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dear Kate,

my cat is about 11 months old and she got pregnant the first time she came into season. she went into labour today and there was quite a bit of bleeding. we put her in the bathroom and tried to leave her to it as this was the advise we had been given but the cat did not seem to like being left on her own so i kept going into her (when i did she would immediately start purring and was visibly having contractions whilst i was there)  i noticed that every so often there seemed to be a bubble like protrusion coming from her birthing area which she would keep licking but it wasn't always there the cat was in labour a good few hours and nothing was happening then she left the bathroom and came and lay next to myself on the sofa for about half an hour then got up and was walking around, she finally settled under my bed where after half an hour or so i noticed she was moving around quite a bit, i watched her over the side of the bed and seen her give birth to a quite large black kitten but she literally popped it out and walked away, i waited thirty seconds or so to see if she would go back to it but she did not, i picked up the kitten but it was not breathing i checked its airway was clear which it was and i rubbed its chest and body vigourously (but gently) but nothing happened the kitten had died. I'm just wondering is there anything we did that caused it? I've been told that the kitten died because we did not leave the cat on her own and that caused her to delay labour and effectively kill the kitten. I'm just wondering if this could be true? please could you give us some sort of answer as we are quite upset by this.

Answer
Hi
well let me start by saying, you did nothing wrong. In fact I think you did everything right.

Some cast like to be alone when they give birth other do not. It sounds like your cat decided that she preferred the comfort of being with someone. Cats will make this decision themselves and if she was not happy with you being around she would have not been so friendly towards you and would have taken herself off sooner.

it sounds to be like the kitten may just have been too big to pass easily and that the labour was too long and that could be why the kitten died. this is no ones fault. the only thing you could have tried to do was to try and pull the kitten from her but this is a delicate operation and without some experience can be very painful for the cat and may even cause damage etc. So it is not something that most owners would try to do. So do not blame yourself, you were not to know.

i am sorry for the loss of your kitten but as the mother cat was only 11 months old it is not unusual for her to find her first litter difficult. it is often recommended that cats should not be allowed to get pregnant to after they are at least 1 year old. But nature has it's way of forcing issues sometimes.

best wishes Kate

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Kate Tilmouth

Expertise

I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.

Experience

I run my own cat website at http://www.our-happy-cat.com and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

Publications
I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Education/Credentials
Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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