Owning a pet includes having your cat spayed or neutered. In addition to reducing the number of feral cats, spaying protects your own cat from diseases like cancer that can impair the reproductive system.
If you have a purebred cat whose kittens are in high demand or have adopted a pregnant stray, understanding the stages of pregnancy will guarantee a safe gestation time.
A cat cannot conceive until it is fertile, also referred to as “in estrus” or “in heat.” An unspayed cat’s reproductive cycle lasts every two to three weeks in the spring and summer. When your cat is in estrus, the time when it is prepared to mate, it will be available to males for roughly seven days. During this time, it usually gets a lot louder and friendlier. Your cat may also urinate more frequently or mark objects with urine. Cats are “induced ovulators,” which means that mating triggers the release of eggs that can be fertilized.
An egg (ovum) from a cat that undergoes various phases of fertilization The development and implantation of the embryo in the uterine lining progress at a new stage with each action. This process happens about two weeks after fertilization.
The growth of an embryo
Around the third week of pregnancy, as the embryos start to form, your cat will start to gain weight and consume more food. Your cat’s hormone levels rise as a result, and the embryonic organ development process is now underway. The mother and the embryo are able to exchange nutrients and waste products thanks to the placenta, which begins to form at the time of implantation.
As the embryos develop further, the highly evolved cells of the head (cranium) and body (thoracic region) begin to form. At this point, your cat’s nipples may start to swell and deepen in color.
Around nine weeks following fertilization, or around the time of your queen’s due date, she will begin to display signs of kitten arrival. Nesting is required for this, which entails searching for a suitable place to give birth to her young in closets and other hidden areas. You should now prepare a quiet area with a box or basket lined with fluffy towels. At least you tried to accommodate her needs, even if she ended up giving birth on the freezing, hard floor of your restroom.
At about 4 weeks, when the majority of the organic structures have been formed, the embryos mature into fetuses. Up until birth, your cat will spend the majority of her time and energy concentrating on the development of the fetuses. It’s “go time” now, which means kitties are moving in your direction. Feeding should consist of AAFCO-approved foods for growth and development. A doctor or other qualified professional can also feel the kittens in the mother’s belly during this period; however, this window is quite small because the amniotic fluid the growing fetus produces can make it challenging to feel the kittens.
Increased attachment is another sign that labor is about to start. Your cat can crave constant companionship. But things could also go quite differently (hormones are known to do crazy things). Previously affectionate cats may become withdrawn and seek out alone. Both of these personality alterations are quite typical.
24 hours before to giving birth, your cat may have white discharge coming from her nipples. Make careful to feed it as much nutrient-rich food as it can currently absorb.
If you are caring for a pregnant cat or have taken in a stray, take the cat to the veterinarian right away for a “well-check.” Make sure they screen her for FeLV and FIV and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of immunizing her while she is pregnant.
The best prenatal care for your cat, assuming she’s in good health, is providing her with a diet high in nutrients and access to fresh, clean water. Additionally, your cat must always be kept inside. During pregnancy, switch your cat’s diet to premium kitten food, and continue to feed her until the kittens are weaned.
Though they don’t happen often, pregnancy or parturition problems can be very serious. It is imperative to always have the phone number and address of the closest emergency veterinary clinic on hand because, as everyone who has lived with cats for any length of time knows, they never get sick during regular clinic hours.
In general, if you have any strange symptoms while pregnant, call or see your veterinarian. This is an important part of taking care of a pregnant cat. Even while many pregnant cats have a trouble-free pregnancy, there could still be problems. Learn how to spot warning signs of issues and what to do to preserve the health of a pregnant cat and her unborn offspring. A few things to be aware of are outlined below so you can spot the warning signs when they appear and respond correctly.
Eclampsia, a potentially fatal condition, can appear when the mother is producing the most milk, which is between one and five weeks after the kittens are born and when she is producing the most milk. This is the period of year when this ailment most usually occurs. A calcium supplement will help prevent this potential problem while caring for a pregnant stray cat whose earlier nutrition was undoubtedly inadequate.
Symptoms of eclampsia in pregnant cats
- Behavioral symptoms include pacing, panting, annoyance, and restlessness.
- Some physical signs include drooling, stiffness in the stride, loss of coordination, pain when walking, muscle spasms, and seizure-like behavior.
Eclampsia is a serious medical issue, thus the cat has to be examined by a vet right away.
A pregnant cat that is ill or who has certain infections may generate malformed fetuses; these fetuses will spontaneously abort. The fetuses are typically just reabsorbed by the mother’s body with no symptoms present. Or the fetus could be born still without any symptoms or warning signals. If symptoms do appear, they could include fever, vaginal bleeding, sadness, and inappetence.
A veterinarian should take any indications of an abortion as a medical emergency, and the pregnant cat has to be evaluated very once. The cat needs to be examined to see if there are any fetuses within, whether they are alive or dead.
Resorption is the process by which a dead fetus is completely absorbed by the queen’s body. Rarely do resorption events have any obvious warning signs. Because a litter of kittens generally contains more than one, the other kittens would still be born normally, so you might not even be aware that this occurred. If fewer kittens than expected were delivered, a trip to the vet is required to make sure there are no pregnant children lingering within the queen.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your family pet, know the pet’s health history, and may make the best recommendations for your pet.
Wondering about Cats’ Urinary pH and Their Health? Check it out on our latest post!