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It happens all too often. A family or cat friend gets adopted by a stray cat. And after a few weeks it turns out she's pregnant.
In the US alone there must be millions of sweet but homeless cats. And many of them get pregnant several times a year. Nobody really knows why, but pregnant strays often adopt a family instead of the other way round. Maybe they search for support or a good and warm home for their kittens.
Now, perhaps you don't have the space or time for a cat family. Or there's another reason that makes it difficult to have these kittens. But you don't want to throw this stray out. She's expecting babies, isn't she?!
Now what can you do?
You could take her to an animal shelter. That's not always a good idea.
Don't get me wrong: I value the work of animal shelters. In fact, I got my current cat from one of them, and I'm pretty sure the next will come from a shelter too. But some animal shelters reportedly put a pregnant stray to sleep. You'll blame yourself forever if you hear the cat you brought in, was killed.
Other shelters will spay her. They've got a good reason for that. The kitten population is astronomical and the last an animal shelter wants is put five more homeless cats in this world.
But maybe you have objections against spaying a pregnant cat - after all, it's abortion at the same time. Then a far better idea is bringing a pregnant stray to a local rescue group. In the US alone dozens of rescue groups are active. Not all of them, but many let the queen have her kittens, and search a home for them.
But in the end, perhaps the most satisfying alternative is to keep the cat yourself and let her give birth. Take good care of her. Have her examined by a vet to see if she's in good health. And get the right information so you are prepared for complications.
And remember: strays are used to go wherever they want. So keep your doors closed. Otherwise she'll adopt someone else.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marc de Jong runs an acclaimed web site on cats and is the author of the book How To Take Care Of Your Pregnant Cat, available through http://www.pregnant-cat-care.com The book is filled with insider tips and tells you how your cat can deliver and raise a healthy litter - with your help.
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