Sunday, July 18, 2010

Coco's Kittens Report

Coco had a difficult time with her delivery this time :-(

She went into labor about 3:00am Sunday morning and the first kitten arrived about 4:20am, a typical length of time. The the first kitten, a black and white male, was stillborn. Coco then stopped labor for 4 hours. No contractions visible but she was content and comfortable and I could still feel kittens kicking.

After that long without progression, my vet recommended giving her an injection to help with contractions, but just one, in case one was blocking the birth canal or she had a 'twist' in her uterus which would be life threatening for her and any live kittens.

Within 15 minutes her contractions began again, and the 2nd kitten, a cream and white male, was delivered, but he was stillborn also. I was very sad, that they wouldn't be able to add joy to someone's life. I couldn't feel any movement from the two kittens yet to be born. I was devastated.

But as my vet advised, it would be better for Coco to deliver the kittens on her own rather than have to do a c-section on her, so I gave a third injection. Coco then delivered 2 live kittens, both black and white girls. A happy ending to a very stressful and sad morning. Both girls are spoken for by a couple who have been waiting for over a year for 2 available sisters.

Coco is always very anxious the first 24 hours, wanting to take the kittens out of the kittening box and even though she is confined to a large tent, you have to worry about hypothermia or trauma, so I am glad I am home today and also can go to bed early tonight and try and catch up on the sleep I didn't get last night. Coco, too! Disco's kinda mad he's been locked out of the nursery--he sprayed on the 'nursery' door (really mewmie's bedroom).

I will have both kittens that were stillborn necropsied (have an autopsy done) to find out if there was a cause, such as a virus or internal abnormality, but they were normal birth weight and looked fine from the outside. Doing the pathology is the responsible thing to do, to help ensure the continued good health of the remaining kittens and to know if there was a cause, in which case it might be time to let Coco be spayed and retire...

I will rest a little easier when these girls, Spottie and Dottie, have made it through the critical first 72 hours and relax a bit as each week passes. Kiki is due to have her kitten(s) around August 23rd, and by that time, Coco's babies will be 4 weeks old!

Someone recently commented on my blog, 'Didn't Coco just have babies?". Yes, and no...Her last litter was born January 27, 2010...almost 7 months ago (that's Miles' litter--you know, Miles, from Pierro's Happy Place)

Cats are stimulated to ovulate by the lengthening days, so between February and October, unspayed female cats are essentially in heat a week, out of heat a month and the cycle continues until the days get shorter, until they are bred or they are spayed. That is why, in 'the wild', one female cat can have up to 5 litters a year and contribute to the homeless cat population and the sad fact that many are euthanized.

People sometimes ask me why I breed cats when so many cats need a home. Well, most of the homes my kittens go to, also have mixed breed rescued kitties in them. Sometimes, just like with dogs, people are looking for a distinct temperament and physical look that they are attracted to. Oftentimes, people want to know how their cat was raised, see the parents and have a breeder such as myself, be there to help with any problems that may come up in the future. Both Coco and Disco went to new homes which didn't work out, and I took them back with open arms (and missed them so much the short time they were gone, that they have their furrever home here with me). Funny how that helped me decide that.

The cat in the photo above was returned to me when he was 12 years old, and I was able to seek a new home for him, although unfortunately he succumbed to nasal cancer a short time later. But I keep in touch with the people who have my cats and am therefore able to 'be there for them' should the need arise.

Many rescue groups do have a lifelong commitment to the cats they find homes for as I do, but many shelters do not, nor do they have lengthy adoption applications or foster homes to help evaluate a cat or kitten either. I am in awe of many rescue groups for the hard work and effort they do in springing cats from kill shelters and in the professional manner they find the best home possible for the cats in their care.

In breeding cats, the best way to keep them reproductively healthy is to breed them twice a year, so they are pregnant--which keeps the uterus healthy and lessens the chance of uterine infections or cystic ovaries due to repeated heat cycles without being bred. One health issue in breeding females is mammary cancer, due to not being spayed before their first heat cycle, but I am fortunate that none of my retired momcats has developed breast cancer.

As long as I have people on my waiting list for kittens, I will bred my momcats when their kittens are 12-14 weeks old and have finished nursing and the moms are fit and healthy. I have 6 people on my waiting list and only two kittens, so some people will wait for my next litter and some will seek a kitten elsewhere, and that's ok it enables me to be very particular and choose the very best homes I can that way.

Well, besides a kitten update, hope you all enjoyed learning a little more about girl cats, too!


  1. I am SO glad you posted this info. This is the Admiral's Mommy by the way even though I didn't log into my own blog's account. The Admiral said it was OK since I was assisting her.

    Fascinating and educational for me.
    Love on Mommy there for me and her two babies . Tell her to let not her sweet heart be troubled. You and she rest.


  2. God Speed over the Bridge for the two stillborn tots.

    And rejoice for the two sisters!

    Learning about your breeding Queen(s) was interesting. We have all moggies at the house, but we understand the desire for a breed kitty.

    You & Coco, get some rest.

  3. I think that you do such a great thing with these cats. The two sisters will have such a great home where someone wants them. I hope you get some rest.

  4. We learned a lot today, so thanks for the post. We adore Coco so much, considering she is such a good momma and President of the CB too! We are sad about the stillborn kits, but thrilled that there was a happy ending with the 2 sister kittens. We will purr for their good health!

