How To Tell if a Cat Still Has Kittens Inside The Belly
Hey friend! If you’re anything like me, once you discover your beloved furball is expecting kittens, you’re filled with a mix of excitement and anxious questions. I totally get it – a cat’s pregnancy journey can be complex to navigate. That’s why I wanted to lend you my insights on detecting if your mama kitty still has babies baking in her oven, so you can relax knowing she and the little ones are A-OK.
From changes in her body and behavior to tips on nutrition and potential complications, this guide’s got you covered on all things feline pregnancy. So grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s dive in!
Scoping Out Physical Changes
Cats have a typical pregnancy length of 63-67 days. But I know how hard it is to determine exactly where they’re at without the vet’s help! Here are some bodily clues to inform your detective work:
- Ballooning Belly: Early on, you may notice the kitty’s tummy growing. As pregnancy progresses, the swelling becomes more obvious. If it suddenly shrinks or plateaus, she may have birthed some or all of the litter already.
- Nipples Turn Pink: Around week 3, pregnant cats’ nipples often change color, becoming brighter.
- Weight Gain Galore: Gradual weight gain is normal. But if she unexpectedly loses weight or stops putting on pounds, issues may be afoot – or she’s delivered babies already.
“Whoa, look at that belly!” I exclaimed as my calico Luna waddled by. Sure enough, a month later she gave birth to 5 adorable kittens. So trust the ever-expanding tummy!
Noticing Behavioral Signals
Along with physical hints, behavioral ones can indicate pregnancy timelines, too. Here are key markers:
- Nest Construction: Nearing labor, expectant moms scout comfy, private nesting zones and prep “nurseries”. If this suddenly ceases, birth may be imminent or happened already.
- Appetite Shifts: Carrying growing kittens is hungry work! Pregnant cats tend to eat more. Abrupt disinterest could signal labor onset, or she’s delivered already.
- Restless Rigmarole: In late pregnancy, mood swings and anxiety are common. But if restlessness stops and she isolates herself, she may be starting the birthing process.
I’ll never forget Luna frantically scratching up an old blanket into a nest while meowing loudly 2 days before delivering. The behavioral signs were as clear as day – babies were on the way!
Tuning Into Her Body
You can also gently feel the kitty’s abdomen to gather intel. But be extremely cautious – we don’t want any harm caused. Here’s what to analyze:
- Feeling Fetal Movement: In late pregnancy, you may notice the kittens squirming inside. If movement ceases, they could be settling for birth or already born.
- Is She Still Showing?: Carefully gauging abdominal size can suggest if kittens remain. But don’t poke and prod too much!
“I think they’re breakdancing in there!” I laughed, feeling the kittens wriggling inside Luna’s swollen tummy. While abdominal clues help, vet examinations are most reliable for determining kittens’ status.
The Vet Knows Best
Ultrasounds and X-rays are the surefire way vets confirm remaining kittens. I know it’s hard not playing pregnancy detective yourself. But please see the vet throughout the process – mama and babies’ health rests on it!
“We’d be lost without Dr. Hanson’s expertise and care!” I declared, eternally grateful for her vigilance in ensuring Luna and our kitties stayed healthy.
Fueling Her Pregnancy
Proper nutrition keeps mama and kittens Going strong! As the pregnancy advances, her needs intensify. Here are feeding fundamentals:
- High-Quality Chow: Kitten food, despite its name, provides essential pregnancy nutrients. Vets often recommend it!
- Smaller, More Meals: Growing kittens crowd her stomach. Small frequent meals increase comfort.
- Avoid Overfeeding: Weight monitoring helps prevent obesity and birth complications. Adjust portions accordingly.
I learned this lesson quickly. Luna turned up her nose at dinner the night before birthing our roly poly fur balls! Keeping Mama fit and fed prevents problems.
Staying Vigilant to Risks
While most feline pregnancies go smoothly, be alert for complications:
- Overlong Gestation: Beyond 67 days isn’t normal. Consult your vet if this happens.
- Signs of Distress: Heavy panting, lethargy, or aggression can indicate concerns.
- Abnormal Discharge/Bleeding: Unusual fluids or blood signal an emergency. Seek veterinary care immediately.
Thankfully, Luna’s pregnancy was smooth sailing! But my friend Ellie’s cat Mittens began bleeding at day 65. Ellie raced her to the animal ER, where emergency surgery saved Mittens and her remaining unborn kittens. Phew!
Caring for Mama Post-Birth
Once the babies arrive, don’t forget Mama Cat TLC!
- Cozy Corner: Ensure she has soft bedding, privacy, and round-the-clock nursing access.
- Monitor Health: Watch for concerning post-birth issues like infections or bleeding.
- Keep Up Nutrition: Nursing moms need extra nourishment. Continue kitten food diet throughout.
We set Luna up in a quiet closet lined with plush blankets, food, and water bowls, and the softest pet bed money could buy! She purred contentedly while nursing her squirming little ones for weeks.
Spaying: An Important Consideration
I advise spaying once kittens are weaned, preventing future unwanted litters and health woes. Your vet can recommend the best time for the procedure.
In the end, determining if kittens remain inside requires patience, vigilance to subtle signs, and trusting your vet’s guidance. With proper care, your mama kitty and her babies will thrive! Call me anytime for pep talks or commiseration throughout your fur-ever family’s magical expansion!