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How Do I Know If My Cat Is Pregnant?

(April 20, 2010)

A pregnant cat will show changes both in personality and physical appearance about three weeks after breeding. The gestation period is between 63-65 days. However, this differs with each cat and the period could be between 60-70 days.

Indications that your cat may be pregnant include:-
  • Change in nipples: After a month her nipples will swell and become pinker in color. This is the first physical sign of pregnancy and is called “pinking”.
  • Abdominal enlargement: By around the fourth week, her abdomen will swell and she will start gaining weight. This will continue till the pregnancy ends.
  • Heat cycles cease: If the heat cycles your cat has been experiencing suddenly stop, it could be a sign of pregnancy
  • Increased appetite: A pregnant cat will show an increase in appetite.
  • Possible vomiting: Pregnant cats may also experience morning sickness. If this persists, do contact your vet.
  • Personality changes: Your cat may become even more affectionate at this time. Another clue is when your cat shows signs of nesting. She will try to get into secluded places like cupboards and closets to find a place to deliver her litter.
A vet will be able to palpitate the abdomen to determine pregnancy (and feel the kittens) after 3-4 weeks. Do not try to do this yourself as you could damage the kittens and cause a miscarriage. An ultrasound can also detect pregnancy.

A pregnant cat needs a great deal of care. Ensure that she gets a nutritious diet. Do not overfeed her as this coupled with excessive weight gain can complicate labor. Protect her from insects and mites and see that she does not get any allergies or food poisoning during this time. Keep her away from filth, dirt as they are serious threats to the fetuses. Speak to your vet before giving any medication as some cause abortions or even birth defects. Worming medicine should be avoided altogether. Make sure that your cat is adequately protected against conditions like panleukopenia, better known as feline infectious enteritis or FIE, as this can cause severe damage to the brains of the unborn kittens. Ideally any and all vaccinations should be administered prior to the pregnancy, but never while the cat is pregnant. You should even avoid getting other cats in the same house vaccinated while one cat is pregnant as the live worms in the vaccines can lead to harmful effects in the pregnant cat. Follow the above points to ensure that your cat has a healthy pregnancy.
Submitted by N M on April 20, 2010 at 11:36


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