Once your cat gets pregnant after a successful mating, she will show some obvious physical and behavioral signs. One of the most apparent signs of successful cat mating is the nonoccurrence of the heat cycle in your female cat.
But sometimes, it’s difficult to know if the heat cycle is stopped due to its vulva hidden under the fur. It’s challenging to detect bloodstains and know if heat cycles occur in your cat.
Pregnancy in felines usually lasts for two months, but it may extend even to 72 days. A cat starts to show the pregnancy signs at around two to three weeks post-mating.
So, let’s understand some essential signs which show successful mating among cats.
Even your vet might not be able to tell for sure if your cat is pregnant until the day of 26 to 35 from the time she gets pregnant.
Your vet can perform an ultrasound to detect the pregnancy or can diagnose the abdomen by touching the uterus part. You can feel the string of pearls there in the uterus.
The abdomen will take the burro shape. After 20 days of pregnancy, you should be able to feel small fetuses when your cat is relaxed. But do not press the belly too firmly as it may hurt her or may accidentally cause abortion.
Your cat will show motherly behavior, e.g., rubbing herself and becoming more affectionate.
Increased appetite in your cat might be another signal for her pregnancy. You need to feed your cat about 25 percent more than her usual diet during her nine-week pregnancy period until the kittens start weaning. Provide her enough nutritious food to fill her calorie requirement.
Pinking Of Nipples In Your Cat
You will start noticing signs of pregnancy in your cat as the fetuses start growing over the next 63 days. The most striking feature is known as the linking of nipples.
You will notice enlarged pink nipples in your cat after 15 to 18 days of successful mating. She will start gaining weight, and her milk glands will get filled with milk as the day of birth comes closer.
However, enlarged nipples are also a sign of being in heat. So, you may see if there are other signs as well.
The queen might refuse to eat anything or stars vomiting during her pregnancy. This is common with pregnant cats, however in case vomiting continues, you should see your vet as it may be due to some underlying issues/disease.
There are temperature fluctuations also that can be observed in her armpits. Generally, there is a drop in temperature in the case of pregnancy.
However, it has to be a normal temperature change. In case of continuous drop and increase in temperature, you must always visit your vet.
Hormones change in your cat when she gets pregnant. Your cat starts to display a nesting behavior where she finds a hidden and comfortable place to give birth to her kittens in privacy.
In the wild, she would choose a wet and hidden site to ensure the survival of her kittens. She might select several nesting sites as well in case a threat would occur at the original nesting site.
In the home environment, you might notice the nesting behavior in the last two weeks of her pregnancy. She often chooses a quiet, safe, and dark place to pop up her kittens.
Will Gain Weight
There will be noticeable weight gain in your cat, which is around 2 to 4 pounds in all. This weight gain has to be from the abdomen and should not be due to general weight gain.
Heat Cycle Will Stop
The most noticeable feature that confirms that your cat is pregnant is ceasing the heat cycle. Cats commonly undergo a heat cycle within 10 to 14 days. If the heat cycle does not continue as usual then it is time to see your vet.
You may see that habits more common during the heat like the licking of genitals, marking the urine would stop abruptly, indicating the possibility of pregnancy.
Change In Habits
You may notice that your pet is sleeping more than usual and tries to be more affectionate toward you. She will seek your attention more often. You must give her all the attention.
Your cat may have less energy and a reduced desire to move around. She may be rolling around the floor and being highly vocal. One can notice occasional mood swings too.
If you are still not sure about the signs and are confused about whether your cat is pregnant, the best and most reliable method is diagnosis. It may be done in various ways.
Using ultrasound, your vet may be able to tell you how many kittens your cat is probably going to have. But you cannot say with certainty about the number of kittens. Ultrasound is possible only after the 16 days post-mating.
X-ray is yet another method to confirm your cat’s pregnancy. Here also, a vet may be able to indicate the number of kittens going to arrive, however, not with absolute certainty.
However, don’t worry about the radiation, as according to experts, the amount of radiation is considerably small. So, this is often assumed to be safe for your cat and her developing kittens.
But suppose you are still not sure to get your cat to undergo the radiation process. In that case, palpation is the method your vet can use to indicate whether the pet is pregnant by gently pressing on the cat’s abdomen and feeling the fetuses. This may be done post 20 days of mating.
Finally, make sure that your cat is given all the care and calories as needed – a healthy pregnancy depends on this.
Set her food and water and litter box always ready and encourage her to sleep well.
Always consult your vet before administering any vaccine or medication to her. Cats chose us, we don’t own them, so show your care!