When you have a cat as fat as Garfield, it‘s hard to determine whether they‘re pregnant or just bloated from overeating.
This guide will help you see the signs that will tell you whether your cat is carrying little fur balls or not. Aside from that, you‘ll know the preparations you need to do to ensure the kittens will be safely delivered into this world.
First things first
Before you check if your cat is pregnant or not, examine first if these conditions are satisfied:
Is your cat spayed?
Obviously, your cats won‘t carry babies if they‘re spayed. Not all cat owners want to take care of kittens. If you‘re one of them, you better get them to the vet and have them spayed when it‘s okay to perform the operation.
Is it mating season?
It‘s natural for cats to be in heat every now and then. This happens more during hotter seasons, usually starting from April to September. During this period, they‘ll look for a mate almost every other week. They‘ll take a rest in between and then go back looking for a partner again.
Are they showing changes in behavior?
During the mating season, cats typically become warmer toward their owners. They will also show signs of restlessness as they move around more, looking for a partner to mate with them. You‘ll also notice them raising their hindquarters more often than usual. They‘ll also start meowing in a different way which is their signal to potential partners that they‘re looking for a mate.
Telltale Signs of Pregnancy
There are many signs you can observe to determine that your cat is pregnant. If you‘re not familiar with them, read and remember these indicators:
Pregnant cats will surely have larger stomachs. Although this alone is not enough to fully assess whether your cat is carrying babies since fat cats will also display this characteristic.
Their nipples will become engorged when they‘re pregnant for around 3 weeks already. Chances that your cat is pregnant are higher when you see this, especially if they‘re starting to lactate a little. However, if there‘s no milk coming out, they may just be in heat.
In the later periods of their pregnancy, cats will start nesting. They‘ll begin spending more quiet time alone in a corner. They‘ll also start arranging their immediate surroundings in preparation for giving birth.
Some signs are not that clear and may even overlap with other physical conditions. It may not be until they start nesting that you‘ll be a 100% sure they‘re pregnant. This is okay but you have to bring them to the vet once they begin nesting. Like humans, cats also need a regular medical checkup to ensure everything‘s fine and the babies inside them are healthy.
Phases of Pregnancy
Although it‘s not that easy to spot if your cat is pregnant, you should give them your utmost attention once you‘ve confirmed they‘re carrying babies. Bring them to the vet and have them checked to ensure they‘re healthy and there are no complications during their pregnancy.
Pregnant cats need a shorter timeframe to give birth compared to humans. Humans take 9 months to conceive while cats take only around 10 weeks to bring new kittens to the world.
Take a look at the phases they go through to know what you need to do as a pet owner.
First Stage (1-3 weeks)
During the first week, you may not even notice they‘re pregnant at all. Changes in behavior and added weight are barely noticeable during this stage.
It‘s only after 2 weeks will you notice signs of pregnancy. Enlarged nipples, weight gain, and behavioral changes will all be visible during this period.
Feed your pets with high-quality cat food; wet ones are better at this point. Aside from this, you don‘t have to change anything yet regarding their environment and mealtimes.
Second Stage (4-6 weeks)
The bellies of your furballs will start to swell. You‘ll also notice they‘ll have lesser energy to move around.
Five weeks into their pregnancy and you‘ll have to change their diet. They‘ll be needing more nutritious food and an exclusive place where they can rest peacefully away from other animals. You should also start giving your cats supplements rich in calcium and other vitamins.
Third Stage (7-10 weeks)
Your cats will significantly become bulkier than the past weeks. Some may even become obese ‘ a thing you should avoid as much as possible.
When she‘s about to give birth, her anxiety levels will significantly rise. She‘ll become more restless and even disoriented at times. She‘ll also start looking for a secluded and quiet place and begin nesting there.
You can still give them the same cat food during the first 5 weeks of pregnancy. However, you have to slightly step things up after this period. You should give them healthier food as recommended by your vet.
It‘s highly recommended to give them calcium supplement. This promotes proper growth and nutrition to the kittens.
Near the final weeks of their pregnancy, give them food specially formulated for nursing kittens. Your cat‘s appetite may also be stronger than usual. This is because they have to provide nutrition to the kittens living inside them.
You need to find a way to keep them well fed at all times. Having an automatic cat feeder is the ideal solution for this situation.
Tips to Avoid Pregnancy Hiccups
Pregnant cats may also experience complications if they‘re not properly taken care of. To avoid snags during this critical time, remember just two things: First, never make them obese, and second, bring them regularly to the vet for a checkup.
Pregnant cats may have difficulty giving birth if they‘re obese. The additional layers of fat may also cause other health complications.
Play with your cat. Walk them and make them move even though they‘re pregnant. These activities will allow their bodies to burn excess fats.
Visiting the vet for a checkup twice or thrice during your cat‘s pregnancy is a good thing to do. This will ensure your cats are given proper care and nutrition to help avoid health issues that may affect the furballs they‘re carrying.
When the right time comes, your cat will give birth to more furballs in your household. You‘ll become a parent to cute, little kittens.
Complications during labor rarely happen. If you‘ve done your job and visited the vet regularly during your cat‘s pregnancy, you have nothing to worry about. Still, if you notice something off, call your vet immediately to avoid worsening the situation.