A long-time client of Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital brought Pippa and Bear to us in mid February.  Dr. Brandi Eskesen was ready to give the sweet 8 month old littermates a check up and some initial vaccines but plans changed when their owner, and rescuer, said that the girl kitty might be pregnant.  Both cats appeared healthy but Pippa’s belly was slightly enlarged and her nipples were more prominent than we see normally.  This could mean the cat was pregnant or just in heat.

A quick ultrasound performed by Dr. Adrian Nevill showed at least two large squirmy kittens in Pippa’s belly!

We may be looking for homes for some young kittens in a few months if anyone is interested!

While these kittens were a surprise to the owner, it is important that cats receive excellent medical care prior to, and during, their pregnancy.  Cats should be fully vaccinated before pregnancy because vaccinations during pregnancy can cause complications to the fetuses.

They should also receive flea control and internal parasite prevention before and during pregnancy so that the queen can have enough bodily resources for her growing babies.  Pippa will be eating kitten food that is extra high in protein and fat during pregnancy and nursing to keep her kittens well fed.

Dr. Eskesen did bloodwork on Pippa and Bear to make sure they were healthy and performed Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus tests.  We are happy to report that both cats came back with a clean bill of health.

It is likely that Pippa was impregnated by one of her littermates, which happens often and is one reason that we spay and neuter before animals become mature or go into heat.  She will also be fertile again shortly after giving birth so we are neutering her brother, Bear, to make sure that we don’t have any more surprises.  After Pippa’s kittens have been weaned, Pippa will go through her spay surgery

Kittens can be a lot of work and there is no shortage of animals that need to be adopted, so responsible pet ownership is important.  The first step is a visit to your veterinarian at Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital!

Here are some links with additional information:

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