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How to spot the early signs of cat pregnancy

Monday March 31st 2014

Whether planned or accidental, to ensure your cat has a safe and healthy pregnancy it's vital that you know how to spot the signs. These six signs of cat pregnancy will help you know you can expect to hear the pitter-patter of tiny paws.

How to spot the early signs of cat pregnancy

Morning Sickness
One unmissable sign that your cat is pregnant is morning sickness. Just like pregnant humans, it is perfectly normal for pregnant queens (as an unsprayed female is called) to vomit during pregnancy – so be prepared for some extra cleaning up. While there's no need to worry about a short period of vomiting, if it is frequent or you're worried for your cat's health you may want to seek medical help.

Change in appetite
Since your cat will now be eating not only for herself but a litter of kittens you can expect an increased appetite as the pregnancy develops. However, you may be able to spot a pregnancy earlier, as many cats actually have a reduced appetite for a short period after conception.

Changes to the body
As you'd expect, a pregnant cat's body goes through some changes during gestation. The nipples will become larger and pinker within about 3 weeks, while the abdomen should be noticeably bigger within 5-6 weeks. Make sure not to agitate these areas as it could make your cat stressed and even risk the health of the unborn fetuses.

Heat Cycles
As the owner of an unspayed cat you're no doubt familiar with how a cat in heat behaves: the loud yowls, the unusually high levels of affection, the licking of the genitals, and – if you're unlucky – the marking of territory with urine. If your queen's heat cycles stop abruptly it could be a sign of pregnancy, but as cats are liable to experience false pregnancy it's not a guarantee – a vet will help clear things up.

Behavioral Changes
A pregnant cat will be more content to stay indoors, looking for the attention of its owner rather than any tomcats. Pregnant cats will appear less playful and may want to sleep even more than usual. While you'll notice your cat is more subdued you may also have to put up with the occasional mood swing!

If your cat starts disappearing only to be found in the quietest, most private parts of the home you may have a cat in the advanced stages of pregnancy. This behavior is known as nesting – your cat is trying to find the best place to give birth to her kittens.

Spotted the signs?
If you think your cat is pregnant you should visit a vet – so long as it doesn't cause undue stress to your pet - so they can determine for sure whether she's pregnant and ensure she is healthy. Depending on how long your cat has been pregnant your vet may even be able to tell you how many kittens you can expect. More importantly, your vet will also be able to advise you on the best way to care for your cat during pregnancy and help make sure that the birth is as comfortable as possible.

Prevent unwanted pregnancies

While nobody could deny that kittens are amongst the cutest things on earth, the sad fact is that there are countless numbers of kittens and cats that desperately need a home. Unless you can be sure your litter of kittens will all end up in good homes you should strongly consider having your cat spayed. If you have a tomcat you can still do your bit by having it neutered. As well as preventing unwanted pregnancies it can also reduce or even eliminate the risk of certain cancers, neutering a male cat will make it less aggressive and spaying a female will prevent the stress of being in heat.

This article was written on behalf of helpucover. This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.