Friday, May 24, 2024

Can Cats Go Into Heat While Pregnant

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A cats heat cycles consist of various stages. A females first estrous or heat cycle takes place when they hit puberty at about six months old. Depending on the time of year, your kitten may reach puberty when they are a bit younger or a bit older.

The estrous stage of a female cats cycle is technically the days that they are in heat.

Each of these heat cycles lasts about six days.

If your cat doesnt mate during this time, they will go out of heat for an average of 14 days. This is the next stage of estrous.

After this time, your cat will again go into heat for about 6 days.

On average, then, an estrous cycle lasts about three weeks. However, the heat cycle can be as long as six weeks.

During the time that your cat is in heat, you may also find various tomcats in your yard. They will spray the area with their urine to mark their territory.

The tomcats may also try to get into the house to mate with your cat, even spraying the doors of the house with their urine.

Should your cat get pregnant, they will go through a gestation period of between 64 and 71 days, with an average gestation of 9 weeks. Once your cat has given birth, they will again go into heat some two to three weeks later, once the kittens start to wean.

For Pet Parents Of Male Cats

If you have a male cat, you may not be facing a litter of kittens in your home, but your kitty can still contribute to pet overpopulation if he manages to impregnate another cat. Even if your cat stays indoors, unneutered cats will try and occasionally succeed at escaping their home to find a mate.

So, even as a male cat owner, you have an important responsibility to consider when it comes to neutering your pet.


Preparing Your Cat For Babys Arrival

We keep talking about cats knowing that youre pregnant, but that implies a cognitive awareness that they just dont possess.

Your cat simply knows things are different and, unfortunately for your cat, things are only going to get even more different when your baby is born. To prepare your cat for the changes coming, take these steps:

  • Slowly introduce baby items and move furniture around in your house, especially if youll be ousting your kitty from any of their favorite places. You want them to get used to cribs and infant seats, but you dont want to crowd the house all at once.
  • Start playing recordings of baby noises, especially infant crying. These sounds can be stressful for cats, and you dont want them to associate them directly with the baby when they arrive.
  • Start blocking off whatever room the baby will sleep in, and place barriers or sticky tape around the crib so your cat doesnt think the crib is an OK place to sleep.
  • Make a plan for introducing your cat to your baby when the baby is born. Its smart to let your cat get used to the smell of your baby first by introducing them to a blanket or item of clothing from the hospital. Then, make sure any formal introductions are heavily supervised and your cat is never left alone with your baby.

Keep in mind that stress can have a negative effect both behaviorally and physiologically on all cats, especially ones with previously existing health problems like chronic pain.

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How To Help A Cat In Heat

While the heat cycle is a natural and normal part of an unspayed cat’s life, there are some things you can do to help make your cat more comfortable during this time.

  • Provide plenty of affection. Your cat may want to spend more time with you or be closer to you than normal.
  • Give her a hideout. On the other hand, some cats prefer to not be bothered during this time. If your cat seems to be hiding more than usual, giving her a specific place to get away from everything can help.
  • Increase the amount of exercise. During a heat, your cat may have more energy, and you can help channel this by providing leashed walks or extra play sessions.

If you don’t have experience with a cat in heat, it can be challenging to tell if your cat is in heat or is having another behavioural or medical issue. If you’re not sure why your cat has a sudden change in behaviour, it’s always a good idea to take her into the vet for a checkup.

How Do Cats Act Before They Give Birth

Caring for Cats in Heat: Protecting a Cat Looking to Mate

Licking, pacing, howling, and chirping You might notice your cat licking her genitalia frequently There is a discharge from the cats vulva a few hours before birth starts. Your cats water will break as well. Now is the time for pacing, restlessness, and howling, meowing, or chirping from your cat.

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What Happens During A Normal Labor And Delivery

The signs of impending labor generally include nervousness, overgrooming, and panting sometimes the queen will stop eating during the final day of pregnancy. In most cases, a drop in rectal temperature, to less than 100°F , occurs in the last 24 hours and signals impending labor. Milk will often appear in the mammary glands 24-48 hours before labor begins. Many cats will prefer to be secluded during the birthing process.

Once labor starts, most cats experience delivery without complications however, if this is your cat’s first litter, you should closely monitor her until at least one or two kittens are born. If these first kittens are born quickly and without complication, further attendance may not be necessary, although it is ideal to be available if an emergency should arise. However, if you leave the room, it is possible that she will try to follow you, leaving her kittens and potentially interrupting the labor.

“If the delivery proceeds normally, the kitten will emerge after a few contractions.”

