We are interested in perfecting the breed of Rag Dolls ie their temperament, size, eye colour and coat. We keep the best kittens for breeding.
It takes 63 to 65 days from mating until birthing.
The Queen stays close by me for the last few days until she gives birth.
When the Queen begins her labour she likes me to be there for her to reassure her.
My job is to check that the kittens are O K and that the placenta for each kitten comes away. The labour sometimes takes 2 hours but can take longer.
The kittens latch on to mum very quickly to enjoy the colostrum.
When the labour is finished, mum is purring happily and bonding with her kittens and still attending to the clean up.
I can then change the bedding under her and the kittens and put on the heat pad.
I have to ensure that the kittens are warm and dry. Kittens can die from cold as the bedding under them is wet.
I had one Queen give birth in the middle of the night and I was asleep and 1 kitten died, so now I keep the Queen right next to my bed at night so I can wake at the first sqeek of the new born kitten.
The Queen will stay with her kittens grooming and feeding and only leaving them for a short time to feed herself or use the litter tray.
The litters can be of any number but over 6 the Queen may not have enough milk to feed them.
Heidi had 8 kittens on 4th April 2012
The kittens ideally would weigh 100 grams at birth and then gain 7 to 10 grams per day.
It is important to weigh the kittens regularly to ensure that they are putting on weight.
I have had to supplement these kittens with Wombaroo cat milk replacer. The kittens take to the bottle very well as they are hungry.
At 2 weeks of age they were purring after I had fed them and now at 3 weeks they try to climb out of their cot when they hear my voice.
At the age of 4 weeks the kittens will begin to eat and are offered Royal Canin Baby Cat dry food and cooked and minced chicked.
At 6 weeks of age they can begin to have the cooked chicken with some minced steak added and some grated cheese or egg.
At 8 weeks of age I add to their diet some Royal Canin pouches or Fancy Feast Kitten, just a little at a time so their indigestion gets used to this.