Just when you thought taking care of your female cat is over (finally!) because she just had a successful delivery, the responsibility of a pet parent is just beginning. And since mother cat is still weak and fragile after giving birth, you will have to step in to give her and her litter proper postnatal care.
"Make sure you keep them away from any possible triggers - stray animals, other pets at home, house guests and the hustle & bustle in your home."
Give them privacy.
At this stage, both mother cat and her litter are easily stressed out. Make sure you keep them away from any possible triggers - stray animals, other pets at home, house guests and the hustle & bustle in your home. You can decide where to put the whelping bed but make sure it's clean and quiet.
Provide good food.
Provide mother cat with good food recommended by your veterinarian so she'll have the vitamins and nutrients she needs to be able to gain strength and produce enough milk for her young.
The kittens will usually feed every 2 hours. You will know when they're hungry because they will start crying and moving around. Help them take turns while feeding, allowing the smallest ones to go first.
In the case that mother cat rejects her kittens, dies from giving birth (we hope this does not happen) or doesn't have enough milk supply, you can consult your veterinarian on what special formula to use. In bottle feeding, make sure bottles are sterilized before and after feeding to prevent any gastrointestinal complications.
Keep them clean.
In taking care of newborn kittens, maintain a good hygiene. Keep the newborn kittens away from all soiled materials inside the whelping box.
Use a washable whelping pad that you can change out regularly.
This will keep the kittens away from taking a bath in their own pee or poop. Cat diapers are a great option for the mother cat, too! This will prevent her from be soiling her young and the bedding. Remember to keep them clean, warm and dry ALL THE TIME.
Monitor. Monitor. Monitor.
Just because you think they're already doing great and adjusting well, doesn't mean you shouldn't keep an eye on them anymore. Make it a habit to monitor each kitten's growth, or look for any signs of abnormalities, illnesses like trouble breathing, or difficulty of peeing/pooping. Also look out for any behavioral changes on mother cat. Is she feeling weak? Is she becoming grumpy? Make sure everyone is feeling well and gaining a healthy weight.
You should also schedule a regular visit to your vet clinic. Check with your vet about the deworming and vaccination schedules of both mother cat and her kittens.
Socialize kittens early.
You can handle the kittens at any time. Handling them will help them grow up to be tamed and well-socialized.
But before doing this, make sure your hands are clean. Wash your hands first and pat dry with a towel or sanitize.
Post-natal care is very important. This helps your mother cat recover faster and her kittens grow well, for them to live a happy and healthy life, with you.
"Make it a habit to monitor each kitten's growth, or look for any signs of abnormalities, illnesses like trouble breathing, or difficulty of peeing/pooping."