How can I tell my cat is pregnant?

How can I tell my cat is pregnant?

Is your cat overweight or pregnant? Unless you’re actively breeding your kitty, it can be hard to tell!

Common signs such as weight gain or a tender tum can be observed a few weeks into feline pregnancy, alongside other clues we will discuss in this article. 

On the other hand, pregnancy-related symptoms may be linked to an entirely separate medical issue, so it’s always worth consulting your vet.

You never know what’s around the corner when it comes to pet ownership: that’s why it’s vital to protect your moggy with reliable cat cover, from kittenhood to old age, as vet bills can quickly stack up.

Go Get It can do the hard work for you: we help you compare pet insurance to find you the best possible policy, suited to you and your kitty.

We’re cat lovers, too, so we’ve created this handy guide to sussing out whether your puss is expecting. Take a look!

 

When can a cat become pregnant?

Similar to humans, felines have peak fertility periods – known as when they’re ‘in heat’ – during which pregnancy can occur. These come around roughly once every three weeks.

Your kitty’s first season occurs very early on, so she’s able to get pregnant from the age of four months, unless you’ve had her spayed.

If you aren’t keen on welcoming a new litter into your home, you may want to consider spaying your cat early on.

Outdoor felines are hard to keep an eye on and unwanted pregnancies can easily occur. In addition to this, spaying helps combat diseases such as cancer, so it can be a useful safeguarding measure.

A cat and its kitten walking together through a grassy garden

What to expect when your kitty’s expecting

Cat lovers know that kitties are regal, self-contained creatures. It won’t surprise you, then, to learn that pregnant pussycats are called ‘queens’!

So, what can you expect to see when your queen’s expecting?

You can take your kitty for an ultrasound 15 days into pregnancy. In the meantime, there are a few clues owners can look out for at home…

 

Sickness blues

Your cat may suffer from a feline version of morning sickness, going through a period of vomiting or suffering from a diminished appetite.

She may appear a little sleepier than usual, due to hormonal and in utero changes.

Bear in mind, if the vomiting persists or she shows other symptoms of illness, immediately contact your vet.

 

Hungry kitty

A pregnant puss will be eating for herself and her litter.

Her appetite will increase as her pregnancy advances, but it’s worth noting, heightened appetite could be an indicator of illness or worms, so consult your vet just in case.

A cat eating from a bowl

A tender, bigger belly

Your furry queen may suffer from a tender, swollen tum. Resist the urge to touch it, as this may hurt mama or her unborn fur babies.

Of course, there could be other reasons for her abdominal change, so watch your kitty closely for any other symptoms.

Roughly 30 days after your cat conceives, her belly will noticeably expand. After all those extra bowls of biscuits, it’s likely she’ll gain 1-2kg – a strong indicator of pregnancy.

 

‘Pinking up’

At around the 15 to 18-day mark, you may be surprised to see your feline’s nipples have turned red and expanded. This is called ‘pinking up’, a sure sign you’re in the presence of a (pregnant) queen.

 

Maternal moggy

A feline mother-to-be might seem more maternal than usual, cuddling up for extra love and fuss, purring more and even seeking a secluded sanctuary for her incoming kittens, piling it with cosy blankets and other soft scraps for her fur babies to snuggle into.

A cat laying on its owners body on a sofa

 How long is a cat pregnant for?

Once you’ve got confirmation several furry bundles of joy are on their way, you’ll be anxious to find out when they’ll arrive.

According to Purina, feline gestation tends to stretch between 63-67 days; however, it can last up to 72 days.

 

Top tips to help your pregnant moggy

  • If your puss shows signs of nesting, offer her a private nook with a basket or container bedded with old towels.
  • Make sure she’s fully wormed and vaccinated – her kittens will benefit, too, as her milk will have an immunising effect.
  • Pregnant queens should only feast on top-notch food packed with nutrients – this should continue until she’s stopped nursing
  • Your feline needs plenty of fresh water available at all times
  • Keep pregnant kitties safe and secure indoors

 

Of course, there’s a small chance of complications arising during your feline’s pregnancy. Talk to your vet and get informed about potential warning signs to look out for.

Securing reliable cover is another vital measure you can take to protect your lovable puss. Go Get It can compare pet insurance for you, finding the right cover tailored to your kitty’s needs.

A litter of kittens sitting in a wicker basket together

How to help a cat through the birthing process

Once your cat’s due date approaches, you’ll likely feel a little nervous – and excited.

Here are some of the signs the litter is on its way:

  • Your kitty seems more restless than usual
  • She’s seeking out a private sanctuary
  • Her body temperature will decrease to roughly 8 °C during the 24-hour period before birth, Purina states
  • She’s ignoring offers of food
  • When delivery is very close, she may meow more loudly and more often
  • She may seem stressed
  • Excessive self-grooming

 

When labour starts, felines should first experience abdominal contractions. After this, you’ll spot some vaginal discharge, then, finally, new-born kitties should emerge!

While it’s good to stay nearby during labour, intervention is not necessary unless something goes wrong. 

If you see either red or thick, black discharge, or if your cat’s attempting to give birth and the kittens aren’t delivering, there may be complications. In these instances, call the vet as soon as you can.

 

Protecting your kitty

The majority of feline labours are successful – only a few run into complications. However, there’s always a chance of injury or illness, whether or not your favourite furball is pregnant.

Go Get It is the UK’s only dedicated pet insurance comparison site, helping you find cover that’s tailored to your cats needs and your budget!

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