Signs That Your Cat Is Overweight
For cat parents that lead busy lives or have a free-roaming feline companion, it might come as a shock to suddenly see their fluffball beauty rocking a curvier look. In fact, studies show that in North America, obesity is the most common preventable disease in cats.
So, what if you want to look for symptoms of a cat being overweight first rather than pregnant, where would you start?
Caring For A Pregnant Cat
Cats And Your Hormone Changes
Nothing is more synonymous with pregnancy than hormones. They basically make pregnancy possible, sustain it for 9 months, and then trigger labor in a series of still-mysterious changes that lead to your babys birth.
An increase in hormones during pregnancy is also responsible for the majority of your symptoms, like morning sickness, fatigue, pelvic pain, and food cravings. Youre particularly under the influence of:
Theres no evidence that pregnancy hormones make you emit any kind of odor, but we do know that other body substances like pheromones and the hormones that surge during puberty can release subtle smells, so its possible.
Don’t Miss: N And D Cat Food
How To Know If Your Cat Is Pregnant For Certain
Your trusted, local vet will be able to tell you for certain if your cat is pregnant by using one of these strategies:
- Palpation: An experienced veterinarian can gently press on the cat’s abdomen and feel the cat’s fetuses as early as the 20th day of pregnancy.
- X-Rays: X-rays will only show skeletons of kittens about 40 days into the pregnancy. It’s the best way to show the number of kittens.
- Ultrasound: Ultrasounds can find kittens as early as 21 days of the pregnancy, but it can sometimes be difficult to count the number of kittens.
When Will My Cat Have A Heat Cycle
Intact female cats, or queens, come into heat or become sexually mature and able to become pregnant at about 6-7 months of age. Heat cycles in cats happen every 2-3 weeks several times a year. Female cats encourage the attention of male cats by posturing and vocalizing loudly , become very affectionate, and roll frequently. Posturing is seen when queens are stroked, and they raise their hindquarters and tread the ground with their back legs. The urge to mate can be so strong that your indoor cat will attempt to escape outdoors to mate.
Also Check: What Can You Wash A Cat With
Consider Spaying And Neutering
According to the ASPCA, a cat can have an average of four to six kittens per litter, and can have one to two litters per year. That adds up to a lot of kittens!
Shelters are full of cats and kittens across the United States. To help with the serious problem of overpopulation, talk to your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your cat.
It is also important to consider the risk of pyometra , which is a life-threatening condition that can happen in intact cats.
The best way to prevent this serious and expensive medical condition is to spay your cat. Spaying before the first heat cycle , can also reduce the risk of mammary cancer in your feline friend.
Here are some tips for caring for your cats kittens safely.
Your Cat’s Heat Cycle Changes
The earliest sign your cat is pregnant is a change to her heat cycle. When cats are in heat and ready to mate, they are usually more vocal, restless, groom more often, and seek extra attention. Cats who aren’t spayed go into heat every two to three weeks for three to five days. If you’ve noticed a change to her regular heat behaviors or a lack of them all together, it may be a sign your cat is pregnant.
Also Check: Cat And Dog Spay And Neuter Clinic
Treatment Of Birth Difficulties In Cats
Medication may be necessary if a cat is experiencing a form of uterine inertia that is caused by a lack of calcium, oxytocin or both. A veterinarian may inject oxytocin to stimulate stronger contractions. This type of injection comes with some level of danger since it can cause the uterus to rupture.
Is There A Way To Find Out If Your Cat Is Pregnant
If you want to find out if your cat is pregnant, you can do so in a variety of ways. For example, you can examine your cats litter box for urine streaks or other indicators of pregnancy. Another way is by observing your cats behavior. If you notice your cat is constantly eating and hiding in the corner, this may be an indication of pregnancy. You can also touch your cats belly to feel for movement. If you feel something, this may indicate a pregnancy. If you take a trip to the veterinarian, you can have your cats blood tested to see if she is pregnant. If you do find that your cat is pregnant, there are some things you can do to help her have a healthy pregnancy. You can speak with your vet to learn about the signs of pregnancy and what you can do to help your cat.
Also Check: When To Stop Feeding My Cat Kitten Food
Second Stage Of Labor: Birth
The second stage of labor in cats begins with stronger, more frequent uterine contractions that eventually lead to the birth of a kitten. Do NOT move or distract your cat during the birthing process because she may stop labor and begin again the next day if she feels stressed.
