The heating season for cats begins at the end of winter with the gestation of the kittens for about 9 weeks. During this process, the cat presents considerable changes in order to allow the delivery of her young. What are the warning signs and the course of gestation until the birth of the kittens?
The course of gestation in the cat
The female cat is very fertile and can have gestations multiple times and at any time during a year. Her gestation lasts 60 to 69 days (about 9 weeks) with warning signs that are not immediate. First, after 6 days, the fertilized eggs pass to the uterus. Then comes implantation which occurs on day 12. Then there is the formation of the placenta, which occurs on about day 15 when everything is going well. Embryos develop by day 21, taking a C shape and measuring approximately 2.5 cm.
The first signs of gestation are not noticeable until about three weeks later. Thus, you will see:
- a gain of a few kilos;
- the pelvis widening and the back hollow;
- nipples that turn pink and swell slightly;
- and swelling of the belly.
At the same time, the cat becomes more cuddly and tries to rub against you, while lifting her rump with sometimes nausea and a lack of appetite. You can take her to the vet for ultrasound confirmation. However, this is only possible after about 40 days.
Kittens move from 6 weeks gestation
From 6 weeks gestation, it is already possible to feel the kittens moving in their mother’s womb. The fetus at this stage is about 5 cm in size. The cat begins to sleep a lot more and her movements become slower. This is when sensory organs like kittens’ ears and noses develop. The nervous system and the muscles, on the other hand, are not yet developing.
The cat experiences a new change in attitude at this point in her management. She spends more time looking for a comfortable, warm, soft, and dark place. She may search every nook and cranny of the house, from bed to drawers, to find the perfect spot. You can help him with this task by making a basket or cardboard box and bringing him back each time. In general, all cats eventually get used to and accept the corner you have chosen for them.
During the last days before parturition, the pregnant cat is constantly licking her stomach and vulva. It is therefore recommended to make room for her and leave her alone as long as it lasts. It must be said that she can show signs of aggression even towards her owners, meowing and purring under the contractions of her belly. In all discretion, you can still from time to time check if everything is going well.
The birth can depend on both the age of the cat and the number of kittens to be born. These are usually 2 to 6. However, it is recommended to avoid stressing her by making space for her and leaving her alone. She will also need calm and rest even after giving birth to her young. So be sure to give it space.
The care needed for a pregnant cat
While your cat is pregnant, you need to take extra care of her. To do this, you must:
- continue to apply anti-flea and deworming treatments to prevent contamination of the kittens;
- give the cat a diet suitable for a pregnant cat;
- and help your cat prepare a cozy nest.
In addition, from 4 to 5 weeks, consult a veterinarian to perform the follow-up ultrasounds.
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