Nursing cats are similar to any other cat, but they do have a few unique requirements. The key issues are ensuring that yours has enough food and a safe area to nest. You should also keep a close eye on the health of a nursing cat and her kittens to verify that everything is going smoothly.
So, how can you fatten up a nursing cat?
You can fatten up a nursing cat by feeding her a protein-rich and high-calorie diet.
Keep reading this article to know all about the way you can fatten up a nursing cat.
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Why Is My Cat So Skinny After Giving Birth?
Here are some reasons why your cat appears skinny after giving birth: –
1. Increase in nutritional needs
After giving birth, pregnant cats lose weight. Their nutritional requirements, on the other hand, skyrocket.
Depending on the litter size, energy requirements can be two to three times normal in order to produce enough milk to nourish the babies.
Water consumption is also crucial for milk volume.
Give a nutrient-dense meal, such as kitten chow, to a nursing cat to ensure she gets enough nutrients.
Increase the number of meals in the day without increasing the amount of food at each meal. Feed her at her leisure, with full access to dry food.
2. Retention Of Fetal Membranes
After delivery, a queen may or may not pass the final set of fetal membranes/tissue. The membranes in her uterus will begin to break down and decay if this happens.
The queen gets restless and uncomfortable in her abdominal area, and she refuses to nurse, lay with, care for her offspring or eat, and in the process loses weight.
She may eat little or refuse food and water, and she may have a brownish vaginal discharge. If you observe any of these symptoms, your cat needs to be seen by a veterinarian every once.
Diagnostic testing and appropriate treatment, including antibiotics, pain medicines, and hospitalization, may be recommended by the veterinarian.
3. Metritis or Endometritis
Metritis and endometritis are two kinds of uterine inflammation. In cats, it normally occurs within three days of birth.
Queens will be significantly sicker than if the fetal membranes are retained. Fever, complete disregard for her kittens, refusal of food, and lack of activity are all symptoms.
She might puke and consume more water than normal as well. A foul-smelling, deep red wine or black-colored discharge will be visible from her vaginal area.
She will require emergency veterinary care, which will involve a thorough examination, diagnostic tests, and supportive care, such as intravenous (IV) fluids, antibiotics, pain management, and other procedures.
Mastitis, or mammary gland inflammation, can occur during early lactation or breastfeeding. Mastitis usually affects one breast gland and causes it to become stiff, hot, painful, and swollen.
The culprit could be simple milk duct congestion, in which case mild heat and massage will allow milk to flow out of the teat orifice or aperture.
The problem can be rapidly alleviated by gently milking the afflicted gland. The gland will be sore, enlarged, and have an unusually colored discharge from the nipple if the mastitis is caused by infection, and the cat will refuse food, and be feverish, and sluggish.
An abscess can develop, leaving a purple patch of tissue with thick, foul-smelling drainage.
Mastitis caused by infection necessitates rapid veterinary care, which includes a thorough examination, diagnostic tests, and supportive care, such as intravenous (IV) fluids, antibiotics, pain management, and more.
Interesting Read: Why Is My Pregnant Cat Not Eating?
5. Eclampsia (Milk Fever)
Eclampsia, commonly known as milk fever or lactation tetany, can strike 3-5 weeks after a kitten is born.
This occurs as a result of a sudden decline in the amount of calcium circulating in the nursing queen’s bloodstream, which is linked to increasing milk production needs. The cat is frequently nursing a huge litter of kittens.
Restlessness, panting, muscle tremors, not wanting to eat and incoordination are among early indicators of milk fever.
It can proceed to tetanic (rigid, stiff-legged) muscle spasms, convulsions (seizures), or coma if not treated.
This is a potentially fatal condition. If you feel your cat is suffering from milk fever, contact your veterinarian right once.
6. Cesarean Section
For the first 2-3 days after a C-section, keep a watchful eye on the queen. Ascertain that she is comfortable, that she is eating, drinking, nursing, and caring for the kittens, and that she is urinating and passing a normal stool.
Keep an eye on her incision for any signs of pain, fever, swelling, or food refusal. If you observe any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian.
Ascertain that she gets all of the medication given by the veterinarian, including antibiotics and pain relievers.
Also, check out Cat Losing Weight After Giving Birth: Reasons & Solutions
Does A Nursing Cat Need More Food?
Yes, a nursing cat needs more food.
A nursing cat should consume up to four times as much as a regular cat.
Cats having two or more kittens require at least three times the average amount of calories.
A 10-pound cat nursing at least four babies should consume approximately 603 calories per day, whereas a 15-pound cat nursing at least four kittens should consume approximately 851 calories per day.
While mama cats gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, they lose about 40% of it after giving birth.
Because they are constantly nursing their kittens, they lose more weight during the breastfeeding phase.
To maintain milk production, bodily condition, and weight, nursing cats should eat an energy-dense diet.
Certain aspects of the kittens, such as their size and age, have an impact on the calorie requirements of mother cats.
Mama cat’s calorie requirements will rise as the kittens develop and require more calories. When the kittens are around four weeks old, this normally peaks.
A breastfeeding cat should be fed a high-protein, energy-dense, vitamin-and-mineral-rich diet.
Kitten food is the ideal sort of food for mama cats since it is high in important nutrients and helps the kittens develop.