  5. I can understand people who want a certain breed of cat, even though I don't share it. I hope poor Coco isn't depressed after her kits being stillborn.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about Coco's boys and hope the girls progress well...Take care and try to get some rest; it sounds like you guys had a rough weekend...Kitty kisses to sweet Coco...Calle, Halle, Sukki

  7. And into Bast's loving arms go the the two not yet ready for this world. Fabulous news on the two that arrived safely & into such caring and furry arms! I love how Disco is sitting with Coco; that pic alone makes my day.

    Get some rest momcat & midcatwife; all our love

  8. We're sorry that two of the babies were still born. It must of made for a very long night. I'm glad it did come to a happy ending though for the sisters.

  9. We are sad that the first two babies were stillborn but happy that Coco has two little daughters. We hope you and Coco can have a restful day.

  10. Those two little sisters are like two peas in a pod. Sad about the other two kittens, but thank goodness these two were okay.

  11. I'm very sorry two of the bebbehs were stillborn. But congratulations to Coco on her two new beautiful bebbehs.

  12. Oh Im so glad shes ok and the two little girls were as well.I have learned alot about female cats.I have boys both in cats and dogs.So I dont have much experience with the females.Thanks so much Terri for your always lovely blogs about the cats, you have given me so much knowledge I can use in the future if I decide on having 2 cats and no more dogs.

    Happy new week!

  13. Ohhhhh. mommy was thinking about you and Coco allll week-end. She almost called yesterday but perhaps it was good that she didn't- she would have cried. I know, this is just part of life, there are always kittens and babies too that do not survive.
    We can imagine your devastation. We are certain that the two little fellas are safe at the bridge with all of those others that we loved. ((((hugs)))) to all of you.
    Spottie and Dottie are cutie pies, and we are just so happy that Coco is doing okay too.
    Yes, we remember that commment on the previous post. It is a valid question of course and your explanation was very informative. Many do not understand, and breeders, like you missie CurlieSwirlie, are serious and always cautious. We know that Coco is in good hands, as all of the Swirlie kitties at your place.

    bonks and bronks to all of you
    Pierro, mom and Blizzie and Rex the dad

    from Miles: HI MOMMY COCO

    we wish a restful day for all of you.

  14. We're so sorry for the sad passing of the two little kittens. We're purring hard that the two remaining kittens grow in to strong healthy happy cats.

  15. sad about the first two babies, but good to hear the two girls are so far happeh and healthy! it is verreh interesting to learn a little bit about breeding, as we are rescues and know nothing about any of that.

  16. We're so sorry that the two baby boy kitties were still born but are pleased Coco's little girls are alive and feeding. It was interesting to read your blog today. Purrs to Coco and her babies and to you too.

  17. Bummer about the boys, hope CoCo is alright.

  18. We are so sorry that the two little boys didn't make it - but we are glad that the two girls survived and that Coco will be able to have babies to take care of - hopefully that will mean she won't be too sad about the boys. We are sending lots of purrs for Coco and the girls to stay healthy and happy!

  19. We are glad that the two little girls are doing well. We is sorry you looseded the little boys.
    Go Coco go!

  20. Great post !!!!!
    We are sorry for the stillborn babies. Purrs for them.
    We are happy that a family will be waiting for the two baby girls!!
    Kitties need homes and peple to love them :)
    We will purr for these girls too!!
    Purrs Mickey,Georgia & Tillie

  21. What a sad and stressful morning! We are so sorry about the first two little ones. We are purring that the little girlies remain nice and strong!

    Gentle pats for dear Coco.

  22. We share your sadness at the stillborn kittens and your joy at the two lovely little girls.

    We hear you on the "comments" made by people who think they know better. The love you have for your cats and the care you bring them just shines through your blog. Both the kittens and their future owners are lucky!

  23. That made our hearts a little heavy to hear about the first two kittens, but I'm glad Coco made it through the delivery with two little ones! I hope the little girls are doing great as I type this. My two sphynx' boys both came from small litters and I have often wondered the reason - Marley was one of two in his litter and Reggie was the ONLY sphynx from his! However, in the case of Reggie, I don't know if others just didn't survive or not. I love reading your updates and you are so sweet to always respond to my emails too, even though you are quite the superhuman kitty-mom and vet tech!

    Lisa (Marley and Reggie's Meowmie)

  24. Thanks for elaborating on why you do what you do!

  25. How are the sweet babies and Mama?

  26. I'm so glad Coco is OK, though it is sad about the two little boys.

  27. Good job, Coco. Sorry for your loss.

  28. I'm sorry to read about the 2 still born kitten. Poor Coco! But happy to hear that the 2 other kittens were born alive. That is great news. They are adorable and looking forward to seeing more photos of the babies.

  29. Welcome new kitties, you are so sweet.

  30. I'm glad Coco and the two girl babies are doing well in spite of the rough delivery - keeping my paws crossed that they continue to thrive!

    My human actually got me because she heard that Somalis tended to bond with just one human, and she wanted a cat that was as devoted to her as her last cat (a calico she found on the streets as a kitten). But it didn't work out quite the way she thought, because although she is definitely my human, sometimes I behave like I am stuck with her and not all that thrilled about it! LOL, but that is her problem.


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