Are You Having Kittens? Here Is What To Expect.
What to expect when you're expecting - the kitty cat guide. Congratulations on your fertile feline! This is an exciting time that can also be a little nerve-racking so we put together a few tips for keeping your mama cat comfortable and healthy during the time leading up to their due dates. Cats are such mysterious creatures, it can be hard to tell what they want or need when they aren't pregnant so we also lay out some helpful signs to look for when dealing with your precious pregnant cat.
Visit Your Vet First
Get the full run-down on the support system your cat will need during and after their pregnancy straight from the experts at your veterinary office and also to confirm they're pregnant in the first place. During the appointment, your cats overall health will be assessed and you'll be notified of a general due date estimate.
If there are any other unrelated existing conditions to treat such as fleas or ear mites should be addressed during this time as well. Make a plan with your vet and proceed with any recommended medications or vaccinations to keep your cat safe and healthy for the length of their pregnancy.
Amend Her Diet
Just like us human ladies, we crave some crazy things when we're pregnant and you can expect no different from your cat. Of course it's most important to maintain a healthy diet that supports both their overall health and their pregnancy. In fact, discuss any changes in her diet with your vet first as over or under feeding your cat can make their pregnancy more difficult.
During your first vet visit, create an appropriate feeding plan together and adjust it to your cat accordingly. Take note of their eating habits, whether they're consuming more or less. Your vet may suggest mixing in some higher-calorie kitten food with your cat’s regular food at this time—she’ll need the calories to produce milk.
Make Life A Little Easier For Her
There are a lot of little ways you can make things more convenient for your cat around the house. For example if your cat's litter box has high sides, a narrow entrance, or is located in high up location consider moving or replacing it with an open one. Choose a low, wide pan that’s more accommodating of her ever-expanding belly. This is a very important time to be on top of your litter-box-cleaning game. To keep her healthy, clean the litter at least twice a day and wash the box once a week.
Monitor Her Behavior
Cat's routinely give us little clues to their mood, we simply need to keep a keen eye out for them. Your cat won't act differently for the first few weeks of her pregnancy but she will begin to sleep more. In some cases, she may forgo meals to keep sleeping. You may want to encourage her to eat but waking her at a normal feeding time or showing her the food and water bowls as a reminder. The closer you get to your cat's due date you will start to notice her frequently licking her nipples which is very normal. When her teats fill with milk they can be come uncomfortable and the act of licking is a soothing measure that helps relieve pressure.
It's Baby Time - Do's & Don'ts For Delivery
Prepare a cozy and safe place for your cat to give birth - many use a large cardboard box with sides placed in a quiet and peaceful space. Ensure to never touch or press an ear to your cat's pregnant belly as this can harm her kittens. Allow her to make her way to the space or gently move her.
When your cat goes into labor, she'll pant and pace. If she's not in her box, do try to keep gently placing her there. Allow at least four hours for all of the kittens to be born. If more than eight hours pass and she’s still straining, do call the vet.
After the kittens are born, let the mother cat take care of them. Don't handle them yourself. Do give the cat and her new kittens plenty of alone time in their first week together. And don’t worry—you’ll get plenty of time with the kittens after that!
If you've dealt with a pregnant kitty or two and have more helpful tips or stories to share - reach out to us! We love to hear from you and your furry family!