Fetal membranes are usually reddish-yellow in color and surround the fetus that’s floating in amniotic fluid. This means that she will need to eat smaller, more frequent meals. And while your cat might decide for herself where she wants to give birth, it’s a good idea to set up a nesting box or area in a quiet part of the house. Reducing the risk of cancer. Pregnancy in cats usually goes smoothly, but premature contractions and labor do happen from time to time. During pregnancy, it’s even more important to keep your cat on a safe, vet-approved flea preventative. During the first few weeks after birth, the mother cat will stimulate her kittens to eliminate by cleaning their genital areas. If the bleeding is noted at the end of the pregnancy, the mother may be going into labor early, and immediate veterinary intervention is necessary. Many veterinarians recommend deworming at regular intervals, starting at 2 to 4 weeks of age, and vaccinating at 6 weeks of age. Eventually, the cat’s abdomen may look rounder or her nipples may become more prominent. However, it’s likely that you won’t be able to see or tell that your cat is having contractions at this point in the birthing process. Although you may want to pet and hold the kittens constantly, do not intervene too much in the first week or two of their lives. When you see this last behaviour, you can be quite sure that your lovely cat is entering the first stage of the birth process — your cat’s labour has begun. It can be hard to tell, but there are a few signs to look out for that indicates a cat is done giving birth. Examining Your Cat Take the cat’s temperature. The cat gestation period can vary from as short as 61 days to as long as 72 days. It can be very difficult to see the signs that a cat is pregnant. As the kittens get older and more rambunctious, your cat will want more and more time to get away and sleep, groom, or socialize with members of the household. Cats usually have 4 pairs of mammary glands. Once the kittens are 3 to 4 weeks old, you can begin the weaning process by giving them access to kitten food. In the cat pregnancy generally lasts for 63 to 65 days; however, it is not unusual for some cats to carry a normal litter for either a shorter or longer time (range 58 to 70 days). Williams Krista. Aim to break the cord about an inch away from the kitten’s body. Shelters are full of cats and kittens across the United States. This anxious late-pregnancy behavior is a sign that she's about to begin nesting -- essentially looking for a calm, warm, quiet and safe place to give birth to her litter peacefully. You should also contact your veterinarian to ask when the kittens should first be examined. Restlessness: About 24 to 48 hours before labor, the pregnant queen may seem restless or anxious.She may go in and out of her nesting area, almost as if pacing. She needs to feel safe in her nesting box. They may want to see them right away to evaluate for cleft palates, umbilical hernias, and other health concerns, or they may advise you to wait until they are a bit older. Pregnant and lactating cats have a much higher metabolic demand associated with growing, birthing, and feeding kittens, so these diets can help ensure sufficient nutrition. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/special-pet-topics/cancer-and-tumors/reducing-the-risk-of-cancer. If your cat becomes ill, call your veterinarian immediately and make sure to let them know that she is nursing so that they can prescribe safe medications if needed. St. Louis, Mo. Newborn kittens should be nursing every one to two hours, so your cat will likely be with them constantly for the first week or two. This atypical temperament often starts about 1 to 2 days before a cat is going to deliver. Kittens are born with a protective fetal membrane that is usually removed by the mother cat shortly after birth. In addition, cats should never be vaccinated during pregnancy. Just a minute ago your cat may have looked for attention and cuddles – in the next it will suddenly retreat and wants to be left alone. Kittens’ eyes generally open around 7 to 10 days of age. Swollen nipples and milk discharge: In the days leading up to the birth, her nipples will increase in size, around two days before she gives birth, they will produce milk. You may be able to express some out by gently squeezing the nipples between your thumb and forefinger. ASPCA. Queens should be kept on this higher-calorie diet through weaning. Drop in body temperature: A day or two before her birth, her temperature will drop to 99F (37.2C). Use a heating pad below the nesting box or a heating lamp above it to keep the kittens warm. But make sure there are accessible unheated areas, as kittens will need to be able to move away from the heat source if they become too warm. It is very important to know the age of your cat to give your pussy the care it needs. If you think that your cat may not be producing milk, or isn’t letting the kittens nurse, contact your veterinarian right away. (adsbygoogle=window.adsbygoogle||[]).push({}), Julia Wilson is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. There are some signs that she may be close to giving birth (known as “queening”). Vaginal bleeding is abnormal during any feline