What to do if my cat has a dead kitten inside after giving birth?

Kittens can die in utero due to infection, a birth defect, or malnutrition in the mother. Complications can also arise during childbirth, endangering the cat and kittens.

Giving birth is a long, difficult and delicate process, so you should monitor your cat during pregnancy and delivery and contact a veterinarian immediately if problems arise.

First, I explain the causes of death of fetuses and then what to do if your cat has a dead kitten inside after giving birth .

1. Delivery difficulties

There are things in childbirth that can go wrong during the delivery of kittens. For example, the fluid-filled sac that surrounds newborns can get stuck when a kitten is expelled. The sac must be removed within minutes of its appearance or the baby may die.

Unborn kittens can also stay in the birth canal or become entangled in the umbilical cord.

2. Congenital malformation

Most feline fetal deaths are the result of a fetal defect or deformity . A kitten can die in the womb due to the irregularity or it can be aborted and absorbed into the mother’s body.

The birth defects may be due to a flaw in the genes of the kitten or a problem during the development of pregnancy . Developmental defects can also occur due to the mother’s health problems, such as stress and malnutrition.

Taurine deficiency is known to   hinder the development of muscles and bones in kittens. Exposure to pharmaceuticals, toxins, and chemicals can also lead to birth defects in kittens.

3. Infectious diseases

Various viral infections can cause fetal deaths in kittens. The panleukopenia virus   can infect unborn kittens and cause cerebellar hypoplasia, a fatal deformity of the skull.

The feline leukemia virus  is another dangerous pathogen that can cause fetal death in cats. Kittens who contract the disease from their mothers can die shortly after delivery. This condition is also called  faded kitten syndrome . 

Viral and bacterial infections in a pregnant cat are always a risk for kittens, so it is important to keep the cat in good health during delivery.

The cat has a dead kitten during childbirth

As a rule, when a kitten dies in the womb and the mother does not abort immediately, the other kittens are expelled and the dead fetus is born along with its living siblings. A stillborn fetus born together with healthy kittens is not a cause for concern, as it probably died due to a congenital problem; but if the live kittens are weak, go to the vet.

However, if a kitten dies in the cat’s uterus and cannot be expelled because it is too large to pass through the birth canal or because the mother is too exhausted, the cat and any other surviving kittens will die within hours or days. In this situation it is impossible for the cat to survive.

You may die from bleeding or trauma, or die more slowly as the infection spreads through your body; Either way, she will die if she doesn’t have veterinary care.

What to do when a dead kitten stays inside the cat

The cat should be taken to the vet for an emergency spay / cesarean section. Kittens obtained by cesarean section have a high mortality rate; the longer it takes, the less chance of survival However, without the C-section, they have no chance, and the mother will die too.

With a cesarean section, the mother has a very good chance of survival. If your kittens are still alive, your survival is risky, but not impossible.

Kittens born by cesarean section have trouble starting to breathe; They are sedated with the anesthesia Mom had for the surgery, and all the fluid has not been removed from their lungs, as it normally would during labor. They will need extra care, especially if the mother is too sore, sick, or tired to breastfeed. However, kittens born by cesarean section, if they survive infancy, are just as likely to live long and healthy lives as any other cat.

Anytime a cat  is in active labor for more than an hour without any progress , or a kitten is left blocked in the birth canal, she must be taken to the vet if you want her to survive.

Unusually, labor can be stopped for hours or even a day. If that’s the case, you should call the vet and keep him updated on your cat’s progress. But if she is pushing and not progressing, trying to have a kitten and she can’t, and she starts to get tired, then take her to the vet, she needs help.




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