Kittens are adorable creatures, and their arrival is a welcome relief for cat owners. Cats have peak season for fertility and this time is the best time for them to get pregnant. This season is also known as the cat?s period of heat, where they are used to mate with male cats quite often until they are pregnant.
The heat season can come as often as once every three weeks within the cat's adult life (usually at 4 months old onward). Mating only stops once your cat gets pregnant.
This article will give you some tips on how to tell if your cat is pregnant. We will also advise you here on the best ways to care for your cat during the pregnancy. But first, we shall give you some important facts about cats, read on cat lovers!
How to avoid so much cat litter?
Cats are really great breeders. After giving birth to kittens, female cats could immediately get pregnant again afterward. If you do planning to limit the number of kittens in your household, you may consider spaying your cat after her first pregnancy. Get some advice from your vet about this.
Too many litters could affect the health of the mother and even her kittens. This is also an added cost for the family. Remember that you could easily support a healthy family of cats if they are in limited number.
How long is a cat's pregnancy?
The usual period of gestation for a cat (called queen at this time) takes place in 9 weeks (63-67 days). But for some cat breeds, the gestation period may vary from 61 up to 72 days. Physical changes on your cat due to pregnancy is barely noticeable until a few weeks into her period of gestation.
There is something quite noticeable about her behavior during her pregnancy, and you can spot them easily. By reading this article, you will know readily if your cat is pregnant after 2 or 3 weeks have elapsed.
Things needed to prepare if your cat is nearing birth
- High-calorie cat food.
- Cat litter box.
- Old newspaper and towels.
- Whelping box.
How can you tell if your cat is pregnant.
Verify if your cat is fertile
If your cat is currently in heat, it's quite possible that she is pregnant. Domestic cats (female) usually become sexually active as the day becomes warmer and longer (basically between spring and fall). Your cat may be in its estrous cycle (going into heat) when she reaches her puberty age that usually comes as early as 4 months for most cat breed.
Additionally, when your cat has reached 80% of her adult weight during warmer days, the chances of being pregnant are very high.
Notice some physical changes on your cat
Fifteen to eighteen days (15-18) into her pregnancy, you will notice that your cat's nipples are becoming bloated and pinkish in color. This is called pinking up. However, enlarging nipples may also be indicative of heat and may still not confirm pregnancy. But in most cases, the pinkish breasts may be sign of milky fluid.
Pregnant feline also shows swaybacked posture, with its bulging abdomen and slightly a round tummy. If you suspect that your cat is only overweight, she will be bulging all over her body. This will include her neck and legs, not just her tummy.
Your queen may suffer morning sickness
Just like any other mammals, cats also suffer what pregnant humans undergo. Your cat may experience vomiting once in a while during her period of pregnancy. If this becomes frequent and uncontrollable, you might want to get the attention of your vet.
Swelling of abdomen
When you notice that your cat's tummy is swelling, do not touch it, you may hurt the kittens inside as well as the queen. To tell if your pet is really pregnant, bring her to the vet. Let the vet do the touching on your cat's tummy. This will also determine if your cat doesn't have any illness.
Rapid weight gain
Pregnant cats will dramatically gain from 1 to 2 kg of weight during her gestation period. This may also depend on the number of kittens on her tummy. At this stage, your cat will also increase its appetite to offset the nutrition she is giving her babies.
Signs of being territorial
During her pregnancy, your cat may inhibit aggressiveness and more protective of its territory. This is also normal for gestating dogs and other animals while they protect their young, even if the babies are still in their womb.
Let your vet do the talking
To determine if your cat is healthy enough to carry her pregnancy, bring her to the vet. By day 17 to 25 of the pregnancy, your vet could feel the embryo/s. You may opt for an ultrasound or an x-ray to determine the status of the pregnancy and the number of heart beats after 40-45 days of gestation.
At this time, your vet could figure out how many kittens are there in the queen's tummy. Always remember though that in feline gestation, a bigger kitten can conceal smaller ones while still in the stomach of their mother. You might have more kittens waiting to be born than expected.
Add calories into the queen's diet
To sustain a healthy diet during your cat's pregnancy, give here food rich in calories, protein, vitamins, and omega-6 cat foods. This will help her to undergo the physical, emotional, and metabolic changes in her body during pregnancy. These type of foods also sustain the kittens' growth inside the womb.
Prepare for the birth
Days before the actual delivery, you may set up the things that will be needed which you have prepared before. Keep the cat indoors all the time as she gets closer to giving labor. Keeping her inside the house will avoid her finding another place to give birth.
Set your prepared whelping box where the cat will give birth. Find a place in the house where it is clean, dry, and warm. Put some old newspaper or towels onto the box to keep her warm. Encourage the cat to sleep in this box prior to her giving birth by setting up the cat?s food, water, and litter box next to her.
Pro tips and warnings
- For a more nutritious and healthy cat food, while the queen is pregnant, the Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Adult Premium Cat Food (from Purina ONE) is highly recommended by vets, available on Amazon. This product is full-packed with calories, protein and vitamins, really nice for your kittens and its mom while they are still on the tummy.
- It is not advisable to give pregnant cats vaccines, de-worming drugs, and other medications. These drugs may be dangerous to the unborn kittens.
Did you enjoy this tutorial? Caring for your cat while she is pregnant is quite fun and exciting. You now know how to tell if your cat is pregnant. The signs are really easy to spot.