Updated: Mar 3
If you are a cat lover or a pet lover in general, you know that it is not easy to take care of pets, especially when they are pregnant. So, if you are planning to have kittens, remember that the cat and her litter will need a lot of attention and care. You should be prepared to handle all the responsibilities it will entail.
Understanding Cat Pregnancy
Just like humans, cats also have periods of peak fertility. We all know this as being in season or heat. Your cats can be in heat at least once every three weeks, which means that there are plenty of opportunities for your cat to get pregnant.
A cat's pregnancy can also last up to 63 to 67 days. But, it can be quite difficult to know how long they are pregnant since a cat's gestation period can vary from at least 61 days to as long as 72 days. Not to mention also that your cat won't show physical symptoms of pregnancy until a few weeks into her term. You can also take her to a vet to confirm it if you want.
The Five Stages of Pregnancy
1. Fertilization - You need to first understand what age cats start going into heat. Experts say that cats usually reach maturity as early as six months of age. It can also depend on their breed because there are Oriental breeds that reach this stage at the earlier ages.
2. Early Stage - This might come as a surprise to you, but cats can also get morning sickness. This happens in the early stage of the pregnancy. For the first two weeks, your cat may eat less because of nausea. But don't worry because by the third week she'll start eating again and gain weight. In this stage, you might also be able to feel the lumps of her developing kittens.
3. Middle Stage - This is when your pregnant cat starts to get bigger. Her size will also depend on how many kittens she is carrying. If you want to know their numbers, you can go to the vet and get her an X-ray.
4. Pre-labor - You will know that your cat is about to give birth if her nipples are very visible. The pre-labor stage happens about a week before your cat will give birth. By this time, she will also be looking for a warm or safe place to create a nest for her kittens. You can help make it easier for her by placing nesting boxes in areas that she prefers. In this stage, she will also stop eating at least two days before she goes into labor.
5. Labor - This stage will be pretty obvious. Your cat will start licking her genitals and make noises of discomfort. For first-time cat mothers, she might be anxious and pace around. An hour after her labor starts, she will also give birth to her first kitten. The rest of the kittens will then come every 15 to 20 minutes until the last one is born. After the delivery, the mom cat will clean the kittens by licking them and eating the placentas for extra nutrition.
Take note of all of these things, and you won't have to worry about your cat during her pregnancy. There's also no need for you to go to a vet because you can just keep an eye on things and make sure that the delivery was successful. The kittens should also be with their mothers for at least eight weeks or twelve weeks so that they can be properly weaned. Once that's done, you can also have the option of getting your cat spayed.
If you also want to make her pregnancy as comfortable as possible, you can check us out at Instachew! We provide smart pet products that will not just make your pet's life easier, but yours as well. Browse through our list of products and make the right purchases for your soon to be mom cat!