“Is my cat going to have a baby?” It’s a question that a surprising number of cat owners have. If you haven’t had your cat spayed and she has been left alone for an extended period of time, she may be pregnant. But how can one be certain? This is how you can determine if your cat is expecting. During the brief gestation phase, there are a few essential signs and traits to keep an eye out for.
Nothing beats a litter of newborn kittens, but as adorable as they are, kitten care can be a lot of effort. The more you understand about cat pregnancy, the better you will be able to anticipate when your cat will give birth and be well prepared for the big day.
When Can a Cat Get Pregnant?
A cat can get pregnant as early as four months old, which is why it’s critical to have her spayed as soon as possible. Around that time, a female cat could experience “heat.” A cat, unlike a human, does not go through menopause and can continue to get pregnant until its last years. As a result, a cat that hasn’t been spayed or neutered can get pregnant at any age.
Cats Showing Signs Of Pregnancy
A change in behavior is the most typical symptom of pregnancy in cats. For example, your cat may become more cuddly and loving, or, on the other hand, more violent.
A pregnant cat will move about with extreme caution. She will aim to stay away from twisting and stretching. If she isn’t used to going outside, she will prefer to stay inside. Throughout the sixth week, the cat’s hunger will continue to grow.
She will also stretch, roll, and start looking for a secure area to give birth in addition to these actions. As a result, it is recommended that you keep your cat indoors so that she does not establish a nest outside.
The cat’s nipples will swell and “pink up.” They may appear darker and engorged, especially if she has had many litters. However, behind a thick coat of black fur, it could be difficult to distinguish.
Vomiting is a regular occurrence in both humans and cats. Vomiting on a regular basis might indicate that she’s pregnant early on. If, on the other hand, your cat does this with all of its meals and there are no other signs of pregnancy, it might be a symptom of more serious problems.
Keep in mind that as her tummy develops, she’ll likely want smaller, more frequent meals; continue to give her a pregnancy-specific diet.
How to Tell If Your Cat Is Definitely Pregnant
Using one of these methods, your trusted local vet will be able to tell you for sure if your cat is pregnant:
Palpation: As early as the 20th day of pregnancy, an expert veterinarian can gently push on the cat’s belly and feel the fetuses.
X-Rays: Around 40 days during the pregnancy, X-rays will only reveal the bones of kittens. It’s the most effective means of displaying the number of kittens.
Ultrasound: Ultrasounds can detect kittens as early as 21 days after conception, although counting the number of kittens can be challenging.
Stages of Pregnancy
Cats go through five phases of pregnancy, each with its own set of signs that might help you figure out when your cat is about to give birth.
- The first step is fertilization.
Kittens normally attain maturity after 6 months of growing, however it might take up to 12 months for some. When your kitty reaches sexual maturity, she will begin to experience heat cycles and may get pregnant.
- The Initial Stage
A pregnant female cat will go through a 4-week phase of early-stage pregnancy after fertilization. You may notice changes in your cat’s physique and behavior at this time, such as weight loss, morning sickness, and a lack of appetite due to nausea.
Cats grow pink nipples that are enlarged and sensitive to the touch in the second week. As the kittens develop, you may notice lumps in your cat’s abdomen around the third week. Between 3 and 4 weeks following conception, a veterinarian may be able to identify the kittens via ultrasonography or stomach palpitation.
- The Intermediate Stage
Your cat will begin to gain weight when she has passed through the early stages of pregnancy. An abdomen x-ray will reveal the presence of kittens and the number of them.
- Labor Preparation
This is when your cat will begin hunting for warm locations to give birth, often known as the nesting period. Pre-labor symptoms include drips of milk in the nipple area, loss of appetite, and a dip in rectal temperature, which normally begins one week before birth.
This is the last stage of a female cat’s pregnancy. It’s distinguished by the cat licking her abdomen and genitals, which stimulates birth.
It is your duty to properly care for your cat and her growing kittens if she becomes pregnant. Consult your veterinarian about your cat’s changing nutritional requirements and, if necessary, make dietary modifications to ensure she gets the calories and minerals she need.
Keep track of your cat’s progress through the phases of labor and, if possible, attempt to figure out when she got pregnant so you can predict the due date.
This initial stage of labor can take up to 36 hours in many cats having their first litter. In the second stage of labor, the uterine muscle begins to contract more forcefully and often.
Cats have a lot of kittens. While cats typically produce four kittens every litter, this number can range from one to twelve.
She may become more vocal as a result of the increased weight of her abdomen and false labor contractions, or as a result of her need for attention, affection, and comfort.
Yes, cats may get clingy as you approach childbirth. You may be on the approach of giving birth if your cat seems to be following you around more than usual. The night before my induction, my cat was particularly attached and protective.
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