You and Fluffy have successfully survived the 9-10 harrowing weeks of cat pregnancy and now it's time for the litter to make their big appearance! Unfortunately, contrary to what the movie Dumbo has taught us about animal childbearing, storks do not in fact deliver the babies.
Signs A Cat is Going to Give Birth
1. "Nesting" AKA Aiming to Find Expensive Blankets/Designer Clothing Forgotten on the Closet Floor to Destroy with Bodily Fluids
In the days immediately proceeding labor, you will notice Fluffy frantically roaming the house. She will leave no closet, corner, or laundry basket unchecked in deciding where she's going to make a bloody mess (and deliver some cute kittens). You can encourage her to choose a location of your preference by attractively displaying a comfortable bed of old blankets and towels in a dark and quiet area of your home. Be sure the location you choose is kept at a comfortable temperature, since newborn kittens cannot yet regulate their own they will need a warm environment.
2. Icky Licking
She'll now begin to constantly groom her lady parts, lapping up bloody show. Labor is about to begin.
Fluffy is becoming quite uncomfortable. She probably wants you to leave her the heck alone to let her moan and pant in peace. She may pace for awhile, and then when the time comes she will squat and squeeze out the prizes of her pain. Generally the first kitten will make his or her appearance shortly after labor begins, within an hour. Subsequent spawn will be birthed anywhere from 10-60 minutes apart.
Each kitten will be packaged in a not-so-attractive looking sac, which the mother will eat along with the umbilical cord. She will then immediately lick the baby to remove gook to allow it to breathe and establish circulation. Do not interfere with a birth unless Fluffy obviously needs your assistance. Instead, check on her progress every few minutes from a short distance. Occasionally though, like some human mothers new to the game, a mama cat will be clueless and need help with freeing the kitten from its sac. Following this not so pleasant task, be sure to gently but vigorously rub the baby with a towel to remove excess gunk and encourage breathing.
The Kittens Have Been Born
Fluffy will most likely begin to nurse the birthed kittens in between expelling the siblings. If you do not notice this occurring, try to encourage the feeding by placing the babies to a nipple.
Keep watch until you're certain every kitten has been born. To state the obvious: if complications arise or Fluffy appears to be struggling, package her up along with her birthed kittens in a box with a blanket or towel on the bottom and bring them to the vet.
Congratulations! You (okay, well, Fluffy) did it! Now you've just got to figure out what to do with all those kittens when they're ready for new homes.