If you have a female cat that is not spayed naturally you should expect her to become pregnant at some point. Spaying is of course the best way to avoid this, especially if you don’t have the capacity to take care of more cats and kittens in your home. Also, spaying will improve your cat’s health so that’s something to keep in mind. However, if you do want to have more felines it’s important to know how long are cats pregnant and everything there is to know about the stages of their pregnancy.
How long are cats pregnant?
Above all, pregnancy in cats is much shorter than in humans. On average, cats are pregnant for about nine weeks or 58 to 67 weeks. That means that if your cat had male visitors you can expect her to get kittens in a bit over two months. It all depends on the time when she conceived. Often people won’t notice that their cat is pregnant until she gets very close to giving birth. This is the time when it’s obvious that she will have kittens.
Signs that tell you that your cat is pregnant
If your female cat gets heavier it is very possible that she is pregnant, if she is not overweight. At this time, only her belly is big and her breasts are enlarged. But, once your cat gets a big belly it means that she is already far along in her pregnancy. In other words, she has about two or three weeks from her due date. So, you won’t be able to know if your cat is pregnant only by her looks in the early stages. If you want to find out if your cat is becoming a mom, the best thing to do is to take her to the vet. There is a cat pregnancy test, however, it won’t be effective until the cat is at least one month pregnant.
Stages of Cat Pregnancy – How long are cats pregnant?
The first physical symptoms of pregnancy will appear after three weeks into gestation. While in two weeks of gestation your cat will start with changes in her behavior. Cats get into five different stages of pregnancy. Here is what you need to know about these stages.
The first signs of cat pregnancy appear at the end of the heat cycle of the cat also known as estrus. During their breeding season, cats get into heat for about 2 weeks and this is the period when the female attracts the male. This is the fertilization stage when the cat mates with male cats. When you know how long are cats pregnant you can easily calculate when should you expect kittens.
2. Early Cat Pregnancy
Similar to humans, cats get morning sickness as well. So, in this early pregnancy stage, you should notice changes in your cat’s appetite. Due to her nausea, she will probably eat less than usual, but after this stage is finished she should continue eating normally. Near the end of this stage which is the third week, you may start noticing small lumps in her belly. These are of course the kittens.
3. Middle Stage
At this stage, your cat will start gaining weight. This is the period when you will definitely notice that she is pregnant. In the middle stage, the vet can see the kittens under ultrasound and can determine how many kittens she carries.
4. Pre-labor Stage
Now that you know how long are cats pregnant you can assume that the pre-labor stage would be around the 8th week of pregnancy. Of course, that’s about one week before she should deliver her babies and her pregnancy is very obvious. The belly is big and you can easily feel the kittens and their kicks. Also, at this stage, your cat will start looking for warm and safe places so that she can create her nest for her kittens who are on their way.
5. Labor and Delivery
Once your cat starts licking herself too much and too often it means that she is getting into the final stage of her pregnancy. When your cat gets into labor she is usually anxious especially if it’s her first time. All cats deliver their kittens in around an hour on average. Once their born, the mama cat licks her kittens and keeps them warm and clean all the time. If everything goes well with her delivery there is no need for you to call the vet, she can do this on her own.
If you notice that your cat is struggling to give birth to her kittens and the delivery is taking too long it’s wise to call the vet. Some cats may have various health problems or something is wrong with them. But if the kittens are born safely and your cat is well then there is no need to worry about anything. The cat will take care of the kittens and stay close with them in the next 8 to 12 weeks.