittens, Mother nature has a way of only allowing the strong to survive, as cubs born in the wild. Having a litter of kittens is wonderful.
It is truly amazing to see each kitten come into this world and witness its survival, to go from strength to strength each day, knowing you have helped in some small way to create this lovely family, If the Mother is a good Mother then all might go well.
Once you know your cat is pregnant you put as much goodness into her, in the form of diet, nutrition, and treatment for parasites before she gives birth, this includes giving her the best Mother and baby food especially for pregnant queens.
Flea and worm treatment should be given before your cat goes to stud to make sure she is parasite free, I use “Stronghold” flea treatment and as far as I know, it is the only one you can use on pregnant females throughout pregnancy. If your cat is up to date with vaccinations and worm/flea treatment this will help the young.
Diet and Health
By giving a very good nutritious diet also helps to produce healthy babies .You have to look after the Mothers needs first so she can stay healthy during her pregnancy.
It is extremely important at birth and until the kittens are ready to leave or until they have had their inoculations that you are absolutely sterile while handling the kittens, use a hand sanitizer gel before and after. This is a crucial time in your kittens lives where they can pick up virus’s which can come from anywhere and everywhere.
At 6 weeks when you take viewings for their new homes it is essential you have the well-being of your kittens in mind, at this delicate age things can happen and to lose a kitten when this age is devastating.
Losing A Kitten
At some time you will lose a kitten or sometimes the whole litter, and believe it or not, some years are good for kittens and some are bad, I don’t know why but it happens, one year you may have all the same sex kitten or only a few in a litter.
The problem with losing kittens is the Mother gets stressed and there is no reason, the vet cannot always tell you why and even a post mortem will not provide sufficient evidence. Fading kitten is a horrible thing to witness, because one kitten dies each day or a week apart and there is nothing to be done because of the age.
Each and every kitten is a wonderful gift and is very precious for the Mother and for you as a hobby breeder. So it is not always a happy experience and certainly not a good one to have happen to your cat. Despite your best efforts sometimes you have losses.
As for the wild cats, they have their fair share of sadness but you don’t witness it, so if the young survive they will be the strong ones. Nature sorts its own.