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Ruff Patches Answers Your Feline Heat and Pregnancy Questions!

Updated: Nov 9, 2019

Ruff Patches' House Stark Available for Adoption

Whether you intended on your cat getting pregnant or it just happened, knowing what to expect is crucial to the health of your feline and her kittens. The most important thing about cat pregnancy is avoidance. Consider having your feline fixed after she's had her litter. Spaying your feline will not only give her a healthier life, but also avoid the dilemma of what to do with unwanted kittens, something we know about all too well here at Ruff Patches! On to the Q&A!

When is a cat capable of having kittens?

Cats reach sexual maturity between four months and 1 year of age. Your cat can get pregnant once she's reached her first estrus (heat), or the period when she will breed with males. Until your cat gets pregnant, she will be in polyestrus during breeding season, which usually runs from January to October. During this time, she will go into heat every two to three weeks.

How can I tell when my cat is in heat?

Trust us, you’ll know. Cats in heat howl constantly, try to get outside 24/7, roll around on the floor, and affectionately rub up against you and your furniture. They also urinate frequently and spend a lot of time with their butts up in the air. This is known as the breeding position. Felines will put their heads and front legs close to the ground and stick their rumps up high.

Will I know when my cat is pregnant?

There are outward signs. Cats instinctually prepare for birth by exhibiting nesting and mothering habits. Your cat will build a birthing area by tearing things up for nesting material. She will also mother inanimate objects. Four weeks into the pregnancy, she will gain weight and her abdomen and mammary glands will swell.

How long does a feline pregnancy last?

Pregnancy on average lasts 63 days, although it can range from 58 to 68 days.

What can I do to take care of my pregnant cat?

Pregnant queens (as they're called) need special nutrition – high quality cat food formulated for your pregnant and, soon to be, nursing cat or kitten food will suffice. As your cat's pregnancy progresses, she'll also need vitamins and additional feedings daily. Space the extra feedings out, however, or your queen will not eat them because her tummy is compressed by her growing kittens. Make sure she also has plenty of fresh water, keep her indoors and monitor her activity level, as strenuous exercise is not recommended during pregnancy.

What are signs that my cat is in labor?