The new owner’s guide to cat pregnancy

August 21, 2022

We combined the fact that International Cat week is in August, with the fact that many new cat owners do not fully understand the cat pregnancy risks for unneutered females. The Vets at Edgewood Vets have put some helpful advice together below.

Female cats are fertile every two or three weeks and can come into season for the first time when they are just 4 months old. Our clinical team in Purleigh thought they would be wise to provide some advice on cat pregnancy in an article that may be of particular benefit to new cat owners.

As a new cat owner, one of the first things you need to think about is whether or not you would like your cat to have offspring. If not, then we recommend that you neuter them before their first season. If you would like to discuss neutering, then the friendly team at our vet practice in Purleigh can help you.

Get in touch and we can talk you through the facts.

If you are keen to experience a litter of kittens, or you get caught out (by not neutering your cat in time) and experience an unexpected cat pregnancy, it is important to make sure your cat is healthy and properly supported.

Signs of cat pregnancy

Do not panic! Look out for the three classic signs of cat pregnancy: red and enlarged nipples, extra weight, and changes in behaviour. Definitely book a check-up as weight gain can be a sign of many things so if you are seeing that, then we need to see your cat. We will complete a full health check and can confirm a pregnancy just 15 days into her term using ultrasound.

Five things to expect when your cat is expecting…

  1. Cat pregnancy usually lasts between 61 and 72 days.
  2. Apart from the three classic signs above, expect vomiting in the early weeks.
  3. A day before labour begins, your cat’s body temperature will drop to around 37.8 degrees.
  4. As labour starts, she may seek out a quiet place, seem restless and lose interest in food.
  5. As she delivers, you will see discharge, followed by kittens. If the discharge is discoloured or your cat appears to be struggling to deliver, you should contact us quickly on 01621 828381.

Four things your pregnant cat will need

Our Vets will prepare you with a cat pregnancy timeline, safe flea & worm treatments, and will walk you through the birthing process. You will also need:

  1. More food: Pregnant cats eat around 25% more food, especially in the 3 weeks to delivery.
  2. More water: She should also have access to more fresh water whilst pregnant.
  3. A kittening box: Create a safe space in a quiet corner – give her some room.
  4. Loving homes: You need to understand ‘Lucy’s Law’ which means you cannot sell your kittens unless you are a registered breeder or animal shelter. We recommend that you start looking for suitable homes early in the process.

Cat pregnancy can be a wonderful thing if you are informed and prepared, so, please do remember that we are here to help. You can contact us by popping into our Chelmsford Road practice or give us a call on 01621 828381.

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