How can I tell if my cat is pregnant without a vet?

How can you tell at home whether your cat is pregnant? There's a strong probability that your cat is pregnant if she recently went into heat or was exposed to an intact (unneutered) male cat. Unspayed female cats are referred to as "pregnant queens" because of the physical and behavioral changes they exhibit during pregnancy.

It's advisable to get your cat spayed as soon as possible if you do not have a purebred cat that will be used for breeding, in order to prevent unintended pregnancies. Since cats never go through menopause, which is associated with an absence of fertility, they can continue to go into heat, get pregnant, and give birth to kittens throughout their whole lives. A kitten just four months old may reach sexual maturity or come into heat.

Pregnant cat symptoms

Pregnant Cat

These changes include enlarged nipples, an expanding tummy, and nesting habits. These changes become more noticeable three weeks after breeding. For cats, the gestation period lasts 64 to 66 days. You may think of 63 days and nine weeks as the typical gestation time for felines.

Symptoms and changes in a pregnant cat: check for these changes in appearance that could be symptoms of pregnancy in your cat:

1 - The heat cycle stops.

Pregnant Cat

This could be the first indication of the cat's pregnancy that you see. A cat is probably pregnant when she has been experiencing heat cycles for 10 to 2 weeks and then stops.

2 - Nipples enlarge and take on a rosier hue.

Pregnant Cat

Breeders refer to this as pinking up," which may be the very first outward symptom of pregnancy you notice in a cat. Around a month into the pregnancy, this normally happens. Additionally, there can be a very small discharge from the nipples.

3 - Change in appetite


Early on in her pregnancy, a cat could lose her appetite. She will become more interested in food throughout the second trimester. All in all, an expecting kitten must also feed multiple foetuses in addition to herself.

4 - Gaining weight

Pregnant Cat

During the course of pregnancy, the majority of pregnant queens will put on 2 to 4 pounds of weight.

5 - Vomiting


Similar to human expectant mothers, pregnant queens may experience "morning sickness. This alone is not always cause for concern, but when the vomiting persists or becomes frequent, get assistance from your veterinarian.

6 - Expanding abdomen


A pregnant cat's belly will begin to significantly bulge around the fifth week of pregnancy. It will keep growing until it is ready to give birth. However, if the cat was already overweight, it might be more difficult to detect an expanding tummy.

Pregnant cat behaviour

Changes in personality and mood are also suggestive of pregnancy.

1 - Assertiveness rises


It's possible that your cat will become closer to you than usual and will constantly nag you for attention. Please give this to her! Your pregnant cat may, however, become less accepting of the other house pets during this time.

2 - Sleeping most of the time

Cat Paw

Most pregnant queens will fall asleep more than they did before becoming pregnant each day.

3 - Nesting patterns


The feline will typically start "nesting" a few weeks before giving birth. Finding a quiet area and spending an excessive amount of time there, as well as making an attempt to move blankets and other soft objects into the nest, are typical behaviors during this time. Giving the cat a birthing container that's simple for her to enter and exit in order to prevent her from selecting an unfavorable location to give birth, like in a drawer or a spot that's hard to get to. A few plush blankets that may be discarded or laundered as they get soiled should be used to line the box.

How to care for a cat in labour


Try to avoid interfering with your cat after she enters active labor. Make sure she doesn't become distressed by keeping an eye on her from a safe distance. Contractions usually start within the first six to twelve hours of a cat's labor, and the cervix opens during this time. The actual delivery of the kittens is during the second stage of labor. The interval for each kitten's birth can range from 10 to 1 hour. The third phase of labor, which also involves the delivery of a placenta, will occur for the pregnant queen following the delivery of every kitten.
Once stage two starts, it can take a cat anywhere between two hours and over an entire day to complete giving birth, but between two and six hours is typical.

What are the telltale signs of a cat in labour?


1 - Nesting Tasks: As the due date approaches, the pregnant cat may start looking for calm, secret locations to give birth. It may just start a few hours or as much as two days before labor, but this is the norm.

2 - Anxiety: Anxiety or restlessness may be present in the pregnant queen 24 to 48 hours prior to delivery. She might, pacing-like, enter and exit her nesting location.

3 - Panting: A cat may frequently begin to pant as labor progresses.

4 - Vocalization: The pregnant queen might meow or cry out more frequently than normal in addition to excessive pacing and restless behavior.

5 - Lower Body Temperature: Your cat's body temperature will decrease below 100 degrees Fahrenheit between 12 and 36 hours of labor.

6 - Loss of Appetite: It's possible that your pregnant queen had a voracious appetite throughout her pregnancy. As labour draws near, she will experience a sudden decrease in appetite.

7 - Cleaning herself: Your cat will start licking the vulva to clear a light discharge as labor quickly approaches. You likely won't see the discharge because she will want to keep the area clean.

Following the Kittens' Birth


Most cat mothers manage quite fine on their own, so it's best to keep your distance while keeping an eye on the nest as your cat takes care of her brand-new babies. Four or six babies make up the typical feline litter, and as soon as they are born, the mother will meticulously clean each one. Within one hour of birth, the kittens should start to suckle. Ask a veterinarian for advice if your cat looks extremely distressed, exhausted, or unable to take care of her young.

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