Depending on the individual queen, kittens are usually born every 30-60 minutes, with the entire litter being delivered in less than six hours. Pregnant cats can have four to six kittens in a litter. You can use a timer to keep track of the time between kittens to make sure there isnt a problem.
Watch for Complications
Dystocia means difficult birth and can occur for a variety of reasons.
If the mother is having strong contractions and hasbeen straining for more than 60 minutes without birthing a kitten, she should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
What Should You Do After a Kitten Is Born?
Kittens are born with a protective fetal membrane that is usually removed by the mother cat shortly after birth. Fetal membranes are usually reddish-yellow in color and surround the fetus thats floating in amniotic fluid.
If the mother cat fails to remove the fetal membrane within the first minute after birth, you will need to break the sac and wipe away any fluid from the kittens nose. Then open the mouth with the head facing down and clear any remaining membranes or fluid. You can then stimulate the kitten to breathe by firmly stroking their body with a towel.
Personality Changes In A Pregnant Cat
These character and mood changes are also indicative of pregnancy:
- Affection increases: Your cat may become more affectionate than normal and frequently seek out your attention. By all means, give it to her!
- Increase in sleeping: Many pregnant queens will sleep for more hours in a day than before pregnancy.
Recommended Reading: How Many Times Are You Supposed To Feed A Kitten
Your Cat Will Gain Weight And Eat More
Perhaps the easiest or most noticeable sign that your cat is pregnant is that she’ll look heavier, Vahrenwald says. But you might not notice the apparent weight gain until your cat is two or three weeks away from her due date.
As she prepares to give birth, your cat will also start eating more. Pregnant cats will need 25-percent more food than they normally eat, and Vahrenwald says cat owners should switch to food aimed for kittens.
“They need those extra calories,” Vahrenwald says.
Physical Signs And Symptoms Of Cat Pregnancy
Why shouldn’t you wait to call the vet? The signs that your cat is pregnant aren’t always visible until the pregnancy is fairly far along, with only two to three weeks to go before she gives birth. That doesn’t give you much time to prepare at all, even if you are looking forward to kittens. Plus, some of these signs mimic symptoms of illness or general lifestyle issues, meaning you might not even know what’s really happening until the cat is closer to giving birth.
Signs a cat is pregnant include:
- Gaining weight, especially around the midsection
- Increased appetite
- Swollen nipples
Don’t Miss: How Many Human Years Do Cats Live
How Can I Prevent Cat Pregnancy
The only way to guarantee your cat will not get pregnant is to have her spayed. No matter how careful you are, it is possible for your cat to slip out a window or door that hasnt been latched properly. There are no guarantees that your intact female cat will not have an opportunity to come into contact with an intact male cat. If you have a purebred cat with a breeding contract, then you should discuss with your cats breeder and your veterinarian how best to protect your cat from an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.
Many people feel like they cant afford to have their cat spayed, and it can be an expensive procedure. However, if you are unable to afford to have your cat spayed, then you need to seriously consider the probability that you are unable to afford proper care during and after pregnancy. There are many low-cost spay/neuter programs, and many animal shelters provide discount vouchers to area vets. Medical credit cards and regular credit cards may provide you with the opportunity to get your cat spayed with interest-free payments.
If you have an established relationship with your cats vet, then they may be willing to work with you on a payment plan. Remember that if your vet is able to work with you on payments or offers you a discount, it is a courtesy to you. They are not obligated to do this, and many vets dont offer these options for many reasons. It does not mean they dont care about your cats wellbeing.
Their Nipples Look Different
Like human bodies, a cat’s body has to also prepare itself for a baby. That means that your cat’s nipples will look differently if she’s pregnant. They’ll probably look more puffy and engorged, and may be a darker color. This is fairly easy to notice if you have a cat with light color fur. If you have a cat with a thick coat of dark hair, it may not be as easy to take note of.
Read Also: How To Clean Cat Urine From Fabric Sofa
What Are Cat Pregnancy Symptoms And Signs
In the initial first few weeks of a cats pregnancy, there arent typically any outward changes. However, once the changes begin, youll notice them. At around three weeks, there should be some noticeable changes in behavior and physical appearance, says Dr. Rachel Barrack, a veterinarian, veterinary acupuncturist and certified veterinary Chinese herbalist in Manhattan.
Look for these five identifying signs to tell if your cat is pregnant.
