Timing of pregnancy
The minimum period allotted by nature for a cat’s pregnancy is 55 days, the maximum is 72 days. According to the observations of the owners, the average time for carrying a feline baby is 60-68 days.
The gestation periods of animals of different breeds vary, albeit slightly. Long-haired cats carry offspring a little longer than short-haired cats. For example, fluffy beauties from the Maine Coon breed have to expect a happy moment for 66-68 days, and for the representatives of the Siamese-oriental group – only 59-64 days. Felinologists have determined the average duration of pregnancy for cats of different breeds. So, for example, it is for
In cats carrying 1-2 cubs, gestation often reaches 72 days, and expectant mothers with many children can expect to have offspring from the 58th day.
The duration of bearing kittens is often influenced by situations that are stressful for pregnant animals – moving, repairs, guests who stayed for a long time, noisy events. In such cases, childbirth may occur earlier or later than the moment established by nature.
How to tell if a cat is pregnant
It is highly desirable for a cat owner to know that his pet has become pregnant. It is important to establish the moment of mating, because it is from it that the cat’s pregnancy begins. It is not difficult for the owners who themselves determine the “wedding day”, and those whose kitties have arbitrarily decided to have offspring, left unattended, are often taken by surprise.
The fact of early pregnancy of a cat can only be accurately confirmed by an ultrasound examination of its abdominal cavity. Already in the second week from the moment of conception, the ultrasound equipment recognizes the fetal bladder, in the third week it records the fetal heartbeat. Experienced veterinarians are also able to detect early pregnancy by palpation.
If you admit that the cat could become pregnant, watch her. The first suspicious signs appear around the tenth day after mating. You will notice that the kitty has become extremely affectionate, more demanding on the manifestations of your attention. Much less often, but it happens that the animal, on the contrary, tries to retire, avoids touching. The pet becomes drowsy, slow, in a word, her behavior changes noticeably.
The first signs of pregnancy are also manifested in a change in the taste preferences of the expectant mother. She may be interested in food that she did not like before. An animal’s appetite is also an important indicator. At first, it may decrease, morning toxicosis is possible, but then the cat begins to demand more and more portions of food.
Noticing that the cat has swollen mammary glands and darkened nipples, you will assert your suspicions. Such signs appear in the third week of pregnancy. There will be no doubt at all when, by the end of the fourth week, the cat’s tummy begins to noticeably round up, then increasing day by day.
Waiting for offspring
The gestation period for kittens is marked by several important stages.
The formation of embryos up to 1 cm in size occurs within the first three weeks from the moment of fertilization of the cat. This internal process does not affect the appearance of the animal in any way. But it was this period that was marked by changes in the behavior of the pet, a decrease in her appetite.
Over the next two weeks, the cubs grow to 4-6 cm. At this time, their bodies begin to be covered with tiny hairs. The cat’s tummy grows expressively, acquiring a pear-shaped shape, by the 5th week it is noticeably denser. The cat waddles, with swollen sides, and it seems that the babies in her womb are cramped. However, if a kitty is carrying no more than two cubs, its belly does not grow too clearly. During this period, the ultrasound examination will give an accurate conclusion regarding the number of kittens. You should not independently determine the number of offspring by probing the cat’s tummy. This is dangerous for both babies and their mother.
From the seventh to the ninth week of “interesting position” the cat goes through the most crucial period. The intrauterine development of her cubs ends, the weight of each of them reaches an average of 100 g, the length – up to 8 cm. The kittens’ bodies are abundantly covered with fur. They are active, constantly moving, because of which the sides of the expectant mother noticeably move. It becomes apparent that the cat is uncomfortable with the heavy belly. She tries to lie down longer, often runs to the toilet, does not show an increased interest in food, rejecting even her favorite delicacies. A week before giving birth, she begins to slightly release immature milk (colostrum), which dries up in the nipple area.
Approximately 3-5 days before the kittens are born, the kitten begins to show obvious anxiety, looking for a secluded corner where she could “twist” a cozy nest. The owners can help the pet to solve this important issue by buying or making a soft, comfortable bed, where the entire cat family would be accommodated. On the eve of childbirth, the kitty begins to actively lick, her pulse quickens, trembling occurs. She follows the owners on the heels, not wanting to be alone. At such a time, she especially needs affection and attention, benevolent instructions. Households should not show nervousness, as negative emotions will only increase the anxiety of the animal.
Bearing kittens ends with childbirth. The process can take from several hours to a day. If during this period the cat was unable to lamb on its own, you will need the help of a veterinarian. Difficulties in childbirth are often caused by the fact that the owners fed the pregnant animal, which made the kittens too large.
It is important to know that a cat can also have a false pregnancy when she thinks she is carrying kittens. This pathology is caused by hormonal disruptions, which, in turn, are caused by various reasons, including unsuccessful viscous, diseases of the reproductive system, stress, individual predisposition to such a factor.
It is difficult to distinguish a false pregnancy from a real one, because the external signs in both cases, at first glance, coincide. With an imaginary pregnancy, the animal’s behavior also changes, sensitivity increases, appetite increases or decreases, colostrum appears. The cat may be looking for a place for the intended birth.
You can suspect a false pregnancy by noticing that the pet’s belly has increased dramatically and sagged, as if the time for the offspring had approached. In a cat that actually carries kittens, the belly swells up gradually. In addition, kitties who imagine themselves to be pregnant often suffer from gastrointestinal upset. If you notice such signs, go to the veterinary clinic, where you can use ultrasound detectors to find out if the cat is really preparing to become a mother.