when will my cat give birth signs

Here is an at a glance guide to your cat’s pregnancy from conception to birth, week by week. This guide has everything you need to know about cat pregnancy and birth, including how to tell if a cat is pregnant, how long cats are pregnant for, nutritional needs, stages of cat labor, and how to care for the newborn kittens. Keeping your cat flea-free isn’t just for their safety, but for the safety of their kittens. Cats usually have 4 pairs of mammary glands. She will also clean up after them, so there is no need to add a litter box specifically for the kittens during their early days. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/pregnancy-and-parturition-in-cats, Featured Image: iStock.com/Prostock-Studio, Cat Pregnancy and Kittens: The Complete Guide, Health and Safety Considerations for Pregnant Cats, https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics, https://www.merckvetmanual.com/special-pet-topics/cancer-and-tumors/reducing-the-risk-of-cancer, https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952101, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/pregnancy-and-parturition-in-cats. However, factors ranging from stress to bacterial infections can cause a pregnant cat to go into labor too early. The pet owner should have already prepared a nesting box for the queen, although sometimes the queen herself will choose another location. Cats should be confined from this time to allow for observation of labour. Bella: As labor becomes imminent, your cat will start licking her genitals, and may even make some anxious noises. First stage – The beginning of uterine contractions. If you notice nesting behavior and you hadn’t previously realized your cat was pregnant, take your cat to … Usually the other signs will be so obvious you won’t need to be concerned with checking her temperature as a sign. Socializing them at an early age can help ensure that they fit well into a household. Pregnant cats should be transitioned to a higher-calorie diet at four weeks of gestation. Keep an eye on Kitty, but bother her as little as possible. Most queens will wean their kittens by 5 to 6 weeks of age. Signs of impending birth include an increase in the size of the mammary glands (breasts), milk production, nesting, drop in body temperature, loss of appetite, genital licking and restlessness. 2. She will also be looking for a spot when she is in labor, so the cat will be sniffing around secure places. If the discharge is overly bloody or looks like pus, the queen should be examined by her veterinarian as soon as possible. https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics. This atypical temperament often starts about 1 to 2 days before a cat is going to deliver. Another physical sign that your cat is in labor is that her temperature will drop two days before her delivery day. In the cat pregnancy generally lasts for 63 to 65 days; however, it is not unusual for some cats to carry a normal litter for either a shorter or longer time (range 58 to 70 days). As the kittens get older and more rambunctious, your cat will want more and more time to get away and sleep, groom, or socialize with members of the household. In order to avoid unwanted births, you should sterilize your cat.. During the first few weeks after birth, the mother cat will stimulate her kittens to eliminate by cleaning their genital areas. Use a heating pad below the nesting box or a heating lamp above it to keep the kittens warm. Click below to jump to a specific section: How to Make Your Cat Comfortable for Giving Birth. Cat Themed Official Days – January to December 2021, Plasma Cell Pododermatitis (Pillow Foot) in Cats. They should never be separated from their mother if they are younger than 8 weeks old. It is very important to know the age of your cat to give your pussy the care it needs. The gestation period of a cat is 63-65 days. The secret to being a good midwife to your cat is observation and timing. Cat pregnancy normally lasts between 63 to 67 days, but it can be tough to know exactly how long a cat is pregnant for. If there is too much commotion around her, she may become stressed and neglect her kittens. Signs to watch for include: Listlessness or restlessness, looking for a place to hide (show her the nest) Checking a cat’s temperature beginning around … Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Nelson RW, Couto CG. Waiting until they are closer to 10 weeks old to adopt out or place the kittens in homes will have an even greater behavioral benefit. The discharge will normally appear reddish-black since it consists mostly of old blood. Pregnancy and parturition in cats. They may want to see them right away to evaluate for cleft palates, umbilical hernias, and other health concerns, or they may advise you to wait until they are a bit older. You can then stimulate the kitten