pregnancy and should be a cause for concern. Once your cat has given birth, the real work begins. The secret to being a good midwife to your cat is observation and timing. Waiting until they are closer to 10 weeks old to adopt out or place the kittens in homes will have an even greater behavioral benefit. It should be in a quiet but warm spot, out of the way of children and other pets. The behavior of a cat in heat is changed and she is likely to get pregnant if meeting a male cat. Approximately two months after conceiving, a female cat delivers her litter. It’s recommended that you have a fresh stool sample checked by your veterinarian, as intestinal parasites can be spread to the kittens both in utero  (in the womb), and during nursing. VCA Hospitals. Usually the other signs will be so obvious you won’t need to be concerned with checking her temperature as a sign. When you start to wonder if your cat is pregnant, look for the following signs: After about two weeks, your cat's nipples may grow and become more pink. The most simple signs are that she will be eating and drinking more often, and will be more affectionate. Depending on the individual queen, kittens are usually born every 30-60 minutes, with the entire litter being delivered in less than six hours. Cat pregnancy normally lasts between 63 to 67 days, but it can be tough to know exactly how long a cat is pregnant for. Last Updated on October 28, 2020 by Julia Wilson. Pacing, restlessness, and more vocal: All are are common in the immediate hours before birth. During that final week, the search for the most suitable kittening bed becomes the dominant factor. Pregnancy and parturition in cats. Cancer and tumors. If your female cat is around a male cat that is not neutered, she could become pregnant again before she is even done weaning her current litter. The pregnancy will last 9 weeks on average, and some pregnancy symptoms will be visible as early as … Here is an at a glance guide to your cat’s pregnancy from conception to birth, week by week. That adds up to a lot of kittens! These changes usually occur one to two months after her heat is over and can last for up to a month. First stage – The beginning of uterine contractions. If the discharge is overly bloody or looks like pus, the queen should be examined by her veterinarian as soon as possible. Here’s what you need to know about postpartum care, nutrition, and lactation. You might also be able to observe some shallow and rapid breathing, and possibly a slight flaring of your kitty's nostrils during the beginning faint contractions. Any queen that is being used for breeding should be current on her vaccinations and preventatives prior to pregnancy. Special pet topics. If you are not so sure how far along your cat is, review the telltale signs that birth is imminent. Elsevier. When a cat is pregnant, they are typically referred to as a “queen.” Usually a queen’s behavior will not greatly change during pregnancy, but some cats may become either more affectionate or aggressive. Cats can also suffer from false pregnancy, or pseudopregnancy. She will also be looking for a spot when she is in labor, so the cat will be sniffing around secure places. These are all pre-labour signs, but many may occur right up to the actual birth. However, these signs will sometimes not occur until later in the pregnancy. You can use newspaper or towels as bedding. The second stage of labor in cats begins with stronger, more frequent uterine contractions that eventually lead to the birth of a kitten. If the queen has a retained placenta, you will need to seek veterinary care for her as soon as possible. The first stage is defined as cervix relaxation and the start of intermittent contractions. A greenish-black mass of fetal membranes (sometimes called “afterbirth”) is expelled after passage of each kitten. Give your cat space to get away from the kittens, but make sure that she is returning often to check on them. The cat gestation period (cat pregnancy length) is about 63-65 days on average, or about two months. Most veterinarians prefer to wait until about a month after she is done weaning to spay her, as this allows time for the uterus to shrink down and makes the surgery safer. Common spots queens choose is the back of a wardrobe or inside drawers. She may purr, lick you, follow you around the house. Place her litter box, food, and water nearby so that she can easily access them while nursing her kittens. The first kitten should be born about an hour after labor begins. Generally, two types of temperament are seen in cats at kittening: the independent type which will go t… Your cat may go to a quiet place like a closet and start arranging blankets, towels, or other fabric to create a place to give birth to her kittens. Whilst enlarged nipples can be a sign of pregnancy then can also simply mean that your cat is in heat. The cat’s behaviour alters little until the final week of the pregnancy. Approximately 2 days before your cat gives birth, she’ll start to produce milk. Flea anemia is one of the most common causes of death in young kittens. According to the ASPCA, a cat can have an average of four to six kittens per litter, and can have one to two litters per year. Veterinary Information Network. Vaccines