How to prepare for the birth of a Maine Coon cat? We will learn how to care for a pregnant Maine Coon, how to properly prepare for childbirth, and also find out what complications can arise during pregnancy and after childbirth.
Average gestation period and number of kittens in a litter
The Maine Coon breed differs from others in its large size. In smaller breed cats, the gestation period is usually 62-65 days.
In Maine Coons, pregnancy lasts an average of 65–72 days. The exact period depends on the number of kittens in the litter: the more there are, the earlier the birth will come. If the pregnancy ends before the 62nd day, then the offspring will be born weakened.
Important! Feeling the belly of a pregnant cat to determine the number of kittens is strictly prohibited, because the threat of miscarriage becomes more significant.
Note! There are no pregnancy tests for cats yet. Diagnosis is possible only in the veterinary clinic with ultrasound. Maine Coons are recommended to do this only as a last resort, excessive excitement of a cat can provoke a miscarriage.
Caring for the expectant mother
Preparing for pregnancy is read long before it. While the search for a suitable partner is underway, the cat is carefully prepared for the future birth: they are properly fed, given the necessary vaccinations, and anthelmintic drugs are given for preventive purposes.
Full puberty is completed at the age of 8–10 months.
Important! Postponing the first mating and childbirth until 2-3 years is not worth it in order to avoid problems with hormonal balance in the future.
Usually, after the onset of pregnancy and until the very birth, the cat feels vulnerable and becomes more sociable. She needs constant support and caress of the owner.
To get healthy babies and not weaken the health of a cat with a difficult birth, you need to pay attention to specialized professional food for pregnant cats.
They contain all the necessary vitamins, so you do not need to buy anything extra. If the Maine Coon eats natural food, then you should additionally purchase vitamins for pregnant cats at the pharmacy and give them in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Important! You can not combine pharmacy vitamins and specialized food for pregnant cats, as this will lead to hypovitaminosis.
Calm environment for the expectant mother
Until the time has come to give birth, it is necessary to change the habitual way of life of the Maine Coon a little. A cat after a successful mating should be able to bear offspring without stress. She should not leave the house before giving birth, visit exhibitions, play with restless children without extreme necessity.
If it is possible to avoid injuries, stress, accidental falls, then there is practically no doubt that the Maine Coon will give birth without complications.
Help with toxicosis
Due to hormonal changes or a poor-quality diet, a cat may develop toxicosis.
Its typical features:
- Vomiting occurs early in the morning before feeding. It is light in color and does not contain bile or blood.
- The cat’s appetite is reduced.
- The cat becomes nervous or weak and drowsy.
- Wool loses a beautiful healthy shine and splendor.
If a pregnant cat develops toxicosis, then this happens for a period of 2-4 weeks and lasts no more than 10 days in a row. The condition does not require treatment, it will not prevent the Maine Coon from giving birth to healthy kittens in the future. If the toxicosis does not stop after 10 days, and the cat’s condition worsens, you should visit a veterinarian.
Possible complications during gestation and after childbirth
Due to adverse factors, which include hypothermia, overheating, malnutrition and infection with pathogenic microflora, the birth of a Maine Coon cat can occur with serious complications:
- Miscarriage at 4 or 5 weeks of pregnancy. At the same time, dead fetuses
do not always leave the uterus, which is accompanied by inflammation of the
internal genital organs and putrefactive processes. Only a veterinarian can
help in such a situation.
- Uterine bleeding. Its cause is a rupture of the cervix, which happens in
very young cats and in multiple pregnancies (the number of kittens is more
than 6). The veterinarian should be called immediately to prevent the death
of the animal during childbirth.
- Mastitis. So called inflammation of the mammary glands, which occurs due
to excess milk after childbirth. The cat’s nipples become painful, reddened,
and a yellowish liquid is released from them. It is necessary to isolate the
Maine Coon from kittens and carry out medical procedures prescribed by the
- Metritis. Due to infection in the uterus, inflammation may develop.
Maine Coon becomes lethargic, body temperature rises, copious discharge with
an unpleasant odor appears from the vulva. Treatment is prescribed on an
individual basis after a thorough diagnosis.
- Not enough milk. This happens if there are more than five babies, as
well as with a lack of nutrition or fluid intake after childbirth. It is
necessary to improve the diet of the Maine Coon, monitor the presence of
clean water in the drinker.
Preparing for the birth of kittens
Proper preparation for the upcoming birth includes a number of activities:
- Use scissors with round tips to trim the long hair around the nipples.
- In the last days before giving birth, spend more time with the cat,
carefully monitor her condition and behavior.
- Refuse to travel with your pet out of town.
- Do not give any medicines, vitamins and other preparations without prior
consultation with the veterinarian.
- Keep the cat house clean.
- Near the house should be placed bowls of food and drinkers.
- Avoid contact with other pets and other animals so that mom and babies
do not catch the infection.
Organization of a suitable place for a cat with kittens
For childbirth, you can purchase a ready-made house in a specialized store or make it yourself from a cardboard box. The optimal dimensions of the maternity ward: height – from 30 cm, length and width – from 90 cm.
The sides of this height will not allow the kids to crawl ahead of time, and the cat will not be prevented from easily climbing in and out. Clean paper is laid at the bottom, and soft diapers are placed on top of it. They put the box in the quietest and most peaceful place in the house, away from drafts and away from the aisles where household members constantly walk.
First aid kit for the birth of kittens
By the time of childbirth, the following accessories should be prepared and folded near the prepared house:
- Sharp scissors for cutting the umbilical cord.
- Alcohol to disinfect tools and hands.
- Disposable paper and cloth diapers.
When the time comes to give birth, the Maine Coon cat will begin to show anxiety, visit the toilet more often than usual, look for a secluded corner and constantly lick itself. It is necessary not to deviate far from her, in order to transfer the pet to the birth box when the attempts have begun.
Each kitten will be born in a “pouch” that the cat opens and eats. After that, you need to let her lick each kitten. If the cat does not do this, you need to free the baby from the film yourself, cut the umbilical cord and tie it with their thread.
It is necessary to ensure that each newborn begins to breathe, makes a squeak and tries to crawl.
Kittens appear in different ways and not always at the same time. It happens that between the birth of the first and the last passes about 2 hours. The cat will calm down only when the last baby is born. After that, all diapers are laid in the house, and bowls with food and water are placed next to it.
When you need veterinary help
Usually, difficulties arise when a Maine Coon cat gives birth for the first time, and newborns are born with difficulty. Call a veterinarian for help if:
- The contractions last more than 2 hours, but not a single kitten has appeared.
- Severe bleeding began immediately or after childbirth.
- Female temperature dropped below 37 degrees or rose above 40.
- For more thcan 10 minutes, the fetus is in the birth canal without movement.
Childbirth is an exciting event, but you should not experience more than necessary. On the contrary, you should study all the necessary information and be ready to provide qualified assistance to the cat. This will allow the owner to respond correctly if something goes wrong.