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.
The cat’s belly will get big around 30 days after they mate. Another symptom that appears as the pregnancy continues, 2 to 3 weeks after they conceive, is their nipples enlarge and redden (also called “pinking up”).
When looking from above, you’ll see that a pregnant cat’s tummy is distended slightly more than halfway from the neck to the tail. From the side, pregnant cats will look a little swayback with a slightly round and bulging tummy. If a cat is just fat, then she’ll be fat all over including her neck and her legs.
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.
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.
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)
By palpating and gently pushing on your pregnant cat’s tummy, your veterinarian may be able to feel the fetuses. 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.
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.
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.
“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.
Whilst it’s safe to stroke your pregnant cat, make sure that you avoid her tummy. This area will be very sensitive, and any touching there could cause her discomfort or hurt her unborn kittens. If you do have to pick your cat up, make sure to “scoop” her up from her bottom, rather than touch her stomach.
A cat with a heavy worm burden (which means that they have a lot of worms), tends to have a potbelly but little fat cover over the spine or pelvis. A typical potbelly looks like a swollen tummy, round and full, and often the swelling is carried down low on the cat’s body (the cat may even look pregnant).
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.
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?
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.
Causes of False Pregnancy in Cats- Cancer of the mammary gland or uterus.
Infection of the uterus.
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.
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.
So how can cats sense pregnancy before you know? Most likely, their refined sense of smell and their ability to detect the changes in your body temperature and in your movements, habits, and behavior during pregnancy clue them into what’s going on.
Preparing for Your Cat to Give Birth
Make sure that this birthing box is large enough for your cat and her litter to be comfortable in, but also tall enough to prevent any curious kittens from making an escape! Keep the nest in a warm place and line it with soft blankets or towels (that you won’t mind throwing away).
Yes, it is normal for pregnant cats to sleep a lot.
It could be a sign of cat pregnancy if you notice changes in your cat’s look or behavior, such as weight increase or napping more than usual. What is this? You can always take your cat to the clinic if you see any of these changes in his or her behavior.
In cats, pregnancy lasts for 56 to 79 days, or approximately 9 weeks. Pregnancy is determined by feeling (palpating) the developing kittens in the abdomen or by radiography (x-ray) and/or ultrasonography (ultrasound).
Weeks 8 to 9: Giving birth
Gestation in cats usually lasts between 63 and 67 days, but it can be a few days shorter or longer. To get ready for the big day, at the start of week 8, you can prepare a “nest” in a quiet spot where your cat can take refuge when she is ready to deliver her kittens.