How Long Are Cats Pregnant? Cat Gestation Period

by catfood

According to studies, the average pregnancy duration for a cat is 63–67 days. Because of the uncertainty of when the cats you foster conceived, the average length of a cat pregnancy may be shorter than average.


Which signs will tell if a cat is pregnant?

Cats in need can benefit greatly from being fostered, and so can overcrowded shelters and rescue organizations. Providing a pregnant cat with a safe, stress-free, and peaceful environment can save her life and increase the likelihood that her kittens will be healthy and adoptable.

There are three categories of symptoms that can indicate whether or not a cat you’re fostering is pregnant. While these symptoms may be present in a pregnant cat, not all pregnant cats exhibit them, so it’s important to get your foster cat checked out by the vets who are responsible for her care.

Weight gainMidnight cat calling stopsUltrasound
Darker nipples called pinking upBecomes affectionateX-ray
Morning sicknessNoticeable frequent purring
White nipple dischargeInfrequent vomiting
Swollen abdomenIncreased appetite
Intolerance towards other pets
Loss of appetite towards labor
Nesting happens closer to delivery

Another possibility is that the cat has another health issue causing similar pregnancy symptoms, and a checkup with the foster team and the veterinarian partner will reveal this. To ensure a pet’s well-being and safety, always adhere to the recommendations of the foster home and their partners.

A cat’s purr increases in frequency in the last weeks of pregnancy.

Week-by-week: Cat gestation timeline

Symptoms of pregnancy in cats may not become apparent until around week 3. Changes in behavior can be observed as early as two weeks during pregnancy.

Keeping an eye on her progress week-by-week as her gestation progresses is essential as a cat foster parent, as is being prepared to care for her for the duration of the cat pregnancy length.

1.Week 2: Estrus ends

  • The cessation of estrus (or the heat cycle) is the first noticeable change in a pregnant cat’s behavior.
  • During breeding season, when cats are in heat, they might be in this state for up to two weeks.
  • When women aren’t in estrus, they can’t use their drawn-out nighttime cat calls to woo men.

2. Week 2: Ultrasound/X-ray

  • Foster kittens can have ultrasounds and x-rays done by a veterinarian to monitor their growth and development.

3. Week 3: Pinking up

  • Felines begin to show signs of pregnancy, known as pinking up, around the third week of their gestation cycle.
  • The cat’s nipples turn a striking shade of dark pink or crimson at this time, standing out against her normally white belly.

4. Week 4: Morning sicknesses

  • During week four of pregnancy, some cats experience morning sickness, which is quite similar to the morning sickness experienced by humans.
  • Some people may refuse eating because they feel sick because of nausea and vomiting.
  • This so-called “morning sickness” can strike at any time of day, not just first thing in the morning.
  • If you notice that your cat is vomiting more often than usual, you should have it inspected by the vet at the shelter or rescue group.

5. Week 4: Swollen abdomen

  • As Cat progresses farther along in her pregnancy, her tummy will continue to expand.
  • Do not touch or poke at her stomach, since this could harm the developing kittens.
  • If the cat has obvious belly enlargement and you don’t think she’s pregnant, you should take her to the vet at the shelter or rescue group.

6. Week 4: Weight gain

  • As a pregnant cat develops, her appetite grows.
  • In the range of two to four pounds, she may gain weight while carrying a child.
  • Always keep a bowl of fresh water nearby, and keep the cat’s food and water low to the ground so she doesn’t have to risk injury by jumping.

7. Week 5: Ultrasound/X-ray

  • The safest time to perform an ultrasound or x-ray on a pregnant cat is around week 5, or day 40.

8. Week 6: Affectionate, frequent purring

  • A more affectionate cat is a common observation.
  • A cat’s purr increases in frequency in the last weeks of pregnancy.
  • Cats are sometimes hostile or intolerant of other household pets.

9. Week 7: Rest

  • When a pregnant cat is getting close to giving birth, she tends to sleep and rest more.
  • In this time frame, she will experience a return to her previously normal appetite.
  • Due to the high caloric density of kitten food, it is ideal for pregnant foster cats.
  • When considering a change in your cat’s regular food, it is important to first speak with a veterinarian and a shelter or rescue organisation.

10. Week 8: Nesting

  • A mother cat will begin nesting two weeks before she is due to give birth.
  • In preparation for labor and delivery, a pregnant cat will seek out a calm, warm, and secure spot.
  • In order to restrict her nesting options as much as possible, you should keep doors, drawers, and shelves closed.
  • Place clean, large cardboard boxes inside a quiet, dark room. Line the boxes with soft newspaper, paper towels, or a washable blanket.

11. Week 9: Kittens

  • During the ninth week of pregnancy, a feline mother may refuse to eat, signaling the end of her pregnancy.
  • The average gestation period for a cat is 63–67 days (about nine to nine and a half weeks), during which time a litter of kittens is born.
  • Kittens can be born to mother cats without any help from humans. Unless there’s an absolute necessity, stay out of it.
  • To find out what to expect, what to do in an emergency, and who to call for aid, you should always contact the shelter, rescue group, and veterinarian.

Which kitten food is best for pregnant cats?

Pregnant cats need a high-calorie diet that will keep them looking and feeling good and give their kittens the best possible start in life to ensure a healthy, safe delivery and subsequent adoption. A pregnant cat’s food should never be altered without first discussing the matter with the rescue or shelter where the cat is located.

After getting the okay from the foster team, switch a cat over to kitten food exclusively over the course of 7-10 days, and keep feeding the same thing until the kitten is 3 weeks old. Mother cats can get high-quality nutrition from dry kitten food, which is richer in calories than wet meals, and then pass it on to her kittens throughout the weaning process.


41% Protein40% Protein40% Protein
Pro Plan Focus KittenPurina ONEPurina Kitten Chow Nurture
Chicken & rice formulaChicken formula25 Essential Vitamins & Minerals
Chicken as the #1 ingredientReal chicken is #1 ingredientNo artificial colors or flavors  
41% protein46% Protein per cup  100% Complete & Balanced  
Rich in antioxidants0% FillersAntioxidants help support her healthy immune system
Calcium, phosphorus + other minerals100% Nutrition – all the nutrition your kitten needs  Protein helps supports the development of lean muscles
Vitamin AAntioxidants & omegasHigh-quality ingredients
Linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acidVeterinarian Recommended

How to end cat homelessness: Spaying

Approximately 94.2 million cats call American homes their permanent location.

Every group will have an advice on a method to avoid unwanted pregnancies, though some vets recommend waiting until after she has been weaned, which can be anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks if she can be kept indoors during that period.

The ASPCA suggests spaying or neutering your cat no later than five months of age due to the fact that female cats can become pregnant as early as four months. If you are a foster parent care for a pregnant cat, you should discuss sterilizing the cat with the shelter or rescue group’s staff. Spaying and neutering pets, along with adoption, are seen as the most effective ways to reduce cat homelessness, which is said to be a major issue in shelters due to overpopulation.

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Wondering about Preventing Heatstroke in Cats? Check it out on our lastest post!


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