Having a pregnant cat or welcoming newborn kittens into your home is a very exciting and emotional time for you and your cat. Although cats can go through a pregnancy and give birth without the help of a vet, you need to take care of them and make sure her pregnancy is as fine as possible. And that’s exactly why it’s best to be prepared. But how to tell if your cat is pregnant or what happens when your cat becomes pregnant? So, you’ll definitely want to know the signs that your cat might be pregnant. Here a few important things that you should read.
How to tell if a cat is pregnant
Cats have periods of peak fertility in season or in heat and go through both physical and mental changes like humans. Here a few signs your cat is pregnant that you should watch out for:
- Darkened nipples: At around three weeks, a pregnant cat’s nipples will change to prepare for milk production. They will become larger and the color of nipples will also become darker.
- Morning sickness: Just like humans, a pregnant cat may have morning sickness. But if the vomiting becomes frequent or your cat appears unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Swollen belly: Around the 30-day mark, pregnant cats start to develop a rounded and swollen belly. This sign isn’t always so easy to spot because you might think your cat is overweight.
- Nesting: In the days leading up to queening, a pregnant cat will often start “nesting”. She may choose a quiet place and start arranging everything for a birthing area.
- All changes in the behavior of a pregnant cat will appear in the sixth week. She will stretch, roll, and begin to search for a safe place to give birth. The cat’s appetite will also continue to increase throughout this period.
- Positive ultrasound: If these signs can’t help you find the answer, the best way is to visit your veterinarian and get an X-ray or ultrasound.
How long is a cat pregnant?
The process of a mama cat getting ready to have kittens is called “queening.” Unlike humans, though, a cat’s pregnancy lasts about 60-70 days (just over two months). Because the typical gestation period is so short, you can miss the signs until one day you spot your cat is nursing a bunch of tiny kittens.
Pregnant cat labor signs
Before a cat fully goes into labor, there are a few tell-tale signs:
- Her appetite will reduce drastically or completely
- Loud and frequent vocalizing
- Bloody vaginal discharge
- Unexplained affection (nervous or excited)
- Looking for a warm, quiet and a safer place to give birth.
- Licking abdomen and genitals to stimulate her birth.
If you’d like to avoid an unexpected litter of kittens, you should neuter or spay your cat before her first season as she can become pregnant very easily after that point. However, it’s totally possible that she could come back as a mommy-to-be and you will need more time to prepare for a litter of kittens.