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Cats/help lactating cats

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Question
Hi
so sorry for disturbing you, we live in a rural area and have a family of cats that have adopted our home or outside space, we have been feeding them but they don't like to be touched so hence non have been spayed. Three of the females have given birth one four weeks ago to a litter of three but one died. The second one we believe is only about 11months old has given birth to 5 kittens then during the night her sister gave birth to 4 kittens but two has died. They have set up home in my daughters play house which is clean dry and warm, but the third female has stopped feeding her young wont look at them I feel she has totally rejected them. The second female with 5 kittens has taken to feeding the two wee ones, this seems like a lot for her to be doing as she is a young kitten herself and we are concerned for her wellbeing. Can you give me advise on what we should be doing ie feeding the kittens and the mothers.
I was shocked that they are sharing a nest I didn't think cats would do that or feed each others kittens
I would appreciate any advise on the above matter and would like to thank you sincerely
Thanking you
Tanya

Answer
Hi
Well although cats are not pack animals like dogs and prefer a more solitary life. Some cats if brought up in a close family with other cats can sometimes become more attached and will indeed be happy to look after other kittens. The maternal instinct is strong especially during the early weeks.

As for whether or not 7 kittens is too many for her well. It very much depends on her own physical condition. If she is fed well and is generally in good health then 7 kittens is a push but Ok. Normally for a domesticated cat there are special cat foods, which can be given to help the overall health of the mother cat.

I have a cat web site which you may find of further interest as I have pages about special cat foods, kitten care etc.

/cat-diet.html

/kitten-care.html

I would say that you may have a problem with cat fights and an ever growing cat population around your home if the cats are left to their own devices and not spayed. Kittens mature from four months old and more kittens can appear from then on. Lots of cats in one area will mean more fatalities from weakened kittens and territory fights. I know you say the cats are wild and so difficult to catch but if you call a local animal charity they may be able to provide some help for you with both the catching and spaying.

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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