So, you have welcomed a cat in your family, and now you are suspicious that its swollen belly is either because your little friend is eating more or is pregnant. But how to tell?
Cats easily get pregnant (if you don’t get them fixed) while their pregnancy lasts typically between 63 to 67 days. However, it is quite tricky for most cat parents to know if their cat is pregnant or exactly how long the cat is pregnant for a cat don’t usually show any physical symptoms of pregnancy until she is a few weeks into her term.
The reason behind this is a cat’s typical gestation period, which is very short (about nine weeks), which makes it difficult to see the signs. And if your cat is already on the heavier side, you may completely miss the signs. So, if you suspect that your cat is pregnant, taking her to the vet for confirmation is the best choice. A vet may also be able to tell how many kittens are on the way and when which will give you a timeframe to prepare for a litter of kittens.
However, if you like to know how to tell if a cat is pregnant yourself, here are some cat pregnancy signs that you should be able to spot after two or three weeks have passed.
Pinking-up refers to the reddening and enlargement of your cat’s nipples, which you may be able to notice after about 15-18 days of pregnancy.
Much like humans, pregnant cats also go through a stage of vomiting. If you notice that your cat is vomiting frequently, it’s time to contact your vet because vomiting can be a sign of sickness.
Seeing your cat's belly becoming larger and more engorged? Well, if the abdominal swelling is significant, it could mean some kittens are on the way, which is usually noticeable around the fifth week of pregnancy. A cat would steadily gain between 1-2 kg (conditional on the total of kittens she is booming), which is a strong sign that your cat is pregnant. However, avoid touching the belly as it might hurt mum or the unborn kittens.
Abdominal swelling can also be caused by different health issues. Thus, monitor your furry friend closely and consult the vet if you suspect something is wrong.
Cats tend to experience an increased appetite later in pregnancy, which also contributes towards them gaining more weight.
However, the increased appetite could also be a signal of illness or worms, so double-checking with your vet is vital.
Mood swings are a part of cat pregnancy, but it is more on the loving side. So if you notice your cat acting more maternal such as she purrs more and seek out extra fuss and attention from you, it might mean she is pregnant
A cat in heat usually becomes more affectionate, rolls around on the floor more, makes noises like she is in pain, and seems to search around for something. This heat cycle happens typically every ten days to 2 weeks and can continue for about a week. However, if notice that the cycle has not happened in a while, it could mean she is pregnant.
If you notice your cat looking for a quiet place, it can mean she is in her later stage of pregnancy and has started preparing for the birth of her kittens by looking for a safe place to have them, which is called nesting.
Many pregnant cats have been seen to sleep more in a day than they used to.
Although these cat pregnancy symptoms would help you tell if your cat is pregnant by yourself, it is better to consult a qualified vet if you suspect a pregnancy. Not only vet practices can diagnose cat pregnancy with ultrasound as early as 15 days into her term, but would also get your little friend properly checked out even if there is no such occasion.