A rodent person asks about cats
Hey all. I've had chins for over 6 years, but I have no experience with cats. Here's the situation I find myself in. My husband and I are renting a house, and our landlord used to feed the neighborhood stray cats and even let them in the house. When we first arrived we were not too keen on letting them in the house, but we did start feeding a female who is quite friendly and was at the time quite thin. We subsequently discovered that she was sleeping under the house. She is obviously a former housepet in that she is quite social and well adjusted, but she has no collar. We have been trying to give her away to various friends, but there have been no takers. We would take her, but we have already commited to taking a totally indoor cat from a friend, and we do not want to mix indoor and outdoor cats. However, we can't bring ourselves to take her to the pound.
Recently (last 10 days), she had been getting quite round in the belly, and we are concerned that she is pregnant. This has lead to a number of questions. How long are cats usually pregnant? Chins are pregnant for about 3 months, but I know that it is less for cats. We had considered getting her spayed and vaccinated and then releasing her prior to our departure from Fayetteville (my husband is in the army and we will be going on to a new station in 3-4 months), but this situation has brought things to a head. I know that there are some vets who will do a spay when the female is pregnant, and we are looking into vets in the area. Perhaps some find the practice to be morally inappropriate, but if we can't find a home for this cat, how are we to find a home for her and several kittens?
So, this is the information which I need. How long will she be pregnant? When do cat's start to show? What is a good way to catch her to get her to the vet? (I have several pet taxi's for my rodents in which a cat could easily fit.) What sort of aftercare is required on a spay? After all, she will probably not be keen to be caught again and dragged off to the vet after the spay?
Thanks to you cat lovers. My husband is among you, and I am getting used to the idea, as our new cat (actually, she's 5 but new to us) is arriving in the next couple of weeks.