Have you noticed that your adorable cat is not eating after giving birth ? Many pet owners worry about this, however, reading this article will help put your mind at ease.
When the birthing process is finished and all the kittens arrive, the first thing to do is make sure that each kitten is dry and can feed immediately . This is important because the mother’s first milk, which is called colostrum, a substance rich in antibodies, will help protect newborns from infection while their own immune system is still developing.
The next thing is to feed the mother cat. Provide your queen with food and water and place her close to where she is nursing, because she is unlikely to want to leave her kittens and move away from them to eat.
Some cats do not want to eat immediately after giving birth. This is not a cause for concern, it is normal postpartum behavior , just leave food and water near her.
A new mother with kittens needs approximately three times more energy in the form of food compared to a non-pregnant cat. She must consume more food in order to produce adequate milk for her kittens.
As I indicated earlier, if your cat is not eating after giving birth, this is normal, but her appetite should return within the next 24 hours and should increase gradually as the mother needs more milk production.
When a cat is not eating after 24 hours after giving birth, this is a sign that there is something wrong, especially when combined with a fever and a lack of interest in caring for her kittens.
Why is your cat not eating after giving birth
Lack of interest in food within 24 hours after delivery may be due to:
- Stress from the birth of cats, will pass in a few hours.
- The mother still feels “full” from eating thenewborn kittens’ placenta .
- You may feel generally unwell, due to a slight inflammation of the uterus caused during delivery. These symptoms will disappear in a day and the cat should be back to normal by then.
- Some cats, especially those with overly protective personalities, may choose not to eat when threatened and upset by the presence of too many people or other petsaround them and their kittens.
When more than 24 hours have passed since giving birth and your cat is still not eating , you may be facing a serious problem. Here are the most common complications after birth that can cause a mother to not want to eat after giving birth:
Some bleeding from the uterus after birth is normal . The waste should be reddish-brown in color and not odorless. Bloody discharge that is excessive and bright red in color indicates a problem with the uterus or the cat’s blood clotting system. When uncontrolled, the bleeding can lead to anemia and the cat feels weak and not inclined to move or eat.
Problems related to the uterus
The bag that protected the kittens as they developed inside their mother’s womb is called the placenta . This must be expelled during the birth of the kittens or shortly after. If it remains in the mother’s uterus, we would be facing what is called a retained placenta . This situation generally leads to an inflammation of the uterus called metritis . Metritis can also appear when the uterus becomes contaminated during obstetric manipulations during difficult labor.
A more serious problem is the rupture of the uterus, which can occur when the uterus is stretched too far with large litters and difficult labor. If there is a rupture, there will inevitably be an inflammation of the abdominal cavity. As I indicated, inflammatory conditions can cause the cat to feel generally ill, have pain, fever and lack of appetite.
This is an inflammation of the mammary glands . This occurs most often during lactation when kittens have grown up and already have teeth, it may also occur immediately after giving birth. It may be due to an infection from another place, such as in the uterus, and reaching the mammary glands through the bloodstream.
Inflammation can also occur when the milk ducts become blocked and milk accumulates in the nipple, allowing bacteria a rich environment to thrive and multiply.
Characteristically, the nipples may appear swollen and the milk is yellow or green, thick, and sometimes bloody.
This condition develops when the amount of calcium in the cat’s blood falls below normal, often in the first three to four weeks after giving birth when she is able to produce milk for her kittens. Watch out for signs of hypocalcemia, such as rapid breathing and restlessness, tremors, stiff limbs, and difficulty standing or walking.
Consequences of your cat not eating after giving birth
Any cat that does not eat for more than 24 hours will start to feel weak and will develop a condition called hepatic lipidosis which creates quite a serious problem with the liver.
Without consuming food to use for energy, the body will reach a point where it begins to use fat stores and these fatty substances are processed in the liver. This significantly increases the workload of the liver and interferes with its normal function. Inadequate nutrition coupled with stress also causes a weakened immune system that will reduce the body’s ability to fight infection.
A nursing mother who does not eat becomes weak, depressed and loses interest in caring for her kittens, resulting in poor motherhood. Energy deficiency and malnutrition cause your milk supply to drop, you will not be able to produce enough milk for your kittens, and you may even suffer from hypocalcemia. Kittens will constantly cry, become weak, sickly, and even die.
How can you help your cat if she does not eat after giving birth
First, make sure that the place in the house where you are raising your kittens is quiet, quiet and free from the passage of people or animals. Keep her food, water, and litter box close by so she can see her kittens, even if she has to leave them for a while.
To stimulate a cat’s appetite, it is helpful to heat the food to release its pleasant scent that can pique its interest. Wet food is often more appetizing than dry food. Offer the new mother her favorite food. High-energy nutritional supplements are also helpful.
If the above methods don’t work to get the mother cat to start feeding again, you may need to feed your cat small amounts of wet food every few hours with a syringe. When doing this, always be careful to do it correctly to prevent food from entering your lungs and causing pneumonia. Be prepared to bottle feed the kittens as well as the mother may not have enough milk.
Take your cat to the vet so the underlying cause of the loss of appetite can be identified and treated . The vet will examine the cat and may need to perform blood tests and imaging procedures to determine what is wrong with her. The cat may need to receive an IV fluid or tube feeding to meet her energy and water needs while she recovers, and medications can be administered as determined by the veterinarian.
I hope this article has helped you understand why your cat is not eating after giving birth. In most cases you should not worry. However, if you suspect that there is a deeper problem and you are worried about it, please follow the advice I have given you, to avoid greater evils.
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