The age at which a cat is able to conceive healthily is at 6 months, and if you’re the kinda parent that allows your pet to go in and out as they please, then there is a very high probability of her getting pregnant by a tom cat. Now obviously since this didn’t happen in front of you, you can’t know for sure whether or not your cat is pregnant. But then again, you’ve noticed subtle differences in the appearances and the behaviors of your cat… which has you a little worried. Be rested – we are here to help!
How to Tell If a Cat Is Pregnant
There are changes in her eating habits
Now, different cats behave differently when they’re pregnant. Some start eating more, while others start eating less. So keep a sharp eye on her eating routine. However, if there is change in only her eating habit and nothing else from the points mentioned below, then in all probability your cat is either sick or suffering from an infection. In such a case, take her over to a vet.
Her abdomen will be swollen
This one’s kinda obvious. After around 30 days, your cat’s belly will start to increase in size, and will continue to slowly increase till she’s about to give birth. But if you have a cat that’s overweight, this change might become difficult to spot. So do pay close attention.
Her nipples have darkened
Around the 20 day mark, the nipples of a pregnant cat start becoming not only larger, but darker in color. A few cats might even have discharges from their nipples, which is nothing but their body getting ready to produce milk for the future babies.
How to tell if a cat is pregnant? Well, around 15 days before giving birth, cats often start nesting – her instinctive search for a warm and quiet spot to give birth. So she will start searching for quiet spots in or around the house to give birth. She may also start showing you more affection than she’s used to, but don’t be fooled. That’s just her maternal instinct kicking in.
There are changes in her behaviors
She will become less tolerant of pets around her, prefer staying at home than going out, show little attraction to tom cats, sleep more and be more lethargic. She may also needlessly be aggressive or angry, but that’s just her hormones talking.
Other Vital Facts About Cat Pregnancy
How long does her pregnancy last?
Broadly speaking, the average cat’s pregnancy lasts anywhere between 70 and 90 days. Obviously when compared to a human pregnancy, this doesn’t seem long, but do keep in mind that cat ages faster than humans. And if you calculate cat-to-human ratio, you’ll realize that in human terms, a cat’s pregnancy lasts for 14 months!!
How many kittens can she give birth to?
This is a very subjective topic because this largely depends on her genetic structure. Even so, it’s safe to say that the average cat can deliver 4-6 kittens during her pregnancy. If your cat is young, healthy and sexually active, then she can get pregnant twice a year. And this is exactly why you should get your cat spayed!
How should you feed a pregnant cat?
Needless to say, now since you cat is pregnant, a normal diet just won’t do. Her body’s under a lot of duress, which is why she needs extra food and thus extra energy in order to cope with the changes in her body.
You have to add protein to her diet, and don’t forget to keep her hydrated. So keep refilling her water bowl.
Don’t make the mistake of giving her 3 big meals. No. Her stomach’s already full (pun intended), so make sure you break down her meals into smaller portions and feed her every few hours throughout the day.
In last trimester of her pregnancy (the last three or four weeks), switch her diet to kitten food. The nutritional value of that food for a pregnant cat is stupendous, and you won’t have to feed her anything extra at all. Keep feeding her the same food after she’s given birth, up until her kittens have been weaned. If you want, you can give her sardines or canned foods to spice things up a bit for her.
How much food should be given to her?
After mastering how to tell if a cat is pregnant and which foods can be fed to her, it’s time for you to master the quantity of food to be given to her.
The food intake of a pregnant cat is usually 1.5 to 2 times of her regular intake. However, this won’t be consistent. Her body will constantly be going through hormonal changes, which will result in her sometimes overeating and sometimes under-eating her regular quantity of food. Sometimes, she may eat nothing at all. So don’t worry much over her dietary habits until and unless this behavior keeps continuing for several days at a stretch.