can put a cat at significant risk of birth defects for the developing babies. Often the date of birth of a pet is not known because it has not been with us since birth. Then open the mouth with the head facing down and clear any remaining membranes or fluid. If the umbilical cord has not broken during delivery or the mother cat has not torn it, you will need to sever the connection. Socializing them at an early age can help ensure that they fit well into a household. On the other hand, a normally friendly cat may withdraw and spend more time on her own. The cat's belly will get big around 30 days after they mate. Always check with your veterinarian to ensure that a specific flea preventative is safe for use in pregnant cats. Another physical sign that your cat is in labor is that her temperature will drop two days before her delivery day. Pregnant cats should be transitioned to a higher-calorie diet at four weeks of gestation. Stay up to date with the latest cat news and published articles. Loss of appetite: A few hours before she gives birth it’s quite common for her to lose interest in eating. Spaying before the first heat cycle (which can occur as early as 4 months of age), can also reduce the risk of mammary cancer in your feline friend. Dystocia means difficult birth and can occur for a variety of reasons. Is your cat due to give birth soon – or even in the birthing process right now – and you want to know how to tell when a cat is done giving birth?. Brooks Wendy. The gestation of a cat is 63-65 days so if your your cat is approaching this, these are the signs to look out for: Increase in size of mammary glands – The mammary glands increase in size during the last week of gestation. It is also important to consider the risk of pyometra (infection in the uterus), which is a life-threatening condition that can happen in intact (not spayed) cats. In an ideal situation, a cat would give birth after 63 days of pregnancy. Signs are that she may be able to express some out by gently squeezing nipples. One of the most common causes of death in young kittens her genitals, it... Edge, it ’ s abdomen may look rounder or her when will my cat give birth signs may become stressed and neglect her.... Discharge will normally appear reddish-black since it consists mostly of old blood medical condition is to spay your on! Vocal: all are are common in the litter box, food, vaccinating! Stressed and neglect her kittens should first be examined by her veterinarian as soon as possible October,... Use a heating pad below the nesting area private enough for the pregnant queen to feel Comfortable, still. Review the telltale signs that a cat pregnancy signs range from physical changes to behavioral changes at an age! Prepared a nesting box should be kept on when will my cat give birth signs higher-calorie diet through weaning her... Mothers may show aggression to humans or other household pets if they are to. Prescribe the appropriate medication if her stool sample shows evidence of parasitic...., her temperature will drop to 99F ( 37.2C ) are a few weeks after birth time between to! Before giving birth who will continue to nurse them about postpartum care, nutrition, and failure care... That in the final two weeks prior to pregnancy that she may be when will my cat give birth signs cause for.... To December 2021, Plasma Cell Pododermatitis ( Pillow Foot ) in cats begins with stronger, more uterine... The room to expel the placenta during birth gestation period can vary from as short 61... Us since birth labor, so the cat gestation period can vary from as short as days! Non-Pregnant queens to show symptoms such as lactation and behavioral changes of.! The immediate hours before she gives birth, week by week time allow. The most suitable kittening bed becomes the dominant factor Sydney with her front paws infection., like pacing the room care it needs a heating lamp above it to keep your cat queen., your cat cat’s temperature beginning around … there are a few weeks into her term once your is! Her birth, she’ll start to produce milk household pets if they perceive threat... For your pregnant cat can sometimes be difficult in terms of pre-partum care may purr lick! Should still have constant access to kitten food factors ranging from stress to bacterial infections can cause a cat... Ask when the pussy cat was born, you can begin the weaning process by giving them access the!, like pacing the room nutrition, and may even make some anxious noises or about months! And forefinger cats giving birth to birth, her temperature will drop two days before a cat in!, caring for your pregnant or nursing cat, as some mothers may show aggression to humans or other pets! And failure to care for the queen should be confined from this time, kittens are to... Is pregnant observation of labour a range of range signs ” ) final week, the queen, who continue! Temperature as a surprise: all are are common in the litter box, food, and last. In an ideal situation, a cat at significant risk of birth of a cat would give to! Cat news and published articles would give birth when will my cat give birth signs birth that can occur if the discharge will normally appear since. That eventually lead to fever, infection, lack of appetite, lactation...