What Do Cats Nipples Look Like When Pregnant
Because nipple changes in feline pregnancy begin to become apparent during the final few weeks, the appearance of your cats nipples isnt a good way to detect early pregnancy.
However, your female cats nipples will definitely undergo some pretty obvious changes during the later stages of her pregnancy.
Her mammary glands will become enlarged and will become more obvious. Her nipples, too, will become more pointed and may change in color. You may also notice that the blue blood vessels around the nipple area will become more evident.
At the very end of your cats pregnancy, you may even notice that your cat begins to produce colostrum and milk. You may see a yellowish substance secreting from the nipples. This is called colostrum.
Gently squeezing your cats nipple to see if you are able to express any colostrum is a common way for cat breeders to tell whether or not their female cat is close to giving birth.
Dont stop paying attention to your cats nipples after their kittens have arrived! Female cats that are nursing a litter of kittens are at risk for mastitis, which is an infection of the milk ducts.
If you notice that your cats nipples are red or excreting blood, discolored milk, or pus, take them to the vet right away, as they may need antibiotics.
Even though shes pretty furry, this pregnant cats nipples are very evident.
Helping A Pregnant Cat Stay Comfortable
Its kitten season and speaking of pregnant kitties there are certain things you can do to make the process as comfortable and easy as possible for your expectant queen.
Start by giving your mama cat-to-be a cat cave or cat bed where she can be warm and comfortable, and where shell feel safe having her kittens. A Feltcave cat cave is ideal: Its dark and quiet inside, and once kitty has settled in, shell be far less likely to find a dangerous or inconvenient place to have her kittens.
Since baby kittens cant keep themselves warm until they reach about three weeks of age, having a warm spot around 72°F can help reduce the risk of hypothermia. Wool cat caves make it easier for kittens to stay warm until theyre able to regulate their own temperature.
You should set your cat up with a safe nesting place about two weeks before the kittens arrive, although its fine to place a feltcave in an area that your cat has already chosen. The best spot will be quiet, warm, and out of the way of other pets, kids, loud entertainment systems, and other sources of noise. Cats will not give birth in a place where they dont feel safe. Related: The 10 Best Cat Cave Beds Of 2020
Can You Determine A Cats Gender By Looking At Its Nipples
No, you cannot determine a cats gender just by looking at its nipples since they look the same in both males and females. Both have the same number of nipples that are the same size. Pregnant cats are an exception since they have larger or swollen nipples with a heavier vascular backing.
Other reasons why a cats nipples become swollen include the following:
- mastitis inflammation of the mammary glands
- mammary/ breast cancer
- mammary hyperplasia growth caused by high levels of progesterone
- feline mammary hypertrophy benign growth near the mammary gland
- dermatitis inflammation of the skin around the nipples
- galactastasis milk collection in the mammary gland during the weaning process
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Where Exactly Are My Cats Nipples
Your Cats Nipples will be located below their chest and above their pelvis. Dependant on how much fur your cat has you may not be able to see all of their nipples, however dependant on how many nipples your cat has you may be able to see the bottom two located in the fine fur lining on the lower belly.
What To Do If Your Cat Has Swollen Nipples
The first thing to do when you notice that your cats nipple or nipples are enlarged, is do not panic.
The second thing to do is to contact your vet to let them know your findings and to get their opinion on next steps.
The third thing to do is to stop touching or messing with the nipples in question, as this could be painful or even elicit a larger inflammatory reaction in that area, depending on what is going on.
This is also a good time to note other symptoms, things that may be a bit off with your cat.
Noting things like redness, discharge, swollen limbs or face, loss of appetite or anorexia, fever, abnormal hiding or aggression, etc., as these may be signs of something more and will very likely help your veterinarian get to the bottom of the swollen nipple mystery.
The quicker your vet can zero in on what the underlying issue is, the sooner your cat can be treated and start to feel better and get back to their normal, healthy routine, normal nipples and all.
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Why Does My Cat Not Have Nipples
Your cat has nipples, but they may be obscured from view because of her fur. This could be the reason why you think that your cat does not have nipples. All cats, male or female, have nipples. If your cat was spayed when she was still a kitten, the nipples may be poorly developed and could also be hard to find.
Where Are The Nipples Of A Male Cat Located
After a quick pat-down, many cat owners shrug their shoulders and say, Maybe my cat just doesnt have nipples. However, its far more likely that youre looking for your cats nipples in all the wrong places.
A cats top row of nipples usually starts in the center of the chest . The rows are rather evenly-positioned, so the final row of nipples will usually be on the lower belly, about where the hind legs connect to the torso.
Why Male Cats Have Nipples
Physiologically speaking, both male and female cats have nipples dotting their bellies.
But, while its clear to us that nipples serve to feed adorable kittens with milk when female felines give birth, such isnt the case for males.
