Is your female cat experiencing weight gain, prompting suspicions of potential pregnancy? Our veterinarians in Pittsboro have provided valuable insights into additional signs that may indicate cat pregnancy. Continue reading to discover more about the signs to observe and the appropriate steps to take.
Isn't My Cat Too Young to be Pregnant?
If you own an intact female cat that has not been spayed and manages to escape your home, there is a significant possibility that she might become pregnant.
Typically, female cats undergo their initial heat cycle between 4-7 months of age, signifying their physical maturity and the potential for their first litter of kittens. An unspayed female cat can enter heat every 3 weeks until she either becomes pregnant or undergoes spaying.
Without spaying, she could have as many as 4 litters of kittens annually, and each litter may consist of 4-12 kittens. Consequently, if your adult female cat, which has not been spayed, has been outdoors, she is more likely to be pregnant. Seeking veterinary care is crucial to ensure the well-being and safety of both the mother and her potential kittens.
Is My Cat Pregnant?
Below are some other signs of pregnancy in cats that you may want to look for. Note that your cat may not display all of the signs below, depending on how far along the pregnancy is.
- Becoming more affectionate
- Notable weight gain
- Pink, swollen nipples
- Distended abdomen
- Increased appetite
- Hiding more often
- May sleep more than usual
If your cat is exhibiting the symptoms above, it's time to head to the vet for an examination to confirm pregnancy and/or check for signs of any underlying health concerns that could be causing these symptoms.
How Does My Vet Diagnose If My Cat is Pregnant?
Vets can use various diagnostic tests to ascertain whether your cat is expecting a litter.
- The first thing your vet is likely to do is to palpate your cat's abdomen. This means that the vet will gently feel your cat's belly to determine whether they can detect the presence of fetuses. If your cat is more than 17 days pregnant, your vet may be able to confirm pregnancy in this manner.
- Your vet may recommend an ultrasound test to look for fetuses if your vet suspects that your cat is 14 days pregnant or more.
- If your vet believes your cat is further than 42 days into their pregnancy, they may recommend an X-ray. Digital X-rays or radiographs are considered safe and can help determine the due date and the number of kittens.
How Do I Take Care of My Pregnant Cat?
After your veterinarian has confirmed your cat's pregnancy, they will offer specific recommendations for ensuring optimal care during this crucial period. To promote a healthy and safe pregnancy, it is generally advised to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Do not squeeze or press on her belly.
- Your cat may eat as much as 25% more than normal while pregnant and nursing, so provide plenty of high-quality food.
- Clean her litter box once or twice daily.
- Ensure that her litter box is easy to access as her tummy expands and drops.
- Ensure that your cat has a cozy, clean area that she can use to give birth and care for her kittens. This spot should be warm and quiet in your home, well away from kids, other human traffic, and other pets.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.