Cat Pregnancy: The Most Essential Things You Need to Know
Thu, April 22, 2021

Cat Pregnancy: The Most Essential Things You Need to Know

Pet owners must be aware when their animals become pregnant to ensure their safety. This will also help you in planning or preparing for the big day / Photo by: Leonid Eremeychuk via 123RF

 

Cats are fun pets to be with. They can snub you at times (okay, a lot of times) but still, they’re nice to cuddle with at the end of a long and tiring day at work. Having kittens in your home can bring more fun, especially if you are the kind of owner who wants a big family of pet cats. However, if you’re new to this, you will need to know first everything about cat pregnancy before you can welcome bundles of fur into your new home. Pet owners must be aware when their animals become pregnant to ensure their safety. This will also help you in planning or preparing for the big day. 

However, if you’re hesitant or still not ready to add another pet member to your family, there are several ways to prevent cat pregnancy. Care.com, the world's largest online family care platform, quoted veterinarian Dr. Eloise Bright: "Cats are incredibly efficient breeders, so if you have an unspayed female cat who has access to male cats, the odds are she will get pregnant twice a year.”

It’s also important to anticipate that your feline friends as young as four months old can get pregnant already. 

Nonetheless, it is the owner's responsibility to take care of their cats and their soon-to-be-babies. "Planned or unplanned, all pregnancies should be discussed with your veterinarian to make sure mom and babies are healthy and doing well," said Dr. Rachel Barrack, a veterinarian in Manhattan.

 

Signs That Your Cat is Pregnant

Women go through physical cycles to prepare them for fertilization and birth. Cats also have this which is called “estrus.” This stage is particularly relevant to our cats because they are receptive to both intercourse and reproduction, meaning there’s a high possibility that pet owners can expect kittens before long. During the heat period, our feline friends are meowing and yowling all the time, which sometimes sounds like their in pain. They also show excessive affection, rubbing around your ankles, against furniture, door frames, or anything close. 

According to The Spruce Pets, an online site that offers practical, real-life tips, and training advice to help you care for your pet, the first thing that owners will notice when their cat becomes pregnant is that their heat cycle suddenly stops. Their nipples swell and become rosier in color, which breeders call “pinking.” A preggy cat shows an increased interest in eating since she is now feeding several fetuses inside her womb.

Also, they will gradually gain weight and their tummy will start to swell. She may act more maternal during this time, which means that they purr and seek extra fuss and attention from you. They get irritated toward other pets and start with doing activities as preparation for giving birth. This can be seen in the latter part of your cat's pregnancy. You may also notice that they seek private and quiet places. Similar to morning sickness in humans, your pregnant cat may go through a stage of vomiting.

A cat's pregnancy lasts nine weeks or around 63 days. Owners will only see physical changes after the first three weeks. "At around three weeks there should be some noticeable changes in behavior and physical appearance," Dr. Barrack said. 

Women go through physical cycles to prepare them for fertilization and birth. Cats also have this which is called “estrus” / Photo by: Anurak Ponapatimet via 123RF

 

Taking Care of a Pregnant Cat

With the changes happening in your cat’s body and behavior, it is critical that you provide them the best care. According to LoveToKnow Cats, an online site dedicated to promoting responsible pet care by offering articles and the latest information about cats, owners should provide them with proper nutrition. They should be fed with high-quality food and supplements. Also, you should start increasing their food for about four weeks in their pregnancy. They should be fed with fish because it's rich in protein but prevents the cat from becoming obese.

Owners should also keep their pregnant cats well-hydrated. The amount of water they need increases because it helps them maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Drinking lots of water may also help the unborn kittens absorb essential nutrients from their mother. You should also take them to the vet for a regular checkup. Most importantly, give them the attention they need. This will help them in delivering their kittens safe.

With the changes happening in your cat’s body and behavior, it is critical that you provide them the best care / Photo by: Oleksii Hrecheniuk via 123RF

 

Signs Your Cat Will Soon Give Birth

Pregnant cats’ body temperature will drop to around 37.8°C  around 12 to 24 hours before their labor starts. According to Purina, the UK's most popular and trusted pet food brand, cats that are about to give birth will refuse food, act fidgety, and continue looking for a secluded place to settle down. They will also start licking their vulva to clean a mild discharge. You will likely not see this discharge as she will want to keep the area clean.

Also, cats in labor may meow and cry out more than usual. Delivery should start with strong abdominal contractions, followed by some discharge from her vagina. If the discharge is heavy and black or blood-colored, then contact your vet.