Tackling A Few Common Misconceptions Concerning Feline Labor And Delivery

Posted on: 23 June 2015


Cats reproduce quickly, and if you have a female feline around that has not been spayed, chances are you will see her belly start to swell with growing little ones eventually. Even though the majority of cat deliveries go off without problems, on occasion, things do go wrong. Unfortunately, not every cat owner knows how to appropriately handle situations that can come up and many may think there is an issue when there is not. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions concerning labor and delivery of felines.

Misconception: If the kittens are being delivered tail or feet first, there is definitely something wrong.

Fact: It is actually not common for kittens to be born in a breach position. Unlike humans, kittens do not always turn in a head-first position before delivery, and even if they do, they may not stay that way through the delivery of the rest of the kittens. If you see a tail or foot first, do not panic. However, you should watch carefully to make sure the delivery is progressing, as breech can mean a more difficult delivery for the mother.

Misconception: A queen can be in labor for days, especially if it is her first litter.

Fact: Even if this will be your cat's first litter of kittens, she should not be in labor for days. It may take a little longer for labor to progress than what it would an experienced queen, but prolonged contractions are usually a sign that something is wrong. If your cat has been having contractions for more than an hour after labor has obviously began, contact the animal hospital to get advice. The professional may recommend a cesarean to deliver the kittens.

Misconception: You should just leave the placenta attached, even if the mother does nothing.

Fact: Once a kitten is fully delivered, the mother should start working to detach the placenta, or afterbirth, on her own by chewing through the umbilical cord. Don't be surprised if she actually eats the placenta, as this is a normal thing. If the mother does not show interest in doing this on her own, you may have to detach the placenta on your own. Use a sterile pair of surgical scissors to snip the umbilical cord, leaving only a small section attached to the kitten, which will eventually dry up.

When you are expecting a litter of kittens from your pregnant queen, it is a good idea to educate yourself about what to expect and what could go wrong. Talk to your veterinarian about specific concerns you have and make sure you will be able to get in touch with a professional like one from South Hills Animal Hospital if something does not seem right when labor does begin.