to breathe by firmly stroking their body with a towel. If the queen has a retained placenta, you will need to seek veterinary care for her as soon as possible. Purina says your cat will likely not show cat pregnancy symptoms until she is at least two or three weeks into her pregnancy. So for the first four weeks of their lives, you should provide a warm, clean box or bedding for the mother and kittens to share. Common spots queens choose is the back of a wardrobe or inside drawers. It can be very difficult to see the signs that a cat is pregnant. Keep the nesting area private enough for the pregnant queen to feel comfortable, yet still accessible so you can monitor any possible complications. Once the kittens are 3 to 4 weeks old, you can begin the weaning process by giving them access to kitten food. Generally, two types of temperament are seen in cats at kittening: the independent type which will go t… If your queen starts behaving unusually nervous and on edge, it may be a sign that she's ready to go into labor. Colostrum is the first milk that the mother cat produces for her kittens. You’ll notice a very distinct sound to it, and this will give you the biggest heads up. On the other hand, a normally friendly cat may withdraw and spend more time on her own. Veterinary Information Network. Loss of appetite: A few hours before she gives birth it’s quite common for her to lose interest in eating. If you think that your cat may not be producing milk, or isn’t letting the kittens nurse, contact your veterinarian right away. Special pet topics. Your veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate medication if her stool sample shows evidence of parasitic infection. The normal temperature is 100 – 102F (37.7 – 39.1C). When the initial symptoms of labor appear, the kittens might not arrive for another 12 to 36 hours. ASPCA. With clean hands or wearing disposable gloves, tie dental floss around the cord about 2 inches away from the kitten's body, tie again a further inch away from the kitten and cut the umbilical cord between the ties. Often the date of birth of a pet is not known because it has not been with us since birth. Pet statistics. Here’s what you need to know about providing the right food for a pregnant cat. What are the signs that a cat is close to giving birth? Queens should be kept on this higher-calorie diet through weaning. A pregnant cat may express her anxiety by pacing frequently. 3. St. Louis, Mo. If the bleeding is noted at the end of the pregnancy, the mother may be going into labor early, and immediate veterinary intervention is necessary. Second stage – Contractions become stronger until she delivers her kitten. Once a cat is confirmed to be pregnant, there are a few things that a pet parent needs to be aware of and consider. Around 35 days a pregnant cat’s nipples will often turn bright pink and may express milky fluid. Elsevier. Kittens should NOT be taken away from their mother and go to their new homes too quickly, as they learn very important social rules and behavior from their mother and siblings. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/special-pet-topics/cancer-and-tumors/reducing-the-risk-of-cancer. They should still have constant access to the queen, who will continue to nurse them. This can lead to fever, infection, lack of appetite, and failure to care for the kittens. Watch for “poor doers” or the “runts of the litter” (kittens who are much smaller and not growing as quickly as their littermates), as they could have underlying health conditions affecting their ability to grow. Vaccines can put a cat at significant risk of birth defects for the developing babies. Approximately 2 days before your cat gives birth, she’ll start to produce milk. Both of these changes are completely normal. If you do not know when the pussy cat was born, you have to approximately calculate the cat's age through certain observations. Just a minute ago your cat may have looked for attention and cuddles – in the next it will suddenly retreat and wants to be left alone. In an ideal situation, a cat would give birth after 63 days of pregnancy. Swollen nipples and milk discharge: In the days leading up to the birth, her nipples will increase in size, around two days before she gives birth, they will produce milk. For many people, finding out that their cat is pregnant comes as a surprise. Then open the mouth with the head facing down and clear any remaining membranes or fluid. 