Cats are known to nest in the most inconvenient places… A pet crate will give your queen some privacy while being comfortable and safe!
What is a birthing box?
The birthing or nesting box is a dedicated enclosed space where your pregnant cat (or queen) will give birth in, and care for her kittens during the first vulnerable weeks of life. You should ideally introduce your soon-to-be-mommy to the birthing box around 2 weeks before her due date to give her enough time to settle and get familiar with the box. Make it as comfortable and inviting as possible, encourage her to sleep in the box, and place her litter tray, food and water nearby.
The box should be spacious enough for your queen to stand and turn comfortably around her litter. Line the bottom of the box with newspapers, add absorbent puppy training pads and clean towels or blankets. Soiled bedding should be washed or thrown away after the birth and bedding should be cleaned regularly.
Where to place the nesting box:
The box should be placed in a quiet area, in a room where your cat feels comfortable. Avoid drafts and any high-traffic locations and try and keep your queen away from other pets and children. The room should also be at a comfortable warm temperature or supply a heating pad during colder months.
What to consider when choosing a birthing box:
The birthing box should be large enough to accommodate the queen so that she can stand up and turn around and tend to her litter (once they arrive). A soft crate works well where the sides can be closed to keep mommy and kittens safe and secure. Don’t force her into the box, rather make it as inviting as possible. The crate can also be covered with a blanket or towel to offer additional warmth and privacy.
After the birth, remove all soiled bedding and replace with clean blankets or towels. A heating pad can be added to the birthing box to maintain a comfortable temperature. Do not cover the whole base with the heating pad – mom and kittens should be able to move away or closer to the heat as needed. The pad should be on the lowest setting and read safety instructions carefully to prevent accidental burns.
Sometimes, after all the preparations your queen might still refuse her birthing box and rather decide to have her kittens in a spot where she feels safe – such as your wardrobe or under a dresser. Of course, when the moment arrives, and she chooses a different spot, it’s best to leave her be. If this occurs, close all doors to the rest of the house to avoid her switching places. If she has a preference for one room, as long as it is appropriate, consider moving the box.
Depending on their personalities, some queens like to be close to their owners, where others would rather be on their own in the early weeks of motherhood.
View our range of soft pet crates, which are successfully being used by top breeders as birthing boxes.
View the Cosmic Pets product range.