If you have a pregnant cat, it’s highly likely that you are eagerly awaiting the birth of a litter of cute kittens in your house. It makes sense to try to be there with your pregnant cat during the time of birth. If you are planning to do that and welcome a bunch of cute fluffy kittens, this post is just for you. In this post, we will go through the things you should keep in mind with a pregnant cat and all the stuff you need to do to help your pregnant cat deliver successfully. Let’s get started. Let’s get started.
Pregnant Cat: Get Set To Welcome a Litter of Fluff
What is a pregnant cat’s gestation period?
Before giving birth, the cat’s gestation lasts 9 weeks. However, the duration can vary between 61 and 72 days. If the kittens are born after the 72nd day, it is recommended to consult your veterinarian. During this time, cats also limit their daily activities, except for rest and food. Indeed, the cat must eat more in order to feed her kittens.
How to prepare for your pregnant cat to give birth?
The female cat usually gives birth on her own, without the need for outside help. Fortunately, complications are rare. However, if you are present during the birth, stay nearby to make sure everything goes smoothly.
If giving birth is imminent, install baskets or boxes with blankets in several places in your home so that your cat can give birth comfortably. However, some cats can give birth in hard to reach places.
Also, have the following items ready and within reach:
- The telephone number of your veterinarian, in case of complication during the birth of the cat.
- A scale to weigh the kittens.
- A watch/clock to note the time at which the kittens were born as well as their weight. This will help the vet if there are any complications.
- Towels for cleaning the kittens, in the rare scenario that the mother doesn’t clean them up herself.
- Keep some milk for kittens at hand, in case your cat has difficulty feeding the entire litter.
- A case or carton with a heating pad to make the kittens feel comfortable and warm enough.
How to know if your pregnant cat is about to give birth?
Several signs can indicate the imminence of the delivery, such as:
- In the days leading up to the birth, your cat is more and more restless: she meows a lot, walks around more and grooms herself constantly.
- She eats less but drinks more.
- She is looking for a quiet and secluded place to give birth.
- Breast milk may flow from her breasts.
- Your cat is lying on her side and is breathing faster.
In case you witness any of these signs, stay close to your cat to help with complications.
How does the birth of kittens take place?
As in humans, the cat feels contractions before giving birth. She will breathe fast and hard, purr and may require more affection. Many domestic cats don’t want to be alone when giving birth: if your pet does, you can help her by talking to her in a soothing way and stroking her.
As an indication, it takes about 2 hours between the first contractions and the birth of the kittens. A kitten only needs a few minutes to come out of its mother’s womb, but the time between the birth of different kittens can sometimes be up to an hour.
How to clean the kittens after the pregnant cat gives birth?
When the kittens are born, the mother cuts the umbilical cord and licks them to clean them of amniotic fluid and stimulate their breathing. If your cat is too exhausted or isn’t cleaning them up on her own, you can help her by placing the kittens face down and gently massaging their backs to clear their airways and stimulate their breathing.
How to know if your pregnant cat is facing birthing complications?
Cats usually give birth on their own. If you see that everything is going well, you do not need to intervene, at the risk of further stressing your animal. However, some signs may suggest complications, such as:
- Your cat has been trying to give birth for two hours and no kitten has come out.
- You see a kitten but it does not come out.
- Too much time passes (more than an hour and a half) between the birth of two kittens.
- The amniotic fluid that comes out smells very bad.
- The cat is still growing bigger, although all the kittens are out.
- The cat appears listless and has heavy bleeding.
- After giving birth, she is very restless, shakes or no longer feeds.
- You see a bloody or brownish smelly liquid on her breasts.
- Kittens appear very weak, do not go to the udders of the cat and do not gain weight.
What happens to the pregnant cat after giving birth to the kittens?
After birth, kittens always seek out their mother’s udders and drink breast milk. Mother’s milk is very critical for kittens as it contains essential nutrients and antibodies for the development of the immune system. Sometimes, the pregnant cat will take her kittens to another place after giving birth. This is completely normal behaviour and it’s done to protect them from predators. So don’t be alarmed.