How do you know when your cat is pregnant?

Posted by Dr. Jessica on

How do you know when your cat is pregnant?

It’s the circle of life. While we all grow up learning signs of human pregnancy, symptoms of a feline pregnancy may be more elusive. Here’s what to expect if you think your feline is expecting. 

Like humans, cats have very distinct pregnancy symptoms, including: 

  • Weight gain
  • Increased appetite
  • Swollen and reddened nipples
  • Personality changes (particularly if she has become more or less affectionate)
  • Distended abdomen

Feline pregnancies last on average 65 days, although some cats will deliver as early as 58 days and some as late as 74 days. In that time a cat may experience personality changes, weight gain, increased appetite, and changes to the nipples. If an unspayed cat is experiencing any of the above symptoms, she may be pregnant however not all of these symptoms are clear indications of feline pregnancy. Exclusive indoor cats not exposed to others are not likely to be pregnant just because she may be  gaining weight or have an increased appetite. 

Since a cat’s pregnancy is so short in duration, it is best to seek vet care if you are suspicious that your cat may be pregnant, so you can appropriately care for her during her pregnancy. It is also very helpful to know how many kittens she may be expecting in case any complications arise during the birthing process. Like with humans, this can be done easily with x rays or ultrasound at a vet hospital. 

Tracking weight, appetite, and personality changes month over month is an alternative method to know if an unspayed cat in the house is pregnant.

What do I do if I think my cat is pregnant? 

Ultrasounds are the easiest way to determine if a cat is pregnant, and X-rays may be able to give insight as to how large of a litter it’ll be having. It’s also important for cats to be up-to-date on all vaccinations and treatments, like worms and fleas, so these conditions aren’t passed onto their kittens. Some medications and vaccines aren’t able to be administered to cats during pregnancy. If it might even be a possibility that a cat in the household may be pregnant, advise a veterinarian of any suspicions prior to any medical treatments or new treatments. A veterinarian will be able to provide the best and most appropriate ways to check and help to prepare a prenatal plan for the cat. 

Have more questions about cat pregnancy, or think your cat might be expecting kittens? Fuzzy’s 24/7 Live Vet Chat available for members whenever and wherever they need.

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