How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant

Its all about the nipples: One of the first and most obvious indicators of pregnancy in your cat is changes to her nipples. Around two to three weeks into pregnancy your pussycat will start showing enlarged and red/pink nipples. Morning sickness: Just like humans, cats can experience sickness during pregnancy.

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How Much Time Have To Pass Until A Cat Can Be Pregnant Again After Giving Birth

I have a 1 year old cat and she gave birth to four kittens five weeks ago, soshe is still breastfeeding them. My question would be: is it possible that she is pregnant again ?

Theoretically yes. Cats are pregnant for just over 60 days and generally goes on heat every 3 weeks or so. It is known that the heat cycle can start very shortly after giving birth, meaning that she will show interest and be susceptible to tom cats again.

If you want a definitive answer on whether she IS pregnant, I would advise a consultation with your family veterinarian who might be able to tell by palpation or give you options to do a sonar or blood tests.

In this case, if I were the veterinarian, I would strongly recommend spaying her to prevent offspring.

Generally, adult female house cats are pregnant, nursing, in heat, or the one to two weeks between heat cycles. If she is currently nursing, she is not likely to have gone back into heat and be impregnated again.

Given that she gave birth about 5 weeks ago and is still nursing, it is possible, but not probable, that she is pregnant.

It is possible, yes that she may be pregnant again. Most cats do not come into heat again until after they have finished nursing their kittens, but in rare cases a queen may enter heat within the first few days of giving birth.

Signs Of An Upset Cat

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Signs your cat might not be coping with pregnancy or baby-related changes include:

  • Hiding or avoiding you.“They may even move next door” for a while, says Dr Ley.
  • Aggression or grumpiness, including hissing or scratching.
  • Unpredictable urination . For example, “cats may wee on the pregnant owner’s side of the bed in an attempt to cover the new smell with their own,” says Dr Mornement.
  • Frequent squatting and painful urination, like cystitis. “In girl cats that could be passing tiny amounts of bloody urine. For boys their urethra can get blocked and they cant pee,” says Dr Ley.
  • Overgrooming, which can cause bald patches.
  • Digestive problems such as diarrhoea, constipation, of going off their food.
  • Becoming more fussy or annoying.“They might excessively meow or scratch at the furniture” to get attention, says Dr Gowan.

If you’ve got a rogue urinator on your hands like I do with Keith, book a check-up at your vet and ask for a full urine analysis and be sure to check for crystals, bladder stones and infections, recommends Dr Gowan.

If your cat’s anxiety seems to be through the roof, anti-anxiety medication prescribed by your vet can help, Dr Ley adds.

You might even consider a natural calming solution, such as pheromone products in the form of a room diffuser.

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What Should I Do To Prepare For The Kittens’ Birth

After a successful breeding, many queens show behavioral changes. Most develop an unusually sweet and loving disposition and demand more affection and attention during pregnancy.

During the latter stages of pregnancy, the expectant mother usually begins to look for a safe place for delivery.

Prior to this time, a queening or birthing box should be selected and placed in a quiet place, such as a closet or a dark corner. The box should be large enough for the cat to move around freely but have low enough sides so that she can see out and you can reach inside to give any needed assistance. The bottom of the box should be lined with several layers of newspapers or other disposable absorbent material, which will provide a private hiding place for the expectant mother and can be easily removed and disposed of after they absorb the birthing fluids.

When Do Cats Come On Heat

Oestrus cycles begin when female cats reach puberty, which can be as early as 4 months right through to 10 months of age.

Exactly when a cat starts coming on heat is determined by a number of factors including: the days becoming longer , the cats weight, age, general health and their breed. Although, it should be noted that cats can come on heat and produce kittens at any time of the year if the situation is right.

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Benefits Of Getting Your Cat Spayed

There are many benefits that come from getting a cat spayed and there is a reason that it is vet recommended. If you dont think you will want to care for a pregnant cat and her litter, its best to have your cat spayed.

Spaying is a process that removes a cats ability to reproduce. Here are some great reasons to get your cat spayed:

  • Avoid Overpopulation
  • One of the biggest reasons vets recommend spaying and neutering your kitties is because of overpopulation. Cats will typically mate whenever they are in heat and this causes pregnancy after pregnancy and lots of kittens.

    Those same kittens grow up to have lots of more kittens and it becomes a chain. Lots of these cats end up homeless or in shelters.

    Millions of cats are put down due to a lack of adoptions. By spaying your cat, you can help reduce the number of kittens being born and avoid the risk of any being euthanized.

