Have you ever wondered how long is a cat pregnant before giving birth? Having cats can be an exciting time where you get to not only nurture your cat but their kids if they get pregnant.

But before welcoming home any kittens, you should have the necessary knowledge to ensure your cat’s pregnancy runs smoothly. 

Caring for a cat during its pregnancy is never easy with all the physical and behavioral changes, but there are a few tips and tricks to help make life easier.

In this article, you’ll get a glance of a cat pregnant before giving birth and all the things you need to know to prepare for any future pregnancies. 

Pregnancy cat symptoms

When nursing a pregnant cat, one of the first thing you need to learn is to recognize signs of the pregnancy. Some symptoms are visible after 2 or 3 weeks of gestation.

A Cat Pregnant Before Giving Birth
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An early sign of a pregnant cat is an enlargement in nipples and turning a pinkish color. If you see your cat exhibiting pregnancy signs such as vomiting, increased restlessness, or being easily irritable, chances are she’s pregnant. A pregnant’s cat belly may not be visible until the fifth week. The safest and best way to find out is to make an appointment with your vet so they can confirm. 

How long is a cat pregnant before giving birth?

The average gestation period is around 63 days, depending on the breed, though Siamese cats take a few days longer. An easy way to remember is to compare it with the human gestation period. You can compare how long a cat is pregnant in weeks to humans, as cats take 9 weeks to get pregnant while humans take 9 months.

Testing for cat pregnancy

Ultrasound

Ultrasound tests are used to indicate the state and health of the fetuses. After three and a half weeks, your vet is able to take an ultrasound to visualize the kittens. After 24 days, you can start to hear the fetal kitten heartbeat. 

Palpation

Experienced veterinarians can perform abdominal palpation, which is feeling the stomach to get a rough idea if your cat is pregnant or not. They try to feel if there’s any uterus swelling or bumps. Your cat must be 17-25 days into gestation to perform this test as the fetus slightly developed. 

X-rays

Vets may use an abdominal x-ray to detect the presence of kittens. They can also tell you how many kittens to expect by looking at the visible skeletons in the x-ray.

Relaxin blood test

When your cat is pregnant, they release a hormone called relaxin into the bloodstream. Since the hormone is in the bloodstream, you need to draw your cat’s blood and source a lab that will run the test. 

Five stages of cat pregnancy

When your cat is conceiving, you may be wondering what here are roughly five stages to the feline pregnancy. Each stage will show a different symptom that helps you know that your cat is closer to its due date. 

Fertilization

After reaching six months old, kittens start to develop sexual maturity. Cats begin to roam around during breeding season which is almost all year round, from March and September. 

Within the beginning stages, it’s unlikely that you will be able to tell if your cat is pregnant with the naked eye. Pregnancy signs will start to appear at around two weeks. 

Early stage

Have you ever asked yourself if cats show the same symptoms as humans during the early pregnancy stage? Do they get morning sickness? 

The answer is yes. Just like humans, when reaching around three weeks into the pregnancy, your cat will feel nauseous or vomit. Physical changes in the nipple and weight gain will start to happen. 

Middle Stages

As your cat’s pregnancy proceeds, their stomach will be more prominent.  Their appetite tends to increase during pregnancy as they begin to nurse the kittens.

Since they’re consuming more food to store energy, your cat may gain between 1 to 2 kilograms depending on how many kittens they carry. A good idea is to give your cat smaller and more frequent meals.

Pre-labor

There are many signs to indicate that your cat is at the pre-labor stage. If you notice your cat constantly nesting in warm places all day long since the pregnancy reduces its energy. Your cat’s nipples will be significantly large as it starts to produce milk, sometimes leaving small droplets behind. One or two days prior to the delivery, your cat will stop eating. 

Labor and delivery

It’s obvious when your cat is about to go into labor. They will signal by licking the genitals and abdomen to stimulate the birthing. As naturally vocal animals, cats may start making noises to signal their discomfort. 

Cats are able to handle labor themselves, meaning you should stay calm and keep a close eye. Always leave your cat undisturbed but still staying close by in case she needs extra assistance.

Before her delivery, you should prepare a warm nesting spot that is relatively quiet to give your cat a feeling of comfort and security. Warmth is vital as newly born kittens lose heat very easily. Helping your cat bring her kittens can be a life-changing experience. The delivering process can take anywhere from 3 to 8 hours.

Caring for your cat during pregnancy

Exercise

Aim to have your cat exercise whenever you can. A mother cat with good health and muscle will make her birth experience easier and safer. After determining what your cat can and cannot do when pregnant, you can encourage your cat to get in some exercise. It can be as simple as taking your cat for a walk, being careful to keep away from her stomach.

Diet

Nutrition is essential for a cat’s pregnancy as it supplies energy and growth for both your cat and her kittens. Do not be tempted to overfeed your cat during her early stages of pregnancy as it’ll only make her delivery more difficult. Gradually increase her food intake after six weeks of pregnancy. After birth, you should continue feeding her this regime as her kitten’s suckling will use up her energy. 

Also, ensure that your cat is well hydrated to help maintain her blood pressure levels. You can place a bowl of water next to her nesting place as her bloated stomach will stop her from wanting to move around a lot. 

Medical care

A vet examination will help you pinpoint a rough estimation of your cat’s due date. It’s recommended that ask your vet for advice about flea and worming treatments. Your cat will undergo an overall health check to assess her current condition.

Your veterinarian should give you other visitation dates after your first checkup. Get ahold of your vet’s number in case of any emergencies before or after delivery. Do not give your cat any medication or supplement with your vet’s approval. 

Conclusion

Though being a significant event, it can be a little daunting when dealing with a pregnant cat. Organizing and preparing for your cat’s pregnancy early means you’ll get a healthy pregnancy and a smoother experience overall.

There are a few things you must prepare such a comfortable bed and high-quality food.

If you’re still wondering about how long is a female cat pregnant for or any other cat pregnancy related questions, the internet is your best friend. Good luck with your journey!

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