Do you suspect that one of your fur babies is about to become a mommy herself? Determining a cat’s maternal state can be a tricky proposition since few early clues are abundantly clear. During the first 4 or 5 weeks, a mama cat shows no blatant, overt pregnancy signs.
The gestational period for cats is about nine weeks. Feline pregnancy ranges on average from as few as 57 days up to 70 days.
However, your cat’s nipples can provide a good indicator of her maternal state. Three weeks after conception the nipples are pinker and more visible.
The first three weeks after conception presents the biggest risk window for unborns. Because of this, your cat should be vaccinated prior to pregnancy in order to decrease the risk of infections that could affect healthy development.
Four to five weeks after gestation golf sized balls (fetuses!) appear in the abdomen and are easily felt by your vet. The vet should have no problem determining how many grand kittens you’re about to have!
In the first half of pregnancy the expectant cat carries on with her normal daily routine; resting, perhaps hunting, but otherwise acting as usual. However, you likely will observe that your cat has a calmer disposition and is engaging in nesting behaviors (the babies have to be born somewhere!).
As the pregnancy progress weight gain becomes more and more apparent due to the influence of progesterone. Progesterone production brings about a softening in demeanor, while the stomach protrusion becomes more obvious.
As the due date draws near the momma cat gradually winds down her daily activities and spends more time resting in her delivery nest.
Then, as the delivery date gets ever closer your cat will become more and more agitated. Before long she will spend the majority of her time huddled in the safe place she has chosen to have her babies.
This allows her scent to permeate the area. This olfactory signal will help her offspring identify this location as home.
Once the due date is imminent, your fur baby will eat less and likely pace about until her contractions start.
While all cats have different personalities and preferences, the vast majority of cats will follow the above pregnancy behavioral routine whether it’s their first or umpteenth time giving birth.
Congratulations on your new adorable, furry brood!
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