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Recognizing the symptoms of pregnancy in a cat

Cats get pregnant easily. Pregnancy can occur every time a kitten is in heat, several times a year from spring to autumn. Be sure to sterilize your cat if she is not a breeding cat and you want to avoid unwanted offspring. Since your kitten has no outward signs in the first few weeks of pregnancy, you won't see any difference at first. However, after about two to three weeks, you should notice symptoms that indicate you are pregnant. Any pregnancy, whether planned or unplanned, should be discussed with your veterinarian.

Symptoms of pregnancy

  • Pregnant females will not show signs of heat, although this does not guarantee pregnancy, it only indicates that ovulation has occurred; a kitten may have an imaginary pregnancy.
  • After 15-18 days, the nipples may become enlarged and reddened.
  • A pregnant kitten may also go through a stage of nausea from time to time. Although it can take the form of 'morning sickness', it is important that you consult your vet if it occurs frequently, persistently, or if your cat is otherwise abnormal and it affects her appetite.
  • Your cat will gradually gain from one to two kilograms in weight, depending on the number of kittens. This is a definite indicator of pregnancy. Pregnancy can be precisely diagnosed by ultrasound after only 15 days (by an experienced diagnostician), beating hearts are visible from the 17th day, and the doctor will be able to determine the number of kittens by X-ray after 40 days.
  • The abdomen will begin to enlarge, but avoid touching it so as not to risk damaging the fetuses. There are other causes of an enlarged abdomen, so watch your cat closely for possible signs of disease and consult your vet if anything is worrying you.
  • Your cat's behavior may become "maternal" and she may purr a lot. Later in pregnancy, some cats also tend to have an increased appetite or, on the contrary, may have difficulty eating.
  • Your veterinarian may test your hormone levels to determine if you are pregnant.

Signs of upcoming delivery

  • As delivery approaches, your kitten may refuse to eat, become restless, and may begin looking for a suitable, quiet place to give birth. If in doubt, discuss your cat's behavior with your veterinarian.
  • The first symptom of labor is a drop in body temperature of the female cat to about 37.8 ° C, which may occur in the 12 hours before birth. However, if the temperature measurement is stressful for your kitten, do not take it.
  • The kitten may meow and seem agitated, washing herself all the time.
  • You should then notice abdominal contractions and vaginal discharge followed by the first kitten! If the discharge is severe and is black or bloody color you should contact your veterinarian.
  • Whenever you are concerned about your cat's condition during childbirth, consult your veterinarian or ask him to assist you in this important moment for you and your cat.

The average feline pregnancy lasts from 63 to 67 days, but this time can vary from 61 to 72 days and it may be difficult to determine the exact duration as cats may mate several times. If you suspect your cat is pregnant, you should take the future mother to a vet for confirmation. During your visit, your doctor should be able to advise you on nutrition and care for the mother and kittens. If the pregnancy is unplanned, take your kitten to the doctor as soon as possible as it is possible to sterilize her during pregnancy. Of course, if you do not want your cat to become pregnant, sterilize it as soon as possible.

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