Post-natal care for your feline pets is very important, as this will ensure the health and safety of the mother and the kittens. If properly cared for, any infection, complication, and illness can be prevented or immediately addressed. Here’s how you should care for the mother cat and her kittens.
- Let the mother cat rest in a box. Few days before her delivery (or when the cat begins to get restless), prepare a box lined with clean towels and put it in a quiet and warm place. Let the cat stay here until she gives birth. The cat will have to get used to staying in the box, so make sure to prepare the box ahead of time.
- Leave the mother cat and the kittens for a while. The mother will become a little aggressive after giving birth, so make sure to limit your visits and keep your distance. Approach the box only when you need to check on the mother and the kittens and to change the towels in the box. Avoid handling or touching the kittens at this point.
- Feed the cat with nutritious food. Because the cat is nursing, she has to be supplied with all the nutrients that she needs. Ask a veterinarian about the best food for the nursing cat. Make the food available all throughout the day. Keep it close to the box, so she doesn’t have to leave her kittens when feeding herself. Provide water for her, too.
- Check the mother cat for signs of illnesses. The mother cat is prone to illnesses at this point, so you have to closely monitor her health. Find out if she is lactating well, has good appetite, and is active. If you see any signs of weakness, bring her to the veterinarian at once. She might be suffering from a certain illness that has to be immediately treated.
- Avoid moving the kittens. This will stress the mother cat. If, for some reason, you need to move the kittens, make sure to do this in the presence of the mother cat. Actually, it is much better to transfer the kittens together with the mother. In usual cases, however, it is the mother that moves the kittens to another spot. If she does this, make sure to put the box in the family’s new location.
- Avoid frequent handling of kittens. The kittens are very delicate in their early stages, so picking them up is generally not advisable. Frequent handling of kittens may also distress the mother. Handle the kittens only when they reach their eight week. But make sure to limit handling.
- Bring the kittens to the vet. This has to be done when the kittens are old enough for a short travel. But if they seem weak few weeks after their birth, don’t wait till they’re old enough for a check-up. Contact the vet immediately. If the vet considers the kittens’ condition as an emergency, you will be asked to bring the kittens to the clinic.
Make sure to keep a close watch on the mother and the kittens. The mother will be active again right after delivery, while the kittens will begin to crawl after around 14 days. In their third week, the kittens will become noticeably active.