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How To Know When Cat Is In Labor

Signs Of Impending Labor

TOP 10 SIGNS YOUR CAT IS IN LABOR (including pre-labor symptoms) Sneak Peak of Nala’s Kittens

The duration of a cat pregnancy is roughly 60 days, give or take five days. If you are not so sure how far along your cat is, review the telltale signs that birth is imminent.

  • Nesting:;A day or two before labor, your cat will seek out a quiet and safe place to have her kittens. She may choose a spot you make for her or look to hideout in the back of a closet or under a bed.
  • Behavioral Changes: You may notice your cat will begin restless pacing, panting, excessive grooming , and excessive vocalization. She will also stop eating.
  • Physical Changes in Labor:;Your cat’s rectal body temperature can drop to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit and it may vomit. You might see the abdomen “drop” a few days before labor, and the cat’s nipples might get larger, darker, or pinker.
  • Active Labor Signs:;Contractionsthe uterine movements that move the kitten down the birth canalmay make your cat yowl through the pain. You may also see a discharge of blood or other fluids.

What Happens When My Cat Comes Into Heat

Queens come into heat many times a year. Cats in estrus become very affectionate and vocal, demand attention and roll frequently. When stroked they raise their rear quarters and tread the ground with their back legs. These behavioral changes can confuse the inexperienced owner, who may misinterpret them as pain or illness. The pattern of estrus is variable from cat to cat and is usually seasonal.

She May Start Licking Making Noise And Pacing

One of the final signs to look out for is your cat starting to lick her genitals. As her waters break, she may start pacing and making a great deal of noise. These may be chirps, meows, or howls, depending on your cats personality! While shes in active labor, its best to leave her to her own devices, as long as shes in a safe place. If youre concerned that shes in difficulty or something is wrong, call your vet for advice.

Once your cats contractions have started, you should expect the first kitten to be born within 30 minutes. The remaining kittens will likely be born every 10-60 minutes. After 4-16 hours, all the kittens should be born, but be prepared for it to take longer than this.

Your cat should tear away the amniotic sac from each kitten, helping them to breathe. Shell also groom and start to feed the kittens that have already been born, as she continues to give birth to the remaining kittens.

If your cat is straining for more than 30 minutes without a kitten being born or she seems in pain, you may want to call your vet.

Your cat should also pass a placenta for each kitten thats been born. These may be passed after each kitten is born, or a few placentas may be passed together. Its a good idea to make sure your cat has passed the same number of placentas as there are kittens. A retained placenta can cause infections, and you should tell your vet if there arent the same number of placentas as kittens.

Featured Image Credit: Mabel Amber, Pixabay

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How To Tell When A Cat Is Done Giving Birth

Is your cat due to give birth soon or even in the birthing process right now and you want to know how to tell when a cat is done giving birth?

It can be hard to tell, but there are a few signs to look out for that indicates a cat is done giving birth. Obviously, contractions will have stopped, and there are some behavioral signs to look out for.

If your cat had a radiograph during pregnancy youll know how many kittens to expect. So, while obvious, thats a pretty sure way of knowing if shes finished and all the kittens are out.

If not, you can expect anywhere between 2-6 kittens on average to pop out. . That doesnt help much, does it?

Sometimes its difficult to be sure when the last kitten has been born because cats can take extended breaks in between giving birth. While the typical time in between each kitten being born is between 10-60 minutes, it can actually take hours!

As a little extra help, here are some of the signs to look out for that your cat has finished giving birth:


What Will I See

Cat in Labor 3

She should spend about 70% of her time nursing the kittens. Remember to keep a comfortable temperature in the room kittens can not regulate their body temperatures sufficiently during their first six days.

In a normal delivery, strong uterine contractions are accompanied by abdominal contractions and expulsion of the kittens. The first thing you will see is a small, greenish sac visible in the vagina, which will be followed by the kitten. The placenta is still attached to the kitten at this time. It will slowly drag out following each birth.

Although delivery of each kitten can take up to two hours the average time is thirty to sixty minutes. A kitten should not spend more than fifteen minutes in the birth canal. While in the birth canal, pressure on the umbilical cord from the mothers pelvic structures deprives the kitten of oxygen. If you should see a kitten in this predicament, grasp it gently through a soft clothe and pull it with a motion that is backwards and downwards. Grasp the kitten by its hips or shoulders and not by its legs or head. It is normal for kittens to arrive either head first or tail first.

