Hopefully your cat's pregnancy was a planned event. If it was, you may have already done some research to find out more about the feline gestation period and what to expect when your cat is expecting. Knowing how to tell if your cat is pregnant is an important step in this process.
If you don't know how to tell if your cat is pregnant, this is probably her first litter. While this article will answer some of your cat pregnancy questions, it's important that you take your pet to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
A vet will give you all the information that you need to know about the length of a feline pregnancy, what and how to feed a pregnant cat, and general pregnancy tips for the parents of pregnant cats.
A vet will also examine your pet to help you determine exactly how far along she is in her pregnancy stage, and if there are any possible issues.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant
A cat's gestation period lasts for about 58-67 days (or 9 about weeks). You probably won't notice any signs of cat pregnancy until your pet is about 3 weeks along.You won't notice a ‘baby bump' until your cat is in the final third of her pregnancy (about 6 weeks).
The early signs of pregnancy in cats include:
- Morning sickness (just like in humans)
- Lack of energy
- Behavior changes
- Enlarged nipples that look pink in color
Cat Pregnancy Tests – Is That a Thing?
Some pet owners, instead of learning how to tell if a cat is pregnant when she begins showing natural signs, will start seeking out an over-the-counter pregnancy test to purchase to do the job for them.
Yes, pregnancy tests for cats are available. No, they are not very accurate. They are also very rare and hard to find, specifically because nobody really uses them.
While even human pregnancy tests are sometimes inaccurate, the ones for cats have far less research behind them. Sadly, they are also extremely inaccurate, to the point where most of them are simply useless.
You also cannot use a human pregnancy test on cats. Because humans and cats are different species, the test for humans will not work. It will not provide you with any useful information whatsoever.
The best way to tell for sure that your cat is pregnant is to bring her to the veterinarian. They will perform a pregnancy blood test to precisely tell you whether or not your female cat is expecting. This test is 100% accurate.
I briefly mentioned some of the indications that you are dealing with a pregnant cat, and now we'll take a closer look at them. You can watch the video above for explanation of these signs as well.
If you notice any of the following signs, schedule a vet appointment. Remember that your vet can confirm that it is not a false pregnancy and give you tips to ensure your pet has healthy kittens.
Being Less Active
If it seems that your cat gets tired more easily than before, this may indicate that she is expecting. Of course, it could also indicate a range of potential health issues. As such, you should contact your vet right away if you notice any significant changes in your pet's activity level.
Changes to Her Appetite
Pregnant cats can experience a range of changes to their appetite. Earlier in the pregnancy, they may want to eat less because of morning sickness. She may even vomit in the early stages of the pregnancy. She may also eat more, but not seem satisfied. This is because her body is burning more calories and using more nutrients.
Her Nipples Are Engorged
Changes to your cat's nipples are one of the classic physical signs of feline pregnancy. Most female cats have small nipples, but they will begin to grow early on in the pregnancy. The nipples may also become a darker pink. At later stages of the pregnancy, they will also begin to leak milk.
She Gains Weight
It should come as no surprise that your cat's belly growing is a good sign that she is potentially pregnant (or needs to be on a diet). If there is no other reason for your cat's tummy to grow, then she is likely pregnant.
The important caveat is that most of the stomach growth and weight gain occur later in the pregnancy. If your cat already has this sign, you likely missed some earlier ones.
She Has Nesting Behaviors
As your cat gets close to her due date, expect to see some nesting behaviors. These are behaviors that help her prepare for the arrival of her kittens. For example, she may knead incessantly on her bedding or gather materials to make a cozy “nest.” Nesting can also include being reclusive and irritable, so keep that in mind.
Other Behavioral Changes
A pregnant cat may experience other behavioral changes as well. One behavior commonly seen in pregnant cats is that they increase their desire for attention. They want to spend more time with their humans while they are pregnant. On the other hand, some prefer to be alone and get irritable when bothered.
Even with all of the above information, you may still have some questions about feline pregnancy. As I have stated, it's important to seek veterinary advice if you think that your cat may be pregnant. They will give you guidance on feeding and caring for your cat, and advice on how to properly prepare for the arrival of the kittens.