Luckily, how to tell if a cat is pregnant usually comes down to a few common signs, such as: Noticeable weight gain in a few weeks (she’ll gain about 2 to 4 pounds in all) Swollen and pink nipples (called “pinking up,” this occurs around week three of pregnancy) Distended abdomen (noticeable around week five)
Pregnant queens (this is the name given to pregnant female cats) will gain about two to four pounds throughout the pregnancy, but the weight gain should be noticeable in just a few weeks. Change in nipples: Other than weight gain, the change in your cat’s nipples is one of the first signs of a pregnant cat.
There is a lot of extra fluid in the abdomen due to the amniotic fluid, and that in combination with the kittens will put a lot of pressure on the abdominal wall. A lot of the extra space is taken up and the skin over the belly is therefore much tighter.
Pregnant cats can gain around 1-2kg, depending on how many kittens they are carrying, which should be noticeable if you look at her body shape from above. You may be tempted to touch her belly to feel for signs of life, but you should avoid doing this too much as you could risk hurting the new mum or her babies.
During the third week of pregnancy, the kittens begin development in earnest, including their organs. Hormones begin to rage during this week and you will notice changes start to happen to your cat’s body. Their nipples will enlarge and turn pink and she will start gaining weight.
Cats can have swollen bellies for a variety of reasons. Potential causes for a cat or kitten swollen belly include organ enlargement, fluid or a mass in their belly, intestinal parasites and weight gain.
A false pregnancy — also known as a phantom pregnancy, pseudocyesis, or pseudopregnancy — occurs when a fully matured female cat displays all of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy without actually being pregnant.
Safe and effective termination of pregnancy is possible in both dogs and cats by administration of prostaglandin F 2alpha (natural hormone) at 0.1 mg/kg, SC, three times a day for 48 hours followed by 0.2 mg/kg, SC, three times a day to effect (until all fetuses are evacuated as confirmed by ultrasonography).
Telling the difference Between Male and Female Cats Based on Nipples: Since both male as well as female kittens have nipples, and because gender makes no difference to the number of nipples a cat has, one can not determine a kitten’s sex by a kitten’s nipples. What is this?
“Pinking up” of the nipples
However, a pregnant cat’s nipples will appear pinker, showing a visible contrast to how they were before. In addition to that, you may notice that the fur around your cat’s nipples will also start to recede, as it prepares her body for nursing the kittens.
Most cats would prefer to be left alone, and they definitely don’t want to be pet or touched while they are giving birth. It’s best to give your pregnant cat as much privacy as possible while also leaving yourself the ability to monitor the birthing process for any signs of issues or distress.
Week 4: The kittens’ movements in the womb can be seen on an ultrasound scan. This is also the best week for the vet to confirm pregnancy by feeling for kittens in the womb. Week 5: The kittens now take up a lot of space and the mother’s belly starts to look swollen.
Licking, pacing, howling, and chirping
You might notice your cat licking her genitalia frequently – There is a discharge from the cat’s vulva a few hours before birth starts. Your cat’s water will break as well. Now is the time for pacing, restlessness, and howling, meowing, or chirping from your cat.
Signs of Impending Labor- Nesting: A day or two before labor, your cat will seek out a quiet and safe place to have her kittens.
Behavioral Changes:1 You may notice your cat will begin restless pacing, panting, excessive grooming (especially in the area of her genitals), and excessive vocalization.
This usually occurs between the 17th and 25th days of pregnancy. During the last weeks of pregnancy, you could feel kittens moving around within your fluffy friend’s tummy. As the due day approaches, you must prepare a location for the pet to give birth.
The average litter size for cats is 4 to 6 kittens; however, adolescents, seniors, and first-timers typically have smaller-than-average litters. First-time moms usually only have 2 or 3 kittens.
The pressure on her stomach from the kittens makes it harder for her to eat much at a time, but she does need the extra food. Offer her small meals four to six times a day.
If your cat likes a good belly rub, then you know when she’s happy her stomach is soft, palpable and comfortable to your touch. However, if you notice her stomach is starting to look distended, feels firm or she acts painful, these are signs something could be wrong.
Infectious peritonitis causing hard bellies in cats
Feline infectious peritonitis, also known simply as FIP, is one of the most serious diseases which can cause a cat’s belly to swell and harden. It is a viral pathology which causes inflammation in the peritoneum, the membrane which lines the inside of the abdomen.
When held up under their front legs, their underbellies have an avocado or eggplant shape, says Hannah Shaw, founder of the non-profit Orphan Kitten Club. Healthy round bellies are soft and squishy too. However, a potbelly shape indicates a bloated belly. It may feel hard and stick out, similar to a pregnant belly.
Your cat’s labour should go smoothly, but it’s useful to have help on hand to keep her calm and in case she runs into any complications. Get hold of your vet’s out-of-hours phone number prior to your cat giving birth, as delivery often happens during the night, or they might need an emergency helping hand.
Time between delivery of kittens is usually 10 to 60 minutes and stages two and three are repeated. The birth is usually complete within six hours after the start of the second stage, but can last up to 12 hours.
And they do exist—mules, for instance, are the result of a horse and donkey mating. But creating hybrids of animals that are very genetically distinct from each other—such as a dog and a cat—is scientifically impossible, as is one species giving birth to an entirely different one.
How many kittens are in a cat’s first litter? A healthy cat’s gestational period lasts roughly 63–65 days, and queens may have an estrus cycle within four weeks of giving birth — even if they’re still nursing. A healthy queen can potentially give birth to three litters per year, each containing up to 12 kittens.