About three weeks after mating you should expect your queen to “pink-up” if she is pregnant. This is characterised by a reddening of the nipples and the surrounding hair receding, particularly noticeable in maiden queens. For the next six weeks she may sleep and eat more than usual. However, depending on how many kittens she has and her consequent size, she will continue her usual activities of play, climbing and jumping and should lead a reasonably normal life.
If your queen is not pregnant you should advise the stud owner who may offer to take her back again free of charge even though the stud fee is paid for the service and not the result. You will then need to wait for her to call again.
All being well, however, you can now start getting together the things that you are likely to need: -
- A proper kittening box or a large cardboard box, which will do just as well
- A heated pad
- A hot water bottle or wheat bags
- Plenty of bedding, Vet Bed is ideal
- Several flannels or old towels
- Milk powder from the Vet and either some syringes or a bottle feeder designed specially for kittens
- A veterinary thermometer in case you need to take the queen’s temperature
- Disinfectant that is safe for cats, such as Trigene, Zoflora and Savlon