Cat Breast Feeding
Delivered kittens may take a few minutes in recovering or may just start suckling immediately. There are cases in which mothers do not allow being suckled until all whelps are born. If the cat allows it, it is recommended that the first ones to be delivered may start to suckle as soon as possible, since lactation stimulates the production of oxitoxin, which at the same time helps the mother deliver the rest of the whelps.
It is very important that after being born, all whelps begin to suckle right away, since they need to be fed with colostrum or first milk. Colostrum, is an immeasurable source of immune globulin which offers a passive immunity that will help prevent future diseases. The importance of feeding colostrum is that it has to be done as soon as possible, and this is because the gastrointestinal system of the whelps can only absorb the immune globulin during 8 or 12 hours at the most.
Kittens normally suckle every 1 to 2 hours, so in order to detect if they are being well fed is to be aware of their behavior. That means that if kittens show a full belly and are asleep, everything is going well. But if on the contrary, they are crying and moving around, it means that that they are not being well fed.
New born cannot regulate their body temperature, so they need a warm environment set between 25 and 30ºC. It does not matter whether natural or artificial heat is used.
After finishing delivery stage and while feeding its whelps, the mother must have fresh water and good qualityavailable at all times. When having to wean kittens from suckling one must restrain the mother from eating too much and must moderate their meals in order to reduce lactose production.