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How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Have Kittens?

There are many remarkable moments in a person's life, but seeing the birth of any species is absolutely remarkable. Without a question, giving birth is one of the most wonderful elements of being an animal parent (or grandparent).

Cats are extremely fertile and enter estrus every two to three weeks on average, making pregnancy relatively simple. In addition, they have a very lengthy reproductive cycle and may give birth to kittens between the ages of a few months and old age.

Being such independent creatures, it might be easy to overlook the indications, but you can rest assured that the majority of cat pregnancies are pretty uncomplicated.

If your cat is ready to have some kittens, continue reading "How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Have Kittens?" on BestForPets (bestforpets.org) to prepare yourself and her for your new family.

Signs and symptoms: What to Look For

Cats are extremely protective of their kittens and may even attempt to conceal the fact that they are pregnant. During the first few weeks, you may not notice anything unusual.

However, if you observe any of the following signs and want to be prepared, take her to the veterinarian immediately.

This is a list of the most common symptoms, however bear in mind that every cat is unique and may exhibit any combination of the following:

  • The first apparent indication, maybe after 15 to 18 days, is the reddening or pinking of your cats’ nipples. This is termed as “pinking-up”, and it is mother nature preparing your kitty to give milk for her kittens. Additionally, the nipples may expand and become much more prominent than previously.
  • If you follow her period or heat cycle on a regular basis, you may note that she did not enter heat after her last cycle. Like humans, this quickly quits when she becomes pregnant.
  • A hunger and appetite increase may come in early too and your mom-to-be may appreciate an intake of extra food to guarantee her tiny ones will be extremely healthy.
  • Cats, like humans, undergo a form of “morning sickness” characterized by vomiting and nausea. If the vomiting is excessive, it is best to contact your veterinarian.
  • Your cat’s mother instinct will kick in, and she may become more affectionate, purr more, and spend more time at home (and less time hunting mice).
  • The maternal instinct is accompanied by the need to nest or locate a secure haven. If you assume she is pregnant, then give a quiet, comfortable environment in a room for her to prepare for her babies.
  • There is nothing more ferocious than a mother guarding her offspring, thus it should come as no surprise that your pregnant cat may be more combative or hostile with other cats and animals. This is nature’s way of insuring survival, therefore you should not chastise her.
  • Last but not least, your cat will have a noticeable weight gain. Depending on the breed and age, she may gain up to four pounds, and you should offer a consistent supply of food when you are certain she is pregnant.
  • As the gestation period progresses, your cats’ belly may begin to grow, and like us people, she will have a kitten bump!

The day: How to know that today is the day

How long does a cat’s gestation period last? Depending on the unique species, the duration of pregnancy in mammals varies. The duration of a cat’s gestation period ranges from 64 to 67 days.

It is noteworthy to note that female cats are polyestrous, meaning they experience many estrus cycles annually. Summer is the most usual period for cats to become pregnant, but theoretically this can occur at any time of year.

There are a few methods that you may have a more exact chronology of your cat’s pregnancy, especially if you want to be positive that she is going to produce kids.

Medical imaging employing either ultrasound or X-Ray will be able to confirm a pregnancy painlessly. Ultrasounds can spot kitten fetuses in your cat’s uterus during the early stages, but it may be difficult to count them.

After around 5 weeks, an X-ray may picture the bones of the kittens and consequently determine the precise number of kittens to anticipate.

The veterinarian can also feel the fetuses by applying gentle pressure to your cat’s abdomen, a process called as palpation.

The cat pregnancy timetable is intriguing, as each week, the fetuses develop in unique ways that correspond to alterations in their mother’s behavior or structure.

If you’re not a fan of traditional techniques, there are several internet pregnancy calculators for cats that you may use. Here are some significant developments to watch for:

  • Week 1: begins with the fertilization of the female cat’s eggs by male sperm. The eggs are subsequently inserted in the uterus of the female so that development may commence. Make a note if you observe your cat mating so that you can pinpoint the due date.
  • Week 2: The embryos grow in the uterus as the placenta develops.
  • Week 3: This is a big week! The small kittens begin to develop, and they grow brains, organs including a heart, and little legs. This is the “pinking-up” stage, and medical imaging can confirm the pregnancy at this time.
  • Week 4: At this time, the term fetus might be applied to the developing embryo within your cat’s abdomen. Their neurological systems , bones and skeletons are currently forming. The mother cat may lack an appetite during the fourth week owing to morning sickness.
  • Week 5: Prepare to get kicked in the stomach, mother! These small animals are developing muscles and nerves, and they may be squirming.
  • Week 6: The mother’s abdomen becomes visibly bigger, and she may feel hungry more frequently. This week is ideal for increasing the consumption of high-quality foods and seafood rich in omega oils.
  • Week 7: This week the kittens’ coats start to develop. An X-Ray at this point will indicate with certainty how many infants there are.
  • Week 8: This week, the mother takes precedence! She is ready to burst and may be clinging and needy so keep her clean as she may find grooming laborious and offer enough of fresh water, food, and comfort. If your cat disappears frequently, she may be opting to give birth alone. This is nothing to worry about, and if she is in a secure location, she may feel even more at ease.
  • Week 9: Get ready, your cat might go into labor at any time! A place in your house should have both darkness and silence. Tell your family to keep the noise down and be there for your royal mother. If you can check her temperature and it has fallen by around 1 degree, then you know the moment has arrived and labor is approaching.

How to be There for Your Pregnant Cat

During a cat’s pregnancy, cats are likely to be agitated, nervous, and anxious, which is quite natural; consider how we humans behave! It is crucial that you spend time comforting your cat, petting her, and reassuring her that everything will be well, particularly if she is a first-time mother!

Also, ensure that you assist her with nest building by offering blankets, soft toys, or teddy bears, as well as an abundance of affection.

As the big day comes, stock up on a warm water bottle, clean towels, and a kitten milk substitute to avoid last-minute scrambling.

Being a good cat midwife requires being attentive to your cat’s needs and as present as possible!

We believe “How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Have Kittens?” on BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has provided you with some helpful information to help you and your cat have a happier pregnancy time.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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