When your cat is expecting, it's an exciting time for you, as you anticipate cuddling the kittens. The time leading up to the birth can be stressful for your pet, however. You can reassure your new mom by showing her love, and providing a safe, warm, indoor area for her to give birth. Cat moms often choose a hidden spot and disappear into it when giving birth. Therefore, it makes good sense to confine your pet to a safe, warm area when she's getting close to her time, so you can monitor the birth. Knowing when your cat is getting close will help you determine when to do that.
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Seeking a Spot
The normal gestation time for cats is roughly two months -- 64 to 69 days. If you know when your pet mated, you can calculate a rough delivery time. Also, a pregnant female will select a place to give birth when she's nearing her time. If you notice your pet nosing around in corners, or frequenting hidden places she doesn't usually visit, it could be an indication that she's searching for a suitable spot. If you put out a large, clean cardboard box lined with papers, your cat will often use it to give birth.
When your cat's delivery time is near, she may vocalise in response to her labour pains. These sounds can take the form of loud yowling, or nervous, rhythmic purring. She may pace back and forth, or exhibit other signs of restlessness.
Drop in Temperature
The Cat Pregnancy Report website notes that your cat's temperature may drop just before giving birth. A cat's normal temperature is 38.6 degrees Celsius. A drop of 2 degrees or so could signal the beginning of labour.
When your pet is nearing labour, she will begin lactating. If you notice that her nipples are enlarged, or secreting milk, it's a sign of impending birth.
When your pet gives birth, it isn't usually necessary for you to help. Your cat knows instinctively how to care for her babies. You need only step in if there's an emergency. It's a good idea to talk to your vet beforehand, so he can tell you when and how to intervene, and to keep his number on hand, so you can call him, if you need to.
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