After birth, The mother may discharge a bloody fluid for up to 10 days. Cats usually lick the discharge up as fast as it is produced. Only become concerned if the discharge becomes pus-like or has a strong odor.

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General Tips When Caring For A Pregnant Cat

  • Prepare a labor emergency kit with the following essentials:
  • Plenty of clean sheets and towels
  • Clean pair of scissors or suture kit
  • Stock iodine help swab kittens belly buttons and prevent infection
  • Disposable gloves
  • Sterilized gauze pads
  • Heating pad to keep them warm use this only when necessary especially in a super cold weather
  • Little suction bulbs help clean mucus from kittens mouths and noses
  • Non-waxed dental floss help tie off the cord if your cat does not do it on her own
  • Notebook and a pen write time of birth and the birthing process
  • Feed your cat high-quality food formulated for growth. Search for food with the highest quality ingredients for growth and reproduction.
  • Do not overfeed. Excessive weight gain can cause problems for your cat and her kittens.
  • Monitor her condition with help from your veterinarian.
  • Feed her frequent small meals six weeks into your cats pregnancy.
  • Prepare a nesting place. Fill out a cardboard box or laundry basket with blankets and tuck it away to a safe, quiet area of your home.
  • Do your best to keep her comfortable.
  • Will My Cat’s Behavior Change During Pregnancy

    During pregnancy, the cat’s behavior alters very little, although some cats become more loving, and a few become aggressive. During the final week, the queen may search for a suitable kittening bed or nest. The pregnant cat should be confined indoors at this time. It is important that you are able to monitor your cat closely to witness any complications.

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    First Stage Of Kittening

    The first stage of kittening lasts up to 36 hours and is usually shorter for queens that have had kittens before.

    What to expect:

    The second stage of kittening lasts five to thirty minutes for each kitten.

    What to expect:

    • stronger contractions
    • foetal membranes appears briefly at the vulva and bursts. Liquid is usually cleared up by the cat
    • active straining starts and the kitten usually comes out head first
    • once the head is out, one or two strains from the cat should push out the kitten
    • the mother breaks the bag and chews through the cord and licks the kitten. This cleans the kitten and encourages it to breathe

    Watch For Vaginal Bleeding

    How to Know Your Cat is in Labor

    Vaginal bleeding is abnormal during any feline pregnancy and should be a cause for concern.

    If the bleeding is noted during the early or middle;stages of gestation, its likely that the queen has had a miscarriage or;aborted;the babies.

    If the bleeding is noted at the end of the pregnancy,;the mother may be going into labor early,;and;immediate;veterinary intervention is necessary.;;

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    Has Her Breathing Normalized

    During the final stages of pregnancy and while in labor, you will have noticed your cat breathing rapidly. It affects cats differently, but typically they pant or breathe very quickly while in labor.

    If youve observed her breathing pattern normalizing since she gave birth to her last kitten, thats probably because it was her final kitten.

    Counting the number of kittens and gently feeling her stomach is also a good way to get a good idea if shes finished or not. 4-5 kittens and an empty tummy is pretty strong evidence. Its not a sure thing though, with the excess fluid and kittens being so small, the feel test isnt 100%.

    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 cats abdomen and feel the cats 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. Its 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.

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    The First Stage Of Cat Labor

    During the first stage of cat labor, she will start showing these symptoms:

    • Nesting, including kneading/rearranging her bed or maternity box
    • Rapid Breathing/Rapid Pulse Rate
    • Trembling
    • Fluid May Drip From Nipples

    She will be uncomfortable during the first stage of her labor, because the uterine contractions have begun and the kittens are moving into birthing position. She may have trouble getting comfortable and can shift or change positions a lot during this stage.

    The first stage of labor can last from 12 to 24 hours. If she is a first time mom, she may be on the upper end of this scale.

    If she is in the first stage of labor for longer than 24 hours, or moves to the second stage then back to the first, contact your vet for advice.

