Pregnancy in cats: How to recognize them

Pregnancy in cats is an exciting time for both the expectant mother and for you. But how can you tell that your velvet paw is expecting children? We would like to explain this to you below. The veterinarian uses an ultrasound to make sure that a cat is pregnant - Image: Shutterstock / Ermolaev Alexander

However, you cannot immediately recognize a pregnancy in cats. The pregnancy cannot be determined with certainty in the first two to three weeks after the mating. During this time, the velvet paw can still be unruly. Around the third week after fertilization, the veterinarian can feel that your cat is expecting kittens.

How long is a cat pregnant?

The gestation period of an expectant cat mother can last between 60 and 72 days after the mating. If you are a cat breeder yourself, you can schedule the birth date to two to two and a half months after the mating. If your cat is a neutered free-lover, you have to rely on physical signs of pregnancy in cats - and these are not so easy to recognize.

Pregnancy in cats: first signs

A tip first: The pregnancy should always be determined by a doctor. An inexperienced cat owner can cause great damage to both the cat and the babies with the careless groping.

However, there are other signs that indicate pregnancy in cats: These include tinges on the velvet paw that are slightly pink and more prominent - these can be observed after 15 to 18 days. From about the fifth week onwards, the thickening of the stomach can be seen gradually. Cats gain about one to two kilograms during pregnancy.

Cats, like humans, may experience "nausea" and may vomit frequently. Pregnant house tigers often have more appetite than before and give birth to their kittens. In addition, cats seek more and more often the closeness of "their" people than usual during the gestation phase, become clingy and cuddly - but they can just as quickly look for distance. Such mood swings are also possible symptoms of pregnancy in cats.

Litter box: cat prepare a comfortable bed for the birth

About two weeks before the birth date, it is time to prepare a litter box for your cat ...

This way the veterinarian can recognize the pregnancy

Basically, the symptoms of pregnancy in cats such as nausea and vomiting, weight gain, increased appetite and behavior changes such as increased attachment can also indicate an illness. Therefore, do not hesitate if you see unusual signs in your fur nose and have it checked by the veterinarian as a precaution.

If you go to the vet with your supposedly pregnant cat, the vet will most likely do an ultrasound. From the third week at the latest, the expected offspring can be proven relatively reliably, sometimes even after 15 days. After 40 days, the veterinarian can also use ultrasound to see how many kittens are on the move. However, it can happen that a fetus is slightly larger than its siblings and obscures the view of other kittens.

How you can tell that the birth is imminent

About 24 to 48 hours before the kittens are born, the mother-to-be loses her appetite. She gradually becomes nervous and looks around for a quiet place to give birth. It is best to prepare a litter box for your cat a few days before the earliest possible date of birth. 12 to 24 hours before delivery, their body temperature drops to around 37.8 degrees Celsius. Shortly before, your fur nose is particularly uneasy, meows more or cleanses more. If contractions become noticeable, i.e. strong contractions in the lower abdomen, and followed by a dark, viscous vaginal flow, it happens every second. You can find out how best to behave in this case in our guide "This is how the baby kittens are born".