Pregnancy & Cats
Mama cats are pretty adept at taking care of themselves, but there’s still a few tweaks you’ll want to make to help keep them healthy and comfortable.
How To Tell If A Cat Is Pregnant
If your cat is more than four months old, she’s capable of becoming pregnant and will go in and out of heat periodically from the spring to the fall. Cats have a gestation time of only about two months, so you’re most likely to see them pregnant in the summer or fall.
A mama cat’s belly won’t get noticeably big until she’s been pregnant for about a month. Unfortunately, there’s really no good indicators until at least two weeks have passed during conception. After this time, you might notice her nipples getting larger and redder. After three weeks, she may start having morning sickness, general fatigue or an unusual reduction in appetite. Vomiting repeatedly is fairly rare and is a sign that you should take her to the vet.
You most likely won’t notice your cat is pregnant until her belly starts to swell. The vet can perform an ultrasound to verify at that point.
Care For Pregnant Cats
Fortunately, the normal pregnancy cycle for cats is fairly quick and free of serious complications.
The biggest tweak you’ll need to make is providing her with more food than usual while she’s carrying, about 50% more than she normally eats. As mentioned, she may have a brief bout of low appetite and sluggishness in the first month of pregnancy, but that will normalize in the second month. Switch to a food formulated for kittens in the final month of her pregnancy to ensure she’s getting enough protein and vitamins.
Cats don’t really need any assistance with delivery, and it will usually happen out of sight. You’ll know if she’s within a day or so of delivering if she takes a pass on her regular meals. Let mama feed the newborns as they need digestive bacteria from her system. Mom will clean up after their messes until they can walk, but you can help out by providing clean towels or blankets every 24 hours.
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