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Signs your cat is pregnant

Updated on September 20, 2011
clarita
clarita

Subtle and more obvious signs of pregnancy in cats

If your cat was recently in heat and she had access to the outside world, very likely she has met several candidates willing to begin "courtship practices". A cat in heat after all, is hard to be ignored, she will cry out and release a special urine rich in estrogen that will attract potential soul mates.

If you believe that chances of your cat being pregnant are high, as an owner you may find it frustrating to not know for some time if your cat is expecting kittens or not. While it may take a good amount of time to observe obvious signs of pregnancy, there are some small subtle signs suggesting pregnancy that can be witnessed early by attentive owners that know their cats very well.

Signs Possibly Suggesting Pregnancy in Cats

-One of the best symptoms of feline pregnancy is the fact that your cat has not gone into heat again. Cats may easily go into heat within weeks from a previous heat if not pregnant. In pregnant cats the heat cycle will abruptly cease and there will therefore no longer be visible (and audible!) signs suggesting heat.

-A pregnant cat's nipples may appear rosier in color and a bit swollen. This is usually one of the first signs of pregnancy and it may not be detected by an untrained eye. For this reason a good picture before and after mating may be a good source to refer to to get an idea of the differences.

-Just as people, cats may suffer from bouts of morning sickness. Morning sickness arises because of the hormonal changes that take place along with physical changes such as the uterus stretching out and distending. A cat affected by morning sickness may appear lethargic, nauseous and may vomit. Food may be consequently refused. The signs of morning sickness are more prominent towards the third and fourth week post mating.

-Owners will notice that their cat will be more interested in food as their appetite will increase. The cat is obviously eating for 2,3,4,5,6,7 kittens if not even more. Ask your veterinarian for an appropriate diet to feed your cat upon learning about her pregnancy.

-Around the fifth week, your cat may be showing an enlarged abdomen. This is usually the most prominent and visible sign. The cat's abdomen will continue to enlarge considerable until delivery.

-One week before pregnancy the cat will appear irritable and may groom herself very often paying close attention to her genital area. She may obsessively look around for a good place to give birth. This is called "nesting behavior" and is a cat's way of preparing a safe, comfy place for her kittens.

-Around 24 hours prior to the delivery day, the cat's rectal temperature may drop from the average temperature of 101.5 to under 99.5. For this reason, it is helpful to take a cat's temperature around day 61 of pregnancy.

Since some cats may show very subtle changes during pregnancy, your veterinarian would be the best source for detecting or ruling out pregnancy. An abdominal ultrasound will detect fetuses as early as 15 days into pregnancy. Heart beats can be detected as early as day 20, while x-rays may show skeletons around day 43.

Should you witness your cat mating and you do not want the kittens, you are still in time to have your cat spayed and terminate the pregnancy. As mean as this may sound, terminating a pregnancy at its very first stage may save unwanted kittens from a more dim fate, possibly being abandoned or euthanized at a shelter.

Detecting pregnancy in cats may be challenging especially for first time breeders, to make matters worse, some cats develop false pregnancies exhibiting symptoms similar to pregnancy. For this reason, must you really find out if your cat is pregnant, your veterinarian is the most reliable and trusted source.

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    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago from USA

      How old is your kitten? It's quite easy for cats to get pregnant, and some kittens go in heat early in warm climates where there is loads of sunshine.

    • profile image

      bettina 

      4 years ago

      About 3 weeks ago my kitten was pounced on several times by a male tom. She is now being sick her nipples seem enlarged could she be with babies. Thanks

    • profile image

      torrid 

      6 years ago

      before i write i want to see if this posts without 'signing up'

    • profile image

      raeesa 

      6 years ago

      is she pregnant.there are a lot of tom cats around our neighbourhood and (about) a month ago there was a strange noise coming from outside and whenever i checked, there was always a male so im just curios to find out. when my other cat gave birth(6 years ago and is now 7)we didn't have to do anything-we didn't even know she was pregnant until around a week before her kittens birth.

    • profile image

      raeesa 

      6 years ago

      my kitten is 6 andhalf months old and she's been acting quite strange.where ever i go she's walking next to me but she never used to do that before,her appetite has definitely increased and she is sleeping a lot more than her usual. her nipples are a pinky colour but there less prominent than i read them to be.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      6 years ago from USA

      It could very likely be, but it is hard to know with certainty without seeing a vet.

    • profile image

      Charlotte 

      6 years ago

      My cat is just over a year old and she has changed a lot eating more wants more love n affection meows a lot more pink and big nipples does this mean she is pregnant?

    • profile image

      heidi 

      6 years ago

      my cat was on heat about 3 to 4 weeks and she is acting very strag

    • profile image

      sam 

      7 years ago

      Yes this has helped, my cat has had a false pregnancy before, but this time she is deffo pregnant. she has the roundest belly goin? and has pink nipples, we live on a farm, but she is mostly outside, so it might be a high chance thanks (:

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      7 years ago from USA

      Has she been near any males? If not, I would suggest having her seen by a vet as there are some medical conditions affecting cats that cause an increase in appetite.

    • profile image

      coco 

      7 years ago

      will my cat is about 7 years old and recently she as bin eating a lot sometimes for no reason:( does that mean she is preganet

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      9 years ago from USA

      Well it is spring now and cats can go in heat even every 2-3weeks once days turn longer, if she has not gone in heat for quite some time along with the color of her nipples then that would be a significant sign she is pregnant.

    • profile image

      Gia B 

      9 years ago

      My cat is a little over a year, and she has a tom cat friend. In the last two days I've noticed her belly looks full (but is always does after she eats) She has develops very pink and swollen nipples. She always tries to get into cupboards and closits and loves food more than life. So I'm not sure if she's pregnant. I don't have the money to take her to a vet so I'm gonna have to do all this purly by research! She has been in heat twice, and is always a cuddly cat (when she has the time of day for you). I've been reading as much as I can and the only hint is the change in the nipples. Other than that everything else is saying my cat has been pregnant since the day she was born. If someone could e-mail me and give me profesional advice It would really help! Thanks soooo muchfishr_gurl@hotmail.comGia B

    • profile image

      kim 

      9 years ago

      thank you

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