Is your cat pregnant? !! Congratulations!! You will soon enjoy the presence of a few kittens. As a general rule, cats know how to manage this stage instinctively, however, you can always help the future mother feel more comfortable knowing more about her pregnancy. How do you know that a cat is pregnant? What is the duration of pregnancy in cats? Should you change your diet? There will be many questions that come to your mind if it is the first time that you experience this situation, that is why we have compiled all the information you need to know about feline pregnancies. Keep reading!
Signs of pregnancy in cats
There are certain signs that directly tell you that an animal could be pregnant. Many are slightly similar to what we already know in humans. Particular food cravings, morning sickness, and a constantly growing belly are top. It should be noted that these symptoms separately do not necessarily mean pregnancy, but together, it is more than likely.
In addition, you will see how your cat is much more affectionate and her nipples are swollen.
When can a cat get pregnant?
Felines are extremely fertile animals. A cat that has not been neutered can give birth no more and no less than three times a year. The rutting seasons are the most sensitive time for this to happen.
At what age are cats sexually mature?
Cats can, depending on their breed, be receptive from the fourth or fifth month of life: Abyssinian, sacred Burma and Siam cats can become pregnant at this age, while for example Persians can reach seven or eight months before becoming mothers. In addition to the breed, the weight will also influence the ease of gestation.
The behavior of cats in heat
The preparation phase for mating is called “heat”. At this stage, hormones play a very important role: estrogen levels increase, ovulation approaches and the female begins to search for a cat. In cats living outdoors, it is possible to accept multiple mating partners, so kittens may look different from each other.
Loud meows and a high tail will be other symptoms that will accompany the heat. Some cats even lose their appetite during this period. Zeal usually lasts a few weeks, until a suitable mating partner is found.
How long is a cat pregnant?
It will take around two months for the hatchlings to be sufficiently developed to go out into the world. Depending on the breed, kittens will be born between 58 and 67 days of gestation. Smaller breeds may take slightly less.
If at the 70th day nothing has happened yet, you should consult a vet to examine your cat and advise you on how to continue.
Duration and stages of the gestation period in cats
Here are some guidelines for you to learn about the different stages of gestation of your feline:
Day 6: transfer of fertilized eggs to the uterus.
Day 12: settlement in the uterine wall.
Day 15: connection of the embryos with the circulatory system of the mother cat.
Day 21: the embryos can already be seen through an ultrasound.
Day 28: the embryos measure between 3-4 centimeters.
Day 38: Nerves, sensory organs, and muscles develop.
Day 50: the babies in formation are already 7 centimeters and their fur has started to grow.
Day 60: the offspring are ready to hatch. They are already complete, and measure approximately 13 centimeters.
How many kittens are born in a first litter?
The number of kittens born per litter can be variable. From one to six, everything will depend on the race and the mating (if it was with a couple or several). If the cat decides to mate again during the first three weeks of the gestation period, it is quite possible that fertilization will continue. For that reason, kittens in the same litter often vary greatly, from different fur and eyes to developmental individuals at birth.
How is the feeding during the feline’s pregnancy?
Nutrition will be an important factor during your cat’s pregnancy, as her body will change and she will need much more energy than usual. For example, an increase in daily calorie intake of 50% is recommended.
Make sure that the future mom has sufficient access to food and liquids throughout the pregnancy, providing the necessary minerals and vitamins. Food for managing cats can be obtained at any veterinary center, but if you prefer to prepare it yourself, be sure to include the elements necessary for balanced nutrition, such as protein and vitamins that your cat may require.
During the lactation period, you should also take care of your diet in the same way.
It is important that, if it is a controlled pregnancy, vaccines be administered before the gestation period, so that the antibodies are already present and can be transmitted to kittens through breast milk. The same happens with deworming: it must be done before mating, so that the little ones are not infected by milk.
You should never medicate or treat your cat without first consulting a veterinarian, as he or she will advise you on the appropriate medication for pregnant animals.
Consult with the vet
Feline pregnancy may not be easy to spot at first. If you are looking for early official confirmation, it is best to take your cat to a vet’s office. There they will examine the animal through palpation during the first days, and after day 21 after mating, an ultrasound can be performed to be able to confirm it visually. The number of final kittens can be accurately estimated from day 40.