How to tell if a cat is pregnant

Pregnancy is one of the amazing wonders of life. It is the very beginning of our creation. There are similar emotions associated when your little kitty grows up to become a mom. It is an exciting time, no doubts about that. But what if you don’t know whether your cat is pregnant or not? So, to savor the joy, you need to fathom the process first.

People read stacks of books when they are expecting their little bundle of joy. However, the same people have little to no clue about what they have to do when their feline companion expects. Well, said, you have to treat them like queens. That is why the whole process is called queening. But what should you do if that is the case?

First, you should be able to tell when your cat is expecting. If you don’t know anything about that, we have got your back. This article will elaborately explore the miracle of cat birth and the things that you should do before, during, and after pregnancy to ensure that the newborn kitty is healthy. Please give it a read to make the best of this magical moment!

How do cats get pregnant?

How do I know if my cat is pregnant?

Cats have a reproduction system that pretty much resembles ours. There are some differences, of course. Female cats attain their peak fertility once every three weeks, which is their “in heat” period. That is the point when they are most likely to get pregnant. So, as you can see, there is a high chance that your cat might get pregnant.

So, when a male cat is around during that period, the queen flirts, and they get on with their business. If there are several males, they fight for their right to impregnate the female counterpart. The female cat releases her eggs during mating, which seek the male’s sperms for fertilization. Since they mate up to 20 times a day, the reception to pregnancy is far greater.  

Signs that your cat is queening

Although the best way is to take your queen to a vet, you can check for yourself whether your cat is pregnant or not. And no, it is not only about your cat gaining a few pounds. Like humans, a pregnant cat also goes through various physical and psychological changes throughout her pregnancy. Here are some ways by which you can make an educated guess about your cat’s pregnancy.

Change in nipples

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Although not in many ways, a cat’s anatomy is similar to that of humans. And similarly, you can observe a distinct change in the nipples of the queen as she prepares her body for giving birth to a new kitten. The nipples start to “pink up” as they become puffed and dark. This change will be easily observable if your cat has light fur. For darker hair, you might want to give it a harder look.

Heat cycles stop

If you haven’t spayed your cat, you should be familiar with her heat cycles, the period in which she has peak fertility. One sign of her heating is that she becomes more affectionate than normal and even starts to flirt around the male cats. So, if you notice that your cat is acting normal in her heat days, she might be expecting a kitten. Usually, heat cycles last for a week. So, it gives you enough time to observe the changes.

She gets more hungry than usual.

Expectant cats eat more. However, the accuracy of this statement is rather debatable. If your cat has a huge appetite, you can overrule this sign. But if you notice a significant change in the eating patterns of your cat, you can be sure that your cat is becoming a queen. You can go to a vet to substantiate your thoughts.  

Mood swings are obvious.

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Just like human moms go through severe mood changes, queen cats have their mood swings, as well. You will notice that when a cat is pregnant, she becomes considerably affectionate. Your queen will demand her share of love, time, and attention from you, and you better give it to them. However, pregnant cats become equally reclusive too.

She pukes a lot

Normally, vomiting means that your cat is sick. But if a healthy female cat starts puking, it could mean that she is pregnant. However, it could mean other things, as well. So, to be sure, take your queen to the vet to get her checked. If it’s good news, prepare for the celebrations! 

Her belly begins to swell, of course.

This one is the most obvious. You will notice that the queen’s belly becomes swollen and puffy. So, if you see that her abdominal area becomes enlarged, you might want to take your cat to a vet. Nonetheless, you can be sure that cute little kitties are coming home.

Well, even after all signs check out, you can never be too sure. After noticing significant changes in your cat, you should take her to a vet. Not only will the doc check for pregnancy, but they will also examine whether your queen is healthy or not.    

Duration of cat pregnancy

Unlike humans who have a fixed normal pregnancy period of 280 days or 37 weeks, cats have a variable duration of pregnancy. The queen starts to show signs of pregnancy after a few weeks into the fertilization, and her gestation period varies from 61 to 72 days. In most cases, the pregnancy lasts between 63 to 67 days.

How to take care of your pregnant cat

Is My Cat Pregnant? How to Tell & Tips for Care | Hill's Pet

Now that you are sure that you will be welcoming new kittens, you have to take great care of their mom. As stated earlier, you have to treat her like a queen. Here are the ways you can ensure that she stays fit and gives birth to healthy young kittens.

  • As much as you are tempted, DO NOT RUB HER BELLY. Applying pressure to the area can be stressful for the baby and ultimately result in a miscarriage.
  • Make sure that you provide her a clean environment. It would help if you cleaned her litter box twice a day, at least.
  • Since she will be growing in size, you must get her a litter box to fit. Otherwise, she would be extremely uncomfortable in her old box, and it could harm the pregnancy.
  • A pregnant cat eats 25 percent more food, and rightfully so. She has to fulfill the nutrient requirements of her baby and herself. So, consult your vet to formulate the best possible diet plan for your queen.  

How to know when the cat is in active labor

Knowing when your cat is in active labor can get tricky. However, there are a few signals that can help you identify the labor.

  • Your queen stops her intake of food and starts to distance herself from you. She chooses a secluded place to sit quietly. This could be an indicator that your queen is going into labor.
  • Be sure to keep checking the expectant cat’s temperature from time to time. Before labor, you will observe that her body temperature falls to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When in labor, the queen will discharge thick dark fluid after her contractions. After discharging, the kittens will follow and come out to the world.  

How to take care of newborn kittens

How To Tell If A Cat Is Pregnant - My Animals

The queen feeds her kittens with her nipples and keeps them warm. She takes good care of them for the first few weeks, but later, when the cat stops feeding the kittens, you have to step in and take care of them as you would. Quite often, the mother becomes ill and cannot feed her little ones. So, you are burdened with the extra responsibility of taking care of the fragile little creatures.   

What to do if you don’t want your cat pregnant

Not everyone has the time and space to raise kittens, no matter how adorable they look. Given that cats can get pregnant easily, how do you avoid her giving birth, I hear you ask?

If you don’t want your cat to carry kittens, you should get her spayed so she cannot go in her “heat” mode. Plus, spaying helps prevent urinary infections.

You can keep your cat from getting pregnant by not letting her outside the house, as well. She will demand more love and attention, and you have to give it to her. Also, keening her inside will keep the germs, viruses, and accidents away from her. 


You can take good care of an expectant cat when you know that she is pregnant. So, here is all that you need to figure out whether your cat is becoming a queen or is there some other problem. After all, you wouldn’t want anything to go wrong here, would you?

Although you can make an accurate guess, it is best to take her to a vet so that you are 100 percent sure. The most obvious signal that you should take her to the doc is that she has a swollen belly and a change in nipples. If you get the good news, then start preparing to welcome the newborns.

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