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Pregnancy in a cat

The cats are excellent mothers and breeders. As a rule they give birth and raise their puppies without problems. Before the first year of age they have their first heat and can get pregnant if they come in contact with a male. If you have not sterilized your cat, even if it is a house cat, it is likely that during a getaway she will become pregnant. In each pregnancy the cats may have between 1 and 6 puppies and may have more than one birth a year.

Having a litter at home can be very rewarding and beautiful but we must also think about the number of abandoned animals, so it must be a decision taken responsibly. If your cat is first-time or has never taken care of puppies, this article will help you to know a little more about the pregnancy of the cats.

If you suspect that your cat is pregnant continue reading this article where you will know everything related to the gestation and delivery of the puppies. All about Pregnancy in the cat, then:

The zeal in the cat

Traditionally the cat’s zeal was produced according to the seasons and the daylight hours. However, at present domestic cats can have heat practically throughout the year. The first heat of a cat usually appears between 6 and 9 months old, depending on each cat.

During the heat the cats show themselves restless, meow stronger normal and can rub your belly against the floor tilting your hips up. It is in these days when she will attract the males of the area and she will try to go out and meet them.

If you do not want your cat to become pregnant you should avoid leaving home during these days, but rest assured that it will mew for day and night until the heat passes. You must have patience, and wait for a few days. Discover more things about the zeal of cats in the zeal of cats.

If you do not want your cat to have litters consider sterilization. During the jealousy the cat suffers, especially if the copulation does not take place finally. If you want to know more about the subject read about the advantages of sterilizing a cat.

Phases of pregnancy

Pregnancy in cats lasts approximately 2 months. Depending on each cat, it may vary between the 60 and 67 days. Many times we will not know exactly when he has conceived for that reason from the 60 day we should wait for the delivery:

  • 10 days: Nausea and vomiting may appear on the first 10 days.
  • 4ª Week: As of this moment, the belly already begins to be incipient. The embryos are one month old and measure about 5 centimeters in length and about 7 or 8 grams of weight. In the days and weeks that follow they will increase their size considerably. The nipples swell and become pinker, preparing for breastfeeding.
  • 5ª week: The cat can begin to have discomfort. Nausea may occur due to changes in your body due to pregnancy hormones.
  • 7ª and 8ª weeks: It is the final phase of pregnancy. The cat has already noticeably increased in weight and you can notice the movements of the kittens in her belly.
  • 60-67 Day: During these days the birth will happen. If the pregnancy lasts longer than 67 days go to your veterinarian. It is also convenient to touch and caress your belly gently to notice the movement of the puppies. If delivery does not occur and you do not observe movements, complications can occur.

How do I know if my cat is pregnant?

In the early stages of pregnancy it can be difficult to detect it. Also not all cats are the same, some pass the pregnancy normally and others show more obvious changes in behavior.

We must attend to changes in behavior, which can tell us the new status:

  • Loss of appetite: Eat in smaller quantities, you can ask for food and then just try it, even your favorite. It is normal and in a matter of days you will eat normally.
  • Sleep for more hours: She is more apathetic, not wanting to play. You will notice it especially if you live with more cats. Try to be alone and rest.
  • It shows more affectionate and homemade: After the encounter with the male, the cat often does not want to leave the house. It is an indication that there has been copulation, because as you will remember during the heat, your priority is to go out and meet a male. She will ask for more caresses and she will be more mimosa than usual.
  • It is more uncouth: The opposite can also happen, that your cat is more sullen and does not want to relate. Non-homemade cats or those who enter and leave freely at home may be less affectionate than before. It depends entirely on the personality of the cat and its relationship with its owner.

From the fourth week of pregnancy you will be able to notice the Physical changes produced by pregnancy:

  • Begins to notice the bulging belly.
  • The nipples become inflamed, they get bigger and they acquire a more pink tone than the usual It is an indication that they are preparing to give milk. As the weeks go by, you will notice how the breasts fill with milk and increase in size.

Preparing for childbirth

The moment of giving birth will occur from day 60 of pregnancy but as it is often difficult to determine the moment it is important to be prepared. We recommend you go to the veterinarian to do an ultrasound to the pregnant cat. This will help us to know how many puppies are on the way, if there can be complications in the delivery, etc.

Prepare the nest

To give birth the cats usually look secluded places, warm, quiet and with little light. If you have a loft or basement in your house, you may choose a corner to give birth. As a general rule they will look for a place that they like, you should observe it and choose a quiet place, away from human traffic and where the cat will spend the first days after birth as calm as possible. Some advices:

  • Prepare one cardboard box or bed with blankets or clothes. Keep in mind that it will stain blood and fluids so it is better that it is not the bed in which you sleep.
  • In the place you must have water and food. If the sandbox is very far away, for example if you have given birth in the attic take it to that area the first days. Many cats do not want to separate from their puppies, especially if there are many people around the house.
  • Ideally, you have a place prepared for the moment of giving birth and for the first days and then you can move them to another place. Keep in mind that the Kittens are born with closed eyes so you should not expose them to light sources. It is better that they remain in dimly lit places until they have opened their eyes. In the first moments avoid also taking pictures with flash from very close; acts like that can damage your eyes in the first days of life.