Canned kitten food is also easily digestible and contains calcium and phosphorus, which are important for bone formation in kittens.
Mama cats should also have access to dry food or kibble throughout the day, which should be moistened with a little water.
Mama cats need to stay hydrated when feeding their litter, therefore a constant supply of clean, fresh water should be provided throughout the day.
The sixth to seventh week after labor is when mama cats demand the most nourishment. Because the kittens are approaching the weaning stage, they are consuming more of the mama cat’s food.
The kittens may be progressively transferred to solid food at around four weeks old, while veterinarians urge that they consume their mother’s milk until they are nine weeks old.
Also, check out how to make mother cat produce more milk
How Can I Fatten My Cat Up After Having Kittens?
You can fatten up your cat after having kittens by feeding them high calorie and protein-rich diet.
Give a nutrient-dense meal, to a nursing cat to ensure she gets enough nutrients.
Increase the number of meals in the day without increasing the amount of food at each meal.
Feed her at her leisure, with full access to dry food.
Make sure the cat is getting adequate protein. To be healthy and provide nutrients to her kittens, a nursing cat will require a lot of protein.
Protein is usually found in high-quality cat food. If her kittens are very boisterous or mobile, though, it could indicate that the mother isn’t getting enough protein.
If in doubt, give the mother cat kitten food while she is nursing. Kitten food contains more calories, calcium, and protein than human food.
Mother cats who are nursing should eat a high-quality kitten formula meal. Don’t be afraid to feed her canned tuna, chicken, or salmon if she’s a picky eater.
Her calorie intake must stay quite high in order for her to continue feeding her kittens. Make sure she has access to fresh water at all times.
If your female cat is pregnant or has recently given birth and is nursing her kittens, you must feed her food that will sustain her and her kittens both before and after they are born.
While the kittens are developing and growing, your cat will require high-calorie food to both nourish the kittens and maintain herself healthy.
Because lactation is a physically taxing process for a cat, you’ll need to feed her high-calorie food while she’s feeding her litter.
Change your cat’s food to wet kitten food. Switch your cat to high-quality wet kitten food about the halfway point of her pregnancy.
Kitten food has a larger percentage of minerals and vitamins than adult cat food, so it will give the queen more protein and calories during her pregnancy.
Keep in mind that during pregnancy, your cat’s food consumption will increase. She’ll consume roughly 50% more than she would if she weren’t pregnant.
A cat’s pregnancy usually lasts between 58 and 70 days. By the fifth week, you should be able to transition your queen to healthy kitten food (35 days).
Ensure that your cat has access to food at all times. Your queen will eat smaller and smaller meals as the pregnancy advances and the litter of kittens takes up more space inside of her, but her meals will also become more frequent.
As a result, ensure sure food is always available for your hungry cat. You can leave food out instead of feeding her at specific meal times.
If wet food is left out too long, it may spoil. You can avoid this problem by putting out a tiny amount of wet food and then waiting until your cat finishes it before adding more.
Protein can be added to your cat’s regular meal. Your cat can continue to eat their regular food during the early and middle stages of pregnancy.
However, you should offer extra protein to help your kitten grow well. Boil small chunks of chicken, beef, fish, or egg and add them to your cat’s dry or wet food to achieve this.
Cats, especially pregnant ones, can be fussy eaters. Try a variety of proteins until you find one that your cat enjoys.
As the mother cat’s body grows the kittens, the increased protein will provide her with strength and energy. The mother will require a lot of protein during her pregnancy and nursing time.
Also, check out Why Is My Nursing Cat Always Hungry?
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are increased energy and fat so important in nursing cats?
Pregnant and lactating cats require a lot of energy, thus more energy and fat are vital. The most energy-intensive period of a cat’s life is nursing. Nursing cats require 2 to 6 times the amount of energy that a healthy adult cat does. The amount of food eaten that is actually absorbed by the cat’s body is referred to as digestibility. Because energy requirements are high and there is less physical space in the tummy of pregnant cats, excellent digestibility is critical.
How to create a perfect nesting box?
Mama cats will look for a place to keep their kittens, so get a head start and build a nesting box. This can be a large kennel, crate, or even a huge box on its side; the main thing is that both mom and babies have enough room to stretch and rest comfortably during the first weeks of life. Place the nesting box in the room’s corner and cover it with a flat, soft blanket (no deep beds or bunched blankets, which can cause suffocation.) If Mama is anxious, cover the kennel with a thick blanket to create a comforting cave.
How to monitor kittens’ health?
Keep an eye on the kittens’ weight. I cannot emphasize enough the need of weighing your kittens at least twice a day. If they are being cared for by a mama cat. It’s crucial to keep track of their weight so you can make sure they’re getting enough food and staying healthy. You should be prepared to step in with additional feeding if a kitten’s weight is stagnant or decreasing.
Since she is feeding her kittens, a nursing cat requires all the food and nourishment she can receive. She should eat up to four times as much as she normally does.
To maintain her health and the growth of her litter, she should eat high-protein, energy-dense kitten food. Because the kittens rely on her for nutrition, a mama cat requires extra tender loving care.
Make sure to provide her with nutritious, well-balanced meals as well as enough clean water. At least a week after giving birth, you should get her checked by a veterinarian.
If you have any questions, ask us in the comments sections.
Interesting Read: Why Is My Cat Still Fat After Giving Birth?