So, you think Miss Fluffy might have gotten a bit frisky and you’re looking for signs a cat is pregnant. You would not be the first and not the last pet owner to welcome a surprise litter into the family if you didn’t recognise these signs or have a routine pet wellness plan. The faster you determine if your cat is pregnant, the better. Here are some signs your cat might be pregnant and what to do once a vet confirms that your cat is indeed expecting.
The Signs A Cat Is Pregnant
How to tell if your cat is pregnant? Just because your cat has a round belly does not necessarily mean it is pregnant, maybe just a bit bloated. So here are some signs a cat is pregnant for you to watch out for if your cat is indeed with kittens.
- Weight gain in a short period.
- Swollen nipples that are pink.
- Round, distended belly.
- Eating more.
- Sudden behavior changes (more or less affectionate).
- Sleeping a lot more than often, and nesting behavior (finding quiet places)
If your cat shows even one or more of these signs, you need to bring them to the veterinarian. The vet can then perform a blood test on the cat and an X-Ray or Ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy and count the number of kittens. Wagmo pet insurance and pet wellness plans can help cover these initial exams and routine blood work. However, Wagmo pet insurance will not cover any breeding, pregnancy, or birth expenses.
How To Care For A Pregnant Cat
A cat is not pregnant for very long and will give birth to her kittens between 58-67 days after conception. During this time, you can do a couple of things to make sure your momma cat stays healthy and help prepare her for her new arrivals.
Be Careful With Her
Too much handling or squeezing of a pregnant cat’s belly can lead to a miscarriage. This is another reason why getting your cat checked out by a vet the minute you think she might be pregnant is essential. Even just petting and picking her up can be dangerous. Once you confirm that your cat is pregnant, please do your best to ensure her life is as easy as possible. Give her easy access to food and her litter box and plenty of soft places for her to hang out closer to the ground.
Keep Your Cat’s Belongings Super Clean
You should ensure that her litter box is getting cleaned once or twice a day. This is to help reduce her chance of coming into contact with any harmful bacteria from her urine and stool or the urine and stool of other cats. If her litter box has a small entrance hole or requires jumping for her to access, consider setting her up with a temporary one in the meantime. A wide opening or tray litter box allows her to step right into it.
Add More Nutrients To Her Diet
A pregnant cat is potentially feeding 1-12 kittens and herself. She will need at least 25% more nutrition every day during pregnancy. This is, so the kittens arrive nice and healthy, and mom isn’t becoming weaker and weaker throughout the pregnancy. Try to resist overfeeding her. It’s best to talk to your vet about what food is best and how much you should be feeding her each day.
Create A Nesting Area For Your Pregnant Cat
Your pregnant cat will need a soft, comfortable place to give birth and watch over her little ones. She will probably begin making a nest, usually seeking a quiet and safe place in their last week of pregnancy. You can help her by using soft bedding and setting it up somewhere quiet and private for her. Ideally, this nest is entirely separate from her usual favorite spots and noisy, common areas in the home . Ensure everyone in the home respects her privacy during this time and to not invade her boundaries. Mothers can become territorial right before birth.
How To Prevent Cat Pregnancy
It is said that there are already between 60-160 feral and stray cats across the United States. So while kittens are cute and cuddly, this is probably not something you want happening regularly.
The best way to avoid your cat getting pregnant again is, of course, to get your cat spayed. This is a process where a veterinarian removes the cat’s uterus and ovaries to ensure the pregnancy is not possible. Don’t worry though, this will not affect her personality and is a safe procedure with many vets doing multiple spay and neuter procedures each day. Spaying your cat will also help protect her from different cancers as she ages.
If you are still unsure how to tell if your cat is pregnant, and are looking to know more about signs a cat is pregnant, talk to your veterinarian.
Wagmo’s Pet Wellness Plans can help cover a routine annual exam if a cat happens to be pregnant. However, it does not cover a specific appointment to see if the pet is pregnant, exams for the pregnancy, or any exam stemmings from complications or medical concerns from the pregnancy. Vaccinations and routine blood work can also be covered regardless of pregnancy.