Often, owners, who have never encountered childbirth with a pet, have no idea how long a cat’s pregnancy is. But it’s not enough just to say that, on average, baby kittens are born 63 days after pregnancy. After all, mustachioed pets are as individual as we humans. Therefore, it makes sense to consider the question of the pregnancy period in cats in more detail.
How long can a cat pregnancy last?
When asked about how much pregnant cats walk in days, it is customary to call the number “63”. But some animals are allowed from the burden only for 65 days, others barely carry babies up to 60 days. It is believed that the maximum allowed pregnancy for cats is 71 days. The minimum is 56-60 days. But there are exceptions, as well as from all the rules:
- Outbred cats often carry a pregnancy for less than 63 days. In yard Murki, kittens are able to be born strong even on the 50th day;
- The offspring of thoroughbred pets, born before 60 days, sometimes turns out to be unviable;
- Siamese cats sometimes carry babies in the stomach longer – 70-75 days;
- The duration of pregnancy in cats of slender build is usually no more than 60-65 days. In portly fat cats, there are often cases of post-term pregnancy;
- First time pregnant cats (especially those younger than 1 year of age) often give birth prematurely. Moreover, their offspring are very weak.
Premature feline birth
Despite the fact that cats normally carry offspring under the heart for 56-71 days, in some cases, childbirth occurs too early. Theoretically, it is possible to leave a premature kitten, but on condition that the pregnancy lasted at least 50-55 days. Among the reasons that led to untimely birth are called:
- The presence of dead or too weak kittens in the womb;
- Infectious diseases (mycoplasmosis, panleukopenia, leptospirosis, etc.);
- Injury to the abdominal cavity;
- Detachment of the placenta;
- Severe stress or fear.
If a pregnant cat begins to behave too agitated in advance, has a high fever, vaginal discharge and contractions begin, you should immediately contact your veterinarian, the doctor will relieve the tone of the uterus with medication or decide in favor of a premature birth
Post term pregnancy in cats
It also happens when a pregnancy in cats lasts longer than the prescribed 56-71 days. 70 days after the pet’s contact with the cat, the owner should be on the lookout: often the cause of a post-term pregnancy is kittens that die in the womb from hypoxia (then the veterinarian will choose either a caesarean section or removal of the uterus in order to save the cat’s life). There are exceptions, when healthy kittens were born even on 70-75 days, but, nevertheless, this is not considered the norm.
Sometimes childbirth does not occur at the expected date of the owner due to a false pregnancy, when fertilization did not occur after mating. In fact, a non-pregnant pet behaves like an expectant mother: she rests a lot, gets better, prepares a place for offspring. Her breasts swell, her nipples turn pink, and even milk appears. But kittens, naturally, are not born. A veterinarian will be able to distinguish a false pregnancy from a genuine one using palpation or ultrasound examination.
How to behave with a future mother cat
To help the kitty produce healthy offspring on time, the owner needs:
- Contact a veterinarian for an ultrasound examination, which allows to identify pathologies in the development of kittens by the middle of pregnancy;
- Contact your doctor if the cat’s behavior or condition is atypical (fever, frequent vomiting, suspicious vaginal discharge, prolonged refusal to eat, etc.);
- Treat the expectant mother very carefully. If there are children in the house, they should also be warned that it is impossible to toss (kick, hug) the cat;
- Provide the animal with good nutrition. If you choose industrial food, it is advisable to give preference to premium food for pregnant cats (Royal Canin Queen, Brit Kea Cat Crazy Kitten, etc.). A cat accustomed to eating natural food should put cottage cheese, sour cream, cheese (sources of calcium) into a bowl at least twice a week; liver, boiled fish, oatmeal (it contains vitamin D);
- It makes sense to give the cat vitamins for pregnant individuals recommended by the doctor (for example, “Farmavit Neo”, “Radostin”, “Unitab Mama + Kitty”);
- Place the bed in a quiet place, away from drafts and sunny windows.
What not to do for a pregnant cat owner
- Nerve the animal. It is better to postpone the acquisition of new pets, inviting guests, noisy parties until the kittens are not only born, but also grow up;
- Try to determine the number of kittens by touch. The palpation method is within the power of a veterinarian, and the owner can easily damage the embryo in the mother’s abdomen;
- Treat the cat with any medications without veterinarian approval. Ideally, you should take care of the animal’s health before mating: destroy external and internal parasites, introduce vaccines against infectious diseases, show the pet to the veterinarian for preventive purposes. If a cat still gets sick while pregnant, one should not self-medicate, because most chemicals are toxic to kittens’ embryos;
- Ignore possible signals of ill health. Pathological discharge (bloody, greenish, foul-smelling) from the cat’s vagina; too frequent vomiting; diarrhea; refusal to eat; high or low body temperature is a serious reason to contact your veterinarian;
- Allow your cat to climb. Falling, for example, from the top shelf of the cabinet, is not only fraught with dislocation of the paws of the pregnant female herself, but also injury to her offspring;
- Allow your pet to contact stray animals. If possible, it is best not to let the cat leave the house at all;
- Not good hygiene. The owner should remember that eggs and larvae of parasites can be anywhere (on the grass, in the soil, on the handrails of public transport, etc.). No need to communicate with a pregnant cat without taking off your shoes, without washing your hands, without taking off your street clothes;
- Use chemical cleaning agents that can be hazardous to the animal. During cleaning, it is advisable to take the pet to another room.