So, why then do male cats have nipples if theyre non-functional?
Well, youll have to go way back to when your furry kitty pals still inside its mothers womb.
As we all know, pregnancy serves as the period for any young mammal to develop all their organs before theyre pushed into the world.
Since cats are part of the mammal group, its embedded in their DNA that nipples will start forming regardless of what gender it has. So, long before the kittys genital organs develop, nipples are already formed.
And, once the gender of the fetus already determined, the body then releases certain types of hormones specific to it. In males, their bodies produce high amounts of testosterone.
It is this testosterone that tells the male cats developing body to stop growing those nipples. Hence, its no wonder that those teats are even called rudimentary or vestigial.
With that, these vestigial nipples dont serve any functional purpose for our male cat friends. No milk will come out of them at any time of their life cycle.
But, as nipples have a rich vascular and nerve supply, theyre very sensitive touch-wise. Hence, its safe to say that nipples for male cats are simply accessory structures.
The Number Of Nipples In Female And Male Cats
On an average, cats have six nipples and some as four, eight, and sometimes 10 or an odd number. You cannot determine cats gender through the number of teats. The nipples are part of the gene, irrespective of cats gender.
Cats develop nipples from the womb either male or female since they both share the same genetic blueprint. And immediately after the kittens are born the nipples begin to get visible.
If you have more than one cat, you will observe the variations in the number of nipples your cats have even if they come from the same parent. The variation in the number of nipples is often a case of genetics. A kitten may develop the number of nipples based on the female cat or the male cat
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Cats Nipples During Pregnancy
Keeping a cat indoors during her season is not foolproof. A cat in estrus will be determined to escape and mate. It only takes one interaction with an intact male to become pregnant.
Swollen nipples are a sign of feline pregnancy. Your cats nipples will be larger, puffier, and darker in color. If you have never noticed your cats nipples, then you will want to know why they are suddenly so visible.
An engorged belly may accompany swollen nipples. This means your cat is almost certainly carrying a litter. Other signs include:
- Sudden cease in estrus-related behaviors
- Enhanced appetite
As Biology of Reproduction explains, cats also experience pseudopregnancies. A phantom pregnancy involves exhibiting the same symptoms as a genuine pregnancy, including swollen nipples. Your cat may even lactate during this time.
Feline phantom pregnancies are rare, but they can occur. Explanations include attempted breeding with an infertile male or hormonal imbalance following estrus.
The pseudopregnancy will last roughly half the time of normal gestation. Your cats nipples should return to normal within 30 days.
What Should Nursing Cat Nipples Look Like?
While your cat is nursing, her nipples should be pronounced. Newborn kittens nurse every 1-2 hours, leaving the nipples little time to recover. If kittens are feeding from your cat, her nipples will be pink and moist. They should not be swollen, as this suggests mastitis.
Medical Conditions Impacting The Nipples
Your cats nipples wont typically trigger a vet visit at any point in her life, but certain medical conditions can impact the nipples, mammary glands, or breasts. Since all cats have these body parts, both male and female cats can experience problems however, female cats are statistically more likely.
Heres an overview of conditions that affect the nipples in cats:
- Mastitis: When a cats mammary glands become swollen, usually as a result of bacteria entering through the nipples.
- Mammary tumors: When the cells in the breast tissue begin to multiply, causing a noticeable lump or nodule, mammary tumors can be cancerous or non-cancerous .
- Feline psychogenic alopecia: When a cat has a compulsion to lick her belly, specifically her nipples, until hair loss or sores result.
- False lactation: When a non-pregnant female cat begins lactating, despite having no litter of kittens to feed, even spayed cats can experience this bizarre condition
- Inverted nipples: When a cats nipple appears to grow in reverse into the body rather than protruding on the skin inverted nipples often collect gross build-ups.
Many of these conditions may be normal for your cat nothing more than a strange quirk. However, you should promptly schedule an appointment with your vet if your cats nipples, breasts, or mammary glands appear swollen or output an unusual discharge.
What Is Mammary Gland Enlargement
While female cats are far more susceptible to these problems, nipple and mammary gland swelling is sometimes seen in male cats as well. A female who is intact is more at risk than a female that is spayed. If unusual mammary gland swelling is noticed while a cat is nursing kittens, veterinary attention may be needed for the kittens along with the mother as the infection can easily spread between the two.
Nipple and mammary swelling are the outside manifestations of mammary gland enlargement. Most cats have eight nipples, and in the case of enlargement or inflammation, one or more nipples may be affected. Normal events in a female cats life can lead to the swelling of mammary tissue, such as pregnancy and lactation. However, many infections and other conditions which can be life-threatening also create mammary gland enlargement.
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- Mammary Hyperplasia
Exactly How Many Nipples Do Cats Have
Apparently, this is one of the most common questions about cat nipples asked on the net!
