How to Tell if a Cat is Pregnant?
Cats are one of the most adorable pets around the world. They are cute, playful, and make excellent companions. If your female cat is not spayed, there is a chance she may become pregnant. Knowing how to tell if a cat is pregnant is essential to ensure that you can provide the mandatory care and prepare for the arrival of the kittens. In this article, we will discuss the physical and behavioral signs that indicate a cat is pregnant.
One of the most apparent physical signs that a cat is pregnant is an enlarged abdomen. As the kittens grow inside her, the belly of the cat will expand. This enlargement is normally visible around four weeks into the pregnancy. It is important to note that if your cat is overweight, it may be difficult to tell if she is pregnant solely by looking at her belly. You must also notice changes in her nipples. As they get ready to produce milk for the kittens, their nipples will enlarge and turn pink, a process known as pinking up.
Another physical manifestation to look out for is weight gain. A pregnant cat will gain weight as the pregnancy develops. The amount of weight gained will vary depending on the number of kittens she is carrying. If you notice that your cat has been gaining weight despite having the same diet, it may be a sign of pregnancy.
The heat cycle of a female cat is a crucial factor to consider when verifying if the cat is pregnant or not. A cat’s heat cycle usually lasts between 1-2 weeks and occurs every 2-3 weeks throughout the breeding season, which typically takes place in the spring and summer months. During the heat cycle, a female cat will become more vocal and may display more affectionate behavior than usual. She will also become more restive and may start to roll around on the ground or rub against objects in the house. Additionally, she may urinate or mark her territory more frequently during this time. If a female cat becomes pregnant during her heat cycle, her hormone levels will elevate in response to the pregnancy. The yelling and rolling will stop if she is pregnant.
Pregnant cats can vomit because of hormonal changes and alterations in eating habits. However, it’s not a reliable indicator that your cat is pregnant. If your cat is frequently vomiting with other signs as well, your furry friend could be pregnant.
Several behavior signs can indicate a cat is pregnant. These include:
Pregnant cats may become more affectionate than usual and may look for more attention from their owners. This is because pregnancy makes the cat feel vulnerable, and have a need for extra love and care.
As the pregnancy progresses, some cats may become more resistive or agitated, displaying signs of discomfort or restlessness. They may also exhibit mood swings, alternating between periods of affection and irritability. These changes in behavior could be due to hormonal fluctuations and physical discomfort associated with the growing fetus.
As the pregnancy progresses, pregnant cats may start exhibiting nesting behaviors. They may seek out cozy and secluded areas in the home, such as closets, under beds, or in corners, to create a nest for giving birth. They may gather blankets, towels, or other soft materials to make a comfortable and secure spot for their impending delivery.
Especially in the later stage of pregnancy, the cat becomes more exhausted than usual.
Some pregnant cats may become more clamorous than usual, either seeking attention or expressing discomfort.
Longer sleep periods
In the later stages of pregnancy, the queen cat will sleep more often, particularly during the daytime as the cat’s body is going through significant physical and hormonal changes and she desires more rest.
Changes in Eating Habits
A pregnant cat’s eating habits may also change. She may become more finicky about her food and prefer different types of food than she did before. This is because she needs a balanced and nutritious diet to support her growing kittens. You may also notice that she is eating more frequently than usual.
It is important to provide your cat with a portion of high-quality cat food that is specifically formulated for pregnant cats. You should also ensure that she always has access to fresh water.
If you suspect that your cat may be pregnant, it is important to take her to the veterinarian for confirmation. Here are some methods that vets can perform for pregnancy diagnosis:
- Palpation: Around two to three weeks after conception, a veterinarian can feel the progressing fetuses in a cat’s abdomen through palpation. However, this method requires a more skilled practitioner and can only be done as early as the 20th day of pregnancy.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound can verify pregnancy as early as 15 to 20 days after conception. This method is non-invasive and not harmful to the mother and kitten.
- X-ray: After 45 days of pregnancy, an X-ray can confirm the presence of fetal skeletons, which can help determine the number of kittens in the litter.
- Blood tests: A blood test can detect the hormone relaxin, which is produced during pregnancy. However, this method is less accurate than the other methods mentioned above.
Your veterinarian can also guide you how to properly care for a pregnant cat and prepare for the arrival of the kittens.
During the prenatal checkup, the veterinarian may suggest that your cat receive vaccinations and deworming treatments. These treatments are valuable to ensure that the kittens are healthy and free of any diseases. You should also discuss any concerns or questions you may have with the veterinarian.
Preparation for the arrival of the kittens
Once you have confirmed that your cat is pregnant, it’s important to start the preparation before the arrival of the kittens, by providing a secure and comfortable nesting area for kitten birth. It is also important to have a supply of clean towels, gloves, and scissors on hand to assist with the delivery of the kittens. Most importantly, make sure that your cat has access to clean water and nutritious food throughout pregnancy and while caring for her kittens.
In conclusion, knowing how to tell if a cat is pregnant is important to ensure that you can provide the necessary care and prepare for the arrival of the kittens. Physical signs such as an enlarged abdomen and nipples, weight gain, and changes in eating habits are good indicators that a cat is pregnant. Behavioral signs such as increased affection, mood swings, and vocalization can also be signs of pregnancy. If you suspect that your cat may be pregnant, it is important to seek veterinary care for confirmation and guidance on how to properly care for your pregnant cat and prepare for the arrival of the kittens. With proper care and attention, you can help your cat have a healthy and happy pregnancy.
If you and your potentially pregnant cat are located near Locust Grove, GA, Woodland Animal Hospital is here 24-hours a day, seven days a week to help you figure out if your cat is in fact pregnant, or if their symptoms are due to a different reason. Give us a call today at (770) 467-3140, or request an appointment online.