It happens to every cat owner— their feline slips outside for a day or two then you’d just suspect her being pregnant. And if she is not fixed, then just a single encounter can really result in more feline in the family.
The problem is, her belly will not start bulging until the latter stages of pregnancy— and even then you might mistake it for a pot belly. The good news is, there are more accurate answers to the question “How to tell if your cat is pregnant?”
And if you know what to look for, you will not have to take her to the vet in order to be absolutely certain. You should be able to tell if your feline is pregnant as early as 3 – 4 weeks. And once you have confirmed the truth then you will be able to prepare for the exciting arrival of new furry family members.
Pregnant cats, or fondly referred to as Queens, are known to be incredibly efficient breeders which can get pregnant 2 times a year. They can be impregnated as early as 4 months into their life unless they’ve been spayed.
Cats go into heat just before mating. Most felines will not have any physical changes such as genital discharge during this stage, however, you might observe some behavioral changes such as rolling around and yowling.
Now, if you feline suddenly stop these behaviors after meeting male cars, then it is highly likely that she is now pregnant.
Cat pregnancy typically ranges from 63 – 67 days. During their 9-week pregnancy, your feline will go through different behavioral and physical changes. However, physical signs of pregnancy will not be noticeable until the 3rd – 4th week.
Signs of Cat Pregnancy
1. Morning Sickness
Like humans, felines also experience morning sickness when pregnant. However, they only exhibit signs of morning sickness for a few days, unlike human mothers-to-be who experience it for weeks and even months. A common sign of morning sickness is short bouts of vomiting which usually happen during the 4th week. She will often ignore the food you give her and she may not be as receptive as she used to be.
2. Nipple Changes
This is the most obvious physical change in pregnant felines. Her nipples become more prominent than usual and it will start to swell and enlarge as her body prepared to feed her kittens. Its color also changes to pink.
3. Behavioral Changes
Your feline will start to exhibit various behavioral changes during the middle stages of pregnancy. One of the most common changes is that they become more attention-seeking with their owners and they would follow you all day long. She may also stroke her rounded side against your leg and have louder purrs to get your attention.
Also, because of the physical changes that she experience, your cat tends to become quieter, sleepier and calmer and want to rest more.
4. Swollen Belly
Pregnant felines will start to develop a rounded and swollen abdomen at about the 30th of gestation. However, like the changes in her nipples, this may also not that easy to spot. For instance, an overweight cat may appear to have a big, rounded belly.
So, how do you differentiate and overweight cat from a pregnant one?
Does she have fat in her legs and neck? Overweight cat tends to have fat all over their body and not only in their tummy. Pregnant felines, on the other hand, will have around, bulging tummy when viewed from the side. Also, you might even feel the kittens wriggle around her stomach.
5. Increased Appetite and Weight Gain
As your pregnant feline enters the 6th week, her appetite will also increase. The caloric needs of a pregnant feline double in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy, causing her to gain weight and make her stomach look rounded.
This is quite normal and you do not have to worry about overfeeding since she will need every bit of calorie to feed her young.
6. Enlarged Mammary Gland
During the 8th week, her mammary glands also become prominent, large and firm. Her nipples become more pointed. And nearing the end of pregnancy, her mammary glands will start producing milk and you may notice yellow discharge.
7. Balding on Her Belly
As the final two weeks of pregnancy come, your pregnant feline will experience balding o her belly. This is a natural process, especially for those breeds with a lot of hair that prepares the body to give birth. The hair should grow back after giving birth.