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Ask the Veterinarian/stray pregnant cat


I have some questions to ask about a cat.I am feeding a stray pregnant cat. at least I think she is pregnant. she was thin when I first saw her and now that I have been feeding her she seems to be pregnant. right now my problem is she is limping. I don't know what happened but one day she showed up and she was limping.Still is. I examined her paw. there is no cut, no blood and I don't think her paw is broken but nonetheless she is limping. What should I do? my apt does not allow pets, so I cannot have her indoors for any length of time. The other day I brought her in and I gave her some food.9 lives and some store brand mixed together. I also gave her water. She had only taken a few mouthfuls when she suddenly ran around my apt. She wound up jumping in the bathtub and having diarrhea. Is this common in pregnant cats or could it be the food or what? Today she had the same food and water and she had only taken a few bites when she had diarrhea again. I also have a litter box from my former cat. I cleaned it but I think it still smells from the other cat. The pregnant cat sniffed it but she didn't use it. I guess right now I need to know what to do about her diarrhea and what to expect when she has those kittens. I believe she is a month along. could you give me a possible due date? What should I do about her foot?

Anytime you change a cat or dogs food abruptly it will cause diarrhea. It's really hard on their gut because domestic cats and dogs have pretty much evolved to eat the same type of food day in and day out.

If she is really pregnant, and is outside in the cold, the chances are for her kittens to survive are slim. She really needs to be somewhere warm where she can "nest" when the time comes and can make sure her kittens are safe. Their gestation is 9 weeks.

There isn't much you can do about her foot except take her to see a vet. There is no one online that anyone would know. It's one of those things that has to be felt, manipulated and touched by a vet to be diagnosed properly. She could have wrenched her knee or her hip. Not all limps are from the foot. You didn't mention which foot it is either- so again, hard to know what to say in that case.

She may have never used a litter box Marietta, which is why she sniffed at it and wouldn't use it. Most cats DO know how to use one, but some do not if they have lived outdoors their whole lives.

I am grateful to you for feeding her. She is going to rely on you for her care, so you might want to start looking for a home for those kittens and possibly her as well if you cannot keep her in your apt.

As far as the diarrhea goes, just give her some good quality DRY KITTEN food. That is what she needs while she is pregnant and nursing. I would get her some Science Diet Kitten Growth and don't feed her anything else. No wet and NO grocery store food. She may still have some loose stools for a few days but her body will adjust as long as you don't keep switching foods.

That is the best thing you can do for her right now.
Good luck and I hope that she delivers problem free. She can then be spayed when the kittens are 6 weeks old.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


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!


I have over 42 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. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

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


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 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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