Cat pregnancy signs can be difficult to spot, since cats are fairly independent. If you’ve noticed your feline friend acting differently lately and you’re wondering if there could be some new arrivals soon, there are ways to tell your cat is expecting. Cat pregnancy is a fascinating and delicate process, and it’s full of subtle hints if you know what to look for.
End of Heat Cycles
Most cats cycle every fourteen days. If you've noticed that the heat cycles have abruptly stopped, that could be your cat's way of announcing, "Hey, I've got kittens on board!"
Cats typically won't go into heat during pregnancy, so a sudden end to all those vocal gymnastics and restless behaviors might be more than just a welcome respite — it could mean you're about to hear the pitter-patter of tiny paws.
I know staring at your cat's nipples might seem weird, but it's a good indicator of pregnancy. About three weeks into the pregnancy, a cat's nipples become a deeper shade of pink and may also enlarge. This is very difficult to notice on most cats because the area is heavily furred.
The change is very noticeable on cats with extremely short fur and hairless cats like the Sphinx.
A pregnant cat will often become more affectionate, seeking extra cuddles and pets from you. Similar to us, pregnant cats experience changes in hormone levels. A pregnant cat often begins sleeping with her human family, following them as they move about the house, and vocalizing more to attract their attention. She may sleep more, but this is difficult to notice since cats nap a lot, anyway.
Although most are affectionate, some cats go the opposite way and become more reclusive.
In the early stages of pregnancy, some cats experience morning sickness, similar to humans. Yes, you heard that right! Your cat might also eat less than usual. But, as the pregnancy progresses, you'll probably notice her eating more to nourish those growing kittens.
Just past the mid-point of the pregnancy, you’ll notice your cat’s belly suddenly looks much fuller than before. The abdomen feels firmer, and the hair sheds more to prepare for nursing.
An enlarged belly could also mean your cat is gaining weight for other reasons, so look for other symptoms to confirm a pregnancy.
As delivery nears, your cat may also begin nesting in out-of-the-way locations like the back of a closet, under a bed, or even in your laundry basket. This is a sign she’s looking for a good place to give birth. If there was still any doubt whether the cat is pregnant, this behavioral sign is usually a powerful indicator of kittens on the way.
When you notice this behavior, start preparing a birthing box for her that's away from noise and foot traffic.
Confirm With Your Vet
Of course, the most foolproof way to know if your cat is pregnant is to take her to the vet. Ultrasounds, X-rays, or even a simple physical examination can give you a definitive answer. Not to mention, it's a good idea to get some expert advice on how to care for your cat during pregnancy.
This is particularly important if your cat has any medical problems.
Get Ready for Babies
Whether it's changes in her appetite, behavior, or physical appearance, these signs will help you know if your kitty is expecting. And hey, when in doubt, a trip to the vet can confirm all your suspicions. Ready for those tiny paws and little button noses? I know I would be!