How to tell if your cat is pregnant?

Usually, the pregnancy time of a cat is about nine weeks. When beginning to be pregnant, cats have many changes in behaviors and physics. You can answer the question “Is my cat pregnant” depending on the features and tips below. The best way to be sure is to take them to the veterinarians. Except that you are an animal specialist, you need to have your cats sterilized. If not, that the cats give birth a lot may lead to the death of many small kitties for not finding enough haven.  So, how to tell if your cat is pregnant? You may figure it out if you read this article.


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Signs A Cat Is Pregnant

While pregnant, a cat won’t show signs after two or three weeks in the gestation period. Therefore, pet owners will have more time to plan and prepare for their cats.

Physical Signs in a Pregnant Cat

The most accessible signs that every cat owner can realize if their cats are pregnant are physical changes. Looks for these features in your cat’s body indicating pregnancy.

how to tell if your cat is pregnant

#1 Heat cycles stop

That heat cycle stop may be the first sign you notice if a cat is pregnant. Typically, a cat goes through heat cycles every ten days to two weeks. With the pregnant cats, the cycles cease as usual.

#2 Nipples swell and become rosier in color

Another sign of a cat’s pregnancy is “pinking-up,” which means cats’ nipples become bigger or rounder and rosier in color. They also look fully engorged, mainly if they have more than one litter. This is the first visual sign you can see in your cats’ pregnancy, but it is pretty hard to notice under a layer of dark fur. 

#3 Appetite rises

Like other pregnant animals, your female cat will likely desire more food at this time, about 1.5 times her standard diet. After all, she not only eats for herself. 

#4 Gaining weight

The next sign you notice in any cat’s pregnancy is weight gain. Although a non-pregnant cat’s weight might go up, a cat in the gestation period usually gains about 2 to 4 pounds of body weight. If its weight is higher than that, it might be because the cat becomes fatter. 

#5 Vomiting

Vomiting is a sign of even human mothers – to – be. As a result, this is not a sign to worry about in pregnant cats. By contrast, if your cats continuously vomit or they are not pregnant yet vomiting in at least a few weeks, you should contact the veterinarian for help. 

#6 Abdomen is swollen

After the fifth week of pregnancy, pet owners will notice their cats’ abdomen begins to swell. The phenomenon will continue until the time for birthing.

Personality Signs in a Pregnant Cat

Besides physical changes, some pregnant cats may have different behaviors. 

#1 Sleep longer and Nesting Behavior

While pregnant, your cat will be tired, so they tend to stay asleep for more extended periods. Moreover, they always want to prepare secluded and quiet nests for their litter. Accordingly, your cats might find a more prominent place, arrange blankets, and frequently argue with other animals about their space.

#2 Affectionate Behavior

Because of the considerable changes in hormone and neurology, many cats may have affectionate behaviors. They seek out your attention more often. 

Clinical Diagnosis of Pregnancies in Cats

how to tell if your cat is pregnant

Either you want to ensure your cat has good health in a pregnant period or only want to check if she has a litter, it is crucial to give her a clinical diagnosis. Below are some methods a veterinarian will use to examine your cats. 

#1 Cat’s Abdomen Palpation 

Typically, after the 17th – to 20th day, an experienced vet can palpate and press gently on the cat’s abdomen to feel her fetuses. Tiny kittens can slightly kick or move to show vets that they are growing in the cat’s fetus. 

#2 Ultrasound of your cat’s abdomen

A modern technique to find if your cat is pregnant is the ultrasound. As early as the second week of pregnancy, the fetuses can be affected by an ultrasound, and the heartbeats are found sometime after the third week. However, this technique is hard to count how many kittens you have in total. It is also quite expensive, so if not needed, you can ignore this method.

#3 Radiographs (X-Ray)

The best way to determine your cat’s pregnancy status is the radiographs (X-Ray) method. A vet will take a radiograph of your cat’s abdomen to examine the number of kitties she is carrying. Of course, there’s no need to worry about the few amounts of radiation, which cannot hurt both the cat and her children. 

Besides, after about 42 days in the gestation period, using X-rays can help pet owners see the kittens’ spines and skulls that begin to shape. 

Signs Your Cat Will Give Birth Soon

After 63 to 67 days, your pregnant cats will give birth. In this time, leaving them undisturbed is essential. Moreover, in case they go into distress, pet owners should always watch from a safe distance. The signs below indicate cats give birth soon.

#1 Nesting Activities

Before actively laboring, a pregnant cat tends to find her quiet and private places. This activity might happen before two days or even a few hours. 

#2 Restlessness

From 24 to 48 hours before giving birth, the pregnant queens may become anxious and restless. Typically, they go in and out of their nesting area as if pacing.

#3 Vocalization

Vocalization always takes place in cats having babies. They cry out and sound meow louder more than usual.

#4 Vulva Licking

Before the labor, the cat’s vulva has a mild discharge. To clean herself, licking the vulva in the nesting place is her natural behavior.

#5 Loss of Appetite

Since the labor fast approaches, your cats tend to lose the desire for food, which is different from pregnancy. 

#6 The body temperature decrease

Typically, a cat’s temperature is from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. However, between the 12 and 36 hours of giving birth, the temperature dramatically goes up below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Many Kittens Can A Cat Have In One Litter?

how to tell if your cat is pregnant

The number of kittens in one litter usually depends on their age and breed. Both the younger and older cats will have smaller litters of two to three kittens. The fully grown cats can have up to 10 kitties in a litter. 

Concerning the type of cats, some might have more kitties than others. For example, Siamese cats tend to have larger litters, but Persian cats have smaller ones. 

To accurately determine the number of kitties, pet owners should ask their vet to count before labor day. The method is beneficial for first-time mothers who might not give birth to all of their kitties. 

Besides, it takes ten minutes to an hour between kitties, so knowing how many kitties you have will save time and avoid potentially life-threatening issues. 

What Age Can A Cat Get Pregnant?

As early as four months old, your cat can get pregnant. Furthermore, since felines do not experience menopause, they can keep pregnant after a few years before dying. 

For this reason, many pet owners decide to have their cats spayed early on. Around the time, cats might get “heat,” but it fast disappears after a few weeks. 


When can you feel kittens move in pregnant cats?

After nearly two months, 50 to 60 days, you can feel kittens move vigorously in the cat’s fetus in the pregnancy. They are near their birth size at that time. To have an authentic experience in the kittens moving, abdominal palpations are recommended for its being a least stressful and cheap method of detecting pregnancy. 

Can a cat give birth and still be pregnant?

Some people believe that a cat can not be pregnant while taking care of their kittens. Unfortunately, this is not true. The fact is as long as it is still the breeding season, almost all felines will have a heat cycle about four weeks after weaning their children. Therefore, they can give birth and take care of kittens at the same time.

Can you use a pregnancy test on a cat?

Of course, a human pregnancy test will not work on a cat. Peeing on the stick is only for humans because the tests are calibrated to women. With cats, you need species-specific tests such as abdomen palpation, and X-ray.

Final Words 

There are three main signs that you will notice if a cat is pregnant. One of those is physical signs. The signs are the first and most important features pet owners can realize to prepare for cats’ giving birth. Moreover, you can also use the Clinical Diagnosis to completely determine the cat pregnancy. It offers accurate information and also helps you know your cat health in the gestation period. 

In summary, above are some signals to know if your cat is pregnant.  Besides, the article also gives you a few necessary pieces of knowledge to understand the cat’s pregnant time. Hopefully, you can plan and prepare for your cats to have adorable kitties after the information!

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