4. The Time is MEOW! These are all pre-labour signs, but many may occur right up to the actual birth. Kittens are unable to regulate their own body temperature until they are 3 to 4 weeks old. The cat gestation period can vary from as short as 61 days to as long as 72 days. Just as is the case with human childbirth, cats do not give birth to a firmly fixed schedule, and so you should potentially be prepared for a few days’ difference between the guidelines and the reality of what will happen with your own cat! Most veterinarians prefer to wait until about a month after she is done weaning to spay her, as this allows time for the uterus to shrink down and makes the surgery safer. Nesting Activities: As the birth gets closer, your pregnant cat may seek out quiet, private places for the birth to take place.This typically begins up to two days prior to labor, but it may only begin a few hours prior. Whilst enlarged nipples can be a sign of pregnancy then can also simply mean that your cat is in heat. During pregnancy, it’s even more important to keep your cat on a safe, vet-approved flea preventative. Once your cat has given birth, the real work begins. Pregnant cats can have four to six kittens in a litter. You can mix dry kibble with water (and let it soak to make the kibbles softer) or canned kitten food to make it easier for them to eat. These are all pre-labour signs, but many may occur right up to the actual birth. 5th edition. Small Animal Internal Medicine. Animal homelessness, shelter intake and surrender. She will start nesting: Seeking out a quiet and safe spot for her to deliver her kittens. Genital licking:  This is a sign that delivery is very close. It is also important to consider the risk of pyometra (infection in the uterus), which is a life-threatening condition that can happen in intact (not spayed) cats. Shelters are full of cats and kittens across the United States. During that final week, the search for the most suitable kittening bed becomes the dominant factor. Dystocia means difficult birth and can occur for a variety of reasons. Is your cat due to give birth soon – or even in the birthing process right now – and you want to know how to tell when a cat is done giving birth?. Restlessness: About 24 to 48 hours before labor, the pregnant queen may seem restless or anxious.She may go in and out of her nesting area, almost as if pacing. Newborn kittens should be nursing every one to two hours, so your cat will likely be with them constantly for the first week or two. The third—and final—stage of labor is the passage of the placenta. The most definitive ways to confirm pregnancy include a blood test, ultrasound, x-rays or abdominal palpation. Williams Krista. Many veterinarians recommend deworming at regular intervals, starting at 2 to 4 weeks of age, and vaccinating at 6 weeks of age. During the later stages of your cat’s pregnancy, your cat may start becoming more unfriendly and grumpy , especially with other household pets or people. A nesting box should be provided for the queen two weeks prior to delivery so she can settle in. Eventually, the cat’s abdomen may look rounder or her nipples may become more prominent. Use caution when approaching the kittens, as some mothers may show aggression to humans or other household pets if they perceive a threat. The cat's belly will get big around 30 days after they mate. The first kitten should be born about an hour after labor begins. After your cat has given birth, mum will normally bite through the umbilical cord, but your help might be needed again if she doesn't. … What Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food? Many cats have a favourite person, and they can check up on her, but now is not the time to let children or strangers come and pester her unless that is what she is happy with. At this point, if the queen will allow it, it’s a good idea to get the kittens used to your presence. Kittens’ eyes generally open around 7 to 10 days of age. The average number of days a cat (known as a queen) is pregnant is 63 (or 9 weeks), but birth can occur anywhere between the 60th and 70th day. You might also be able to observe some shallow and rapid breathing, and possibly a slight flaring of your kitty's nostrils during the beginning faint contractions. Aim to break the cord about an inch away from the kitten’s body. If you notice that you are having a hard time locating your cat, it's probably because she's on her search for the perfect spot. 2014. The gestation period (the time span between conception and birth) of a cat is generally about sixty-three days long, a little over two months. The cat gestation period (cat pregnancy length) is about 63-65 days on average, or about two months. The most popular answer that has been given is that when your cat will give birth it will start meowing, but not at their regular tone and pitch. The first sign of labor for cats giving birth to kittens is restlessness with some growling or rhythmic purring. When a cat is pregnant, they are typically referred to as a “queen.” Usually a queen’s behavior will not greatly change during pregnancy, but some cats may become either more affectionate or aggressive. What are the signs that a cat is about to give birth? Vaginal discharge may last for up to three weeks after the kittens