Hopefully, your cat's pregnancy was a planned event. If this is your pet's first litter, you may be wondering how to tell if your cat is pregnant. If your cat's pregnancy was planned, I hope you've done some research. If not, you've come to the right place!
Knowing how to tell if your cat is pregnant is obviously an important step in caring for your expecting pet. 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 special care your cat will require during this time. They will assist you in choosing the right food and supplements for your cat. They will also monitor your pregnant cat to make sure all is well with her and the future kittens.
A vet will also examine your pet to help you determine exactly how far along she is in her pregnancy stage. This is a common question for most pet owners dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Getting proper veterinary care during this time is just as important as a human mother seeking proper prenatal care from her doctor.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant
The average feline gestation period is about 63 days or 9 weeks. You may not notice many signs for the first couple of weeks, but there are a few surefire signs that you should be on the lookout for if you think there is a chance your cat may be pregnant.
One of the most noticeable signs that your cat is pregnant is that her heat cycles will stop. Female cats that have not been spayed will have short heat cycles every 2-3 weeks. This cycle will stop immediately if your cat gets pregnant. If you notice that this cycle has stopped, it is most likely because your cat is expecting.
After 2-3 weeks, the nipples will swell and begin to “pink-up”. You may also notice a small amount of discharge from the nipples, but this is nothing to worry about. Slight discharge is normal, but if you notice a large amount of discharge, you'll want to check in with your veterinarian.
It is possible that your cat's appetite will decrease in the beginning of the pregnancy. After 3-4 weeks, her appetite will increase. This is also the time in the pregnancy when you will begin to notice your pet gaining weight. Most pregnant cats will gain 2-4 pounds throughout the entire pregnancy.
Like humans, pregnant cats may suffer from “morning sickness”. This will not necessarily occur just in the morning. Vomiting won’t happen often, but 1-2 times per day for some of the pregnancy is completely normal. If vomiting is more severe, you should seek veterinary care immediately.
Around week 5 you should begin to notice the swelling of the abdomen, and it will grow quickly. Between 7-9 weeks you may even be able to see or feel the kittens moving in your cat's abdomen. This doesn't happen with every cat, so if you aren't able to feel or see them moving, don't worry.
You've probably heard of “nesting behavior” in pregnant women. This is the time when they start to clean, organize and get the home ready for their new arrival. Your pregnant cat may do the same thing.
She may choose a “nesting” spot and try to bring soft materials there to create a birthing nest for her kittens. You can prevent your cat from choosing a difficult location that is hidden away and hard to access by providing a birthing box that is easy for both of you to get to.
Place the box in a quiet area of the home. Line it with soft linens that can be thrown out or washed/sanitized easily.
Your pregnant cat will also increase the time she spends sleeping. If your cat was already fairly lazy, she may spend more time sleeping than doing anything else. She may spend a lot of time sleeping in the nesting box once you get it set up.
Finally, you may notice that your cat becomes more affectionate than normal while she's pregnant. This is because her hormone levels are increasing. Providing extra attention and affection are an important part of caring for your pregnant kitty.
If you believe your cat is pregnant, you should schedule a check-up with your veterinarian. They can confirm the pregnancy and help educate you on the proper way to care for your pregnant cat and the soon-to-be litter of newborn kittens.
READ NEXT: How To Tell If Your Dog Is Pregnant?