Image Credit - Staticflickr.com/
The gestation period for pregnant cats is about nine weeks, and the onslaught of pregnancy is associated with both physical and behavioral changes. If you can spot the changes, it can help you figure out if your cat is pregnant.Recognizing fertility signs
- Is your cat fertile? – If your cat’s fertile and has been in heat, it is quite possible that she may be pregnant.a. Domestic female cats become sexually active as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, usually between spring and fall.b. They will go into heat as the weather gets warmer and when they reach 80 percent of their adult weight. In some unusual cases, they can go into heat as early as four months.
- Keep an eye out for mating behavior – Once your cat goes into heat, she will display behavioral changes that are meant to attract potential mates. The usual signs include:a. Restlessness, increased appetite and affectionb. Frequent and insistent mewling or meowing
- Understand the implications – If your cat is in heat, odd behavior is not the only side effect. There is a good chance that she might have gotten pregnant.a. Once your cat is has been in heat anytime in the recent past, you should make it a point to test her for pregnancyb. If you want to avoid unwanted pregnancies, make sure you spay her as soon as possible.
- Enlarged nipples – The nipples will become enlarged and red a few days into the pregnancya. Her breasts will grow bigger and she might secrete a milky fluid.b. Bear in mind that enlarged nipples are also an indicator of your cat being in heat, and they are not an exclusive sign of pregnancy.
- Look for the “burro” shape – Pregnant cats look swaybacked from the side with a round, bulging abdomen.a. Most of the female cats assume this shape at a late stage in the pregnancy.b. If your cat is overweight, she will have thicker legs and neck, not just a thick abdomen.
- Nesting Behavior – A few days before she is about to give birth, your cat will start to prepare the nest for her litter.a. She will go to a quiet place and start arranging towels, blankets and other fabric to make room for her kittens.b. If you see nesting behavior and did not know that your cat was pregnant before, take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible for a prenatal checkup. The vet will confirm the diagnosis with an ultrasound.
Avoid deworming, getting vaccinations and giving other medication to your cat when she is pregnant. If she falls prey to an infection while she is pregnant, consult with the vet before you put her on medication.