Cats And Pregnancy

Are you and your cat about to hear the pitter patter of tiny paws? If so, these pointers can help you provide the best care for your pregnant cat.

How to Tell if Your Cat is Pregnant

Cats have an average gestation cycle of approximately two months. Early symptoms will include no heat cycle.

Belly bulge in cats will usually appear around week five, depending on the size of the litter.

Eating for Two (or Six)

Proper nutrition is important at all times but even more so when a cat is carrying kittens. If the cat is already on a well-balanced diet, there is no need to change anything drastically.

Once the cat is a few weeks from delivery, consider switching her over to more nutrition-packed kitten food. This can be used until the kittens are through their nursing stage to boost the mother cat”s diet.

During this time period, your cat may want to eat up to twice as much as normal. Offer this in smaller, more frequent amounts throughout the day, always keeping fresh water handy.

Also, it is important to make sure the cat gets enough calcium throughout her pregnancy and nursing period. This will help keep the mother cat”s strength up and avoid potential problems. Ask your vet what type of supplement would be best for your pregnant cat.

Veterinary Care for a Pregnant Cat

If your cat has not had a recent check-up, it would be a good idea to take her in for an appointment about half way (one month) through her pregnancy. This is also a good idea so that an ultrasound can be given to determine how many kittens your cat is carrying. This will help you or the caregiver know when all of the kittens have been born after the mother cat goes into labor.

Otherwise, keep your vet informed of the pregnancy and see how he wishes to proceed. Be sure to clear any supplements or medications for a pregnant cat through your vet prior to adding anything new to your cat”s regimen. Some medications can harm kitten fetuses, so it is always a good idea to check with a professional.

Making a Pregnant Feline Comfortable

Approximately two to three weeks before your cat is due to give birth, set up a safe space for her to nest. A large box or laundry basket with plenty of warm, clean blankets will make her feel more comfortable and ready to have her kittens. It may take her some time to get accustomed to this spot, so give her comforting items, like her favorite toys and treats, to make her feel at home.

Keep you cat indoors as the time approaches to avoid having to pull her and her kittens out of whatever spot she wriggles into to give birth. When she is about to give birth, you may notice that her appetite disappears.

There is no need to be overly involved in the birthing process, as mother cats are generally unsociable and completely competent when in labor. Just check in on her and the kittens frequently to make sure everyone looks healthy and free of infection and that the mother cat and the kittens have all taken to nursing.

Resources

Hines, Ron, D.V.M. (2007). Breeding and Caring For your Pregnant Cat. Retrieved October 3, 2007, from the 2nd Chance Web site: http://www.2ndchance.info/pregnantcatcare.htm.

Morgan, Jean (2007). How To Care For a Pregnant Cat. Retrieved October 3, 2007, from the Ezine Articles Web site: http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Care-For-a-Pregnant-Cat&id=581943.

Prince, Jennifer, D.V.M. (2007). Taking Care of The Pregnant Cat. Retrieved October 3, 2007, from the Pet Care Tips Web site: http://www.petcaretips.net/pregnant_cat.html.

Syufy, Franny (2007). Care of a Pregnant Cat. Retrieved October 3, 2007, from the About.com Web site: http://cats.about.com/od/reproduction/a/pregnant_care.htm.