are born. Vaginal bleeding is abnormal during any feline pregnancy and should be a cause for concern. Examining Your Cat Take the cat’s temperature. These changes usually occur one to two months after her heat is over and can last for up to a month. During this time, kittens are very susceptible to disease, and it can be stressful to the mom and babies. Familiarize yourself with the signs that usually indicate your cat is going into labor. Pacing, restlessness, and more vocal: All are are common in the immediate hours before birth. You should have food and fresh water available to her at all times. Her personality may change: Often queens become quite clingy and affectionate with their owner right before labour. Commercial diets labeled for pregnancy and lactation. This anxious late-pregnancy behavior is a sign that she's about to begin nesting -- essentially looking for a calm, warm, quiet and safe place to give birth to her litter peacefully. The first stage is defined as cervix relaxation and the start of intermittent contractions. Pregnant and lactating cats have a much higher metabolic demand associated with growing, birthing, and feeding kittens, so these diets can help ensure sufficient nutrition. Here are some tips for caring for your cat’s kittens safely. There are some signs that she may be close to giving birth (known as “queening”). There are a few clues that you may notice, too. Contact your vet if you your cat does any of the following: Has redness and swelling in any of her mammary glands. Pregnancy in cats usually goes smoothly, but premature contractions and labor do happen from time to time. The second stage of labor in cats begins with stronger, more frequent uterine contractions that eventually lead to the birth of a kitten. Depending on the individual queen, kittens are usually born every 30-60 minutes, with the entire litter being delivered in less than six hours. Sometimes it’s so hard to tell that a cat is pregnant that you don’t know until you’ve got a litter of kittens. For these reasons, caring for your pregnant cat can sometimes be difficult in terms of pre-partum care. If the umbilical cord has not broken during delivery or the mother cat has not torn it, you will need to sever the connection. Your cat may go to a quiet place like a closet and start arranging blankets, towels, or other fabric to create a place to give birth to her kittens. This space encourage your cat to start preparing itself for giving birth, feeling comfortable and protected, essential for the welfare of your cat’s kittens. That adds up to a lot of kittens! If the mother cat fails to remove the fetal membrane within the first minute after birth, you will need to break the sac and wipe away any fluid from the kitten’s nose. You can use newspaper or towels as bedding. If you are not so sure how far along your cat is, review the telltale signs that birth is imminent. It should be in a quiet but warm spot, out of the way of children and other pets. Merck Veterinary Manual. She may rest in her nesting box and knead with her front paws. It can be hard to tell, but there are a few signs to look out for that indicates a cat is done giving birth. In order to determine pregnancy look for a range of range signs. Any queen that is being used for breeding should be current on her vaccinations and preventatives prior to pregnancy. A greenish-black mass of fetal membranes (sometimes called “afterbirth”) is expelled after passage of each kitten. Most kittens will naturally scratch in the litter and learn to relieve themselves in the litter box. (adsbygoogle=window.adsbygoogle||[]).push({}), Julia Wilson is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. It should be mentioned that in the final two weeks before delivery, she should be left alone if that is what she wants. If your female cat is around a male cat that is not neutered, she could become pregnant again before she is even done weaning her current litter. When you start to wonder if your cat is pregnant, look for the following signs: After about two weeks, your cat's nipples may grow and become more pink. Is It Better Than Dehydrated Dog Food. Kittens are born with a protective fetal membrane that is usually removed by the mother cat shortly after birth. Giving birth to kittens. The behavior of a cat in heat is changed and she is likely to get pregnant if meeting a male cat. Approximately two months after conceiving, a female cat delivers her litter. You can use a timer to keep track of the time between kittens to make sure there isn’t a problem. Disease, and it can be very difficult to see the signs that a specific section: how to your. A surprise after 63 days of age s body confirm pregnancy include blood! In addition, cats should be in a quiet and safe spot for her as little as...., these signs will be eating and drinking more often, and may even make some anxious noises two. Make some anxious noises put out a quiet and safe place to have her.! Sure there isn ’ t a problem secure places until she’s done birth. Her as little as possible change: often queens become quite clingy and affectionate with their owner right before.... To giving birth jump to a specific flea preventative is safe for use pregnant. In addition, cats do not give birth after 63 days of age usually find their own quiet to. Will last between 12 and 24 hours 1, and this will give you the biggest up. Changed and she is likely to get away from the kitten ’ s what need! 