How Long Are Cats Pregnant?
As part of gestation, or pregnancy in cats, their bodies undergo significant transformations that are essential for growth and development of her unborn fetuses.
Some of the key signs of pregnancy in cats include weight gain, distended abdomens and increased appetite. If you suspect your cat could be pregnant, it’s wise to visit a vet as soon as possible for testing and consultation.
The first sign
Pregnant cats experience many changes during gestation. You’ll likely notice an initial sign: their nipples become pinker over time, eventually darkening and expanding further.
Your cat will gain weight quickly and her stomach area will expand considerably – this is a sure sign she’s pregnant and carrying kittens!
Before she begins delivering kittens, you should bring her into the vet for an extensive wellness examination to make sure she remains healthy and can deliver successfully. This will also allow for safe delivery!
Your cat might also seem extra affectionate these days; this can often be traced back to her pregnancy hormones which make her more responsive and possessive than usual.
The second sign
If you suspect your cat might be pregnant, there are a few early indicators. Understanding these indicators will allow you to provide your feline with optimal care during her gestation period.
Swelled abdomens in female cats can be used as a telltale sign that they’re expecting.
Your cat may become pregnant if its nipples swell and turn dark in color and enlarge, providing clear indication that she needs to be checked regularly for pregnant nipples. So keep an eye out!
Queen cats typically gain 1 to 2 kilograms during gestation (depending on how many kittens she’s carrying), as well as being subject to increased appetite during this period.
The third sign
Thirdly, pregnant cats typically display signs of gestation by having their nipples become larger and rosier – this phenomenon is commonly referred to as “pinking up.” They will also begin gaining weight as she produces milk for lactation.
As her pregnancy continues, her belly will swell and she may look for an ideal place for her to give birth. Additionally, she may mark her territory by purring more often and becoming more affectionate towards you and other pets in her environment.
As is sometimes the case for pregnant women, some female cats may experience periods of vomiting during their gestation period. Although it’s rare, if this becomes an ongoing occurrence contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
The fourth sign
At around three weeks into gestation, pregnant cats’ nipples will expand and swell up dramatically; this process is called “pinking up.”
Some pregnant cats may experience vomiting during gestation, which can be an indicator of morning sickness. Although vomiting during gestation is normal, if it becomes frequent or your cat seems unwell it should be addressed as soon as possible with your veterinarian.
Pregnant cats tend to eat more than usual during gestation as their bodies adjust to providing nourishment for two or more kittens as opposed to just themselves.
As she enters her final weeks of gestation, a pregnant cat may begin searching for a peaceful place to give birth and may begin making arrangements such as setting out blankets into a nesting box to make the experience more comfortable for herself and her kittens.
The fifth sign
An expectant cat’s weight increases rapidly as her abdomen fills with large embryos.
By this time, her nipples will have become swollen and pink; they may even begin leaking mother’s milk.
Cats often engage in nesting behavior, whereby they seek a safe space to give birth (nesting behavior). Be sure that her food and water bowls are close by so she has everything she needs at her convenience.
Signs of pregnancy often include a swollen and rounded belly – this is a natural body change and should resolve itself by week five.
The sixth sign
If your cat is showing any indications of pregnancy, it may be beneficial to make an appointment with the vet. He or she can palpate her abdomen to assess if she’s expecting by palpating her uterus and palpate her stomach to check.
At 16 weeks gestation, an ultrasound can be conducted to verify a pregnancy and detect early signs of labor. X-rays should not be conducted before 42 weeks.
Pregnant cats tend to become more affectionate during gestation and may groom themselves more frequently or display relaxed behavior.
Signs of pregnancy in cats include when their nipples turn pink and expand – this process, known as “pinking up”, is part of their body preparing for milk production.
At about two to three weeks before giving birth, your cat may show nesting behaviors. She might seek out quiet spots within your home to create her own cozy nest using blankets as she searches.
The seventh sign
Pinking-up of your cat’s nipples, also known as gestational sac dilation, usually begins around two weeks into pregnancy and indicates she may be carrying.
Your cat may also start gaining weight as her belly expands with growing kittens inside. This may indicate pregnancy.
As she prepares to give birth and feed her kittens, hair around her nipples may start to shed as well.
Your cat will likely become excessively thirsty and drink much more water than normal, which could be an early indicator that labor is near.
The eighth sign
Pregnant cats’ nipples often become swollen and pink (“pinking up”). Due to decreased fur coverage, this protrusion becomes even more obvious than usual.
Nipples will start to bleed and leak small amounts of mother’s milk, a sure sign that labour has begun.
An expectant mother may gain from 1 to 2 kg during her gestation period depending on how many kittens are being carried.
As her tummy expands and bodyweight increases, your cat may develop the “mule figure”. Additionally, they may experience morning sickness.
The ninth sign
Owners frequently wonder whether their cat could be pregnant after seeing various external signs that match up with what their perception of what pregnancy should look like (based on past human pregnancy experiences) suggests.
As cat owners become aware of feline pregnancy signs, one of the first obvious indicators is an enlarged, distended abdomen. At first it may take the form of a “fat” or “pot-shaped” appearance but over time will change to become more pear-shaped with increased weight and size.
An additional telltale sign of feline pregnancy that many cat owners observe is when mammary glands produce milk just prior to giving birth, known as “colostrum”. It’s typically described as pale yellow-yellow fluid with straw-coloured hues containing maternal antibodies.
The tenth sign
There are various signs and indicators to look out for when it comes to feline pregnancies, one being an enlarged belly. Keep in mind this process does not happen overnight but gradually during gestation.
Pregnant cats will often consume more food than usual during the latter half of pregnancy, due to supporting a growing litter and needing extra nutrition from food sources like kibble. Pregnancy cats may even sleep more than usual – in what has come to be known as their “pregnancy zone”. Unfortunately, pregnancy cats can suffer from an assortment of issues during this period including ear mites and fleas that need managing by means of an effective parasite control program that will ensure their continued good health and happiness.