What is the duration of cat pregnancy?
|What is the duration of cat pregnancy?
What is the duration of cat pregnancy?
Dear reader, you likely have a cat in your home, and during its pregnancy, you may not know how to handle it. Stay with me in this article as we learn about everything related to the gestation period of cats, its duration, timing, and how to deal with cats during this sensitive stage.
The duration of cat pregnancy:
Cats reproduce through pregnancy and giving birth (parturition), and the gestation period of a cat lasts from 63 to 65 days. Cats can become pregnant at 4 months old and give birth at 6 months old. The duration of cat pregnancy can vary, with a maximum of 72 days and a minimum of 61 days.
This variation does not depend on the cat's breed but rather on the timing of the cat's conception. It is difficult to determine the exact timing of cat pregnancy due to delayed physical symptoms, which usually appear after the second or third week of pregnancy.
Stage of labor:
In this stage, the cat's uterus prepares for childbirth, contractions begin, and she may show signs of fatigue. It is possible to feel the movement of the fetus on the mother cat's abdominal wall. In this stage, cats often seek security and reassurance from their owner. Some cats may start panting before labor due to pain and exhaustion. When labor begins, the cat refrains from eating (last 24 hours before delivery). The duration of the labor period can be up to 36 hours in some cats.
In this stage, the uterine muscles contract significantly and repeatedly, moving the fetus to the pelvic area in preparation for delivery. The fetus is covered by membranes that facilitate the birthing process and passage from the uterus to the pelvis. This stage is the most exhausting for the cat, as the kittens are born one after another in intervals ranging from 10 minutes to an hour.
Placental separation and membrane tearing stage:
When the cat gives birth to her kittens, she gets rid of the placenta, tears the membranes, bites the umbilical cord, and eats it after delivery. She begins to clean the newborn kittens, especially the ear and mouth, by licking them.
Number of cat pregnancies per year:
The number of times a cat can become pregnant depends on her estrous cycle, which is seasonal for female cats. It usually occurs in the spring and fall (twice a year). Pregnancy occurs during these periods, and if mating doesn't occur during the 9-10-day cycle, it ends after four days.
The cat breeding season practically starts in early February and continues until late December. Therefore, it can be said that February marks the beginning of the mating season.
Number of matings required for cat pregnancy:
During the estrus stage, female cats require mating three to four times within a period not exceeding 24 hours. The mating process between cats does not exceed two minutes, which is sufficient time for pregnancy to occur. Mating can occur between one female and multiple males, and it should be noted that the kittens may have different fathers.
During this period, it is necessary to have a cat breeder present to provide the necessary care and support for the female cat. Sometimes, mating between the male and female may be rejected, resulting in fights and severe injuries. Additionally, caution should be exercised as some females may exhibit aggressive behavior, engaging in behaviors such as scratching or biting the breeder.
Signs of pregnancy in cats:
Cats exhibit signs indicating their pregnancy, and the most important symptoms and signs include the following:
- Change in nipple color: After the third week of pregnancy, the cat's nipples become darker in color compared to their natural color and increase in size. They may secrete a brownish substance during the pregnancy period, even though milk is not produced until after delivery.
- Nausea: Some females experience symptoms of nausea, especially in the morning. It is advisable to consult a veterinarian if nausea occurs frequently.
- Abdominal swelling: Abdominal swelling in cats with heavy weight may be difficult to discern, but a continuous increase in the size of the abdomen indicates pregnancy. Cats generally gain around 1-2 kilograms during pregnancy.
- Choosing a quiet place to stay: After the first few weeks of pregnancy, the cat begins to seek out a quiet place to stay. During this period, she exhibits behaviors characterized by affection and tenderness and may be less tolerant of other animals around her.
- After days 40-45 of pregnancy, an ultrasound can be used to determine if the cat is indeed pregnant or not after the appearance of the aforementioned symptoms. In some cases, the veterinarian may perform an ultrasound, but it may not be very useful, especially in determining the number of kittens. X-rays can also be used to detect cat pregnancy and are safe.
It is possible to observe changes in the cat's eating habits, as pregnant cats may start refusing food. In other cases, after the third or fourth week, the cat may abstain from eating for extended periods, up to three days. On the contrary, some cats may experience increased appetite and eat more than usual.
It is important to differentiate between obesity and pregnancy in cats. When looking at the cat from above, the pregnant cat's abdomen will appear swollen from the middle of the neck to the tail, and from the side, the abdomen will appear rounded and swollen. Obesity, on the other hand, is characterized by overall swelling of the cat, including its legs and neck.
Cats can experience false pregnancy due to unsuccessful mating or artificial insemination, where the female cat exhibits pregnancy symptoms such as enlarged nipples and lymph nodes. However, these symptoms naturally disappear after around forty days.
How to care for cats during pregnancy:
Cat breeders should handle the cat during the pregnancy period naturally and calmly as much as possible. Handling the cat too sensitively during this period can cause many problems, especially during childbirth. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the following instructions for providing care for cats:
- Maintain the amount of food and avoid increasing it except in the final stage of pregnancy, especially the last two weeks. It should be noted that females in the later stages may lose appetite or eat very small amounts at several intervals throughout the day.
- Remove cat tools that allow them to jump from high surfaces. Moderate activity is allowed, especially during the later stage of pregnancy.
- Avoid using insecticides, especially in the area where the pregnant cat is present.
- Monitor the cat's elimination condition, as constipation can indicate a potential danger. Special laxatives should be provided if needed.
- When using any medications for existing diseases, make sure they do not affect the pregnancy and the fetuses.
- Prepare a birthing place, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. This can be done by providing a wooden or plastic box with cushions and absorbent sheets to dispose of after childbirth. This helps the cat feel safe and comfortable.
The cat's pregnancy stage lasts from 63 to 65 days. During this stage, the cat becomes sensitive and exhibits some friendly traits, especially towards those who care for her. However, she may also display aggressiveness towards other animals in her surroundings. This period requires providing physical and nutritional care to the cat without excess or neglect. The cat should give birth in a closed space to feel safe and unthreatened.