Perhaps you love kittens but believe in spaying and neutering cats, so have never had one. The animal shelter or cat rescue organization has asked you if you would be willing to foster a pregnant queen until her kittens are old enough to offer for adoption. Or, you opened your door one evening to find a heavily pregnant cat huddled in the cold on your step; and you were too kind to turn her away. (Pregnant cats seem to have an instinct for finding safe refuge.)
Fostering Pregnant Cats: A Rewarding Experience
Fostering cats can be an extremely rewarding experience, with the sure knowledge that you are making a difference by offering the hope of life to unfortunate cats that would otherwise be euthanized in kill shelters.
Pregnant Cats Have Bleak Future
The future of pregnant stray cats is bleak at best. They may successfully give birth to a litter of kittens, only to see them die, one by one, either as a result of poor nutrition of the mother cat; defects caused by FeLV or FIV; or killed by tom cats or other predators. Those that are picked up by animal control officers or well-meaning passersby and taken to kill shelters are almost always euthanized. Many rescue groups make a practice of regularly visiting such shelters, to snatch pregnant cats from their date with death. These groups almost always need new foster homes to care for the mom cats and their litters.
If you simply love having kittens around, or think it would be educational to show your children the "miracle of birth," please consider fostering an already-pregnant cat the next time around. You'll not only NOT be contributing to the huge problem of feline overpopulation, but you'll be saving lives through your volunteer efforts.
You, too, can make a huge difference and reap the joyous rewards of fostering at the same time.
This article is a companion piece to Cat Reproduction 101 (Care of Pregnant Cats.) It is an extensive tutorial, which covers the mating of cats, the stages or pregnancy, how to tell if a cat is pregnant, assisting with birth, and much more. I encourage you to read it if you have any inkling of becoming a pregnant cat foster mom.