Highly secretive by nature, most female cats will not openly exhibit pregnancy behaviours. An owner who suspects their cat may be pregnant must watch closely for visual and discreet behavioural changes. A cat can easily become pregnant if not fixed. Extremely fertile, simply letting the cat outside for an hour or two of unsupervised time while in season, will almost always result in pregnancy. A female cat will often come into season at only four months of age but the first season generally begins when she is six to eight months old. Each season can last from several days to two weeks. Only one mating during the seasonal heat need occur for pregnancy to happen.
Watch the female cat closely for personality changes. A pregnant cat will usually be more affectionate and loving. The cat's gestation period lasts 60 to 67 days.
Monitor the cat's intake of food. As the pregnancy progresses, most female cats will consume more food.
Run your hand across the cat's abdomen to feel for its nipples. The cat's nipples turn pink and begin to enlarge approximately three weeks into the pregnancy.
Take the cat to the veterinarian to perform an ultra sound. A veterinarian is able to determine the cat is pregnant with an ultra sound, 22 days into the pregnancy. Biochemical blood tests can also be run to determine pregnancy.
Feel the cat's stomach to determine if it feels hard to the touch. The cat's abdomen begins to feel firmer to the touch of at approximately 30 days gestation. A cat that has simply gained weight will usually have a soft, mushy stomach. Simple weight gain will also occur all over the cat's body, such as its head, neck, and shoulders. It will not be centred only in the stomach region, like a pregnancy. In an advanced pregnancy, the owner may feel the movement of the kittens when pressing gently on the stomach.
Watch the cat closely for nesting behaviour. The cat may steal blankets or towels to form a nest. She will usually seek out a dark, quiet place to hide. Some cats will slip into cabinets or dresser drawers trying to find a location to deliver.
Approximately two days before the cat goes into labour, her temperature will drop to 37.2 degrees C. As the delivery day approaches, the cat may cease eating or only eat a small amount. The cat may become overly affectionate and needy right before labour. Some female cats begin to vomit prior to labour. The cat may have a noticeable vaginal discharge and she may lick her genitals excessively.
Provide the cat with a nutritious, well-balanced diet to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Tips and warnings
- Approximately two days before the cat goes into labour, her temperature will drop to 37.2 degrees C.
- As the delivery day approaches, the cat may cease eating or only eat a small amount.
- The cat may become overly affectionate and needy right before labour.
- Some female cats begin to vomit prior to labour.
- The cat may have a noticeable vaginal discharge and she may lick her genitals excessively.
- Provide the cat with a nutritious, well-balanced diet to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.