Is my cat pregnant?
Spring has sprung and Easter is on the horizon, so our thoughts are drawn to fluffy chicks and tiny bunnies. And maybe some of you cat owners will be expecting some cute kitties too.
Female cats tend to become more sexually active as the weather becomes warmer. If your cat hasn’t been spayed, it is worth looking out for any tell-tale signs so you aren’t surprised when you suddenly have a few more cats than your bargained for.
How to tell if your cat is pregnant
Has your cat gone into heat? – If your cat is being very affectionate, is making loud, low mews and sticking her hind quarters in the air, it could be that she is in heat. If so, she is at risk of becoming pregnant. This phase is likely to happen regularly between April and September with some cats coming into heat as young as four months old.
Check for enlarged nipples – Up to 18 days into the pregnancy a cat’s nipples will become bigger and redder. She may also express milky fluid.
Look for a big belly – It may sound like an obvious sign, but bear in mind that a big belly might not just be a result of a few too many big meals. If your cat is showing weight just on her tummy, then it could be that there are a few tiny kittens inside, as an overweight cat will show weight all over. Pregnant cats usually gain around two to five pounds, which is dependent on how many kittens are in the womb. Bear in mind that longhair cats may be able to hide the pregnancy for longer.
Be careful not to touch your cat’s abdomen for fear of damaging the kittens.
Look out for signs of nesting – Days before the birth your cat mum-to-be will show signs of searching for a safe place where she will want to have her kittens. This could mean she begins to arrange blankets and towels in a quiet area.
What if your cat is showing these signs?
If you are concerned your cat may be pregnant you should take her to a vet immediately. Your vet will then be able to feel her abdomen to determine whether the new balls of fur are in there or whether you cat has simply eaten too many Easter treats.
What should you do next?
Deciding to go ahead with having a litter of kittens is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. If this is the case, you will need to think about how many will need to be rehomed and how you will find them a good home. It is a difficult job and, unfortunately, it is one of the reasons why Cats Protection exists.
If you need help rehoming your kittens or cats, please get in touch: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neuter your cats
Around 85% of litters of kittens are unplanned, as many cat owners don’t realise their cats could get pregnant at less than six months of age – while they are still kittens themselves.
We advise you to have your cat spayed at four months to protect her from falling pregnant by mistake.
We offer help with the cost of neutering for local cat owners on low incomes. Find out more about our neutering scheme.