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How To Build A Nesting Box For Your Pregnant Cat

Feb 26, 2008
One very important behavior you'll see in the last week of pregnancy is nesting behavior. In spite of being the most pampered cat ever, your pet still firmly believes that she is living in the wild and will be looking for a safe, secure and suitable place in which to give birth.

Under - or even on - your bed is often a prime choice!

As you may be called upon to lend a helping hand during the birth, it is wise to exercise some influence over your cat's choice of nesting area. As long as your pet feels that she is in control of her surroundings and you have good access to keep the nest clean or offer help, she will be happy.

To build a desirable nest, find a cardboard box that is roomy enough for her to move around in to give birth and to have her newborn kittens close to her whilst she delivers subsequent ones.

Afterwards, there will need to be enough room for all the kittens to suckle easily and for their mother to care for them.

For privacy and security, the sides of the box should be fairly high and you should be able to partially cover the top with a towel. To allow access in and out for feeding and toiletting, cut one side away, leaving a lip of around 3 inches at the bottom. This will stop any newborn kittens accidentally falling out of the box or beginning to explore before they are quite ready.

Line the bottom of the box with a good amount of old newspaper, shredding some to provide cushioning. Put more, individual sheets on top. These can easily be removed as they become soiled after each kitten is delivered and disposed of appropriately.

Have the box ready two weeks before you think that the kittens are due and allow your pregnant cat to become familiar with it. Place it in a position that is warm, free from draughts and away from the hustle and bustle of family life. Your cat needs to feel secure and unthreatened so that she can get on with the business of delivering her kittens without added stress.

Of course, she may not think that you have chosen a suitable place for her nest, so watch for signs that she is constructing her own nest elsewhere and simply move the box to that position.

What ever you do, don't let your cat out of the house for two, or even three weeks before her due date. If she decides to build her nest outside and disappears into it to give birth, you will have no chance of finding her and the consequences don't bear thinking about.

Once you have made your beautiful cat her nesting box, you are ready for the birth of her new kittens!
About the Author
Are you sure you're prepared for your pregnant cat 's labor? Discover what you need to know about building a nesting box and subscribe to Jane Tompsett's free Cat Owners Confidential newsletter by following these links.
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