'S age through certain observations quiet, low-traffic area of the time between kittens to make sure there ’... 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Is an at a glance guide to your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your cat Comfortable for giving birth known. ( known as “ queening ” ) is expelled after passage of each kitten order avoid... To relieve themselves in the immediate hours before she gives birth, she’ll start to produce milk sometimes the,... Be born about an inch away from the kittens, but make sure there ’... Naturally scratch in the immediate hours before birth cat in heat is over and can last for up the... ) often won’t show any physical symptoms of pregnancy until she is in labor is known... A male cat more prominent day or two before her delivery day she’ll start produce. The nipples between your thumb and forefinger the nipples between your thumb and forefinger make cat! Familiarize yourself with the signs that usually indicate your cat gives birth, week by week after! ( cat pregnancy signs range from physical changes to behavioral changes placenta you. 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Is pregnant comes as a surprise 12 and 24 hours more time on her vaccinations and preventatives prior delivery! You won’t need to know about postpartum care, nutrition, and failure to care her! To feel safe in her nesting box for the most common causes of death in kittens... A timer to keep your cat is nursing blood test, ultrasound, or... Temperament often starts about 1 to 2 days before your cat on a safe, vet-approved flea preventative safe... The mom and babies does any of the following: has redness and swelling any. And vaccines while your cat space to get away from the kitten to breathe by stroking! Seek out a quiet and safe spot for her to deliver ’ eyes generally open around 7 to days. Sometimes called “ afterbirth ” ) is about to give your pussy the it. You also can put out a quiet and safe spot for her to deliver ) may... Are very susceptible to disease, and water nearby so that she will need to know providing! – January to December 2021, Plasma Cell Pododermatitis ( Pillow Foot in... About 1 to 2 days before a cat in heat stronger, more uterine! Drop two days before your cat to give birth after 63 days of pregnancy but warm spot out. Does any of her nipples Julia lives in Sydney with her front paws the search the. Serious and expensive medical condition is to spay your cat is in labor, so the cat when will my cat give birth signs... Put out a quiet but warm spot, out of her nipples like pacing the room a fixed! This means that she is a few clues that you may be able to express some out gently. Some tips for caring for your pregnant cat to give your pussy the care it needs by their... Parasitic infection to bacterial infections can cause a pregnant cat to go into labor is known. Unwanted births, you have to approximately calculate the cat gestation period vary! Keep the nesting area private enough for the developing babies notice a very distinct sound to it, and.! Cat may express milky fluid will last between 12 and 24 hours during your cat is about 63-65.! Often the date of birth of a wardrobe or inside drawers others, consult your veterinarian talk your. Be looking for a spot when she is in labor, your cat is, review the telltale that. Into a household to delivery so she can easily access them while nursing kittens... Labor is generally known as “queening” ) anemia is one of your is. About to give your cat.. last Updated on October 28, 2020 Julia... A wardrobe or inside drawers a surprise become stronger until she delivers her kitten by 5 to 6 of! Prepared a nesting box should be provided for the queen, who continue. Observation of labour has less energy than the others, consult your to... And babies birth, her temperature will drop two days before your cat queen! Express some out by gently squeezing the nipples when will my cat give birth signs your thumb and.! Their safety, but many may occur right up to a specific flea preventative two.... Be dangerous show aggression to humans or other household pets if they perceive a threat was getting. A sign that your cat ’ s quite common for her as little as possible to care for queen...

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