If the mother cat fails to remove the fetal membrane within the first minute after birth, you will need to break the sac and wipe away any fluid from the kitten’s nose. Here’s what you need to know about providing the right food for a pregnant cat. She will also clean up after them, so there is no need to add a litter box specifically for the kittens during their early days. They should still have constant access to the queen, who will continue to nurse them. Cancer and tumors. Give your cat space to get away from the kittens, but make sure that she is returning often to check on them. If she stops eating and appears … The cat gestation period can vary from as short as 61 days to as long as 72 days. Purina says your cat will likely not show cat pregnancy symptoms until she is at least two or three weeks into her pregnancy. When the initial symptoms of labor appear, the kittens might not arrive for another 12 to 36 hours. Milk production – Around two days before she gives birth… Once your cat has given birth, the real work begins. Always check with your veterinarian to ensure that a specific flea preventative is safe for use in pregnant cats. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/pregnancy-and-parturition-in-cats, Featured Image: iStock.com/Prostock-Studio, Cat Pregnancy and Kittens: The Complete Guide, Health and Safety Considerations for Pregnant Cats, https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics, https://www.merckvetmanual.com/special-pet-topics/cancer-and-tumors/reducing-the-risk-of-cancer, https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952101, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/pregnancy-and-parturition-in-cats. She should be provided with food and water at all times, however. Flea anemia is one of the most common causes of death in young kittens. Here are some tips for caring for your cat’s kittens safely. You can use newspaper or towels as bedding. Once a cat is confirmed to be pregnant, there are a few things that a pet parent needs to be aware of and consider. It should be mentioned that in the final two weeks before delivery, she should be left alone if that is what she wants. Restlessness: About 24 to 48 hours before labor, the pregnant queen may seem restless or anxious.She may go in and out of her nesting area, almost as if pacing. Use caution when approaching the kittens, as some mothers may show aggression to humans or other household pets if they perceive a threat. Kittens should NOT be taken away from their mother and go to their new homes too quickly, as they learn very important social rules and behavior from their mother and siblings. Special pet topics. Pregnant cats have different nutritional needs. This guide has everything you need to know about cat pregnancy and birth, including how to tell if a cat is pregnant, how long cats are pregnant for, nutritional needs, stages of cat labor, and how to care for the newborn kittens. They may want to see them right away to evaluate for cleft palates, umbilical hernias, and other health concerns, or they may advise you to wait until they are a bit older. At this point, if the queen will allow it, it’s a good idea to get the kittens used to your presence. Signs to watch for include: Listlessness or restlessness, looking for a place to hide (show her the nest) The best way to prevent this serious and expensive medical condition is to spay your cat. The three stages of birth Sometimes it’s so hard to tell that a cat is pregnant that you don’t know until you’ve got a litter of kittens. Do NOT use over-the-counter dewormers on your pregnant or nursing cat, as some of these could be dangerous. It’s recommended that you have a fresh stool sample checked by your veterinarian, as intestinal parasites can be spread to the kittens both in utero  (in the womb), and during nursing. She may rest in her nesting box and knead with her front paws. There are a few clues that you may notice, too. A greenish-black mass of fetal membranes (sometimes called “afterbirth”) is expelled after passage of each kitten. Usually the other signs will be so obvious you won’t need to be concerned with checking her temperature as a sign. Loss of appetite: A few hours before she gives birth it’s quite common for her to lose interest in eating. Merck Veterinary Manual. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/special-pet-topics/cancer-and-tumors/reducing-the-risk-of-cancer. Animal homelessness, shelter intake and surrender. Williams Krista. The pregnancy will last 9 weeks on average, and some pregnancy symptoms will be visible as early as … The behavior of a cat in heat is changed and she is likely to get pregnant if meeting a male cat. But make sure there are accessible unheated areas, as kittens will need to be able to move away from the heat source if they become too warm. However, factors ranging from stress to bacterial infections can cause a pregnant cat to go into labor too early. If you do not know when the pussy cat was born, you have to approximately calculate the cat's age through certain observations. However, for some breeds (the Siamese for example) this may be a day or so longer. During that final week, the search for the most suitable kittening bed becomes the dominant factor. Common spots queens choose is the back of a wardrobe or inside drawers. For many people, finding out that their cat is pregnant comes as a surprise. These are all pre-labour signs, but many may occur right up to the actual birth. Newborn kittens should be nursing every one to two hours, so your cat will likely be with them constantly for the first week or two. The gestation period of a cat is 63-65 days. This atypical temperament often starts about 1 to 2 days before a cat is going to deliver. After your cat has given birth, mum will normally