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Sunday, March 30, 2008

My pregnant feral cat dilemma

I have been helping a woman trap some semi-tame ferals in her neighborhood. We put out the traps this morning. Out of a possible 8 cats, we caught 1.

She was pregnant.

I had a really hard time deciding what to do. I talked to the people at No More Homeless Pets Kansas City and they told me there was not a way to tell how far along she was without a sonogram. I felt pressured to have the kittens aborted...but I am still the one that made the decision. So, I said to spay her.

I am still not sure if I did the right thing. During her surgery, they found out that she was really far along in her pregnancy and her kittens were aborted. I didn't ask how far along she was (but I assume she was close to giving birth) or how many kittens there were.

I don't want to know.

The woman at No More Homeless Pets told me how there are already too many kittens out there...blah blah blah. I know all of that. These are kittens that were already created...they are already here-just not born yet. I believe in spaying and neutering to prevent kittens, not kill ones that are here or in the womb.

Did I indirectly kill these sweet kittens?

Should I have done it differently? I already have 5 cats here and that is about my limit in terms of my energy level. All of these cats need food, water, a clean litter box and love and attention. I asked around at the shelter I volunteer at and every else has a lot of cats too. It's kitten season and lots of people are fostering kittens or cats. There was nobody available to take the kittens.

I was told over the phone by someone at NMHPKC who said if the cat is put under anesthetic and she is pregnant that it would cause problems for the kittens.

After doing some research, I am not sure that is the truth. It might depend on what type of anesthetic they use. I haven't found a clear answer.

All I know is that I have been thrown into a moral dilemma that I can't undo. All I can do is decide what to do the next time this happens.

This is her after I got her home:

This is her later in the evening:


  1. Hi Kristy,
    Thank you for posting. I too rescue feral cats (in Georgia) and have faced the pregnant cat situation. In fact, I have a tentative appt. to get a (probably pregnant) cat spayed this month.
    I don't want to assume anything, so I hope that I won't be offensive.
    I have had these feelings too, and I know that in my case it truly does come down to space and time, because our ferals live in an enclosure in our back yard.
    Also, the way I feel is that these kitties didn't have a choice in becoming pregnant. So, it really does raise their quality of life not to have kittens that will put a strain on them to take care of and feed, and put themselves into danger trying to protect plus not having any more out there to try to trap and spay, etc.
    I know that it probably doesn't make it feel any better, but I do feel like you made the right decision.
    Take care,
    Mel W.

  2. Thanks for the opportunity to post without giving out all my vital info :).

    I am helped by Mel's comment. Thanks. I have two kittens who are getting big and need surgery soon or I fear the health is threatened due to these cats being so young. Their frames are so small too. I really don't know what will happen to these feral cats. I had 7 and in 6 months, am down to 4. I heard coyotes this morning and am looking to make a safer place for them. If any one wants some really sweet cats who hunt and live outside in kansas, email me.

  3. Kristy, I felt your pain so strongly while reading your post. I have never had a pet's pregnancy terminated during surgery (spayed) that I knew of but I too am strongly against abortion of any type unless it is certain that mother will die w/o it. Even then, there have been documented cases where both mom and baby lived and were healthy. I talked someone out of an abortion who was scheduled for surgery (murder) w/in 48 hrs. I felt good about it then "outside" influences tried to make me feel bad about what I had done because the mother might be on drugs. I know she wants to give the baby to a family of someone she knows so that she will be able to at least see the child from a distance. I was made to feel I had to have an abortion at a very young age and didn't have the guts to stand up for myself. It was the 1st year they were legalized and I was not given "ANY" info about what I was doing. They didn't even have to have my parents signature. When I found out what really happens to the baby during an abortion it was too late. I've had to live with that for many many years. I know your cat is missing something. She couldn't turn off that nurturing instinct females have when we are carrying a baby. I felt so good being a part of the life I helped to save. Then I was made to feel I was crazy for having anything to do with this girl because she had a few kids that were being raised by other family members due to drug abuse. They really gave us a hard time. I can still see her face looking at me saying: "That's not very Christian" because the one's that were the most mad were avid church people. I hope she continues to carry this child and stays away from drugs. As far as the others are concerned,,,I hope they ask God for forgiveness for wanting an innocent child killed. If you're reading this (my family) you know who you are...


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