When Your Cat Is Pregnant: What You Need To Know
If you are fostering a stray pregnant cat, or if you a find your cat falls accidentally pregnant, you will need to ensure that your cat receives the proper care to make sure she stays healthy and delivers healthy babies. Here is a guide to help you know how best to care for your cat during her pregnancy and birth.
The most essential part of your cat's healthy pregnancy is her nutritional intake. She'll need more food than usual during her pregnancy, because the growing kittens will use some of her daily calories. She'll also gain some weight to help support milk production after the kittens are born. Generally, pregnant cats require more protein, fat, and calcium. You can ensure that these needs are met by choosing a food that offers these increased nutrients. A food designed for growing kittens is generally more suitable for pregnancy than adult cat food -- your vet may also recommend a specific food type based on your cat's health history.
Preparing for Birth
Your cat will need a quiet place to birth her kittens. Most cats prefer to birth alone, and they will seek refuge in a place that is removed from the hustle and bustle of the house. Prepare a box lined with soft material and encourage your cat to adopt the space. You cannot fully control where you cat will choose to birth her kittens, but if she is aware of the box and it is in a quiet space and she enjoys spending time there, you're less likely to have an unwanted mess somewhere else in your home.
Very rarely will your cat need any assistance when birthing her kittens, but you can check on her periodically to make sure there are no problems. However, birth complication do happen. If one of the following scenarios occurs, you should seek help from an emergency vet clinic:
- Your cat continues to have active contractions, but no kittens appear. Generally, kittens are born one at a time, about 15-30 minutes apart. If only one kitten has been born and your cat appears to be in distress, you'll need help from a professional.
- A kitten gets stuck upon exit. it should only take your cat a few minutes to push out each kitten.
- One or more kittens remain unborn. Some cats will actively rest in labor -- contractions subside and your cat takes a break before birthing the rest of the litter. However, if the rest period goes on for hours and your cat becomes lethargic, fevered, or exhibits signs of pain, you'll need to take her to a veterinary clinic like Bodily Veterinary Clinic.