There are some tell tale signs that your cat is pregnant, if you know where to look. Here are the most consistent ways to tell if your fluffy is about to have a family:
- The first sign is that your cat will stop going in and out of heat. If you know her usual cycles, you can tell that she’s suddenly missed one.
- If her nipples are becoming larger and pinker (known as pinking) she’s probably a few weeks along.
- She will start getting hungrier, more often. After all, she’s eating for more than one. She will also get a little more affectionate.
- Like humans, cats can get morning sickness. This usually occurs in the third week of gestation. As such, they may not feel like eating whenever morning sickness strikes.
- About a month into the pregnancy, you’ll start to notice the abdomen getting larger.
The normal gestation period is 63 to 65 days, though your cat can go into labor as early as 60 days or as late as 70 days during their pregnancy.
While your cat is pregnant you’ll want to make sure they get proper nutrition as caring for cats is even more important during this period. A diet rich in calcium and protein is important.
If you’re not sure your cat is pregnant, don’t be tempted to squeeze the abdomen to see if there are kittens inside. This can harm the kittens and even cause a miscarriage. Only a trained professional should be performing this kind of examination.
As your cat nears her delivery date, restrict access to the outdoors in the last two weeks. Otherwise, you may end up having to fish a new litter out from under the house or the barn. The reason is simple, really. Cats like quiet places to give birth. So you’ll want to create a birthing place in your home that is away from the kids and excitement. You can put a kittening box in the area and get your cat used to sleeping there. That way she will know where to go when it’s time to give birth. An old blanket or towel will work well for a cushion in the box.
When the kittens finally arrive, don’t handle them too much. Mothers have been known to kill and eat their kittens if they don’t bond well or if they feel the kittens are being threatened by outsiders. Let them have lots of quality time together. You’ll have plenty of time to play with the new kittens in the coming weeks.
If you don’t want an additional litter, resist the temptation to let your cat go outside again too soon. Cats can get pregnant in as little as two weeks after giving birth, though eight weeks is more common. Caring for our cats is vital but also you probably don’t want another litter so soon anyway.
Remember that allowing your cat to become pregnant is a big responsibility. Not only will there be more mouths to feed, but you don’t want to be adding to the overpopulation problem by allowing a pregnancy without first knowing there are homes for the kittens. Shelters are filled with unwanted kittens. Be prepared for more work as you will now have many mouths to feed and cats to care for as fun as it will be most of the time.