Cat Having Kittens? Here’s How To Best Care for Your Pregnant Cat
Jan 26 2023.
Should I breed my cat?
How to know if my cat is pregnant
The best chance you have of offering your kitty a safe and healthy pregnancy is to spot the signs of a pregnant cat early on. Here are some signs your cat could be pregnant:
My cat has morning sickness
Our fur friends can suffer from morning sickness much in the same way pregnant humans do. Vomiting is normal for cats—whether it’s to get rid of hairballs or regurgitate food. But you may notice that your pregnant cat is vomiting a little more than usual, and that’s perfectly okay! However, if she is vomiting continuously this could be signs of a more serious issue, and you should see a vet right away.
My cat has increased appetite
While you generally might need to be careful about how much you feed your cat to keep them healthy, during pregnancy your fur friend will experience an increase in appetite. After all, your pregnant cat is eating for herself and a litter of kittens!
Changes in the body of my cat
You’ll notice some physical changes quickly if your cat is pregnant. At about 3 weeks her nipples will become larger and pinker. At about 5-6 weeks you’ll notice your pregnant cat’s abdomen is noticeably bigger.
Behavior changes of my cat
Pregnant cats need more rest, so your furry friend may be less playful than usual. She’ll also be more content staying at home and less likely to wander. Make sure you remove all potential hazards both in and out of the home to keep your pregnant kitty safe!
If your feline friend starts seeking out the quietest, comfiest parts of the house (perhaps in the closet, or sleeping on your bed beneath a blanket) this could mean she’s looking for a comfortable area to give birth to her kittens.
How long is a cat pregnant?
Queens (unspayed female cats) can get pregnant when they are only 5-6 months old. They also go into heat every 2 to 3 weeks which vastly increases their chances of getting pregnant. A cat’s pregnancy is relatively short—only 63-65 days—and on average she’ll birth 4 kittens.
It’s a little known cat fact that female felines can actually be impregnated by more than one cat. This means your kitty can have a litter from various male cats! For this reason, once you know your cat is pregnant, it’s best to keep her indoors to prevent other male cats from mating with her.
Because the time span is not very long, your kitty can produce several litters throughout the year. Therefore, it’s best to get your queen spayed as early as possible to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
How to care for a pregnant cat
If you’ve determined that your cat is pregnant, you’ll want to offer her the best care possible to ensure a safe pregnancy for her and her kittens. Here are a few tips to help you give your kitty the best tail-to-ears cat care!
Feeding a pregnant cat
During pregnancy, your fur friend will eat around 1.5 times her usual diet. Most vets recommend food labelled specifically for pregnant and lactating cats. Your feline will eat this throughout her pregnancy and during the period she spends nursing her kittens. Wet food is considered the healthier option over dry food, but be sure to consult your vet to find out what they recommend.
In the early stages of her pregnancy, it’s okay for your pregnant cat to always have easy access to her food. However, at around six weeks you’ll want to begin feeding your kitty 4-6 small meals throughout the day. The pressure on her stomach from the kittens makes it difficult to eat too much, but she does need the extra calories and vitamins from the food.
Once you learn your cat is pregnant, book a vet appointment right away so she can receive her first round of prenatal care. Your veterinary will check to make sure your kitty is healthy and offer a few recommendations for a normal pregnancy.
Once your cat is in nesting mode (in the last two weeks of her pregnancy) you’ll want to take her to the vet for her final prenatal check-up. Once again, the vet will check both the mother and kittens’ health, give you advice on how to prepare for delivery, and tell you what to do in an emergency.
Best environment for your cat to give birth
About two weeks before she’s due to give birth, your pregnant cat will start nesting. You can help your furry friend out by sourcing a good birthing spot for her.
- Find a medium-sized box or a laundry basket and line it with newspapers, old towels, and blankets.
- Place the nesting box in a safe, quiet corner of your house. Don’t wait until the big day to do this, your furry friend should be able to visit the box in the weeks leading up to birth. This will help her get used to the area and feel comfortable using it.
- However, don’t be worried if your cat doesn’t use the nesting box. Felines have a mind of their own and in the end, Ms Whiskers will do as she pleases. If there are any areas of the house you wouldn’t want your pregnant cat to give birth in, keep these closed off during the final week of her pregnancy. Also, make sure your fur friend doesn’t have access to the outside, as she may try to sneak away to nest where you can’t find her.
Note: If you need to travel last minute during the period when your cat is pregnant, make sure to source a trustworthy cat sitter for your furry friend. Not to worry, on Cat in a Flat you can find a variety of stellar cat sitters who know the basics of feline first aid and have experience with pregnant cats.
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