  • It Can Lead To A Longer Life
  • An amazing benefit that comes with spaying your cat is that it can lead to a longer life! It can help to avoid uterine infections and breast tumors.

    To help prevent your cat from suffering from these diseases its best to spay them before their first heat cycle.

  • Spayed Cats Dont Go Into Heat
  • Spaying your cat will keep her from going into heat. Cats go into heat for several days to two weeks or more every two to three weeks.

    Spaying your cat will eliminate their heat cycles, resulting in her being able to rest rather than be up all night yowling for a mate.

    How Long Does Estrus Last

    Can Cats Go Into Heat After Being Fixed?

    Each heat generally lasts several days with the average length being six days. If the queen is not mated during estrus, she will go out of heat for a short period of time. Therefore, the complete estrous cycle of a cat can range from anywhere between one to six weeks, with the average cycle length being about three weeks.

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    Does Birth Control For Cats Exist

    There are products out there that interfere with a cats hormonal cycle, but because of the associated health risks, most vets dont recommend them unless absolutely necessary.

    A far better option is to spay your kitty.

    Spaying alleviates discomfort and stress from frequent estrus, minimizes hormonally-induced behaviors such as urine marking, and helps to prevent some serious health problems like certain cancers and potentially fatal infections of the uterus.

    Of course, every pet is an individual. So, when you make an appointment, your veterinarian can answer all of your questions and help you make a kind, informed decision for your furry BFF.

    How Often Do Cats Come On Heat

    Cats are known as a polyoestrus species. This means they can come on heat multiple times in a calendar year .

    Female cats will generally continue to come on heat until they are mated and become pregnant. Oestrus lasts for 7 to 10 days and there are 3 possible outcomes:

  • The cat mates and becomes pregnant. She will generally come back in to season approximately 8 weeks after the birth of the kittens . This usually coincides with the time the kittens are weaned.
  • The cat mates, but does not become pregnant and has what is called a pseudo or false pregnancy. In this situation she can show all the signs of being pregnant but wont actually have any kittens. She will return to being on heat approximately 4-6 weeks later.
  • The cat does not mate. She will come back in to season 1 day to 2 weeks later and this cycle may continue multiple times unless she is mated or the breeding season ends.
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    How Often Does A Female Cat Come Into Heat

    Cats are seasonally polyestrous, which means that they have multiple cycles during the breeding season. The breeding season will vary according to geographic and environmental factors such as temperature and the number of daylight hours. In the Northern Hemisphere, cats usually cycle from January until the late fall. Cats that live in more tropical regions or mainly indoors however, may cycle all year round.

    Caring For Your Pregnant Queen

    How do cats get pregnant?

    Its rare, but in the earliest stages of pregnancy, your cat may have “morning sickness” that might show up as a lack of appetite or vomiting. If that keeps happening, take them to the vet. With the surge of hormones and changes to their uterus, they may show signs of fatigue. This phase will eventually fade after those first few weeks pass.


    Just like many other females in the animal kingdom carrying a bun in the oven , your cat may need extra food and calories while they are expecting.

    Theyll eat about 1.5 times their normal diet as their pregnancy draws to a close, so make sure they have constant access to their normal fare. Your vet will probably recommend that you feed your pregnant cat kitten food or food that’s labeled for pregnant and lactating cats throughout their pregnancy and during the period they nurse their young one.

    Viruses can spread to kittens before theyre born, so keep up with your cat’s vaccination schedule. If your pregnant cat is due for their regular vaccination and deworming/flea treatment or needs medication, check with your vet first to make sure the treatment is safe for them. It is best to vaccinate prior to breeding, as most vaccines are not safe to give during pregnancy.

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    Should I Leave The Newborn Kittens With The Queen While She Continues To Give Birth

    It may be helpful to have a smaller box lined with a warm towel for the newborn kittens. A slightly damp towel can be warmed in a microwave oven. After each kitten is stable and dry, it should be placed in the incubator box while the mother is completing delivery of the other kittens. Warmth is essential, so a heating pad or towel-wrapped hot water bottle may be placed in the box, or a heat lamp may be placed nearby. If a heating pad is used, it should be placed on the lowest setting and covered with a towel to prevent overheating. Likewise, caution should be exercised when using a heat lamp, since newborn kittens may be unable to move away from the heat source.

    What Happens If A Kitten Is Stillborn

    It is not uncommon for one or two kittens in a litter to be stillborn. Sometimes, a stillborn kitten will disrupt labor, resulting in dystocia. At other times, the dead kitten will be delivered normally. In almost all cases, there is something wrong with the stillborn kitten, such as a developmental abnormality or birth defect.

    Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM

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