Symptoms that the moment has arrived

There are several indications that can indicate that your cat will give birth in the next hours:

  • Behavior changes: The cat is uneasy, she lies down and lifts continuously. He licks his genitals and changes his posture as if he were not comfortable.
  • Fast: Hours before the birth, they will not eat food. This prevents vomiting during contractions.
  • Warn you: Many cats when the moment approaches are looking for their owner and meow calling their attention. You may want to go with her to the place chosen to give birth. It depends on the relationship you have with your cat, in other cases she will retire alone, without warning. You must respect it, especially if it is your first birth.
  • Contractions: The contractions will repeat every few minutes. Small spasms are observed in the belly.
  • Ejection of the mucous plug: The expulsion of a whitish or yellowish mucosa through the vulva occurs. It is an indication that labor is imminent.
  • Lower body temperature: Your body temperature drops before delivery to below 39ºC.


The cats usually have their puppies without difficulties. After the expulsion of the mucous plug, it may take minutes or hours before the first puppy leaves. However, it will not hurt to prepare the telephone number of the emergency veterinarian if we have decided to give birth in our home.

La mother helps the puppies to go out, lick them and remove the remains of blood and placenta. With the teeth cut the umbilical cord of each puppy.

Normally they pass several minutes between the exit of one puppy and the next but sometimes they can all leave in a row. In this case and if you notice that the mother is very tired and can not take care of all the puppies, you can help her. With a damp towel, clean the puppy with soft caresses. It is better for the mother to cut the cord, but if it is not, you can tie two cords at two points on the umbilical cord, separated from the belly of the puppy, and carefully cut with a disinfected scissors.

After all the puppies have left the cat will expel the placenta. If not, it can cause an infection. As soon as it is expelled, the cat will eat it, it is normal and also provides many nutrients after childbirth.

Sometimes a cat It can take a whole night in giving birth to all their puppies. They can spend hours between one and the other. It is better to leave her quiet during those hours and from time to time you can supervise to see that everything goes well.

If after all night or all day you notice that you still have a puppy inside but it seems that you have finished giving birth to your veterinarian. Sometimes they can give birth to dead puppies and may take time to be expelled.

The puppies

As soon as the puppies are born they will look for the nipples from his mother for his first meal. If you are present, you can bring them closer so they can breastfeed. It is better that in these first hours you do not take the puppies, take pictures or move them. There will be time to play with them when they are older, think that the cat I could reject them.

The first shots are very important since the female in the days after the birth produces the colostrum, a special milk loaded with nutrients and antibodies that will protect the puppies.

Many cats they can be unruly if someone touches their puppies With you, your human companion is normal to feel comfortable but it is better than people visiting or who do not know the cat, do not catch or enter the space of the cat during the first days.

The relationship you have with your cat will be reinforced during these days. The cats are excellent mothers and you can enjoy it and the puppies in a few days.

The puppies at birth they can not see or hearThey are very delicate and will not leave their mother and siblings to keep warm. From the first week of life or a week and a half, they will begin to open their eyes. Your view will gradually improve and the 10 weeks will see perfectly.

If problems arise with the mother, reject them or for any other reason you want to know more about the care of the puppies during their first months of life reads care for cats of a month

Anyway cats will take care of the puppies, you just have to supervise that everything goes well. In a few weeks you will have your puppies running around the house and begin weaning over the 3 weeks of life.

Special care of the mother

During pregnancy the cats must maintain a balance diet similar to the rest of the year but increasing 25-35% its quantity especially from the middle of pregnancy. There are specialized feed for pregnant cats that will provide the necessary nutrients. It is advisable to always have food because in certain phases of pregnancy they tend to eat little or vomit.

During the breastfeeding period The contribution of calories, proteins and calcium should be higher. The cats store a quantity of fat that will be used after childbirth to nurse their puppies. You can give during this period vitamin supplements. Consult your veterinarian on which is the most convenient. Although if your cat was at her ideal weight before becoming pregnant, she should not have problems to get her offspring forward.

The weaning will take place about 3 weeks after the birth of the puppies.


Deworming It’s very important throughout your cat’s life but especially during pregnancy. You must make sure that your cat is clean of parasites both internally and externally. Otherwise, complications can occur during pregnancy and the transmission of puppies at birth. In a very young cat, internal parasites can be very dangerous to your health.

If you want to know more about the subject, read deworming in cats and discover how to protect your cat from parasites.

If you want to read more articles similar to Pregnancy in a cat, we recommend that you enter in our section of Gestation.

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