You might have read some books or other forms of guidelines when you are expecting the bundle of joy in your life, to have kids. But do you have sufficient idea about what happens to a pregnant cat? The process a female cat becomes pregnant and ready to give birth is often called the “Queening.”
A female cat could be pregnant when she is at least four months old unless you spayed to prevent that. Much like human beings, cats have peak fertility period when they can be pregnant which is known as being in heat or season. Once in a three week, an adult cat come into season. For this reason, there are plenty of chances for cat pregnancy.
How to Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant?
Cat pregnancy can happen at any time a year in any situation, even if you are the best pet parent. Your indoor cat can slip outside, and show cat pregnancy symptoms after a few days. After a certain period, you might wonder whether your cat is pregnant or not.
A cat pregnancy can last nine weeks. In the first 1 to 2 weeks, there is hardly any signs which can be spotted. However, you find some behavioral and physical changes at the starting from the third week of the pregnancy. So, what are the symptoms of a pregnant cat? Read below;
Like most humans, a pregnant cat can go through a period of occasional sickness. Not all cats go through morning sickness, but a lot of cats do. If you are suspicious, keep an eye on your cat to see any unusual sickness.
After passing the third week of pregnancy a cat’s nipple will be enlarged and become darker in color. Veterinarians call this effect “Pinking Up.” You may also notice a little milky discharge. However, a cat does not produce milk before birth.
Another typical scenario for a pregnant cat is nesting. When the pregnancy period is more than two weeks, your cat may start nesting in a quiet place. She may appear more maternal and will be more affectionate towards the owner. On the contrary, she might be less tolerant toward other cats and animals.
When the pregnant cat reaches the 30 days of its pregnancy period, it will develop a rounded and swollen abdomen. At first, it will remain invisible to you if you do not pay close attention. The swollen belly is also hard to spot for an overweight cat. Along with its swollen belly, the pregnant cat also gains 2 to 4 pounds of weight. So, if you pay proper attention, you will these changes in your pregnant cat.
Ultrasound and X-rays
However, if you are still confused and want to be sure about the pregnancy of your cat, the best way to tell whether your cat is pregnant or not is to perform Ultrasound and X-Ray. Take your cat to the veterinarian if you want to perform the X-Ray or the Ultrasound. It takes around 45 days to be able to check using X-Rays when the kitten’s skeleton becomes visible. For the Ultrasound, it takes about 21 days to check whether your cat is pregnant or not successfully.
These are the ways you can tell whether a cat is pregnant or not. The best solution here is to look for the signs. If you find any them, take the cat to the veterinarian to be actually sure.
How Long Is A Cat Pregnant For?
For some cat owners and breeders, it is really hard to wait for the final moment. It also happens that, cat owners often visit the veterinarian and ask them the question, how long are cats pregnant? It is the most frequent question often asked by cat owners and breeders who are expecting to have those kittens.
A cat pregnancy generally lasts between 63 and 67 days. However, the problem is that it is pretty hard to tell when the fertility of your cat started. The cat gestation period can vary from 61 to 72 days. In this period, you will be able to spot different physical and mental changes beginning in the second week of pregnancy. Counting form the second period you prepare yourself to have those lovely kittens. However, you need to make sure about the pregnancy first.
How to Take Proper Care of a Pregnant Cat?
In the early stage of pregnancy, most cats will show some morning sickness. Fatigue is most common among them. Your cat may also need an extra amount of food during the pregnancy period. Your cat may eat up to 1.5 times of her regular diet. So, make you are providing her with the required amount of food. Feed the pregnant cat with AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) approved foods. Also, check that the food is labeled for growth/kittens to ensure the healthy diet for your cat.
Taurine deficiencies can also cause severe harm or even death to your pregnant cat. So, do not forget to provide food that is supplemented with taurine. Also, ensure the calorie intake is sufficient to maintain your cat’s good health.
It is not recommended to provide vaccine to a pregnant cat as it may harm the fetus. If you still need to do it, contact the veterinarian. The veterinarian will decide what is best for your cat and her upcoming baby.
You may also build a queening box for your cat. The queening box will be the nest for your cat where it will give birth. Find a warm and calm place to put the box. To make the box, you can use a laundry basket, cardboard or any other medium-size container and put things like sheets, puppy pads, and blankets.
Pregnant Cat Labor Signs
Most of the cat can handle her labor. Still, you need to be prepared to provide the right care support during the time. It is always best if you stay on standby. You might need to take your pregnant cat to the veterinarian if complications arise. For this reason, you might want to learn about the signs of labor. The symptoms are:
- If you find your cat is acting fidgety, she refuses food and looks for a sheltered place to settle; it might be because her labor is going to start.
- The body temperature of your cat may drop to around 37.8-degree centigrade before 12 to 24 hours of the labor period
- If you pay close attention, you will also find that your cat is in pain before the labor is going to start.
- There might be some vaginal discharge when the birthing is near.
These are the signs of pregnant cat labor. Keep an eye on your pregnant cat, and you will find these signs. In most cases, you do not have to interfere with the birthing process unless there is a complication or emergency situation.
When to Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian?
In most cases, your cat will give birth without any issues. However, there might be a situation when you should take your cat to the veterinarian. By doing this, you might save the life of your cat and kittens. Look for these emergency signs:
- Gestational Period Is More than the Expected Delivery Date, Which Is More Than 67 Days
- The Pregnant Cat’s Temperature Is Less Than 100 Degree Fahrenheit for More Than a Day
- She Goes Off Her Food for More Than a Week
- Vigorous Straining For More 30 Minutes without Delivery
- Week Straining For More Than Two Hours without the Delivery
- Fetal Is Stuck and Partially Visible
- No Fetal Delivery But There Is a Re-Brown Discharge
- More Than 5 Hours Passes, and You Are Certain That There Is another Fetus inside the Mother Cat
If you find these symptoms, take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian will assess the situation and take necessary steps to the life of your cat and the kitten.
Few Facts about Pregnant Cats
Pregnancy of cat comes with several signs and behavioral change. There are specific facts for a pregnant cat which are present in most situations. If you are the owner and expecting to have kittens, you might be interested in these facts.
- A Cat Can Be Pregnant When She Only 4 Months Old
- When A Cat Become Pregnant, Her Nipples Turn To Pink
- A Cat Pregnancy Can Lasts Up To 67 Days
- January to August Is the Time Most Domestic Cats Go Into Heat Period
- Like Humans, Mother Cat Also Face Morning Sickness
- Generally, a Cat Has Four Kittens per Litter
- Pregnant Cat Becomes More Affectionate Than Ever
These are the very usual facts about pregnant cats. If you are closely related to your cat, you will face them throughout its pregnancy period.
It is always exciting to have those cute little kittens. However, if you want to have lovely and healthy kittens, you need to take extra care of your pregnant cat. Proper diet, regular consulting with the veterinarian and adequate care are the ways you can keep your pregnant healthy and fit for the birth period. Also, you have to make sure that you are not doing anything that might harm your cat and her upcoming baby.
Reading this article might help you to understand cat pregnancy. You can also learn about the symptoms of pregnancy and necessary steps regarding it. However, do not hesitate to write to us, if you need more information regarding cat pregnancy.