Congratulations on having a litter! I can only imagine how happy you must feel right now.
But wait, do you see the umbilical cord still attached to one of the kittens? Are you confused about what to do with it now?
Well, you have come to the right place to solve your question.
In this article, we’ll tell you if your furry friend was supposed to have eaten her umbilical cord or if you were supposed to cut it off.
Keep reading to find out more.
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Do Cats Eat Their Kittens’ Umbilical Cords?
The mother cat should bite through the umbilical cord after each kitten is born. Despite the fact that it appears that she is “devouring” it in the traditional sense, she is not.
She is actually removing the kitten from the placenta.
It is advisable to let mother cats gnaw through the cord on their own, as the majority of them are fully capable of doing so.
Unless it causes the mother extreme discomfort, it is better to let them handle this process, even if it takes her a few minutes.
What To Do If The Umbilical Cord Is Still Attached To A Kitten?
It’s common for newly born kittens to keep their umbilical cord attached for the first two to three days. Usually, the mother cat is in charge of severing the umbilical cord to separate the kittens from the placenta. She takes some time, but she eventually succeeds.
Although it is not suggested, you can attempt to cut it up with a pair of scissors in some situations if the mother cat is unable to do so.
The best course of action is to take the animal to the vet. He can assist in getting it out of the way. Only if the technical aspects are taken care of can doing it at home be a successful attempt.
A small mistake might prove fatal to the kitten.
Only when you cut the delicate membrane birth sac where the kittens were born should you step in.
Your cat doesn’t require any help at all in this situation either. But if she does, you’ll have to carefully tear open the sac. NEVER use any sharp items for this process.
Your hands should be sufficient as soon as possible to release the kitten’s air sac because it is delicate.
The newborns’ mouths and noses should then be cleaned, and you should use a fresh cloth to rub them against the direction of their fur. The kittens’ ability to breathe clearly will be enhanced by this action.
How Long Can A Kitten Stay Attached To The Umbilical Cord?
It is typical for kittens to retain their umbilical cord for 1 to 3 days, but sometimes it can last up to 5 days.
There is nothing to be worried about.
When this time period is over, the cord dries out and naturally falls off the kitten. You don’t have to intervene anywhere in this process.
A kitten’s first 48 hours are crucial for developing maternal antibodies through feeding.
A nursing mother may provide her kitten immunity during the first two days through colostrum, aiding the kitten in fending off disease.
A kitten’s immune system will be weakened and she will be more prone to illness and infection if she does not get the colostrum.
If the cord lasts for more than 5 days, that is when it becomes an issue of concern. Instead of experimenting and cutting it on your own, take her to the veterinarian.
Should I Cut My Cat’s Umbilical Cord?
Although you could, why would you display intelligence when it is not required?
Take her to the vet instead.
Incomplete closure of the umbilical ring after delivery results in an umbilical hernia. When the cat stands, meows, cries, or strains, the hernia commonly protrudes from beneath the skin as a soft swelling.
Surgery may be necessary for umbilical hernias that do not heal, particularly if a piece of an intestinal organ pokes through it.
For newborn kittens, a section of the intestines or other tissues may become entangled in the cord, strangle, and lose blood supply. This situation calls for quick surgery.
Hence, if you think it looks serious, take it to an urgent care facility or a regular veterinarian to get it cut so it doesn’t develop into an infection.
Interesting Read: Why Is My Pregnant Cat Leaking Fluid?
When To Cut A Cat’s Umbilical Cord?
There is no good time for you to take charge of the situation and cut a cat’s umbilical cord. A doctor’s supervision is always recommended.
However, the correct time to cut the cord would be at least an hour after your feline has given birth.
The blood vessels in the umbilical cord will start to collapse once your kittens are delivered. As a result, the placenta and the kittens’ blood supply are cut off. This will cause the placenta to separate from the uterus and to be delivered.
Importance of umbilical cord:
- Increases the level of hemoglobin at birth
- Enhances iron reserves during the first several months of life
- More effective transitional circulation
- More accurate measurement of red blood cell volume
- Reduced requirement for blood transfusions
Some things to take care of while cutting the umbilical cord are:
- Never strain on the cord to force the delivery of the placenta. Your mother cat might get hurt by this.
- Cut the cord after the placenta has been delivered, never before. Your kitten may lose blood as a result, which raises the possibility of infection.
How Do You Cut The Umbilical Cord Of A Cat?
Follow the steps leading to cutting a cat’s umbilical cord:
- Kittens should be put in a box or clean, warm towel as soon as possible. Take off any dirt that may be there. If they are gooey, gently wipe off the eyes.
- Put them under your shirt next to your skin if they are extremely cold, or rub them in your hands. Before starving, kittens die from the cold and hypothermia.
- The mother cat then begins to vigorously lick her young in order to remove any blood from them, improve their respiration, and separate their umbilical cords.
Removing The Cord:
- Making the decision to cut the cord is a crucial first step.
- To cut the umbilical cord, use scissors. Using pressure similar to a mother cat’s teeth, this device cuts.
- Iodine sterilization of that region and the scissors should come first (or alcohol).
- On the sides of the umbilical where you will cut, tie pieces of dental floss approximately an inch apart. To avoid cutting the cord too close to the kitten’s body, leave one to two inches of the cord attached.
- Sterilize the kitten’s chord once more right once using iodine or alcohol as advised by the veterinarian.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the mom cat not separating her kitten’s umbilical cord?
Most cats will start taking care of the kittens right away. They might reject the kittens if they don’t sever the umbilical cord, though. They did not cut the cord, so that is not the reason. Rather, it’s a lack of appropriate parental behavior.
By placing canned kitten food in the kitten area, you can persuade the mom to stay in the nest with the kittens. Set the kittens up next to the mother’s belly.
They ought to go looking for nipples on their own. You might need to teach the new mom how to raise kittens because she hasn’t done it before.
As long as the umbilical cords are kept apart from the placenta, they will naturally dry out and fall off. Take them to the veterinarian if not.
Is retained placenta harmful to the mama cat?
An unremoved and retained placenta will start to degrade inside the cat’s uterus, resulting in a dangerous bacterial infection that will probably spread to the cat’s bloodstream and throughout its body.
During a typical birth, the placenta remains attached to the kittens as they exit the birth canal, but the queen will normally automatically remove it and devour it.
The placenta will still flow through the birth canal after the kitten is born, but this does happen occasionally.
The placenta has been kept within the uterus if the kitten is not born with it and the placenta does not emerge quickly after a kitten is born without it.
That’s everything you needed to know about cats, kittens, and the umbilical cord which relates to them.
Always seek out a doctor’s help. They are professionals and can take care of the matter in a better way than you can. Of course, you love your fur babies too much and want to do the best for them. Hence, leave it to the vets.
Let us know in the comments how many kittens your queen gave birth to. I hope they all are healthy and comfortable right now.
Must Read: What To Expect While Cat Giving Birth For The First Time?