SHAID Tree Animal Shelter
We had our first very pregnant momma cat of 2023 brought into SHAID Tree Animal Shelter in late February. She looks ready to pop any day, so we set her up in her own maternity ward for when she gives birth. Judging from the size of her belly, it looks like it will be a fairly large litter, but one can never be sure! All we know is that she will be treated like the queen she is during her stay with us at the shelter.
Queens normally go into heat starting in the early spring, and will continue to go into heat every two to three weeks until they become pregnant.
A cat's gestation period is generally 63-65 days, and she will birth an average of four kittens per litter, although we have seen as few as a single kitten, and as many as eight, here at the shelter. Two clues that the big day is coming, is that typically the queen will stop eating about 24 hours before they give birth and their internal temperature drops below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Kittens are ready to find their own forever homes at eight-to-10 weeks of age, after they have been fully weaned and are eating kitten kibble and drinking water. The queen needs a minimum two weeks of recovery time after her kittens are weaned, before it is safe for her to undergo her spay surgery and prepare her for her own adoption.
It is common for stray or homeless queens to suffer hair loss following pregnancy and birth due to them not getting enough nutrition; we currently have two other queens (Marcie and Fuzzy Peach) in our care that likely gave birth prior to being rescued and are suffering from varying degrees of hair loss.
We are giving them the most nutritious kibble and canned food to help them gain strength for their upcoming spay surgeries. Soon, they will be available for adoption in hopes to become the queen of your home.