False Pregnancy in Cats: A Closer Look What is False Pregnancy In Cats and How To Recognize It

False Pregnancy in Cats: A Closer Look https://images.pexels.com/photos/177809/pexels-photo-177809.jpeg

Female cats that haven't been spayed may experience false pregnancy, also known as pseudopregnancy. We delve into this condition further in this article.

False pregnancy, also known as pseudopregnancy, is a condition that can occur in female cats who have not been spayed. This condition can cause a variety of physical and behavioral changes that can be confusing for both the cat and its owner. False pregnancy can be distressing for cats, as they may experience discomfort and exhibit unusual behaviors.

In this article, we will explore the phenomenon of false pregnancy in cats, including its causes, symptoms, and potential complications. We will also provide tips for caring for a cat experiencing a false pregnancy, including when to seek veterinary care.

Can Cats Have False Labor?

Yes, they can. Cat's false labor is caused by a hormonal imbalance that occurs when the cat's body begins to produce high levels of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that is normally produced in female cats during pregnancy and lactation to stimulate milk production. In false pregnancy, however, the cat's body produces high levels of prolactin even though she is not pregnant. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Ovarian cysts: Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form on the ovaries, and they can cause hormonal imbalances that lead to false pregnancy in cats.

  • Delayed ovulation: Sometimes, a cat's body can begin to prepare for pregnancy even if she has not ovulated. This can cause the body to produce high levels of prolactin, leading to false pregnancy.

  • Breeding activity: Female cats can experience false pregnancy even if they have not mated, simply due to the physical and hormonal changes that occur during breeding activity.

  • Stress: Stress can also cause hormonal imbalances that lead to false pregnancies in cats. This can be caused by changes in the cat's environment, such as moving to a new home or the introduction of a new pet.

Phantom Pregnancy in Cats

A female cat's ovaries and uterus are removed during spaying, preventing her from becoming pregnant. She could still have hormonal changes that resemble pregnancy, nevertheless. The cat may display behaviors including nesting, feeding fictitious kittens, and showing more love as a result of these changes.

The specific cause of phantom pregnancy in spayed cats is unknown. However, it is believed to be connected to hormones generated by the cat's adrenal glands and pituitary gland following spaying. The cat's body may act as though she is pregnant as a result of these hormones.

Although normally not hazardous, phantom pregnancy in spayed cats can be upsetting for the pet and perplexing for the owner.


Pseudopregnancy in cats can cause a range of physical and behavioral symptoms. These symptoms can vary in severity and duration depending on the individual cat and the underlying cause of the false pregnancy. Some usual symptoms of a cat's false pregnancy include:

  • Nesting behavior: A cat who is experiencing a false pregnancy may start to exhibit nesting habits, such as looking for a good place to make a nest, accumulating supplies to make a nest, or showing extreme caution around a certain spot.

  • Mammary gland enlargement: The cat's mammary glands may enlarge and become tender to the touch. Some cats may even make milk, but the milk won't be able to provide the nutrients that kittens need.

  • Behavioral changes: Cats may show signs of anxiety or depression and exhibit unusual vocalizations or other changes in their normal behavior.

  • Appetite loss: During a fake pregnancy, cats may lose their appetite or have a more picky relationship with food.

  • Weight gain: Even if they aren't eating more than normal, some cats may put on weight while experiencing a fake pregnancy.

  • Vomiting and Diarrhea: In certain situations, cats may have gastrointestinal problems during a fake pregnancy, including vomiting and diarrhea.


Diagnosing pseudopregnancy in cats can be challenging because many of the symptoms of false pregnancy can also indicate other medical conditions. If you suspect your cat is experiencing a false pregnancy, it is important to take her to a veterinarian for a thorough examination to rule out other possible causes.

Your cat's medical history will likely be obtained, along with a physical examination, by your veterinarian. Also, they could advise more testing to assist in identifying the underlying source of the symptoms, like blood tests to assess hormone levels or imaging exams like X-rays or ultrasounds to look for ovarian cysts.

The presence of typical signs, including nesting behavior, swelling mammary glands, and behavioral abnormalities, might help your veterinarian diagnose fake pregnancy after other illnesses have been ruled out.

Tips to Care for Cats with Pseudopregnancy

If your cat is experiencing a false pregnancy, there are several things you can do to help care for her and minimize any discomfort she may be experiencing. Here are some false pregnancy in cats treatments:

  • Provide a comfortable nesting area: By providing a pleasant nesting space, you can make cats that are suffering a false pregnancy feel more at ease. Provide a soft, warm bed in a quiet, secluded area of your home.

  • Avoid handling the cat's mammary glands: The cat's mammary glands may be swollen and sensitive, so avoid handling them as much as possible to prevent discomfort or irritation.

  • Monitor the cat's food intake: Cats may experience a loss of appetite during false pregnancy, so it is crucial to observe and regulate her food intake and offer small, frequent meals if necessary. If your cat is not eating or drinking enough, consult your veterinarian.

  • Provide plenty of water: It is important to ensure your cat is staying hydrated during a false pregnancy, so provide plenty of fresh water for her to drink.

  • Avoid stress: Stress can worsen the symptoms of false pregnancy, so try to minimize any stressors in your cat's environment. Provide a quiet, peaceful environment, and avoid introducing any new pets or making other changes that may cause stress.

  • Consider spaying your cat: If your cat repeatedly experiences fake pregnancy, your veterinarian may advise having her spayed to stop this from happening again.

See your veterinarian if you observe any changes in your cat's behavior or physical symptoms of a false pregnancy or if you have any worries about your cat's health. They can advise you on the best course of action for your pet's care and treatment.

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