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My first litter

And you’re probably wondering: What now?

I recommend peace of mind – there are things beyond your control – such as developmental defects (cleft palate, umbilical hernias), through which you may unfortunately lose one of your kittens. If something like this has happened, don’t worry, it’s not your fault. There are also things that are within your control – and one of them is providing your cat with the right environment. The cat may sometimes not be fully aware of what has happened, mother cat may be tired, preoccupied, engaged – she may absentmindedly perform some action… which at first may not be a sign of maternal concern. There have been known cases of a female cat accidentally laying on a just-born kitten… I have also heard of kittens being buried in the litter tray….

Cases vary – we won’t predict, but we need to keep calm, which means looking after the litter, helping the mother cat, cleaning her surroundings as needed, keeping her healthy and well fed.

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She should not feel that the person looking after her is somehow unsure – after all, she is entrusting her babies into your hands. Uncoordinated movements or “senseless” carrying of the kittens back and forth is not advisable. Provide the mother cat with a sense of security.

  1. Label the kittens – as long as they are different in colour, no problem – it’s still good to name them and put them in a “notebook” with a chart, or with dedicated pages. The bigger problem is when we have, for example, 6 identical Brits….
  2. WEIGHTING – uuu, this is important. We weigh the kittens, at regular times, on the same scale, on the same ground (stable). The whole kitten should be on the scale, which means we either use a specialised scale for animals or properly prepare one we have. Labelling the kittens will help us to monitor their weight gain – that is, we weigh each one regularly and record the weight reading. It’s also nice to make yourself graphs in excel, for example, or use another specialist programme. Why do we weigh kittens? Because we usually notice the first signs of illness just by the loss of weight. Not everyone has to signal a disease state to us, but we need to monitor this weight regularly, no matter what. Be prepared to feed, go to the vet as necessary. We recommend stocking up on plenty of pads, milk for feeding.
  3. In the beginning, kittens usually sit in the nest prepared by their mother, but one day they will leave it – prepare a space for them at that time. It is a good idea to set it apart somehow, to rid it of dangerous objects, and to enrich it with anything that will help them to… well LEARN. Yes, kittens do learn – the kittens are usually actively involved in this process, around the 3rd week of their life the female cat carries them out of the nest, puts them on the floor, walks away and meows at them to go towards her. It is lovely to watch this process. You can also find lots of toys, ‘puzzles’ etc on the internet. It’s also a good idea to prepare low litter trays with litter in multiple places in the space you set aside, as well as food bowls (we won’t judge here who feeds best, but they need to learn to eat something other than their mother’s milk). Spend time with them. Lots of time and attention. They should not experience hostility from humans or any other animals, they should become familiar with the sounds of the house such as the hoover, dishwasher and others – don’t scare them, but let them become familiar with such noises. Be patient, learning is a process, repetitio est mater studiorum !
  4. Once they start walking, there’s no turning back. The more there are, the more they become an unbearable, loveable shoal. Keep an eye on doors, don’t open windows, secure any escape routes, dangerous objects and places. I remember when a gang of gaggles found a standing carton of milk somewhere within their range. At night I was awakened by strange sounds – I don’t know how they thought it up, but they chewed it and with great joy drank the milk dripping on the furniture… No matter what experienced breeders say, no matter what they claim that nothing has ever happened to them and that the kittens were the most polite ones in the world – they certainly surprised them at some point with their creativity.
  5. When they start to walk – unfortunately start preparing for their release. The first 10 days are the most sensitive, but when as all indications are that you have a certain pool of healthy kittens, determine their sexes, give them names, prepare booklets, layettes (that’s the sort of thing we issue with kittens to owners), microchips, contracts and create content for your social media from the start. Systematically, as advised, examine, vaccinate, deworm them and release them by the statutory deadline. We recommend that this should be after 16 weeks of age.
  6. Apply for pedigrees – preferably around 8 weeks of age of the kittens, after they have been previously microchipped and checked that the chips are definitely active. Use the application form to do this, and voila, you’re done.

KINGDOM OF CATS strives to provide its breeders with the highest quality. That is why, as a club, we work with manufacturers and distributors of high-quality products to make it easier for our breeders to care for their cats.

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