Pregnancy in felines lasts about two months. A cat stays pregnant between 63 to 67 days, though it may be as long as 72 days. Often, a cat won’t display signs of pregnancy until two or three weeks into the term. That gives a pet owner a little more than a month to plan and prepare.
How to tell if your cat is pregnant After approximately 15-18 days of a cat pregnancy, you may notice that your pet’s nipples become enlarged and red – this is known as ‘pinking-up’. Similar to morning sickness in humans, your pregnant queen may go through a stage of vomiting.
When looking from above, you’ll see that a pregnant cat’s tummy is distended slightly more than halfway from the neck to the tail. From the side, pregnant cats will look a little swayback with a slightly round and bulging tummy. If a cat is just fat, then she’ll be fat all over including her neck and her legs.
Look for these five signs to tell if your cat is pregnant. Darkened nipples. At around three weeks, a pregnant cat’s nipples will become darker in color and enlarged. Morning sickness. Just like humans, a pregnant cat may also go through a period of being sick occasionally. Swollen belly. Nesting. Positive ultrasound.
Although the stalking courtship may have taken hours, the mating lasts but a few seconds. After the breeding is complete the tom typically skedaddles while the female has a so-called “ after reaction” where she’ll roll or thrash around like a fish out of water and clean herself.
During her pregnancy, you will want to keep your cat relatively active in order to ensure she is fit for giving birth. Avoid any excessively rowdy activity towards the end of your cat’s pregnancy, however. You will need to help her stay calm as she nears her due date, as anything too active could cause her stress.
Preparing your home for your cat to give birth The room needs to be quite warm—around 72°F—to help her feel comfortable and reduce the risk of hypothermia, and ideally needs to have 65-70% humidity. You should put together a nesting box where your queen can give birth.
Pregnant cats (called queens) can be spayed, but the decision depends on a number of factors, which you should discuss with your veterinarian and your family. Spaying a pregnant cat terminates the pregnancy, making this a controversial issue. Some people cannot bear the thought of killing fetal kittens.
Whilst it’s safe to stroke your pregnant cat, make sure that you avoid her tummy. This area will be very sensitive, and any touching there could cause her discomfort or hurt her unborn kittens. If you do have to pick your cat up, make sure to “scoop” her up from her bottom, rather than touch her stomach.
The WITNESS Relaxin Canine and Feline Pregnancy Test Kit is an easy-to-use pregnancy test using serum or plasma, at the point of care.