    How To Tell If A Cat Is Going Into Labor

    á? Signs Cat Going into Labor: How to Tell If Cat Is In Labor?

    If your cat is expecting kittens, it can be an exciting time waiting for those adorable little bundles of fluff to arrive. Youll likely want to make sure you have everything ready, so you should start watching for early signs of labor.

    The gestation period for cats is roughly 58-65 days long. As the end of this period approaches, you can start looking for signs that your cat is going into labor. These can vary from cat to cat, but they do follow a general pattern. We rounded up the six signs to look for so you can tell if your cat is going into labor and those sweet kittens are on their way!

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    Mammary Glands Will Increase In Size

    During the final week of pregnancy, the mammary glands of your cat will increase in size. Her mammary glands are arranged in 2 parallel rows running along the outside body wall that extends from the groin area up to the underside of her chest. Cats usually have 4 pairs of mammary glands. Approximately 2 days before your cat gives birth, shell start to produce milk.

    You may notice some cream colored thick secretions coming out of her nipples. Your cat might lick it off or she could just let it dry up and youll notice that her nipples will have small whitish scabs on them. Its commonly believed that each nipple has its very own unique smell, which kittens use to attach themselves repeatedly to the same nipple.

    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.

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    What Are Some More Serious Problems That Might Happen

    You should contact your veterinarian if events do not unfold as I have generally listed them. Also contact your veterinarian if:

    1) The pregnancy lasts more than 66 days2) The mothers temperature has been below 100F for more than one day or drops below 98F 3) The mother goes off her food or becomes depressed, weak or lethargic4) A kitten becomes lodged in the birth canal for more than ten minutes and you can not dislodge it5) The mother continues to have contractions for more than four hours and no kitten appears6) More than five hours elapse when you are certain another kitten is still present in the mother7) The vaginal discharge has a strong odor or appears infected8) You counted less placentas than you have kittens and you are sure she did not eat them.9) Kittens will not nurse or appear weak10) A mammary gland is hot, hard or painful11) Kittens mew continuously, do not sleep and are agitated12) Kittens are not receiving enough milk to keep their stomachs plump and distended13) The Mothers temperature is over 102.5F and two days have passed since birthing

    What Is Early Contractions And Labor

    How to Tell if Your Cat is in Labor?

    While a kitten born on or after the 61st day of gestation has good survival odds, contractions and labor before then can endanger both the kitten and its mother.

    Pregnancy in cats usually goes smoothly, but premature contractions and labor do happen from time to time. In an ideal situation, a cat would give birth after 63 days of pregnancy. However, factors ranging from stress to bacterial infections can cause a pregnant cat to go into labor too early.

    Vet bills can sneak up on you.

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    First Signs Of Labor:

    The first stage of labor is the one that youll always be looking for those signs that your cat is labor. This is the stage that youre primarily focusing on during this podcast episode.

    The contractions arent physically evident yet, but youll notice behavior from the Queen that validates her getting ready process.

    During the first phase, the cervix and the vagina are relaxing. Her body temperature will drop below 100 degrees F. The intermittent contractions will begin, but only the Queen will know that this is happening. Queens may linger in the first stage for 36 hours.

    Check out this episode to get some tips on setting up your kitten room and nursery!

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    Know What Signs To Look Out For

    Impending labour can be tricky to spot. During the first stages of labour, the mum will become very restless, pace as if she is looking for something, and become very vocal. Contact your vet if you are unsure if labour has started, and keep a close eye on your cat in her final weeks and days of labour to make sure you know when and where she will give birth to her kittens.

    Your cat loves her privacy, and thats especially true when shes about to deliver her kittens! Its is important to observe your cat giving birth so that you can step in if there are problems, especially for first-time mums

    How do cats give birth? The stages of labour and delivery

    Cat labour has three stages. Once you think labour has started, you should keep a watchful eye over them cat labour usually goes very smoothly, but its important that you oversee her labour so any complications can be caught quickly. However, interfering unless its absolutely necessary might slow feline labour and upset your cat, so limit yourself to regular checks and try not to intervene unless you have to. Dont worry generally, cat labours go very smoothly, but always consult your vet if youre worried. Limit the number of spectators too; although the whole family is bound to be excited for the new arrivals, this might upset mum!

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