HOW LONG ARE CATS PREGNANT FOR?
What age can cats get pregnant?
A cat can reach sexual maturity and get pregnant at just four months.
The little kitten you just brought home can be a mama overnight. If maintaining a house full of cats is something you don't want, you should think about having them neutered or spayed. The optimal age to neuter or spade your cat is between 4 to 5 months after completing their primary vaccinations, the approximate time the cat reaches sexual maturity.
What are Pregnant Cats called?
A pregnant mama cat is known as a queen.
How can you tell if your cat is pregnant?
Some of the most common symptoms of a cat pregnancy include:
Vomiting – Cats go through a vomiting stage, similar to morning sickness in humans. Remember, just because your cat is vomiting does not mean they are pregnant. However, vomiting could be a sign of a more significant problem.
Darkening of the nipples - is one of the earlier signs of pregnancy. Around 15-18 days into the pregnancy, your cat's nipples will start becoming enlarged and red.
Increased affection - Pregnant cats may act more maternal as their instincts hit overdrive. As a result, they may seem extra affectionate, purrs more than usual, and seeks more attention from their owners.
Nesting – If your cat starts disappearing, only to be found in the quietest, most isolated parts of the house, they're probably in the late stages of pregnancy and about to give birth.
Increase in sleeping – Many pregnant cats will sleep for more hours in a day than before pregnancy.
Weight gain - A pregnant cat will generally gain a half to one pound of weight, depending on the number of kittens. It's not always easy to notice such a small weight gain, so don't be tempted to rub at your cat's stomach.
Heat cycles cease – If your cat has been going through heat cycles every ten days to 2 weeks, then suddenly stops, most likely they are pregnant.
Increased appetite – Cats tend to have an increased appetite later in their pregnancy, contributing to their weight gain.
What should you feed a Pregnant Cat?
Pregnant cats have different nutritional needs, but it does not need to be very complicated. A high-quality kitten food formula will provide the mama cat with all the nutrients she needs during pregnancy.
Start introducing the food into her diet as soon as she mates or as soon as you learn she may be pregnant. Continue this diet until a few weeks after she gives birth.
Because cats as young as four months old can become pregnant, there may be a chance they are already on this diet.
Provide her with more frequent meals. Because of the growing fetuses, there will be less room in her stomach. She will eat smaller amounts and eat more frequently. She will have a higher metabolic demand; due to growing kittens and feeding her kittens (lactating) after birth.
Health Considerations for Pregnant Cats?
When a cat is confirmed to be pregnant, there are a few things you should be aware of; such as:
Vaginal Bleeding – Bleeding is abnormal during pregnancy and should be a cause for concern. If you see bleeding during the early stages of pregnancy or middle stages, it's likely a miscarriage. Suppose your cat is bleeding at the end of the pregnancy. In that case, they may be going into labor early, and immediate veterinary intervention is necessary.
Parasites – Parasites can be spread from the mother to the kittens while in the womb and during nursing. It's strongly recommended you take your cat for a "fecal test" to check for parasites. Do not use over-the-counter dewormers if the stool sample shows a parasitic infection, as some could be dangerous for the kittens. Your veterinarian will administer the correct medication.
Flea anemia - Flea anemia is one of the most common causes of death in young kittens. It's essential to keep your cat on a safe vet-approved flea preventative.
Vaccines - Vaccines can put kittens at significant risk of congenital disabilities. Because of this, do not vaccinate your cat during pregnancy.
How Long Should Vaginal Discharge Last After a Cat Gives Birth?
Vaginal discharge may last for up to three weeks after birth. After that, the release will usually appear reddish-black. If the discharge is overly bloody or looks like pus, a veterinarian should examine mama as soon as possible.
How often should new born kittens be nursing?
Newborn kittens nurse every one to two hours. The mama cat will likely be with her kittens constantly for the first week or two; after that, the mother will start to venture out more. Keep in mind that kittens less than four weeks of age cannot eat solid food, whether it's dry or canned. If you think your cat may not produce milk or isn't letting the kitten's nurse, contact your veterinarian. Suppose the mother is not around or not producing milk. In that case, you can feed your newborn kitten a healthy substitute called kitten milk replacer. You must avoid feeding a kitten the same milk that humans consume.
When can I handle the new born kittens?
Avoid handling the kittens during the first week or two of their lives. Kittens are very susceptible to disease during this time. It can also be stressful for mama and her babies.
While this is not an all-inclusive guide, it should have answered many questions regarding mama's cat during her pregnancy. Also, please give some consideration to neutering or spaying your pet. And may I say, if your cat is pregnant, congratulations.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.