How Do You Know If A Cat Is Pregnant?
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Telling a cat is pregnant isn't easy initially, but there are signs you can look out for! Much like humans, cats show some symptoms of being pregnant that are obvious.
Early Signs A Cat Is Pregnant
Some early signs to look to for are:
- Noticeable weight gain (2-4 lbs)
- Swollen or pink nipple (also called pinking up)
- A distended abdomen
- Increase in appetite
- Vomiting or morning sickness
- Personality changes that are drastic enough to be noticeable
Pregnant Cat Ultrasound
If you've seen the signs and want to confirm the status of your cat, you're going to need an ultrasound. The only method is to wait for your cat to pop out her kittens.
Ultrasound is only useful after 16 days of pregnancy.
From 16 to 20 days, the vet can only tell you if she's pregnant.
You can get confirmation but no information as to the number of kittens. At 25 days, however, you can listen to their tiny beating hearts.
Do you need to know if you'll have a depressed cat on your hands during or after an abortion?
Well, you've come to the right place. But, before you can delve into the world of cat abortions, it's important to know something about cat pregnancies.
Cat pregnancies aren't very different from human pregnancies. There's still morning sickness, nesting habits, hormonal changes, and more.
Moreover, if you're worried that your 4-month old kitten is too young, you've got another thing coming for you.
Cats as young as 4-months old can get pregnant!
If you think it's too young, you might already be looking into abortions. However, abortions are a big decision whether you're a human or a cat.
Before you go ahead with the procedure, weigh the pros and cons. After all, your pet is dependent on you, don't do wrong by them!
Read on to find out more.
How Long Do Cats Stay Pregnant?
Cat pregnancies don't seem very long because we're used to a 9-month wait.
It seems a lot shorter in many shelters and homes because you can never really tell when a cat got pregnant in the first place.
However, cat pregnancies generally last about 63-67 days.
Like humans, cats go through changes each week that you can track to find out when she's giving birth.
There are specific changes that you can observe to make sure there are no issues as well.
Cat Pregnancy Stages
The stages of cat pregnancy aren't exactly fixed but work as a general guideline. So, here are the different phases your cat will go through!
Week 1: This is the week she gets pregnant. It's generally during her heat when she seeks out a tomcat to impregnate her. She will stop at nothing to mate; be careful during her heats.
Week 2: The second week is when the development starts. You still won't be able to tell that your cat is pregnant, but there will be fetal membranes growing inside her. No ultrasound can pick up her pregnancy at this particular point, either.
Week 3: Week 3 is when you start seeing all the signs mentioned above. From pinking up to raging hormones, you'll notice the changes in your cat indicating pregnancy. No way you can miss it! Don't forget to get an ultrasound just to be sure.
Week 4: From morning sickness to appetite loss, your cat is going through the motions of pregnancy. Morning sickness, much like with humans, can happen at any time during the day, so be careful and considerate. It is also during this time that you cannot pick her up.
Week 5: Around week 5 is when she will require a manual exam. The exam checks to see whether the babies are healthy, happy and just how many there are! You'll also get some advice and hopefully have a healthy pregnant cat safely back at home.
Week 6: At this stage, the major sign is appetite growth. While your cat couldn't eat because of morning sickness, now she's ready to eat everything in sight. Don't stop her from eating, and try to make her diet as balanced as possible.
Week 7: It's getting closer to the end, and your cat will start nesting. She'll be looking for a comfortable spot to give birth and even rest. So, be considerate of her needs.
Week 8: If you see some excessive grooming, shedding of belly fur, and milk dropping everywhere, don't be alarmed; it's natural.
Week 9: You might see some reddish vaginal discharge, panting, meowing, and overall signs of disturbance. It means the kittens are coming soon!
Week 10: Some cats can take up to 10 weeks to give birth. If they don't give birth even after ten weeks, take them to the vet. There might be an issue that you hadn't seen before.
How To Care For A Pregnant Cat
There are several ways to care for a pregnant cat, but the common theme through all the tips is to keep her healthy and comfortable.
Here are four things you can do to make life easier for your pregnant cat:
1. Do not attempt to cuddle her. The wrong pressure on her stomach could hurt her kittens and cause internal damage.
2. Amp up your routine by cleaning out her litter twice a day. Clean the space she's usually in and keep her happy.
3. Anything you're feeding her usually will have to be more nutritious and almost doubled in quantity. According to the Cats Protection Centre in Britain, pregnant felines eat nearly 25% more food.
4. Creating a comfortable, clean, and happy nesting environment.
Can A Pregnant Cat Be Spayed?
If you're looking to get your cat spayed and find out she's pregnant, there's no harm. You can still get your cat spayed when they're pregnant, but make sure you talk to your vet before getting the procedure done.
Can You Deworm A Pregnant Cat?
Deworming a pregnant cat is recommended. However, you should only administer deworming medication every two weeks during the final third of pregnancy till weaning. Tapeworms and worms of any kind are common in cats, so regular deworming is essential!
How To Feed A Pregnant Or Nursing Cat
The diet of a pregnant or nursing cat is nowhere close to their regular diet.
As cats grow, they don't require the same high-calorie food they require when they are kittens.
Pregnant cats need the calories, energy, and quantity, so you'll have to shift from regular adult cat food!
Pregnant Cat Food
Pregnant cat food is not the same as regular adult cat food. Since actual kittens are growing inside her, she'll need more calorie-heavy, energy-providing food.
The best way to provide this is to feed her high-quality kitten food!
Kitten food is rich in nutrients and is filled with enough calories to keep your pregnant cat energetic and happy.
She'll also be eating up to 50% more food, so keep it on hand. It's a good idea to start feeding your cat kitten formula from the fourth week of pregnancy.
How To Help A Pregnant Cat Give Birth
There's little you can do when your cat is giving birth. However, there are steps you can take to make it easier for your cat:
- Keep supplies such as absorbent pads, towels, nesting box, heating pads, and dental floss on hand.
- Make sure the nesting box is comfortable and clean.
- Keep an eye on your cat but don't try to interfere too much.
- If you see that your cat is ignoring a kitten still in the sac, you can gently break it and start breathing.
- If the number of placentas doesn't match the number of kittens, go to the vet.
Do Cats Get Depressed After Abortion?
Abortions are a difficult decision no matter what the species. In cats, it is doubly hard as they do not understand what is happening – they have no say.
Many owners may have their cats aborted because they don't want the litter due to health concerns or something similar.
However, there are consequences.
Cats are not unfeeling animals. They care heavily about their own; this includes their kittens. A cat can get depressed. They will have to be heavily monitored after such a procedure.
There are three main effects of an abortion in a cat:
Confusion: Cat's don't have a say or understand abortion. Since it is not in their hands, they are bound to be extremely confused when they don't have kittens anymore. It will almost feel like a miscarriage to them.
Hormonal Imbalances: The hormonal imbalances that come after an abortion are not good for your cat's health. Those very imbalances can cause heavy bouts of depression. You'll see agitation, loss of appetite, and odd behaviour in your cat.
Physical Weakness: Cats are bound to get weak after such a procedure. The loss of their kittens will make them unable to eat well or function as before. Be sure to look after your cat after such a life-changing procedure for them.
Cat abortions are not to be taken lightly. Since your cat doesn't have any say in the procedure, they're bound to be confused and heavily depressed.
There could be health issues to look out for.
However, before you decide to get your cat such a procedure, make sure you understand the process of pregnancy fully and the consequences of terminating such a natural part of life for your cat.
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