In 2020, I became a father.
Well, let me explain. My partner’s cat had given birth to a litter of four kittens and I adopted one of her kittens as my own. As many pet owners can attest, raising an animal can be very stressful and often times very difficult. However, the payoff of having a new member added to the family can make the work of raising a pet worth it.
If you are ever in a situation like myself where your cat is about to have kittens, let this article be a helpful guide.
If you suspect your pet to be pregnant, be sure to bring them to a vet for a proper assessment and ensure that your cat is indeed pregnant. They will be suited to answer any questions you may have about your furry family member.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant
Though not all cats experience the same signs, if your cat is experiencing some (or all) of these physical and behavioural changes there may be a chance they’re pregnant.
Heat cycle will end – If you have a female cat, I’m sure you’re familiar with their heat cycle (when your female cat is ready to be sexually active). They meow endlessly throughout the night, will roll around the floor and spread their scent everywhere, and may act more affectionate to you and other family members. Depending on the cat, they may go into heat every two to three weeks, so if you notice that your cat has not exhibited these behaviours in awhile, they may be pregnant.
Nipples will swell and change colours – Another sign that your cat may be pregnant is their nipples. Though there may be several reasons why a cat’s nipples may sudden swell or change colour, in an article on PetPlace, a website dedicated to providing insight on many pet-related topics, it’s noted that typically when cats go through their pregnancy their nipples may swell and become noticeably pinker.
Increase in appetite and weight gain – According to Pet MD, a cat that is pregnant will gain weight but will not really begin to show until the last few weeks. Your cat’s appetite may increase because of pregnancy as well. It’s also noted in the article that, “cats have been known to get morning sickness and cravings, just like people, but if you find your cat eating dirt, or anything else that is not food, check with your vet. She may have a condition called pica, and may need supplements due to a nutritional imbalance or mineral deficiency.”
Worried about the weight gain? PetPlace has created a guide to help feed a pregnant cat. However, consult your vet for your cat’s specific dietary needs during her pregnancy.
Increase in affection – You may notice your cat spending more time around you, cleaning you, sleeping or laying next to you, and kneading your body. This is your cat’s motherly instincts kicking in, in preparation for the birth of their kittens. However, though your cat may be more affectionate, Pet MD notes that they may also get more aggressive as well.
Nesting – In the latter stages of pregnancy (approximately the last two weeks of pregnancy), you may notice your cat seeking refuge in small-enclosed areas (e.g. closets, under the bed, bookshelves); they may sleep on your pile of clothes or on your bed. If you notice your cat doing this, they may be preparing to find a suitable place to give birth.
My Cat Is About To Have Kittens. Now What?
So, if you suspect that your cat may be pregnant, you might be wondering: what’s next? Well there isn’t much to do; cats can typically handle their own pregnancy with little to no difficulties. The recommendation would be to ensure that your cats has a comfortable place that will make her feel safe and secure during her delivery.
You can also create a nesting box for your cat. PetPlace has put together a great article about how to prepare a queening box for your cat. The site recommends that, “the box should be lined with paper at the bottom. Newspaper makes a good material as it is clean, disposable, absorbent, and the queen can tear it up when she is building her ‘nest.’ Soft washable bedding material can also be used such as blankets, towels or whelping pads. The bedding should be changed daily and laundered if not disposable.”
WikiHow has also put together a great visualization for how to help your cat give birth.
When your cat is about to give birth, or recently given birth, be sure to give them plenty of space. They will not need you at that moment, however your presence nearby may reassure her as she goes through the labour process, and it’s beneficial for you to be nearby should there be any complications.
Have you had an experience dealing with a pregnant cat? Share your stories in the comments below.
This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.