bite through the umbilical cord, but your help might be needed again if she doesn't. If you notice that one of your kittens is smaller or has less energy than the others, consult your veterinarian. Nesting: A day or two before labor, your cat will seek out a quiet and safe place to have her kittens. Queens should be kept on this higher-calorie diet through weaning. If you are in this situation, have your male cat neutered as soon as you know your female is pregnant, or keep your female cat confined so that another pregnancy is not possible before she can be spayed. Your veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate medication if her stool sample shows evidence of parasitic infection. At this age, you also can put out a small litter pan with a thin layer of litter. She will start nesting: Seeking out a quiet and safe spot for her to deliver her kittens. Subsequent kittens should come every 15 to 20 minutes thereafter, until she’s done giving birth. Cat Themed Official Days – January to December 2021, Plasma Cell Pododermatitis (Pillow Foot) in Cats. Once the kittens are 3 to 4 weeks old, you can begin the weaning process by giving them access to kitten food. When a cat is pregnant, they are typically referred to as a “queen.” Usually a queen’s behavior will not greatly change during pregnancy, but some cats may become either more affectionate or aggressive. However, these signs will sometimes not occur until later in the pregnancy. During this stage, you can expect your cat to: Her body temperature will also decrease to 99°F or less when she is 12-36 hours from the start of full contractions. Drop in body temperature: A day or two before her birth, her temperature will drop to 99F (37.2C). She enjoys photography, gardening and running in her spare time. According to the ASPCA, a cat can have an average of four to six kittens per litter, and can have one to two litters per year. Your cat will show typical signs during the gestation period that are often comparative to those indicating human pregnancy, such as frequent sickness and mood swings. Most queens will wean their kittens by 5 to 6 weeks of age. Pregnant cats should be transitioned to a higher-calorie diet at four weeks of gestation. Kittens’ eyes generally open around 7 to 10 days of age. The average number of days a cat (known as a queen) is pregnant is 63 (or 9 weeks), but birth can occur anywhere between the 60th and 70th day. The cat's belly will get big around 30 days after they mate. Keeping your cat flea-free isn’t just for their safety, but for the safety of their kittens. Although you may want to pet and hold the kittens constantly, do not intervene too much in the first week or two of their lives. Giving birth to kittens. Your cat should be kept on a higher calorie (pregnancy or kitten) diet for as long as she is lactating (nursing her kittens). The first kitten should be born about an hour after labor begins. Small Animal Internal Medicine. Aim to break the cord about an inch away from the kitten’s body. A pregnant cat may express her anxiety by pacing frequently. This means that she will need to eat smaller, more frequent meals. Keep the nesting area private enough for the pregnant queen to feel comfortable, yet still accessible so you can monitor any possible complications. Watch for “poor doers” or the “runts of the litter” (kittens who are much smaller and not growing as quickly as their littermates), as they could have underlying health conditions affecting their ability to grow. During the first few weeks after birth, the mother cat will stimulate her kittens to eliminate by cleaning their genital areas. Do NOT move or distract your cat during the birthing process because she may stop labor and begin again the next day if she feels stressed. Nesting Activities: As the birth gets closer, your pregnant cat may seek out quiet, private places for the birth to take place.This typically begins up to two days prior to labor, but it may only begin a few hours prior. She needs to feel safe in her nesting box. A cat's delivery is a moment of joy and excitement, because soon a few playful animals will come to the world and probably become great pets, always considering that labor has been sought, and not because of an accident. Tear it with your first two fingers and thumb, but be careful not to pull on the cord, as this may cause damage to the kitten’s organs. Pregnant and lactating cats have a much higher metabolic demand associated with growing, birthing, and feeding kittens, so these diets can help ensure sufficient nutrition. It’s believed to be caused by hormonal imbalances that allow non-pregnant queens to show symptoms such as lactation and behavioral changes. Depending on the individual queen, kittens are usually born every 30-60 minutes, with the entire litter being delivered in less than six hours. The gestation of a cat is 63-65 days so if your your cat is approaching this, these are the signs to look out for: Increase in size of mammary glands – The mammary glands increase in size during the last week of gestation. You can mix dry kibble with water (and let it soak to make the kibbles softer) or canned kitten food to make it easier for them to eat. It can be very difficult to see the signs that a cat is pregnant. If the umbilical cord has not broken during delivery or the mother cat has not torn it, you will need to sever the connection. (adsbygoogle=window.adsbygoogle||[]).push({}), Julia Wilson is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. If there is too much commotion around her, she may become stressed and neglect her kittens. If you notice nesting behavior and you hadn’t previously realized your cat was pregnant, take your cat to … Nelson RW, Couto CG. The average number of days a cat (known as a queen) is pregnant is 63 (or 