Caring FOR THE NEW CAT MOM
Creature Companions|January 2021
FEEDING COW MILK AS SUCH TO CAT MOTHERS IS NOT RECOMMENDED AS ADULT CATS ARE UNABLE TO DIGEST MILK SUGAR, LACTOSE DUE TO A GRADUAL LOSS OF THE ENZYME THAT DIGESTS THIS SUGAR, AS THE CAT GROWS OLDER.
Dr. Reeja George P.*

The post-pregnancy period can be quite hectic for both – the excited cat parent and the new cat mother, as both of them, take the plunge into a new phase of their lives. Just delivered cats require quite some attention when compared to dogs, with respect to their nutritional requirements. If she is not well cared for, there is a tendency for the new cat mother to lose a lot of weight and this could be quite detrimental to her health and wellbeing. As a general rule of thumb, it would be in the best interests of both the cat and the kittens that they are taken to vet at about a week after birth. This is especially important if the cat mother was not vaccinated. The kittens and their mother could be given medicines for worms at this visit and your vet would also speak about the important vaccinations that the kittens have to be administered.

FEED MATTERS

The early part of motherhood for the cat is a period of nervous concern for her newborn kittens. The new mother cat will not leave her kittens alone for the first twenty-four hours and even by the first week; she may be too worried to move too far away from her kittens. Because of this nervous concern for her kittens the new cat mother will even skip her meals and water as well if she is not provided meals and water near her nesting box so that she does not have to move out. For this reason, it is extremely important that you give her full-time access to feed and water very near her nesting box. Specially made lactation kitten food available in the market should be fed to the new mother and she may eat even four times her normal amount of feed. Her bowl should always be full and water should be readily available as well. Around four weeks after kittening, you may begin to reduce the mother cat’s diet slowly as her kittens begin to get weaned. But you should remember that the whole process of weaning will be over only by eight weeks, so a gradual reduction in the feed so that she reaches her prepartum adult requirement by eight weeks postpartum should be programmed.

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