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Question
My cat,  Athena, is one yr old. Five days ago, she had a litter of  five kittens,  one terminated very early in pregnancy, and another born very premature and has trouble with motor skills in his front legs. He eats and has gained strength in the limbs but still cannot efficiently move himself to  feed. Wondering if  there is anything I should be concerned about in the future with him.  Also, she moved them on day two from their birthing bed to an enclosed box, and now is trying to bury them in my bed. I made new boxes and new spots for her and she won't leave them anywhere but in my bed (with me!) I tried moving her to a secluded bathroom with litter tray, food, water, and her second box, but she just got  extremely stressed out. I'm not sure what to do here as I haven't slept in two days and she cannot sleep in my bed with my husband and I because I'm pretty sure they are going to get hurt.  Any suggestions?

Answer
You need to get her back into the room with the box and food and just let her settle down in there. You are right that she can't have them in bed with you so you just have to be firm about this with her.

She was way too young to be having kittens so she hasn't a clue what to do right now with any of them. You need to be firm with her and let her know (by being soothing and petting her) that where you put the box is her place to be with the babies. Put your pillow case or something that smells of you in there with her and that might help.

Young cats are notoriously bad mothers as they have no experience so she needs to be guided by you placing her in an area where she can be alone but not ignored or completely cut off from you.

Spend as much time as you can with her during the day so she won't be so stressed when you leave her in the room at night.

This will pass but keep an eye on her so that she doesn't harm the kittens in the meantime.
As far as the one kitten goes you will just have to watch and wait to see what happens as he grows. Make sure Mama cat is eating HIGH quality kitten food right now- as much as she wants- and make sure you do not feed Purina kitten food as it has milk on it and that will give her diarrhea. Cats are lactose intolerant after they are weaned.

She can be spayed when they are 5 weeks old.

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Thank you for rescuing her and taking her in. Didn't meant to sound judgmental but the facts always sound harsh. Those are the facts about young cats having kittens- they just don't know what to do. Dogs are even worse! When I said she was too young that was a statement of face, not a judgement on you letting her have them. I had a cat once that my ex let out and she also got pregnant (I was at work and told him to keep her locked in the house) and she was about a year old. I kept all of the babies and had them for 19 yrs. So getting a pregnant rescue is just about the same- these things happen!!

Just try and be calm and soothing to her as much as you can and she should settle in soon with them in one area.

Have fun!

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT

Expertise

PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!

Experience

I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Organizations
Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Education/Credentials
Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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