Are you about to become a cat grandma? Congratulations! We couldn’t be more excited for you. In no time, you’ll have tiny soft paws turning your home into a playground, and it will be the most magical experience. But, before that, you should prepare a cat birthing box for your mom-to-be.
If your lovely feline is about to give birth any day now, then it’s time to make her a nesting box where she can feel comfortable, safe, and protected enough to bring her babies into this world. You should do this a couple of weeks before she’s due, so both of you are ready to welcome baby fluffs into your lives.
In case you don’t do it on time, don’t be surprised if you find your kitty giving birth on your lovely bed. It’s clean, soft, and smells like you – how could she resist? To avoid this, make her a birthing box that will be purrfect for your queen. It should be comfortable and cozy. She’ll spend a lot of time in there, after all.
Even as a feline, giving birth is rather painful and uncomfortable. As a cat parent, I’m sure you want to help your furbaby as much as you can. Putting up a nice birthing box is one way to do so. If you’re not sure how to do it, I’m here to help you pick the best box for your furry mom-to-be.
What is a cat birthing box?
What even is a cat birthing box, though? Well, you might have heard about it by some other name, such as a nesting box, queening box, delivery box, or kitten box. No matter what you call it, it serves one purpose – to provide your fluff with a place where she can give birth to her little furbabies.
Even when they’re not giving birth, cats love places that are quiet, cozy, warm, and comfortable. When they go into labor, this becomes even more important. That’s exactly what your cat birthing box should be like! It needs to make your cat feel comfortable, protected, and safe enough to give birth.
She’ll want her babies to be protected, too, which is why she’ll look for a place where she knows they’ll be the safest. That’s why most cats that don’t have nesting boxes usually choose drawers, cupboards, warm and cozy closets, quiet corners, etc.
What can you use as a cat birthing box, though? Do you need some special equipment, or do you already have something that you can use? I’m sure you have lots of questions but don’t worry. We’ll learn all about it together, and your little momma will have the best birthing experience she could ask for.
Different cat birthing boxes you can use
What kind of birthing box you’ll get or make depends on the preferences of your furry baby. If she likes dark, closed places, you should provide her with a nesting box that has a removable lid. Remember, your main goal is to make this a safe place for your fluff, so make sure you get everything she needs.
If this is your furbaby’s first time expecting kittens, or you’re simply out of ideas, we’ve got your back. Here are some ideas on how you can make a budget-friendly cat birthing box that will enable your kitty to give birth feeling safe, comfortable, and protected.
1. A plastic pet carrier
You don’t have to get a special box just for this purpose. Sometimes, a plastic carrier that you use to take your furbaby to the vet will be just enough! This is especially helpful for cat parents with felines that like small, dark, and covered places.
On top of being private and protective, her plastic carrier is something she’s already used to. Because of that, she won’t be stressed about the new environment, but rather be somewhere where she’s already comfortable.
Just make sure you prepare it well for her delivery. Once you notice your cat might be going into labor, clean the carrier well, put her favorite blanket inside, and let her make herself comfortable when she’s ready.
2. A large storage box
You probably already have a nice birthing box in your closet without even knowing it. Yes, I’m talking about your storage boxes! Aren’t they an ideal solution? Think about it. They’re pretty spacious, made of hard plastic, come with a lid, and your cat has probably already napped in one when you weren’t home.
You don’t have to spend much time preparing it, either. Simply take out your clothes, kid’s toys, or whatever it is that you’re keeping in one, clean it out well, put a soft blanket inside, and let your fluff get comfy.
3. A disposable birth box
If you don’t have a plastic carrier or a storage box big enough for your fluff, don’t worry! You can get a disposable cat birthing box that’s specifically designed to make your feline’s delivery as comfortable as possible.
You can get one made of wood, cardboard, or plastic. They’re a great choice if you need a fast solution, and they’re pretty affordable, too! Setting one up is easy and you’ll simply throw it away once your fur mama and her babies are ready to come out of it.
4. A simple cardboard box
You don’t even have to go out of your way to get a disposable birth box. I’m sure you have a simple cardboard box somewhere in your garage that will be a great urgent solution. That’s the magic of cardboard boxes – you can turn them into pretty much anything you can think of.
Because cardboard can absorb fluid and excrement, you might want to line it with some plastic, first. That way, it’ll be easier for you to keep it clean. Make sure your fluff has a large enough entrance into the box and good airflow, and you’ll be good to go.
5. Build her a wooden box
If you’re a sentimental cat parent, then I’m sure you’d like to keep a memory of this special moment for your furbaby. Although it will certainly require more time and effort, building a wooden box for your mom-to-be is always a good idea. If done right, it’ll last you a long time, too.
Not only is it more durable and protective, but you can make it just how your fluff likes her napping place to be. After all, you know your furbaby best, and no one else could make her a cat birthing box quite like you!
How to prepare for your cat’s birth
Once you’ve picked the right birthing box for your cat, make sure you place it somewhere quiet and warm, with a dimmed light. If there’s a certain piece of clothing or a blanket she likes to sleep on, make sure you put it in her nest for added comfort and a feeling of safety.
Make sure you show your mom-to-be her box before she starts giving birth. Encourage her to sleep in there and see how it goes. If she doesn’t seem to like it, try finding another place where you can put her box until you find the perfect location. Place her food and water bowl near the nest, but not inside.
Once she goes into labor, I recommend removing the blankets and clothes and replacing them with newspaper, as it will be a lot easier to clean. You can add soft covers back in when the momma leaves the box, so the kittens can cuddle up to something else.
How to know your cat is going into labor
At first, it might be hard to notice the first signs of labor in your fluff. There won’t be any noticeable contractions, so make sure you look for other changes in her behavior. For example, a kitty who’s about to go into labor becomes restless and might start following you everywhere.
Another indicator that she’s about to give birth is if she’s over-grooming herself, or if she’s being super vocal. Once she’s close to giving birth, she’ll make herself comfortable in her birthing box, and start purring loudly.
Don’t worry, the red discharge is completely normal. In fact, you’re most likely about to meet your first furry grandbaby, so get ready!
What to do after she gives birth
After you’re sure your fluffy momma is done giving birth, give her some time to clean herself and her babies. Once she’s done, gently remove any kind of bedding she had inside and replace it with clean ones. We know how much our fluffy divas like to be clean, and this is no exception.
Make sure that the room is at a comfortable temperature. If you suspect your feline momma might be cold, you can place a small heater inside the room, or even place warm water bottles at the bottom of the cat birthing box. She’ll absolutely love it!
Although you might be tempted to put a heating pad inside, we’d advise against it. It can become too hot and potentially hurt the momma and her babies.