Discover the tell tale signs to determine whether your cat is pregnant
Is my cat pregnant…..? This can be a very frustrating question for cat owners! There are some tell tale signs of cat pregnancy but they do not always happen in every case, and an inexperienced eye could easily miss them! Our experience of cat pregnancy is with British Shorthair cats, but most cats are very similar, the only real differences being gestation period and age of sexual maturity.
If the pregnancy is planned, and you know what dates the mating took place, then you are a step ahead! If the mating was accidental, or you are unsure of the dates of the matings, then things will be a bit trickier for you, but some of the signs of pregnancy can help you determine how far along your cat’s pregnancy is.
Signs your cat is pregnant
If your cat has been in heat, also called ‘calling’, and been in contact with an un-neutered male, or been outside, then it is highly likely that she is pregnant.
You cat will have been calling regularly. If you have noticed her pattern of calling, watch to see if it continues or not. If she does not call at her usual time then it is likely she is pregnant. Some cats can continue to call whilst pregnant though, so do not use this as the determining factor. It is important that a pregnant cat is not mated again, so it is best to wait at least 4 weeks after a mating before trying again.
Most, but not all queens, will experience pinking up. This is a change in the colour and sometimes size or shape of the nipples. It happens anywhere between about 14 and 21 days after the mating occurs. A good tip, if you are planning to breed your cat, is to take a photograph of her nipples before she is mated so that you will have a point of comparison.
This is sometimes experienced by cats, but in our experience not frequently. Remember to have your cat checked by a vet if you think she is unwell - don’t just assume she is pregnant.
A growing or swollen belly
At around 5-6 weeks your cat’s pregnant tummy will start to show. Sometimes the first sign you will notice, before her tummy looks any bigger, is that it will seem a little lower, and closer to the ground. Then it will start to get gradually larger and more spherical. At around 7 weeks into the pregnancy your cat will start to look very rotund!
Kittens can usually be seen moving in your cat’s pregnant tummy around 2 weeks before the birth. Wait for your cat to settle somewhere, preferably laying down on the floor, and watch her. Watch the regular motion of her breathing so that you know what her breathing movement looks like. If you see any irregular, random movements in her tummy, that will be the kittens!
Is my cat pregnant: summary
Cat pregnancy usually lasts around 65 days in British Shorthair cats
Calling ceases or changes
Pinking up at 14-21 days after mating
Enlarged tummy at 5-6 weeks after mating
Spherical tummy at 7 weeks after mating
Kitten movement from around 2 weeks before birth
How many kittens is my cat having?
Once you have established that your cat is pregnant, you will desperately want to know how many kittens she is having? Find out whether you can tell how many kittens your cat is having.