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How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant?

Jan 17, 2008
The normal length of your cat's pregnancy is nine weeks but it is almost impossible to tell that she is expecting kittens until around halfway through the term. The early indications of pregnancy are often written off as normal, unpredictable cat behavior or are simply not noticed at all.

Around week three many cats go off their food for awhile or even refuse to eat anything you may put in front of them. Pregnant women often complain of experiencing morning sickness so it may be the same for our feline friends. At the same time, the area around your cat's nipples may become pinker as her milk glands prepare to deliver their milk but this sign can easily be lost in your cat's fur and consequently go unnoticed.

In weeks four and five you may find that your cat's attitude towards you and your family changes noticeably. She may become particularly affectionate towards you, seeking you out and paying you a great deal of attention. Surprisingly, you may find that the opposite is the case - your previously loving pet starts to become stand-offish, even to the point of ignoring you completely.

It isn't until week five or six that you may start to think that your cat is looking much more rounded than usual and it is at this stage in her pregnancy that the previous signs suddenly start to make sense to you. Her nipples will be very noticeably pinker now and will be becoming enlarged.

As week seven comes around there will be little doubt that your cat is expecting kittens as she will have acquired a very rounded shape and you will start to notice that she is beginning to have difficulty in grooming herself. If her temperament will allow, extra help from you here will make the job of keeping her fur clean and in good condition much easier. Her appetite may change again but this time it may increase or she may lose her interest in food for awhile.

Weeks eight and nine are exciting ones as you will be able to see the unborn kittens moving around in your pregnant cat's tummy. You will need to be strong willed to resist feeling them as this can so easily cause problems or injury at this stage. The developing kittens will be making huge demands on your cat's body and her appetite will have doubled to keep up with their needs. In spite of the increased food intake, constipation is often a problem now and a few drops of liquid paraffin in her food will keep thing moving along nicely.

Week nine heralds the end of your cat's pregnancy and her behavior will alter as she feels her body being to change. Your cat will feel compelled to seek out a warm, safe, secure and private place where she can settle herself to give birth. She will wander around your home, searching for the ideal location for her birth nest.

It is important that you make sure that you help guide her into making a choice of birth nest that fits her needs and also is acceptable to you. After all, many an owner has found that their pet has chosen to give birth in the middle of their bed -a place that is neither desireable nor convenient from your point of view!

After nine, long weeks, it will be time for the kitens to be born. Your soon-to-be mother cat may appear to be feeling anxious or unsettled as she repeatedly enters her birth nest and tries to arrange the nesting material to fit her requirements. This is know as 'treading' as that is exactly what your cat will be doing - treading on her blanket or newspaper. You will certainly hear her purring loudly as she feels the change in her body as it prepares for the birthing process to begin. Her pregnancy is over and it will be your responsibility to be around to assist her during the birth of her kittens, should she need you.

It is your obligation as a pet owner to have made yourself familiar with your cat's birthing process. If you have prepared adequately for the birth of the kittens, you will be aware of what to expect, what is normal behavior and what to look out for if things don't go to plan and the vet needs to be called in to assist. After the anticipation of your cat's pregnancy, proper preparation will ensure that the kittens' birth will be worry-free.
About the Author
Make certain that you are fully equipped to help your pregnant cat give birth to her kittens. Claim your free information on how to deliver kittens and subscribe to Jane Tompsett's free Cat Owners Confidential newsletter by following these links.
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