Has your sweet girl been acting a little strange lately? Cats are notoriously difficult to diagnose when they’re ill because they tend to hide their symptoms. However, pregnancy is hard to hide since many of the symptoms cause physical changes. If you notice some or all of the following signs in your kitty, it’s time for a trip to your vet for an ultrasound confirmation:
She’s eating more
Are you going through bags of cat food faster than usual? Is your pretty kitty meowing at her food bowl every time you turn around? The increased appetite (and the resulting weight gain) is a common sign of feline pregnancy.
Her belly is swollen
This one should be obvious, but as a cat progresses through her pregnancy, her abdomen will begin to swell. The increased food intake contributes to this symptom of pregnancy. By the time your cat delivers, she’ll have a tight, round belly that you’ll probably be able to see movement in.
She’s also vomiting more
The increased food intake combined with less room in the abdomen due to growing fetuses and hormonal changes can result in more vomiting than usual. While all cats regurgitate hair and food at times, you’ll likely notice a significant increase in this behavior in a pregnant cat.
She’s taking lots of naps
Growing kittens is hard work, so your cat will probably nap a lot more than usual. You may also notice that she is less active at night, especially as her delivery date nears. Mama needs all the rest she can get since some cats can birth up to 12 kittens in one litter!
Her nipples look different
A few weeks into her pregnancy, you’ll probably notice some changes to your cat’s nipples. They will often swell, turn bright pink, and just appear larger. Cat breeders call this “pinking up”.
She seems to favor one spot
Many animals, including humans, have the instinct to prepare a place to deliver…cats are also known for this nesting behavior. You may notice your cat favoring one spot or even taking soft items there as they prepare for the coming litter. They usually prefer secluded, darker areas as their nesting spots.
She’s just acting different
No one knows your cat better than you. When she starts acting weird, you’ll probably notice without knowing exactly what she’s doing. Many pet owners tell us that they just felt like their cat’s behavior was “a little off” before finding out she was pregnant. If your intuition is telling you that something is going on, trust your gut and consult with your vet.
She finds her voice
As labor nears, your cat might start making sounds she’s never made before or simply repeating sounds. No need to worry as this behavior is completely normal…just enjoy your cat’s new voice for a short while before she returns to normal.
She just can’t sit still
Another sign that labor is near is restlessness in your soon-to-be mama kitty. Hormones start raging as the feline body prepares for delivery, causing excitement and agitation that will make your girl seem like she can’t sit down. She’ll calm down a lot once the kittens are born.
Feline Pregnancy Care in Tampa Bay
If you think your feline friend may be pregnant, bring her in for a checkup at Affordable Pet Hospital on Cross Creek Boulevard in Tampa. To schedule an appointment, call us at 813-991-9898 or contact us online.