Is your female cat gaining weight? Do you suspect that she might be pregnant? Our veterinarians in Woburn have shared some additional signs that indicate cat pregnancy. Keep reading to learn more about what to look for and the actions you can take.
Isn't My Cat Too Young to be Pregnant?
If your female cat hasn't been spayed and manages to escape your home, she will likely become pregnant.
Female cats typically enter their first heat cycle between 4 and 7 months of age, reaching physical maturity and becoming capable of having their first litter of kittens. An unspayed female cat can go into heat every 3 weeks until she becomes pregnant or undergoes spaying.
Without spaying, she may produce up to 4 kittens in a year, with each litter comprising 4-12 kittens. Therefore, if your unspayed adult female cat has been outdoors, there's a high probability that she is pregnant. Seeking veterinary care is crucial to ensure the health and safety of 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 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 shows the symptoms above, it's time to take her to the vet for an examination to confirm pregnancy and to check for signs of any underlying health concerns that might be causing these symptoms.
How Does My Vet Diagnose If My Cat is Pregnant?
There are a few different diagnostic tests that vets can do to confirm 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 number of kittens.
How Do I Take Care of My Pregnant Cat?
Once your vet confirms your cat's pregnancy, they will provide you with specific recommendations on caring for your pregnant cat. In general, to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy and birth for your cat, follow these 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, away from kids, other human traffic, and 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.