Want to know more about the signs of pregnancy in cats and how to prepare your pet for the thrilling moment of labour?
Cat’s gestation period
Believe me, cats are a lot like us – they also have periods when the likelihood of getting pregnant is extremely high. This time is commonly referred to as “sex season,” or estrus. Favourable conditions for fertilization occur in a cat on average once every three weeks – it is at this time that your pet has the greatest chance of becoming a mother.
If you prefer to avoid unwanted pregnancy in your cat, we recommend that you sterilize your cat in advance before the first estrus, since fertilization is more than likely during this period, as mentioned earlier. If you still plan to allow your pet to produce offspring, remember: since bearing and subsequent upbringing of kittens can be extremely difficult for your cat, we recommend that, if possible, abandon independent breeding of small pets and entrust this business to professionals.
A cat’s gestation period lasts on average 63–67 days (although sometimes it ranges from 61 to 72 days). However, it should be remembered that it is often extremely difficult to say exactly when your pet was in an interesting position – accordingly, it is almost impossible to predict the due date in advance.
At first, during the first few weeks, it is extremely difficult to identify certain signs of pregnancy in a cat – at this stage, they are still very vague and implicit. However, if it seems to you that your pet is expecting offspring, it is advisable to take her to a veterinarian for examination as soon as possible.
If you want to independently determine whether your cat is pregnant or not, we will be happy to help you with this! Below are some signs that will make it possible to say with a high degree of probability that your pet is expecting offspring within two or three weeks after possible fertilization.
How to tell if a cat is pregnant?
- After 15-18 days of gestation, the cat’s nipples swell slightly and change their colour, becoming coral red.
- As with humans, cats may experience bouts of morning sickness during pregnancy. This symptom is not common in all cats, but it is quite normal and there is nothing to worry about. However, if you suddenly notice that your pet’s morning sickness turns into constant, and the cat looks completely unhealthy, be sure to consult your veterinarian.
- Your pet’s tummy will start to grow gradually but do not be afraid to stroke it, as this will definitely not cause any pain to the cat or her future kittens. At the same time, remember – there are other reasons that can cause bloating, so be sure to monitor your pet’s health and consult your veterinarian if you have any doubts.
- The expectant mother will gradually gain weight – in total, it will increase by 1-2 kg (this depends on the number of future kittens). Weight gain is the most important sign that your cat is pregnant.
- Gradually, your pet’s appetite will increase, which, of course, will affect its weight gain. However, do not forget that often increased appetite is a sign of the presence of parasites or a particular disease, so be sure to conduct a physical examination of your cat by a veterinarian to confirm her pregnancy.
- Soon, a pregnant cat will begin to behave like a mother – purr more often and louder, give you special attention and demand, in turn, additional care from you.
- Modern methods (such as ultrasound) make it possible to detect a cat’s pregnancy as early as day 15. And by about the 40th day of pregnancy, the veterinarian will already be able to tell how many kittens your pet is waiting for. However, it must be remembered that in a cat’s tummy, a larger kitten can often cover other, small kittens with itself – that’s why, as a result, your pet may have more babies than you thought!
Despite the fact that your pet is able to cope with childbirth on its own, you must be sure that you can help her in such a difficult time. You need to be well prepared to be able to comfort your cat with words or affection during the most difficult period of childbirth and help her in case of possible complications.
Below are a few signs that indicate kittens are on the way.
Signs indicating the approach of labour
- If your pregnant cat refuses to eat, becomes restless and looks for a secluded place to settle there, this indicates that she will soon become a mother.
- 12-24 hours before delivery, the cat’s body temperature begins to drop and stabilizes at 37.8 ° C.
- Before childbirth itself, the expectant mother may become more vociferous, seem a little excited and at the same time will constantly lick herself.
- In cats, labour begins with violent contractions, which will be exuded by watery secretions. Send with an experienced veterinarian, please, the water is abundant and dark or bloody.
- After the waters leave, very soon the first kitten will be born!
Most of the time, cat birth goes smoothly, and you probably won’t have to help her. But there are some signs that indicate complications – for example, dark coloured waters or incessant contractions that do not lead to the birth of kittens. If you notice your cat is having these symptoms or have any other problems, try to contact your veterinarian immediately.