What is agalactia?
Agalactia is quite simply a condition that affects a female cat's milk production after they have given birth. The mother cat becomes incapable of producing enough milk which can prove fatal for her offspring.
Several problems can explain agalactia: stress, breast inflammation called mastitis, generalized infection, fatigue, indoctrinal imbalance. Agalactia may also occur in primiparous (bearing a first offspring) or cesarean cats.
What do I do if my cat has agalactia?
First, it is very important to identify the cause of the imbalance. If, for example, the room where the cat is is too hot, this will be enough to lower the temperature of the maternity ward.
In the case of agalactia caused by stress, tranquillizer-based medication may be used, but only under veterinary supervision. In any case, consultation with a specialist is necessary in all cases, as the absence of milk could be fatal.
In case of a simple milk ejection failure, usually caused by excessive adrenaline secretion under pain, oxytocin injections will be an effective solution, which unfortunately will not work in case of complete agalactia – i.e. lack of breast tissue development.
In all cases, you should ensure that the kittens are properly fed. Several solutions are then available to you. You can have the kittens adopted by another mother who has just given birth. You can also use colostrum taken from a female on your farm if you are a breeder. Colostrum can indeed be preserved between 12 and 18 months at – 20 °. It should be reheated in a 37° water bath, and especially not in a microwave oven.
Finally, you can choose to use kitten milk substitutes. Feeding kittens with a bottle requires a lot of effort and a very precise schedule. 4 to 5 meals a day, every 6 hours. The recommended doses are 5ml per 100 grams, with an increase of 1 to 2 ml per day.
The bottle must be heated between 35 and 37° before being given, and above all, must be sterilized before each use. This can be quite complicated.
Another solution is the use of the gastric tube, which is safer, faster and less tedious.
Source: Cat The Vet
How can I stop my cat from getting agalactia?
It is important to ensure good birthing conditions for your cat. A well heated room with shelter and good ventilation is essential. Be careful that the animal is not overly attached to their owners, in which case, the cat, stressed by kittens, could refuse to take care of them or attack them.
Also remember to have your pet monitored by your veterinarian to control breast development and the appearance of milk. If the vet notices a lack of development of the breast tissue, they will be able to propose adapted treatments and thus avoid complications at when the kittens are born.
Finally, know that certain herbs, such as fennel, fenugreek seeds, or blessed charcoal, can promote the appearance of milk. It is advisable to give them this during the last week of gestation.