Female cats experience fertility peaks every 3 weeks, which is known as ‘being in heat’. If you do not want kittens, you are interested in spaying your cat before the first heat. This is recommended by specialists, since it prevents the appearance of some types of cancer. If you wonder how to know if my cat is pregnant, pay attention.
Feline gestation usually lasts about 63-67 days, although it can be shortened or lengthened to 61-72 days. Given that cats do not usually show physical symptoms that warn about pregnancy until a few weeks before delivery, without an acography, it is often difficult to determine the point where the process is.
You may also be interested in: Tips for taking care of a pregnant cat
Symptoms that confirm that a cat is pregnant
In general, until the third week of gestation you will not appreciate physical signs that make you think that your pet is going to be a mother. Therefore, the most sensible thing in case of doubt is to consult with your veterinarian. At 15 days of gestation it is already possible to confirm it by ultrasound. At 40 days you will be able to know how many kittens you are expecting.
Take note of the indicative signs :
- After 15-18 days of gestation, your breasts may be swollen and pink or red.
- Morning vomiting can also make an appearance.
- Your belly will begin to expand. It can also be the result of a disease, so to confirm that you are in an appointment, visit the specialist. Try not to touch her abdomen so as not to hurt her or the fetuses.
- Little by little your appetite will increase and you will gain weight. In the last 20 days of pregnancy this weight gain will be more noticeable. At the end of the process, you can gain 40% of weight. Keep in mind that this gluttony can also be due to worms. Check with your vet.
- She will be more cuddly, will demand more attention and pampering from you, and will purr more often.
Feeding and vaccination, decisive in every pregnancy
At this point, we want to emphasize the importance of taking care of the feeding and the vaccination reinforcement of any pregnant cat. From the fourth week of pregnancy, experts advise increasing protein and caloric intake by 15% per week so that the process is completed in the best possible way.
Provide feed or cans that have a higher concentration of essential nutrients. As for vaccinations, it is convenient that your vaccination schedule is updated before staying in condition. In this way, you can transmit the antibodies to your puppies during lactation with the benefits that this entails.
Likewise, it is not appropriate to administer drugs if she is pregnant, with the exception of parasites, since drugs can negatively interfere with the development of fetuses. In the event that your cat is pregnant and has parasites, the veterinarian will guide you on the most appropriate drug therapy to follow.
Precautions to adopt in the final stretch of pregnancy
In the last 2 weeks of gestation it is usually convenient to maximize the conditions of tranquility and relaxation for the future mother. That is, you must have a space where you can rest away from the hustle and bustle of the home, especially if there are children in it.
Likewise, we advise you to prepare a nest for her for the moments that follow the birth . In it you can clean, feed and keep your young warm. It is a tall cardboard box to prevent the escape of a mischievous person, as well as the entry of drafts. Remember that as soon as they are born, the priority is that the kittens stay warm.
You should fill the box with newspaper, blankets and clean towels to make it comfortable. Using a thermal bag that you can heat in the microwave is an interesting practice to preserve the stability of the temperature of the environment in which the newborns are going to stay.
How to know that delivery is imminent
There are several behaviors that reveal the proximity of delivery:
- You will notice that your cat suddenly stops eating, that she is agitated and that she is looking for a secluded place (probably different from the nest you have prepared for her).
- About 12 or 24 hours before delivery, her body temperature will drop to 37.8 ºC.
- If he meows incessantly and licks compulsively, labor is about to begin. Your belly will contract and expel copious vaginal discharge. If it is thick, dark or bloody, call the vet urgently.
In a high percentage of cat births, human intervention is not usually required, mothers are perfectly capable of directing the entire process on their own. However, complications can occur and, consequently, it is recommended that you be aware to act if necessary.
Possible complications during delivery
There are several situations that inform us that something is not going as it should:
- If despite the efforts of the mother the kittens do not see the light.
- If they are born so quickly, without the usual 30-45 minute margin between brood and brood, that your cat does not have time to break the amniotic sacs.
- If you are 8 weeks at risk of loss and delivery is early. It would be necessary to perform a cesarean section at a veterinary clinic.
- After delivery, she has not delivered all the placentas. Although it is possible that your cat eats one or that two pups have shared one, you should count them and consult with the veterinarian if you have questions.
When should you intervene?
As a general rule, cat births usually last between 2 and 5 hours, although they can last up to 24 hours (it is not usual). To deal with childbirth with guarantees, you should stock up on a container with hot water, clean towels and rags, dental floss, and disposable gloves. Now you will understand why.
There are deliveries in which the cat is not able to break the amniotic sac. You will have to do it yourself to prevent the kitten from drowning . Break the sac with the help of a towel and wipe his mouth and nose. Dry it against the grain and massage to warm it up and allow it to inhale deeply.
If the cat does not bite the umbilical cord to cut it, you will have to do it. Put on the gloves and tie a knot with the dental floss about 5 cm from the kitten’s body and another at 2 cm, cut through the space between the two. Kittens cannot remain for more than an hour after being born without suckling. If their mother does not feed them, check with the vet.