Unless you are a professional cat breeder who has been associated with the job for quite long, you might find it hard to understand when your cat is actually pregnant and deal with cat gestation period.
For the ones who have recently acquired a female cat or adopted one, alarming increase of your domestic feline population can be a serious trouble. You will have to look out for signs that the cat will display when she goes into heat or after she becomes pregnant. If you are not too sure whether your cat is pregnant or have recently found that your cat is pregnant, take her to a vet.
What is the cat gestation period?
[Infographic] cat gestation period and all about your cat gestation
Typically the cat gestation period will be for duration of 9 weeks or a few days more than that. Once your cat is pregnant you will be able to notice some prominent change in her behavior. Once you notice these signs you need to take her to a vet immediately and ensure that she is taken care of at all stages through her pregnancy.
Know the signs of your cat’s pregnancy
Signs of her fertility
- Your cat can go into heat, that is, begin her estrus cycle, once the weather becomes a little warmer, which is between spring and fall. The female cat becomes sexually active once it reaches 80% of her adult weight, which can be as early as four months of age. If this starts happening, she might be pregnant already.
- Your cat will start showing mating behavior. The clear signs are low calls of mewing, being extra affectionate towards people, becoming restless, and either gaining or losing appetite. You might even notice that she is rolling around people, propping her hind side up in the air and holding her tail to the side while treading her back paws. These are clear indications that your cat is trying to mate.
- Going into heat might not mean that she is definitely pregnant, but there is a very high probability. The cycle of her going into heat and then entering a quiet phase for about eight to ten days and again going into heat continues. If you wish her not being pregnant inadvertently, getting her spayed is the best thing to do.
Signs of pregnancy
- The nipples of a pregnant cat will become enlarged and turn pink or red after 15 to 18 days of pregnancy. The nipples also start secreting white liquid milk. This is an indication of pregnancy. However, nipples can turn pink or red even if the cat is in heat.
- A pregnant cat will slowly assume the burrow shape. Its abdomen will bulge. This is not same as the cat being fat. Fattening will occur in all parts of the body. Bulging due to pregnancy occurs only in the abdomen region.
- One of the definitive signs of your cat being pregnant is when she starts showing nesting behavior. She will select a quiet place in the home and will start arranging clothes, woolens or other fabrics and newspapers in the place to prepare to give birth to her kittens. This happens a few days before she is about to give birth. If you have just noticed that she is pregnant, take her to a vet immediately.
Taking care of your pregnant cat
How to take care your pregnant cat step by step
Your cat will need taking care of during her pregnancy. Make sure you give her the best treatment.
- Take her to vet the moment you think she is pregnant. Your vet will determine pregnancy easily. Take notes from the vet about taking care of the queen. After 17 to 25 days of pregnancy, you will have to pay your vet a visit. He will be able to check the embryo. Do not try to check them yourselves as you might lead to miscarriage.
- Using ultrasound is the safest way to detect pregnancy and check the embryos. The heartbeat can be heard after 20 days of being pregnant. Ask your vet to determine the number of kittens using ultrasound.
- After 45 days of pregnancy, you can take your cat to the vet for x-ray. X-ray report will reveal the skeletons of the kittens and allow the vet to count the numbers. This is better than ultrasound and safe.
- You must discontinue all vaccination, medication and deworming of your cat once she is pregnant. Consult your vet about the safe medicines and the vaccines. It is best not to inject any vaccine during gestation.
- Nutrition for the gestation period of your cat will include high calorie food. You will notice that as pregnancy progresses, your cat will have more appetite. Make sure you feed her enough during this time. Automatic cat feeder will save you the trouble of giving her food every few hours. Kittens grow very fast. You must feed your cat some kitten growth formula diet to take care of the calorie requirement.
- During the last few days of pregnancy and before she is about to give birth, she will need extra care. Cats start showing nesting behavior in this stage. You will not wish your cat to give birth outside the house. To ensure that, you should prepare a soft nesting place in a quiet corner of your house. Serve her food right beside this nesting place so that she does not go out. You can keep the automatic cat feeder right by her nesting place. Keep the place warm and dry. Also keep the litter box close by.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How many kittens does a cat give birth to at once?
Cats generally give birth to 4 to 5 kittens. The number can be at times as low as 1 or 2.
Do I keep the nesting area well lit or dark?
Keep the nesting area dark or dimply lit. Keep it away from noise, children, wind, or any other disturbing stimuli.
Will my cat become aggressive during pregnancy?
No, aggression might be shown after giving birth is the mother feels her babies are threatened. Pregnant cat generally never show aggression.
Worried about what to name the new members of the family? Why don’t you check out our list of top 100 kitten names? You will surely find some winner.
How to take care my baby kitten after born
You can check out step by step about take care newborn kittens what you should know here