Preparing Your Cat For Babys Arrival
We keep talking about cats knowing that youre pregnant, but that implies a cognitive awareness that they just dont possess.
Your cat simply knows things are different and, unfortunately for your cat, things are only going to get even more different when your baby is born. To prepare your cat for the changes coming, take these steps:
- Slowly introduce baby items and move furniture around in your house, especially if youll be ousting your kitty from any of their favorite places. You want them to get used to cribs and infant seats, but you dont want to crowd the house all at once.
- Start playing recordings of baby noises, especially infant crying. These sounds can be stressful for cats, and you dont want them to associate them directly with the baby when they arrive.
- Start blocking off whatever room the baby will sleep in, and place barriers or sticky tape around the crib so your cat doesnt think the crib is an OK place to sleep.
- Make a plan for introducing your cat to your baby when the baby is born. Its smart to let your cat get used to the smell of your baby first by introducing them to a blanket or item of clothing from the hospital. Then, make sure any formal introductions are heavily supervised and your cat is never left alone with your baby.
Keep in mind that stress can have a negative effect both behaviorally and physiologically on all cats, especially ones with previously existing health problems like chronic pain.
Read Also: Never Miss Cat Litter Box
Signs A Cat Is Pregnant
Here’s how to tell if your cat is pregnant the old-fashioned way:
Of course, it’s a combination of factors. For instance, hunger alone may be a sign of other issues, and weight gain is sometimes normal. Also, it can be hard to tell when an obese cat with dark fur is pregnant. An owner might want to visit the vet to know for sure.
Caring For Your Pregnant Queen
Itâs rare, but in the earliest stages of pregnancy, your cat may have “morning sickness” that might show up as a lack of appetite or vomiting. If that keeps happening, take them to the vet. With the surge of hormones and changes to their uterus, they may show signs of fatigue. This phase will eventually fade after those first few weeks pass.
Just like many other females in the animal kingdom carrying a bun in the oven , your cat may need extra food and calories while they are expecting.
Theyâll eat about 1.5 times their normal diet as their pregnancy draws to a close, so make sure they have constant access to their normal fare. Your vet will probably recommend that you feed your pregnant cat kitten food or food that’s labeled for pregnant and lactating cats throughout their pregnancy and during the period they nurse their young one.
Viruses can spread to kittens before theyâre born, so keep up with your cat’s vaccination schedule. If your pregnant cat is due for their regular vaccination and deworming/flea treatment or needs medication, check with your vet first to make sure the treatment is safe for them. It is best to vaccinate prior to breeding, as most vaccines are not safe to give during pregnancy.
Recommended Reading: Is Nutro A Good Cat Food
Can Cats Mate When Pregnant
Not only can cats mate while they are nursing, but they may in some cases also mate while they are already pregnant. Pregnancy doesnt necessarily stop a cat from going being in heat. The initial mating induces ovulation and the female cat can mate multiple times during her heat period, which usually lasts about 7 days. If this is the case, she may conceive multiple times. This fascinating event is called superfetation. It means that there can be kittens of different ages in the same litter!
Since cats can mate while they are pregnant, its also possible for them to mate with different male cats during one heat cycle. If this is the case, it would mean that they can carry kittens from different sires in the same litter. This even more amazing phenomenon is called superfecundation. It is even technically possible for each kitten in a litter to have a different father!
However, cats will not go into heat during the remaining bulk of their pregnancy which lasts about 60 days. Superfetation and superfecundation can only happen in their initial heat period during which the first pregnancy took place. This is because their heat period hasnt yet ceased and they can be open to mating for about a week more. After their heat is over, they will not go into estrus until after theyve given birth.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Having Her Kittens Soon
So, now you know your cat is pregnant, you’re preparing for the kittens’ delivery, and you’re watching your cat’s health closely. How do you know when she’s about ready to deliver?
If she hasn’t already done so, she’ll start building nesting areas around your home. She may choose one place or start a few until she settles on one. You can help her by providing a box in a quiet spot, covered with blankets with an opening on the side. By the way, don’t be upset if she doesn’t use the box she’ll choose a spot that makes her feel comfortable.
She’ll become restless and vocalize more, so keep track of how much she’s meowing. She may actually lose her appetite completely the day before the big delivery still provide her with food and water, and have extra water for her around the house. Finally, she may engage in excessive vulva cleaning.
Read Also: What Kind Of Cat Does Justin Bieber Have