9 weeks), but birth can occur anywhere between the 60th and 70th day. Just a minute ago your cat may have looked for attention and cuddles – in the next it will suddenly retreat and wants to be left alone. Dystocia means difficult birth and can occur for a variety of reasons. You can use a timer to keep track of the time between kittens to make sure there isn’t a problem. Cat pregnancy normally lasts between 63 to 67 days, but it can be tough to know exactly how long a cat is pregnant for. Your cat might lick it off or she could just let it dry up and you’ll notice that her nipples will have small whitish scabs on them. Signs of Impending Labor The duration of a cat pregnancy is roughly 60 days, give or take five days. While cats tend to be pretty self-sufficient, there are still some important things to consider during your cat’s pregnancy and birth. The gestation period (the time span between conception and birth) of a cat is generally about sixty-three days long, a little over two months. Pregnancy in cats usually goes smoothly, but premature contractions and labor do happen from time to time. It should be in a quiet but warm spot, out of the way of children and other pets. Click below to jump to a specific section: How to Make Your Cat Comfortable for Giving Birth. Over the next few weeks, they will rely more and more on kitten food rather than nursing. What are the signs that a cat is about to give birth? Your cat (queen) often won’t show any physical symptoms of pregnancy until she is a few weeks into her term. Vaginal discharge may last for up to three weeks after the kittens are born. Approximately 2 days before your cat gives birth, she’ll start to produce milk. Any queen that is being used for breeding should be current on her vaccinations and preventatives prior to pregnancy. Socializing them at an early age can help ensure that they fit well into a household. And while your cat might decide for herself where she wants to give birth, it’s a good idea to set up a nesting box or area in a quiet part of the house. Colostrum is the first milk that the mother cat produces for her kittens. Veterinary Information Network. Most kittens will naturally scratch in the litter and learn to relieve themselves in the litter box. The cat gestation period (cat pregnancy length) is about 63-65 days on average, or about two months. Spaying before the first heat cycle (which can occur as early as 4 months of age), can also reduce the risk of mammary cancer in your feline friend. Here is an at a glance guide to your cat’s pregnancy from conception to birth, week by week. Vaccines can put a cat at significant risk of birth defects for the developing babies. You should also contact your veterinarian to ask when the kittens should first be examined. Swollen nipples and milk discharge: In the days leading up to the birth, her nipples will increase in size, around two days before she gives birth, they will produce milk. Cat pregnancy signs range from physical changes to behavioral changes. For these reasons, caring for your pregnant cat can sometimes be difficult in terms of pre-partum care. If your cat becomes ill, call your veterinarian immediately and make sure to let them know that she is nursing so that they can prescribe safe medications if needed. She may purr, lick you, follow you around the house. It is imperative that the kittens receive an adequate amount of colostrum because it contains vital nutrients and immunoglobulins that are necessary for proper immune system maturation. Avoid giving medications and vaccines while your cat is nursing. The first sign of labor for cats giving birth to kittens is restlessness with some growling or rhythmic purring. It is also important to consider the risk of pyometra (infection in the uterus), which is a life-threatening condition that can happen in intact (not spayed) cats. Often the date of birth of a pet is not known because it has not been with us since birth. Her personality may change: Often queens become quite clingy and affectionate with their owner right before labour. Is It Better Than Dehydrated Dog Food. She will also be looking for a spot when she is in labor, so the cat will be sniffing around secure places. The mother and her kittens should be kept in a quiet, low-traffic area of the house. Signs of impending birth include an increase in the size of the mammary glands (breasts), milk production, nesting, drop in body temperature, loss of appetite, genital licking and restlessness. VCA Hospitals. If the mother is having strong contractions and has been straining for more than 60 minutes without birthing a kitten, she should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. The third—and final—stage of labor is the passage of the placenta. Kittens are born with a protective fetal membrane that is usually removed by the mother cat shortly after birth. It is best to watch your cat from a distance, taking care not to disturb her or make her anxious. Checking a cat’s temperature beginning around … A final word to the wise: pregnant cats typically stop eating approximately 24 hours before giving birth, and their temperature drops below 100 F – if you notice these last two pregnant cat symptoms, you’re well on your way to meeting your cat’s fur babies! The most definitive ways to confirm pregnancy include a blood test, ultrasound, x-rays or abdominal palpation. During the later stages of your cat’s pregnancy, your cat may start becoming more unfriendly and grumpy , especially with other household pets or people. Kittens are unable to regulate their own body temperature until they are 3 to 4 weeks old. Full author bio Contact Julia, (adsbygoogle=window.adsbygoogle||[]).push({}), About   Privacy policy   Disclaimer   Linking policy   FAQ   Contact   Sitemap Copyright © Cat-World.com - All Rights Reserved. St. Louis, Mo. You may be able to express some out by gently squeezing the nipples between your thumb and forefinger. Eventually, the cat’s abdomen may look rounder or her nipples may become more prominent. It can be hard to tell, but there are a few signs to look out for that indicates a cat is done giving birth. https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics. They may have even thought that their cat was just getting a little round from extra snacks. Keep an eye on Kitty, but bother her as little as possible. If your female cat is around a male cat that is not neutered, she could become pregnant again before she is even done weaning her current litter. Pet statistics. It is very important to know the age of your cat to give your pussy the care it needs. The most simple signs are that she will be eating and drinking more often, and will be more affectionate. If the discharge is overly bloody or looks like pus, the queen should be examined by her veterinarian as soon as possible. To help with the serious problem of overpopulation, talk to your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your cat. You should have food and fresh water available to her at all times. You may notice some cream colored thick secretions coming out of her nipples. In addition, cats should never be vaccinated during pregnancy. They may also start showing other signs of being ready, like pacing the room. https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952101, 5. Going into labor is generally known as Stage 1, and will last between 12 and 24 hours. If you are not so sure how far along your cat is, review the telltale signs that birth is imminent. Reducing the risk of cancer. Many veterinarians recommend deworming at regular intervals, starting at 2 to 4 weeks of age, and vaccinating at 6 weeks of age. 2. When you see this last behaviour, you can be quite sure that your lovely cat is entering the first stage of the birth process — your cat’s labour has begun. 5th edition. Bella: As labor becomes imminent, your cat will start licking her genitals, and may even make some anxious noises. Many cats have a favourite person, and they can check up on her, but now is not the time to let children or strangers come and pester her unless that is what she is happy with. Around 35 days a pregnant cat’s nipples will often turn bright pink and may express milky fluid. If you notice that you are having a hard time locating your cat, it's probably because she's on her search for the perfect spot. Pacing, restlessness, and more vocal: All are are common in the immediate hours before birth. On the other hand, a normally friendly cat may withdraw and spend more time on her own. Retained placenta is a condition that can occur if the mother cat fails to expel the placenta during birth. Your cat may go to a quiet place like a closet and start arranging blankets, towels, or other fabric to create a place to give birth to her kittens. Waiting until they are closer to 10 weeks old to adopt out or place the kittens in homes will have an even greater behavioral benefit. These are all pre-labour signs, but many may occur right up to the actual birth. Keep in mind that because of the growing fetuses, there will also be less room in your cat’s stomach. In the cat pregnancy generally lasts for 63 to 65 days; however, it is not unusual for some cats to carry a normal litter for either a shorter or longer time (range 58 to 70 days). Use a heating pad below the nesting box or a heating lamp above it to keep the kittens warm. There are some signs that she may be close to giving birth (known as “queening”). During pregnancy, it’s even more important to keep your cat on a safe, vet-approved flea preventative. Pregnant cats are very independent and will usually find their own quiet area to nest before giving birth. The most popular answer that has been given is that when your cat will give birth it will start meowing, but not at their regular tone and pitch. You’ll notice a very distinct sound to it, and this will give you the biggest heads up. They should never be separated from their mother if they are younger than 8 weeks old. Signs That Your Cat Is Going to Give Birth:A pregnant cat is generally pretty self-sufficient and knows what she needs to do to give birth to her kittens.But knowing what to expect as an owner will help you spot any problems before they start and get vets assistance if something does occur that the cat can’t deal with. Another physical sign that your cat is in labor is that her temperature will drop two days before her delivery day. Second stage – Contractions become stronger until she delivers her kitten. 1. If you think that your cat may not be producing milk, or isn’t letting the kittens nurse, contact your veterinarian right away. A nesting box should be provided for the queen two weeks prior to delivery so she can settle in. You might also be able to observe some shallow and rapid breathing, and possibly a slight flaring of your kitty's nostrils during the beginning faint contractions. If the queen has a retained placenta, you will need to seek veterinary care for her as soon as possible. The cat’s behaviour alters little until the final week of the pregnancy. Fetal membranes are usually reddish-yellow in color and surround the fetus that’s floating in amniotic fluid. Pregnant cats can have four to six kittens in a litter. Is your cat due to give birth soon – or even in the birthing process right now – and you want to know how to tell when a cat is done giving birth?. 4. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. You can use a large cardboard box with low sides, making it easy for your cat to step in and out, or simply put down soft, clean bedding. 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