Cat Pregnancy

How to care for pregnant cats

For a cat owner, wondering if your cat is pregnant can be quite worrisome. Luckily, feline pregnancy is not hard to diagnose and is detectable early in the average nine-week gestation period.

Early Signs of Feline Pregnancy

Cat pregnancy symptoms begin to appear about three weeks into a feline pregnancy. Other than the cessation of the heat cycle, the first visible symptom at three weeks will be the "pinking" of the nipples. This physical change will be more readily visible in a cat that is pregnant for the first time.

Other cat pregnancy signs include physical changes and changes in personality. Pregnant cats need more sleep, become more loving, voluntarily stay close to home (if it's an outdoor cat) and have an increased appetite. Around week five in the cat's pregnancy, owners will notice its abdomen swelling considerably. As the feline gets closer to the birth of its litter, she may show signs of nesting – seeking out private, safe places for the soon-to-arrive kittens.

Feline pregnancy can be clinically diagnosed by a veterinarian, but unless an owner has fears something may be wrong, many cat owners prepare alongside their cat without the assistance of a vet.

Special Needs of a Pregnant Cat

The most important need of a pregnant feline is an adequate diet. The cat will require many more calories in its diet in order to have enough energy for the growing fetuses. In addition to the caloric increase, a specific increase in calcium and protein is recommended. The easiest way to obtain these nutrients is to feed the expectant mother kitten food mixed with its regular healthy diet. Keep in mind that the energy needs of a pregnant cat increase in tandem with the size of the growing kittens. Therefore, by the end of pregnancy, it should be consuming somewhere between 25 to 50 percent more than its normal calorie intake.

Other considerations include:

  • Keep an outdoor pregnant cat indoors, if possible.
  • Do not give medicine to a pregnant cat without veterinarian approval.
  • Do not use clumping litter, as cats will sometimes give birth in the litter box. The mother cat may not want to clean the litter off the sac, thus causing the death of the new kitten.
  • Have the phone number to an emergency veterinary clinic nearby at all times.
  • Learn as much as you can as you await the litter's arrival and contact your veterinarian with questions or concerns.
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Posted by nessa on April 26,2011 at 08:23 PM
how longtil you can touch new born kittens?
Posted by ---------- on April 16,2011 at 02:48 PM
My cat is about 11 Months old and she isntt fixed, but theres some boy cats down the street frrom us and shes starting to get a tinie lump. I dont know for sure that shes pregnat and i need more infortmation on cat pregnacys like more symptoms.
Posted by kittenheart on September 12,2010 at 03:41 AM
Some of you may call local vets in your area and tell them the needs for your cats. Many vets love animals enough to treat your kitty's at cost or at a discount if you can show proof and/or verify you do not have the money to afford their bill. Also, call Petsmart, local no-kill shelter's if you have a need for food. Instead of taking on more animals, many shelters are above capasity with their anumals there. They may have some way to give you food for the animals, as long as you can keep and tend to them. Pick up the phone and spend the day making calls through the yellow pages. Pet stores, vets, and shelters. Someone will eventually give you some sort of information about who you can contact in your area. Explain to them the situation. Many calls may go unanswered with nothing but, "We can not do anything for them." but eventually someone will. Do not give up on humans to help. Your animals depend on you to do this for them. You are their voice on the phone, and online. Plant enough good seeds, and in time you WILL reap a harvest.
Posted by wanda on May 25,2010 at 08:42 PM
i would really a few coupons for purina one cat food my cat just had kittens five weeks ago i neeeed help please .THANK YOU.
Posted by trudy massey on May 11,2010 at 06:20 PM
is it possible for a cat to have a false pregnancy? the kitty is just about a year old.we thought she was pregnant, but the only thin on her that seems to get bigger is her tits. they are hard and full, but i can't feel nipples on all of them. she also doesn't seem like she's getting much bigger
Posted by Maddie on July 20,2010 at 10:36 AM
im not an expert but i bet its just her developing for her pregnency the nipples usually get bigger before she does.but theirs a chance that im wrong so you might want to see a vet.
Posted by cheryl on May 03,2010 at 06:53 PM
I have a cat that is pregnant we got her that way how can u tell how far along she is?
Posted by Lynda on June 07,2010 at 11:10 PM
I have adopted a stray pregnant cat. She is quite large, but i don't know how far along she is. Wondering about ways to tell. I have not been able to feel any movement, so i'm worried that the unborn kittens may not be alive. How can I tell? Please let me know.
Posted by lil_eli09 on January 27,2010 at 08:38 PM
Well i have two cats and my parents dont have alot of money and one of my cats is pregnent so sometimes you have to not take them to the vet. one of my cats wear strays and the otehr one was necglected (they use to kick him when he was only 2 weeks old) when we got him we thuat he had a broken rib and we still do but do u know wat we do we try not to carry him by the ribs and my pregnent cat we dont pick her up at all so we wont hurt her babys. both of my cats have never gon to but both of our cats are verry happy and healthy
Posted by susan on May 04,2010 at 05:02 PM
i can completely understand exactly what you are saying about not having money to take your cats to a vet, many people have no money to take themselves to the doctor, either....so, as for your pregnant cat, just feed her extra food and clean out a closet or find another safe, dark, QUIET place for her to go to, let nature take it's course and she should be fine, as for the baby with the broken rib, gosh that's a hard thing to comment on, all i would do is keep the kitty safe and as long as it is not showing signs of it being in pain, i;d let nature take its course as well....good luck, i'll be praying ....
Posted by lil_eli09 on January 27,2010 at 08:25 PM
this is verry good edvice consedering that my cat is pregnant but what if you dont have the money to go to the vet what should you do
Posted by cat lover on October 01,2009 at 10:12 AM
i have two cats and they r wild.i love them to death.if one is skinny and never gains weight is that bad.ttyl....
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