Many pet owners enjoy breeding Persian cats, although in fact they are one of the most complicated breeds to reproduce successfully; they have broad heads often resulting in birthing problems, and many Persian females are not natural mothers. Cat owners hoping to breed from their Persians should know how to recognise the signs of pregnancy as gestation progresses. Pregnancy lasts 63 to 65 days.
During the first one to five weeks there are not many changes to notice in your pregnant Persian cat. The initial sign tends to be gaining weight around the abdomen, although some talented vets can feel the broad-headed Persian kittens as early as 25 days. As Persians have long belly fur you may first notice a pregnancy because you'll start to see its skin instead of the fur, as it grows larger. The skin of pregnant Persians will usually show nice and pink, and the veins may stand out more.
Weeks Six to Seven
Your Persian's mammary glands should now be getting bigger--the teats themselves will be growing longer and the skin around them looking pinker and more full, especially in week seven. You may be able to see or feel the kittens moving around. Your cat may be more restless than usual in week seven if it's carrying a large litter, and may be eating more.
Two to four days before delivery, your Persian will start looking for somewhere to have its kittens; your cat may eventually disappear into a cosy place in a cupboard or dark space; make sure you know where your cat goes and that it's a place you can access. A couple of days before delivery it will start to produce milk; a gentle squeeze of the nipples may produce a droplet of milk or fluid. It's possible your cat might mess in the house as the cat will have pressure on its colon and bladder, especially if it's a large litter. Your cat may have less interest in food.
Your cat will usually be restless, less happy being petted, and avoid noise and fuss. Just before the delivery it will find it uncomfortable to lie down and may keep repositioning and licking its genitals. Look out for harder breathing, sitting with an open mouth or fractious behaviour; it's all normal as long as your cat isn't clearly struggling. It may cry but usually Persians are quiet in delivery.
It's important to know if pregnancy in a Persian cat is progressing to plan. Warning symptoms tend to happen very late in gestation or on the delivery day. Look out for a Persian that stops eating in pregnancy, or who becomes listless and lethargic. Mammary glands should not be hot, hard or painful for it if you touch it. With any such signs it may have an infection so take your cat for urgent veterinary attention.
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