Cat Pregnancy Information and Advice

Having kittens is a thrilling and emotional experience for both you and your cat. Before you can welcome bundles of fur into your home, you must first understand how to identify whether your cat is pregnant and what you can do to make her pregnancy as happy as possible.

When planning to have kittens, keep in mind that your cat and her litter will have needs that you must be prepared to meet. We've covered everything you need to know about expecting cats to assist you support your pet during her pregnancy and labor.

Cat Pregnancy

Cats, like humans, have periods of peak fertility when they can become pregnant, which is referred to as being in season or heat. Cats might be in season once every three weeks, so there are lots of chances for your pet to become pregnant!

We recommend neutering your cat before her first season if you want to avoid an unexpected litter of kittens, as she can become pregnant very readily beyond that point. Because raising a litter can be unpleasant for your cat and costly for you, we recommend leaving breeding to professionals if at all possible.

How long does a pregnant cat last?

Cat pregnancy typically lasts between 63 and 67 days, however, it can be difficult to determine how long a cat is pregnant . The gestation period of a cat can last anywhere from 61 to 72 days.

Your cat (queen) may not exhibit any visible signs of pregnancy until she is several weeks into her term. If you suspect your cat is pregnant, take her to the veterinarian for confirmation.

If you want to know how to tell if a cat is pregnant, there are various physical symptoms that you should be able to detect after two or three weeks.

How to Determine Whether Your Cat Is Pregnant

  • After around 15-18 days of cat pregnancy, you may notice that your pet's nipples get swollen and crimson - this is known as 'pinking-up'.
  • Your pregnant queen may have vomiting, the same as how people experience morning sickness. Contact your veterinarian if her sickness becomes more regular or if she appears to be unwell in any other manner.
  • Your queen's tummy will begin to swell but don't touch it to avoid injuring mum or her unborn kittens. Other causes of stomach swelling may exist, so keep an eye on your cat for any signs of disease and visit your veterinarian if you are concerned.
  • A pregnant woman will gradually gain 1-2 kg (depending on the number of kittens she is carrying) - this is an indication that she is pregnant.
  • Queens have a heightened hunger later in their pregnancy, which contributes to their weight gain. An increased appetite could also be a sign of worms or disease, so see your veterinarian to be sure.
  • Your pregnant cat may exhibit maternal behavior, such as purring more and seeking additional care and attention from you.
  • Some veterinarians use ultrasound to diagnose cat pregnancy as early as 15 days into the pregnancy. The veterinarian may also be able to tell you how many babies your cat is expecting by day 40 of her pregnancy. Keep in mind that a larger kitten in a cat pregnancy can obscure several smaller kittens in the womb, so you may have more kittens than intended!

Although your cat should be able to handle labor on her own, make sure you are ready as she nears the end of her time. It's a good idea to be ready to give soothing words and step in to assist if she has difficulty.

There are various signals to look for that indicate the arrival of the kittens.

Symptoms of impending/current cat labor

  • If your cat avoids food, is fidgety, and seeks a quiet spot to rest, it could be because she is about to give birth.
  • In the 12-24 hours before her labor begins, your cat's body temperature will decrease to roughly 37.8°C.
  • Mum may become more talkative, and agitated, and desire to wash herself frequently just before giving birth.
  • Strong abdominal contractions should precede delivery, followed by some discharge from her vagina. Contact your veterinarian if the discharge is thick, black, or blood-colored.

The kittens should follow very fast after this discharge!

Most cat labors are painless, and you shouldn't have to intervene. However, some symptoms, such as discolored discharge and mother straining without producing kittens, may indicate difficulties.

Contact your veterinarian if you see one of these or have any other concerns. More information on cats giving birth can be found in our guide to labor and delivery.

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