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Signs of cat pregnancy

Your female cat or queen, if unneutered, can fall pregnant very easily. And since they come into season, also known as ‘being in heat’ every three weeks, this gives them ample opportunity to get pregnant.

If you are not planning on having a litter of kittens, it is best to get your female cat neutered before they start to come into season for the first time. This is around 4 months old. There are so many unwanted kittens in rescue centres waiting for homes. It’s best not to add to this problem if you don’t want to keep the kittens yourself. 

However, if you are planning for your queen cat to have a litter of kittens. In that case, you might be very happy to find out your cat is pregnant. Congratulations!

How long are cats pregnant for?

Queen cats are normally pregnant for between 63 and 67 days but this can be a shorter or longer period. Not much help when you are trying to figure out when the kittens will arrive!

How to tell if a cat is pregnant

You may see both physical and temperamental changes indicating something is different with your queen cat. So, what are the cat pregnancy signs?

Physical pregnancy symptoms you might spot are:

  • Around the 15-18 day mark, a cat’s nipples start to ‘pink-up’. They become enlarged and will be redder or darker
  • Cat’s can suffer from morning sickness, just like humans. This will be around the 3-4 week mark and she may be uninterested in eating. This shouldn’t go for long and if she seems unwell in other ways, contact your vet
  • An increased appetite. If she is eating more, this is because her body needs it. It’s not always a sign of pregnancy and can be due to worms or illness. It’s best to check with your vet
  • A queen cat will gain between 1-2kg through her pregnancy. If you look at her stomach from above, you will notice a definite swelling around that area. Try not to touch her too much around her abdomen to avoid doing any damage to your cat or her unborn kittens

Behavioural and temperamental pregnancy symptoms may include:

  • Your queen could be more affectionate towards you and seeks you out for some extra love. This is because she is feeling more maternal
  • Some cats will ‘nest’ as they try to find themselves somewhere comfortable and safe to give birth. If she seems to be drawn towards a particular spot, you can get her a large box with some blankets or old towels inside to help her feel more comfortable.

If you notice that your cat has pregnancy symptoms or cat pregnancy signs, you can take her to your vet for an ultrasound. This is carried out from the 15 day onwards mark, but if she is later into her pregnancy, your vet may be able to tell you how many kittens she is expecting. It’s not fool-proof though, as larger kittens may obscure smaller ones!

At any point during your cat’s pregnancy, if you have any concerns, it is best to contact your vet for advice.

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