If you are thinking of getting a cat, or already own a cat, then the responsible thing to do is to get your cat spayed/neutered. There are so many unwanted cats in Ireland that as a cat owner you don’t want to add to the problem.
If you come across a cat that you think is pregnant then how can you tell for sure before taking them to the vet?
How to Tell if a Cat is Pregnant?
There are three ways to tell if a cat is pregnant. One is by observing the noticeable physical changes your cat may have. Second is by observing the changes in her personality and third is via a vets diagnosis.
#1. Physical Changes
Changes in the Colour of her Nipples.
This is one of the obvious signs that a cat is pregnant. Once you notice that your cat’s nipples are swelling and becomes rosier in colour, it means you will be having kittens in your house soon. The breeders call this “pinking”.
Heat Cycles Stops.
If you know your cat that well, you can easily detect that she is pregnant. If your cat has been having heat cycles every ten to two weeks, and it suddenly ceases, there is a possibility that she is pregnant.
If your cat has been eating a lot more than she normally does, it could be a sign that she is going to be a mum.
If your cat eats a lot, you will notice an increase in her weight. A pregnant cat will slowly gain 1 to 2 kg which is a clear indication that your cat is pregnant.
Vomiting or Morning Sickness.
Just like humans, an anticipating cat will also experience morning sickness. However, there are some cat owners who panic a lot when they see their cat vomit. If you cannot see the other signs of pregnancy in your cat and she vomits, you should bring her to the vet.
Her Abdomen is Bigger than Usual.
Not all cats with a bigger abdomen are pregnant. You will notice her big stomach on the fifth week of pregnancy. It will continue to enlarge until the time of birth.
#2. Changes in Personality
Becomes More Affectionate.
It is common for a cat to be affectionate but once they get pregnant they become even more affectionate. They will seek out extra attention from you.
This is not actually an early sign of pregnancy since it will occur during the last few days of her pregnancy. During nesting, your cat will look for a quiet, private area where she can have her kittens.
#3. Vet Diagnosis
You should take your cat to the vet to get confirmation and to make sure that there is nothing wrong with your cat.
Palpation of the Abdomen.
Through palpating and gently pressing your cat’s abdomen, the vet can feel the fetuses. This can be done around the 17th to 20th day of pregnancy.
Ultrasound of the Abdomen.
Ultrasound can detect the fetuses as early as the second week of pregnancy. The heartbeats can be detected after the third week.
What To Do If Your Cat Is Pregnant?
Some cats may exhibit only one or two signs and some may show all the signs. To make sure that your cat is pregnant, and not something else, it is best that you get confirmation from your vet.
A pregnant cat needs to have the right nutrition and attention for both herself and her kittens.
A pregnant cat becomes more demanding as she progresses through her pregnancy. They may become more vocal, meow hard to get your attention, love, and comfort. Sometimes they are making sounds because of the discomfort they feel from the growing weight on their abdomen and due to contractions.
At the later stages of their pregnancy, they will demand more food and eat a lot, and sleep the rest of the time. They will show changes both physically and in their personality, which will become more obvious when your cat reaches her three weeks of pregnancy. Normally the cat’s gestation period runs between 60 to 67 days.