How To Prepare for a Pregnant Cat

Expert Tips for Making Your Cat's Birth Healthy & Successful

Ragdoll cat on a post

Wow, your cat has been very vocal lately. She’s meowing loudly and demanding your attention. Her eating habits have changed, and she doesn’t seem hungry. You have also noticed a male cat visiting your house frequently. If she hasn’t be spayed, then your cat is more than likely in heat. And, if you haven’t been paying attention, the male cat may have already helped her out. So, now it is time to watch and wait.

Unlike dogs, cats can go into heat once a month if they are not spayed. Once they find a male companion and take care of their needs, the heat cycle will stop within twenty four hours. Her pregnancy can last anywhere from 58-70 days, depending on the breed. Another dissimilarity from dogs is that it is not as easy to look at your cat and tell if she is pregnant.

Step 1

Choose at an early age whether you may want kittens or not.

If you do not want your cat to have kittens, you are not ready (financially, time etc.) or if she has problems during delivery, then you should consider having her spayed. Spaying will take away her heat cycles, and she will not be able to get pregnant.

If you want your cat to have kittens, then make sure she has the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) vaccination before she ever gets pregnant. FeLV can cause serious health problems in cats and is normally transmitted at birth.

Step 2

How to tell if your pet cat is pregnant.

  • The first sign to look for is in the nipples. A cat's nipples will turn pink during the second or third week of pregnancy. Around day 21, a pregnant cat's nipples will often turn bright pink. If they are, she is pregnant. If not, wait another week, and check again. Some may not turn bright pink or become enlarged, but most will.
  • Very gently run your hand over the surface of her tummy to see if you feel a sort of swelling and small lumps the size of walnuts. DO NOT feel or prod the lumps.
  • Your cat will slowly gain weight, but the excess weight is usually not obvious until a week or two before pregnancy. This is the time when she will start consuming more food, although that will slow right before the birth of the kittens.
  • How to distinguish pregnant feline from a fat cat: fat cats are fat all over, including the neck, the legs. etc. Pregnant cats are not. However, keep in mind that fat cats can be pregnant too!
  • When a pregnant cat gets close to delivering her kittens, she may start nesting and this is time when her private area will become very important.
  • Her attitude can be an indicator of pregnancy: she becomes more loving than usual and has less of a desire to go outdoors.

Step 3

What to do when you know she is pregnant.

If you suspect your cat is pregnant, then schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. An ultrasound is the earliest method used to detect pregnancy. If your cat is far along, then often your vet can just feel her abdominal to confirm. X-rays can also be taken to determine the number of kittens, but it may be hard to keep your cat still long enough to take the x-ray. Your vet can instruct you on how to care for your kitty. For now, here are a couple of tips.

  • Never get her vaccinated or treat her for any skin or health problem while she is pregnant. Vaccinations can cause abortions, and other medications may have similar effects. If your cat has a problem, such as ear mites, then talk to your vet about what can be done.
  • As her appetite increases, make sure you are feeding her more. Do not allow her to gorge all day, but do not deny her food either.
  • Encourage her to play and exercise so that she stays in good health.

Step 4

The age of your cat can affect the birth.

  • Younger cats – 1 year or less – commonly experience a difficult time with birth. There are higher probabilities of birth defects, deformities and health-related issues due to the cat's lack of mature development.
  • Older cats – 8 years and older – also may have a harder time because of the age of their body. They are typically unable to sustain a healthy birth because their body is not as capable of supporting more than itself. Just like in humans, birth takes a hard toll on the mother.

Step 5

What is your cats current physical level?

  • Good condition – it is highly recommended to allow the birth to go through without any surgical process or other procedure to interfere during this cycle. Although you may not want kittens, interference could be devastating to your cat's good health.
  • Poor health – although it is always dangerous to your cat to let her undergo surgeries, it is important that your veterinarian pay close attention to your cat during this time. Although the visits will be more frequent, it is the safest way to ensure a healthy birth.

Step 6

Get your home ready. This task is more difficult than many people are led to believe.

  • This process requires making your home safe for your mother cat and designating a room in which the mother can safely give birth.
  • Check your home over for dangerous objects, unsafe areas, toxins, pesticides, unsafe animal liquids, foods or items that might be ingested, etc.
  • There is outside help that, at minimal or no cost, can help set your home. Check your local rescue organizations or pet stores for advice.

Are you prepared to have kittens? Raising kittens is financially expensive and time consuming. You will not only have to provide adequate food, but arrange areas for sleeping, playing and bathroom.

Step 7

Get your home ready. This task is more difficult than many people are led to believe.

  • This process requires making your home safe for your mother cat and designating a room in which the mother can safely give birth.
  • Check your home over for dangerous objects, unsafe areas, toxins, pesticides, unsafe animal liquids, foods or items that might be ingested, etc.
  • There is outside help that, at minimal or no cost, can help set your home. Check your local rescue organizations or pet stores for advice.

Are you prepared to have kittens? Raising kittens is financially expensive and time consuming. You will not only have to provide adequate food, but arrange areas for sleeping, playing and bathroom.


Remember, if you suspect your cat is pregnant, then visit your veterinarian. Your vet can confirm the pregnancy and provide information and instructions on how to care for your pregnant cat.

She will experience changes in appetite and will require dietary changes.

If you do not want your cat to become pregnant, then consider having her spayed. Otherwise, get ready for a large and enjoyable family!

Article provided by Pet Super Store a site featuring: pet carriers, orthopedic pet beds and pet strollers.
 

Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: