An unspayed cat means dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. Usually, a pregnant woman experiences mood swings, changes of taste, and some weird desires during the 9 months. But what about a pregnant female? And how long do cats stay pregnant?
Most experts suggest that a cat’s gestation period lasts for 58 to 72 days. The time frame can vary depending on your kitty’s physical condition and the surroundings. Pregnancy is an important phase in anyone’s life, let it be a human or a cat. Assuring proper care will benefit the health of the mother and the kittens.
In the following article, you will get a closer insight into a cat’s pregnancy journey.
How Long Do Cats Stay Pregnant?
Do you know a female cat can get pregnant at the age of 4 months? Yes, it is true. When a kitty gets pregnant, she is called the Queen cat. The pregnancy journey is referred to as queening.
Usually, a cat stays pregnant for 58 to 72 days. The exact gestation period can be determined because cats exhibit their pregnancy sign late. During this period, the feline should be handled with care. As a responsible owner, you have to know ins and outs of a cat’s gestation process. This will help you prepare yourself for nursing the kitty.
Pregnant Cat Stages
The scientists have divided the cat’s pregnancy or queening period into 3 categories. Such as,
- First trimester
- Second trimester
- Third trimester
Each trimester lasts for about 21 days. With the growing time, the queen cat starts showing different symptoms of pregnancy. You will observe physical and behavioral changes in the pet. To explain the gestation period more easily, I have broken down the whole thing into 4 stages. Such as,
- Fertilization after mating
- Pregnancy period
- Pre-labor stage
- Labor and delivering kittens
Fertilization After Mating
The first trimester of queening beings with fertilization. It means when the sperm of a tomcat matures the eggs of the queen cat. A female feline can get pregnant at an early age. You already know that a female kitty goes into heat at 4 months. To avoid unexpected pregnancy, you must have your felines spayed. Here is an interesting fact about a queen’s pregnancy. A kitten can have more than one father. It depends on how many toms have mated with the queen successfully. So, how long do cats stay pregnant? The two months or 9 weeks journey of the feline’s pregnancy starts with fertilization.
The pregnancy period is counted after the fertilization. You can divide this frame into the early pregnancy stage and middle pregnancy state. Usually, you can not tell if your cat is pregnant until two or three weeks pass by. The pregnant kitty starts exhibiting different signs after week one.
So, what’s new with the pregnant cat behavior? Or how will you pick the signs that your pet is going to have kittens? Here is how:
- Dark nipples are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. After 15 to 18 days, the nipples of the cat become large and red. Vets refer to this as nipple pinking up.
- Morning sickness is common among pregnant women. But what about cats? Do they feel the same? The experts believe kitties do experience morning sickness during pregnancy. They will often feel nauseous and vomit. If the vomit is in control, then you have nothing to worry about. Otherwise, a medical check-up is a must.
- Due to nausea, the feline may lose appetite in the first two weeks. But then, the love for food comes back again.
- After the 3rd week, the cat starts gaining weight. Generally, half to one pound extra adds to her total body weight. It depends on the number of kittens she is carrying. How will you be sure that your feline is not getting fat and pregnant? Well, during pregnancy, the weight is localized in the stomach area. However, do not pet the feline’s stomach during the gestation period. This can be harmful to the mom and unborn kittens.
- I have already mentioned that felines get their appetite back later during the gestation period. This is another reason responsible for the weight gain of the cat. You should be always prepared to satisfy the pet’s sudden hunger. Increases in appetite sometimes indicate health issues. So, consult a vet if necessary.
- A mother is born from the day of fertilization. This is true for both humans and cats. A pregnant cat acts more affectionately than ever. She will purr more and knead to the owner for attention and love.
To avoid unexpected labor, you should know more about the pre-labor stage. Usually, a cat shows off the signs before one week of giving birth. Her nipples become very visible. In some cases, milk starts dropping from the nipples.
The kitty searches for a warm and secure place to lay on. She also prepares a safe nest for her unborn kittens. Nesting boxes will be the perfect place for the mother and kittens. The pregnant cat will stop eating two days before going into labor. This is the most crucial sign that you must notice.
There are more of these pregnant cat labor signs. For example, the body temperature of the feline may drop. She will stay closer to the owner. Also, you may find the kitty acting restlessly as the labor date approaches.
Labor And Delivering Kittens
When the cat enters the labor stage, she starts licking her genitalia. She also chirps and makes uncomfortable sounds. Fear and anxiety are common for cats in labor.
The labor period can be lengthy. It depends on the number of kittens the mom is carrying. Usually, the first kitten comes out half an hour after the labor pain starts. Then each delivery takes 15 to 20 minutes.
For delivery, you can take the pet to a vet or provide the cat with a comfortable nest box. After delivering, the mother will clean the kittens by licking them. For any emergency, talk to a vet immediately.
How long do cats stay pregnant? I hope you have got your answer. Make sure the kittens stay at least 8 weeks with their mother. Also, spay the queen right after the delivery.