How Long Are Cats Pregnant? 5 Stages of Cat Pregnancy

I strongly support spaying and neutering. Having your cat spayed or neutered improves cat health, lowering the risk of injury and disease, and is an essential component of the equation for reducing the number of cats murdered in shelters. But many of us eventually come across cat pregnancies, whether it’s due to our employment at a hospital or animal shelter, a chance contact, or purposeful breeding. So, how long do cats typically give birth for and what can you anticipate each week? The five phases of a cat’s pregnancy are as follows:

1. Fertilization

How long do cats stay pregnant? Let’s start by talking about the age at which cats begin going into heat before responding to the query “How long are cats pregnant?” Cats can become sexually mature as young as six months old, with Oriental breeds typically being the quickest to do so. Even kitten cats have been known to go into heat as early as five months old, so having your female cat spayed as soon as possible is a smart idea. Depending on how many toms are able to mate with the queen, a litter of kittens may have more than one father.

How long are cats pregnant? The answer is two months, or nine weeks. However, that is only an estimate. The response to the question “How long are cats pregnant?” ranges from 58 to 72 days.

2. The initial stage of cat pregnancy

Another question you might have when thinking “How long are cats pregnant?” is — “Do cats get morning sickness?” You might be surprised to know that a cat can get morning sickness during the early stage of her pregnancy. For the first two weeks of her pregnancy, your cat may eat less because of the nausea, but by the third week she’ll start eating again and begin gaining weight. By the third week, you may be able to feel the lumps of her developing kittens. Popular Read:  Why Does My Cat Scratch The Sides Of The Litter Box? – Simple Explanation

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3. Pregnancy’s midway stage

Now your cat starts gaining weight in earnest. The kittens are getting bigger, and depending on how many kittens she’s carrying, she may start looking like she swallowed a football. If you want to know how many kittens your cat is going to have, your vet may do an X-ray at this time.

4. Pre-labor

Since the answer to “How long are cats pregnant?” isn’t an exact science, you might wonder how to tell when your cat is getting close to giving birth. The pre-labor stage starts about a week before your cat gives birth. Her nipples will be very visible at this point, and you may even see milk drops on them. She will start looking for warm and safe places to create a nest for her kittens. You can help her at this time by offering nesting boxes in the places she seems to prefer. Your cat will stop eating about two days before she goes into labor.

5. Labor and delivery

It will be pretty obvious when your cat goes into labor. She’ll start licking her genitals and may even make noises of discomfort. If this is her first litter, she may pace and act anxious. She should give birth to her first kitten about an hour after labor starts. After that, the kittens should come every 15 to 20 minutes until the last one has been born.

Generally, mom cat will clean up the kittens: She’ll lick them and eat the placentas to give her the extra nutrition she needs. Let her eat those placentas, even if you think it’s gross.Popular Read:  Why Does My Cat Scratch The Sides Of The Litter Box? – Simple Explanation

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There’s no need to panic or rush your cat to the vet when she goes into labor. Just keep an eye on things and make sure the delivery is progressing normally. The kittens need to be with their mothers for a minimum of eight weeks in order to be properly weaned, but 12 weeks with mom is better.

Once the babies are weaned, get your queen spayed as soon as possible. She can go into heat pretty quickly once she no longer has to nurse her kittens.