Are you wondering if your cat is expecting kittens? Today we will talk about 6 signs your cat is pregnant. Sometimes stuff just happens that is beyond our control, such as when your female cat escapes out of the house on a quiet spring evening when you are at work.
But when our feline companion does come back, it makes us wonder where they have been, what were they doing, and do I need to be concerned that my feline furbaby has now got a litter of kittens on the way? So, how are we able to determine if our cat is pregnant? What are the signs of feline pregnancy?
For starters, you won’t be able to tell if your cat is pregnant right away. It’s just not possible. But give it a few weeks and you’ll be able to get a pretty good idea if your cat is pregnant. As always, you’re better off just bringing “Fluffy” into the veterinarian to be one hundred percent sure, however here are some signs that may help guide the way.
A few positive signs that your cat is expecting a litter of kittens include an increase in her appetite, significant weight gain, a growing belly, and redness in her seemingly enlarged nipples.
These are the most common signs. But there are other signs that might not be so obvious such as a sudden stop in her heat cycle and increased affection towards her human companions.
She Has an Increased Appetite
A pregnant cat will definitely start to eat more after becoming pregnant because they are now feeding not only themselves but also their unborn kittens.
It’s completely fine if you want to keep feeding her the same food she has been eating up to this point, but make sure that your furbaby always has open access to her food and water so she gets enough to eat.
And if you’re not sure if you’re feeding her food that is nutritious enough, make a quick phone call or email to your local veterinarian.
They may suggest adding more protein-based food to your cat’s diet throughout the remainder of her pregnancy.
Another equally important tip is to monitor your cat’s water intake. This is obviously important whether your cat is pregnant or not, but it is even more important during pregnancy.
Your cat should be consuming enough water to not be dehydrated.
Her Tummy Appears To Grow In Size
A very common and obvious sign is that your cat’s stomach appears to be getting a little bigger day by day. Your feline companion typically won’t start showing until about 4 to 6 weeks into her pregnancy. And it is quite easy to spot, actually.
She will appear to be bulging from her sides in her stomach or abdominal area. Trust me, it will look quite obvious.
When my cat was pregnant, it looked as though she had a softball embedded in her stomach. And that was from a litter of only two kittens.
Enlarged and Discolored Nipples
Another sign your cat is pregnant is when her nipples start to look noticeably different. They will most likely become puffy, enlarged, and red in color. It takes on average about 13 to 18 days for her nipples to change in size and color.
If she has a lighter color of fur, you will probably notice her nipples change much sooner than if her fur is darker in color. They may also be easier to see depending on the length of your cat’s fur coat.
They Become Increasingly Affectionate
Another sign your cat is expecting is they exhibit more affectionate behavior. Perhaps your cat never wants to be petted or never rubs on your leg or kneads you.
Now all of a sudden they seem to want to show you more love than they ever have before.
Affection from your cat will dramatically increase in the hours just before she goes into labor.
This happened with one of my cats who rarely ever wanted to be petted and never showed any type of affection towards me.
All of a sudden she became very vocal and aggressively rubbed up against me. I remember thinking to myself, “what is wrong with my cat?”. And then about two hours later, she was going into labor.
They Stop Being In Heat
Your feline companion will also stop being in heat. They will stop displaying the signs associated with being in heat and will cease the loud calling sounds you probably have to hear when she is in heat.
Normal heat cycles occur about 10 to 14 days and last around a week in most cases. If your cat has not been spayed and all of a sudden her heat cycles stop, she is probably pregnant if she has crossed paths with an unneutered male.
They Seek Out Nesting Places
A few weeks before your cat goes into labor, she will start to display what is called nesting behavior. What she is doing is trying to find the best place to deliver and nurse her litter of kittens.
When my cat was pregnant, she would keep going under my bed and laying in a certain spot. I had some plastic bins under my bed and she managed to find a nesting spot between two bins. When she knew she was about to go into labor, she ran directly to that spot to have her kittens.
If your cat seems to be looking for that perfect nesting spot, you can help her out by finding little nooks and crannies within your home and put something soft in that spot like a cat bed or small blanket. You can also use a small box as a nesting spot.
Your pregnant furbaby will have the final decision on where they want to give birth and nurse their kittens. They may or may not use what you have set out for them, but it can’t hurt to try.
Also, she may give birth to her kittens in one place and then move her kittens to another place after they have been cleaned and she is done giving birth. This is usually what would happen with my cat until I finally got her spayed.
If your cat is displaying most of these signs or behaviors then it might very well be that she is pregnant. If you want to have 100% certainty, then the best thing to do is make an appointment with your veterinarian. They have the necessary technology and equipment so they should be able to tell you for sure if your cat is pregnant.