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How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant

How can you tell if your cat is pregnant? Queens (pregnant cats) will usually have puffy nipples, increased hunger and affection, and constant nesting. Also, if the heat cycle has stopped immediately, it’s possible that your cat has been mated and has entered the gestation process. Since cats get pregnant pretty easily, you should keep an eye to these signs so you can give your kitty the care it needs.

How can you tell if your cat is pregnant?

It’s easy to spot if your cat is pregnant since it always manifests physically. If you suspect that your feline is expecting, you should look for the following tell-tale symptoms:

  • Enlarged nipples

One of the first physical changes a pregnant cat will experience is ‘pinking’. This is when their nipples become enlarged and puffy.  The nipples become rosier as the pregnancy activates the mammary glands of the feline. If your cat has thin fur, this is very easy to spot. For kitties with thicker coats, you may need to brush the fur with your fingers to examine the nipples.

  • Increased affection

Is your cat suddenly clingy? Mood changes are typical to pregnant cats as their hormones go haywire. Your pregnant kitty would love to cuddle, pet, and nest on your lap more often than normal. You may be surprised that your independent kitty will suddenly beg to get into your lap all the time.

During pregnancy, your cat becomes maternal, and they may also experience discomfort. The kitty will seek comfort in your presence so make sure that you give the furball lots of hugs and kisses!

  • Hungrier than ever

A pregnant cat has to eat for more than one kitty. If your picky or small eater suddenly downs a whole bowl of kibble within minutes, something might be going on. However, if your cat is already a big eater, this symptom might be difficult to determine. It’s best that you look for other signs I listed here.

  • Frequent sleeping

Same with pregnant humans, queens tend to get sleepier than before. The changes in a pregnant cat’s body will make it get tired easily. This is the reason why the cat will sleep more during the day instead of its usual active disposition. However, you must be careful in jumping to conclusions since sleepiness can also point to medical problems.

  • Nest building

Pregnant cats will often prepare for birth early. You may notice excessive nesting, especially on the later part of the gestation cycle. Queens will look for a quiet and secure place where it can give birth in peace. This is usually followed by maternal instincts, including grooming other cats or you. However, you should watch out as heavily pregnant kitties are less tolerant of roughhousing of other pets.

Since each cat is different than the other, some pregnant kitties will experience morning sickness and weight gain. You may observe vomiting on your cat. However, vomiting can be due to a lot of things, too. To confirm if your cat is pregnant, you must bring it to the veterinarian for an ultrasound.

Can you tell if a female cat has been mated?

If you’re not sure if your cat has been mated, it might be difficult to determine if it’s really pregnant or just sick. The key here is spotting some immediate signs after mating.

Female cats that have been mated will feel very agitated. This will send the cat squirming on the ground, like a fish that has been drawn out of water. The cat will trash and roll around, but it will soon subside. In some cases, the mated cat will attack the male cat out of discomfort since mating is a painful experience for them.

But the question is this: do cats get pregnant on the first try? Like humans, cats may or may not become pregnant on its first mating experience. You have to watch out if the estrous cycle will end to know if your cat has been fertilized.

What to expect when your cat is pregnant?

If this is your first time taking care of a pregnant kitty, you must be prepared. One thing you should expect is a drastic behavioral change. Like pregnant humans, expectant queens can be moody.

You should also give your pregnant cat more food since they are growing kittens in their tummy. At the end of its gestation term, your cat would be consuming 50% than its usual diet. Make sure that there’s fresh kibble anytime for your kitty to munch on whenever it feels hungry. However, always practice portion control to prevent excessive weight gain.

How long are cat’s pregnant? A cat’s gestation cycle lasts between 58 to 67 days, which is around two months. On the last weeks of the pregnancy, your kitty would undergo pre-labor. This usually takes place a week leading to delivery. You may also notice milk dropping from the nipples of your pregnant cat.

During the delivery day, the first kitten will come an hour from the start of the labor process. At this point, your cat will be licking its rear to stimulate birth. After the first kitten came out, the others will follow every 15 to 20 minutes.

How many kittens are in a cat’s litter?

The number of kittens on a litter depends on a variety of factors. If it’s your cat’s first pregnancy, it will have a smaller litter of about 2 to 4 kittens. Older queens that have given birth to multiple kittens would have bigger litters. Also, pedigree breeds tend to have a large litter that can be composed of up to 12 kittens.

If you want to know the exact number of kittens before your cat gives birth, you must take it to the vet. An X-ray test will be performed to identify the actual size of the litter. Remember that the ultrasound test conducted earlier in the cat’s pregnancy is only good for estimations.

If your cat has been sickly during the pregnancy, it might have a smaller litter. You should also pay attention to the health of the kittens.

How do I know when my cat is ready to give birth?

Pregnant cats that are on its last week of gestation can deliver its litter anytime. Once the labor process starts, the cat will be pacing, licking its rear, and howling out of pain. There would also be discharge on your cat’s vulva a few hours before it gives birth. Also, your cat will retreat to its nest as it anticipates the arrival of the kittens.

A pregnant cat will undergo the following stages once the labor starts:

  • First stage. At this point, the vagina and cervix will relax to give way for the kittens. The pregnant cat will also experience occasional contractions.
  • Second stage. As your cat advances through the labor process, its water will break. Contractions will become worse, which will make your cat strain.
  • Third stage. This last stage is where the kittens are about to come. Depending on your cat’s condition, the first kitten will arrive within 10 minutes after the water broke. However, other cats will take an hour before pushing its litter out.

Do cats give birth at night?

Pregnant cats often give birth at night, being night owls that they are. You must be fully prepared so you wouldn’t panic once your cat enters the labor stage. If possible, get hold of your cat’s vet several days before the delivery so you will be guided properly. Some vets offer emergency services where you can call them anytime to assist you on the delivery of the kittens.

Conclusion

How can you tell if your cat is pregnant? You must watch out for enlarged nipples, increased appetite, increased affection, and sleepiness during the day. But if you want to be sure, it’s best to bring your cat to a veterinarian for proper examination.

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