Last Updated on October 9, 2021 by Woody Pet

How can you tell if your cat is pregnant? 

Pregnancy or gestation is that stage of life where a mammal is expecting their offspring, the fruit of a previous sexual encounter between two mammals. Many say it is when the cycle of life starts all over again for other individuals.

There are multitude of changes in female mammals in expectancy. Some of them would be localized in their belly or in their behavior.

For humans, and other animals, a quick check can confirm the condition, but sometimes just looking for changes in behavior, physical changes and symptoms like from a disease (nausea for instance) can be the hint to discover a pregnant creature.

In a pregnant female cat, the changes are very similar in what you can see in other animals like dogs or even humans. You would probably be thinking: How can you tell if your cat is pregnant? And here are a number of question and answer to clarify this life stage.

How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant

How can you tell if your cat is pregnant – What to look out for

The quickest way to tell your cat is pregnant is to see its mammal glands (nipples as we know them) going pink and bigger. Pinked up nipples in pregnant female cats are more notorious than in normal cats.

However, your trusted vet would be the one that can tell you what is inside the belly of the cat to confirm if it is indeed pregnant or not.

If you can’t able to tell if your cat is pregnant, always ask to your veterinarian for answers to your doubts.

The signs and changes on behavior could probably start around the third week of pregnancy, when the nipples swell and get to a rosy pink. By the 4th to 5th week the belly would start to grow.

By the end of the pregnancy period (around 63 days more or less) the cat would start to eat a lot, and can actually stop doing it right around the queening period. 

How to tell if a cat is in labor?

Right around the 63th day (or 7 to 9 weeks period) is very close to the queening period for a female cat, the period in which female cats prepare to give birth to little kittens.

They would start to change near that moment so if you are asking how to tell if a cat is in labor.

First of all, look at their behavior. One of the things you would notice is an increase in the appetite before the time to give birth.

The thing is, that is not for long. Eventually the appetite would decrease quite a lot, to the point of your cat skipping meals or stopping to eat entirely during that time.

Another thing to look in their behavior is how it responds to you. Sometimes they would not like to play, dismiss you or changing their normal habits.

When talking about habits, some cats can actually need you more than normally do, or the other way around. 

Cats love to be clean, but when queening approaches, female cats would start to clean their genital area more than ever before. There are so many changes in their bodies that they would start to feel and to sense, and they would answer accordingly to them.

Nesting behavior finally, is one of the most notorious ways to tell if a cat is in labor. You would see them looking for a nice, comfortable and safe place to give birth. That place can be inside a closet, an empty cardboard box or even your bed. Be prepared to that moment and keep an eye in your cat.

How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant

How long does it take for a cat to give birth?

If someone asks you: How long does it take for a cat to give birth? You can answer: It depends, because not all cats are created equal. 

A female pregnant cat can be in labor for an entire day, just like women do. You would see you cat very restless and uneasy during these times. It will be some contractions during the process but getting a kitten during pushes can take up to 30 minutes.

If the time of active straining passes those 30 minutes and extends to an hour without a kitten, you should take your cat to a veterinarian right away, because it can lead to an emergency and she is pretty much in trouble. 

Another indication that your cat may need more help is when they bite its genital area, or if the cat meows loudly, cries and licks at it. Be on the look up when the labor time is coming to make the experience the less stressful for your cat.

Lots of contractions, pushes and meows later, your female cat could become a mother of a litter of so many kittens, ranging from just one to six healthy kittens.

They would grow in the upcoming weeks by taking milk from its mom, open their eyes between the 7th to 10th day and go and explore the world around them.

Their mother would be around to keep them safe and you would need to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all those cats to live in.

How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant – Conclusion

There are many behavior changes and actions your cat does that can tell you if your cat is pregnant. Most of those patterns described above would tell you, right away, that your female cat is actually expecting little kitten.

It should be a wonderful time, and a stressful one too for both you as an owner and to the cat itself.

So, try to make the environment a safe one to give your cat confidence and make her comfortable when going into labor.

If concerns should arise in any stage of your cat pregnancy, you should go ahead and ask to a professional veterinarian.

They are way more qualified than what it is described here and can help in any questions or doubts you may have during this time, and can be the ones that can deliver healthy kittens if for any reason your cat can’t actually deliver them by itself.


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