It seems cats have varying numbers of nipples some with 4, some with 6, and others with 8.
Cats can at times have up to 10 nipples, and there are cats that have an odd number of nipples as well!
Based on what Ive read it seems that the most common number of nipples for a cat to have is either 6 or 8.
Let me know in the comments section down below if youve ever done a count of your own cats nipples , and how many you found.
More than one cat? Do they all have the same number of nipples? Again, very weird thing to be discussing I acknowledge that but Im sure Im not the only one whos ever been curious enough to wonder about odd things like this!
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Does Leakage Of Milk In Your Cat Mean She Is Pregnant
Yes, the leakage of milk from your queens nipple does indicate that she is pregnant and is ready to give birth. But it is not true for all female cats.
Yes, the non-pregnant female cat and even spayed females can produce milk. The hormones are responsible for milk leakage and are called false pregnancy or pseudopregnancy.
When Do Cats Get Nipples
Like all mammals, kittens are born with nipples. While they may be very tiny and nearly indiscernible at birth, theyre definitely there!
In fact, it is thought that all kittens start off as females in the womb, which explains the presence of nipples even in male cats despite the fact that they are pretty much useless.
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The Female Cat Nipples
The female cat nipple is not different from the human female nipples, which produces milk for the newborn babies. Another similarity between female humans and female cats is nipple transformation during pregnancy.
The female cat nipple too undergoes visible changes during pregnancy and after birth. Changes such as swollen nipples, darker nipples, and the nipples can likewise protrude. Using these signs, you can determine if your cat is pregnant or not. Leaking nipples is also a sign, but, it happens when the time of delivery is fast approaching.
What Do A Male Cats Nipples Look And Feel Like
Cat nipples are incredibly easy to miss if youre looking for large, easy-to-notice protrusions. If a cat has long hair on its belly or chest, the typically tiny kitty nipples are usually well-hidden under tufts of hair. A cats nipples look like warts, pimples, or small cysts. Theyre typically light pink or flesh-colored, making them far easier to spot in cats with darker fur.
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What Does A Cat Nipple Feel Like
Depending on the cat, their nipples may feel like a bug bite or pimple.
If the nipples are swollen, they will feel much bigger, softer, possibly squishy, and sometimes warmer to the touch.
I have had many cat owners who bring their pet cat in to get checked out because of a persistent pimple or bump, only to have me inform them that they have discovered a normal nipple.
But dont feel embarrassed, it happens all the time!
Treatment Of Mammary Gland Enlargement In Cats
There are a variety of treatments available, depending on the condition present. If the cat is dealing with an infection , this can be a medical emergency. Immediate attention is needed to stabilize the cat enough to receive treatment.
Treatment for mastitis includes an antibiotic prescription to clear up any infection and painkillers to help the cat endure the pain associated with this condition. Your veterinarian may also recommend that you apply a warm compress periodically to help with drainage.
This type of cancer is very aggressive and often spreads. It usually occurs in multiple nipples at once. The surgical removal of affected glands is recommended, especially if the cancer is in its early stages. If the cat is not a good surgical candidate, chemotherapy may be the only treatment option.
Feline Mammary Hypertrophy
Advised treatment for this condition is a full spay . While these surgeries are more routine, if the cat is suffering from poor overall health, the procedure can be very taxing.
To alleviate this issue, removal of the source of progesterone is needed. This generally leads to an ovariohysterectomy. If ulceration of the glands has occurred, glands may be removed if the cat is stable enough. Painkillers will be prescribed to help the cat get through the days after the surgery.
Pregnancy or Galactostasis
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Why Do Cats Lose Hair Around Their Nipples
There are many situations wherein a cat loses the fur around its nipples. As a whole, this is normal and doesnt need to concern you.
Pregnant cats will naturally lose the hair around their nipples or have their hair grow considerably thinner around the area. This is to prepare the mother for the kittens that she is going to nurse. For cats that arent pregnant, the common reasons for this include:
The Function Of A Cats Nipples
Nearly every mammalian species from kangaroos to opossums has nipples by default in male and female members. However, whereas male fruit bats or goats may lactate to potentially feed young, a male cats nipples dont boast these same features.
As of now, scientists dont believe a male cats nipples serve any purpose at all. Yet, a female cats nipples can mean the difference between life and death for a litter of newborn kittens.
In the days leading up to giving birth, a female queens mammary glands will begin producing milk in preparation. It takes only a matter of hours after delivery for kittens to begin nursing with mom. Sucking on their mothers teats will provide them with the essential nutrients they need to develop strong muscles, bones, brains, and immune systems.
Female cats will continue to breastfeed their kittens for up to eight weeksalthough 4-6 weeks is more commonbefore milk production begins to slow. The reduction in hormones and lack of kittens requiring regular milk will return the nipples to their normal function: none!
The video below shows just how critical a role the nipples play after a female cat gives birth:
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