You should look for certain telltale signs to be sure that your cat is pregnant. First, your cat’s appetite and body weight will increase. After thirty-five days, the belly and breasts will start to enlarge. A physical exam at this time will be done to confirm pregnancy and monitor the health and nutritional status of the cat.
Your doctor should also tell you when to expect the kittens. and he or she should help you formulate an emergency plan, in case problems arise during delivery.
The phase of pregnancy in which the uterus prepares for the development of the fetuses is called metestrus. The egg is released, gets fertilized, and attaches to the wall of the uterus (implantation) to grow. Pregnancy lasts an average of sixty-three days after conception. After fifty days milk production will begin, and a few days before your cat gives birth, the breasts may secrete a milklike substance.
If the pregnant queen does not seem to be in good condition, your doctor may perform a few blood tests, such as hemoglobin and serum protein, and suggest supplementing the daily balanced diet. Undernutrition is a major factor in the birth of kittens that are too small to survive the postnatal period. Also, an under nourished cat may not care for the kittens properly, and the milk production may be inadequate.
For healthy cats, a normal commercial cat-food diet should provide adequate nutrients, although supplements of high-quality proteins, such as milk products and cooked eggs, certainly won’t hurt.
The primary difference in the pregnant cat’s diet is that the queen needs more food, more calories, and more protein during the second month of pregnancy. Divide the total daily ration into three or four smaller meals to aid digestion.
Exercise is beneficial it will keep your cat from getting too heavy and having a difficult delivery. Therefore, do not at first restrict exercise, but don’t let the cat roam far without supervision. Most queens will themselves limit their exercise as the pregnancy progresses, but you should restrict all strenuous exercise three days before the due date.
Drugs taken during pregnancy are potentially dangerous to the fetuses. Consult your veterinarian before giving your pregnant cat any medication. Some medications to avoid are aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), antihistamines, antibiotics(especially tetracycline, kanamycin, streptomycin, and sulfa drugs), hormones, tranquilizers, and most worming medications.
- well-balanced commercial food;
- high-protein supplements (milk products, cooked eggs);
- divide the daily ration into 3 or 4 smaller portions;
- discuss vitamin supplements with your veterinarian;
- schedule a midgestation veterinary exam for;
- confirmation of pregnancy;
- health check;
- let exercise continue, but not unsupervised;
- avoid giving your cat drugs;
- arrange the nursing box;
- have all utensils handy;
- have your emergency plan ready;
- stop strenuous exercise 3 days before the due date.
Cat False Pregnancy
Although it is rare, some females may experience a false pregnancy: they have all the signs of the “real thing” even labor pains but no kittens are born. In their place, the “mother” will drag slippers, socks, or other soft objects into the “nest,”wherever it is. In fact, the “babies” may even be shredded clothing or newspapers.
To check the reality of your queen’s signs, palpate the abdomen very gently after thirty-five days have elapsed. If you can’t feel anything. or if your cat is especially large or fat, your veterinarian can help you tell for sure. An X-ray may be necessary to determine the existence of kittens.
If the pregnancy is false, hormone injections can be given to lessen or alleviate the signs, but I suggest that you just wait it out and let your cat “nurse” your slippers. The less hormone therapy, the better, because hormones can affect so many different body processes. However, I recommend spaying to prevent the almost certain recurrence of false pregnancy probably after the very next heat.