Helping Your Cat Through The Birth Process
Chances are that you will not need to do anything to help with the birth process except to be with your cat to encourage her–sort of a “cat doula.” You may even wake one morning to discover that your pregnant cat has given birth during the night, and is comfortably nursing her kittens. However, you should know how to spot potential problems and what action to take, should she need assistance with the birth process.
Symptoms Of Cat Pregnancy The Big Picture
On their own, most of the individual of cat pregnancy can point to other health issues, so its important to take the big picture into account when trying to determine if your cat is pregnant.
If your cat is truly pregnant, you should see more than one sign. If you only see one of the symptoms of pregnancy such as weight gain, vomiting, or abdominal swelling, for example, they could be signs of something else.
In any event, never try to diagnose your cat, or any pet for that matter, on your own. If your cat shows one or even all of the symptoms of cat pregnancy its still vitally important that you take her in to the vet as soon as possible to either get confirmation of your cats pregnancy or determine the underlying cause of her current symptoms.
Have you ever dealt with cat pregnancy? Share your experiences below!
Ben is an animal lover, blogger, and all around geek. He divides his love equally between his family, his animals, and his video games. In his spare time he is attempting to get a blog off the ground. Boy, are they heavy!
How Long Are Cat Pregnancies
Pregnant female cats wonât show physical symptoms until weeks into her term. Theyâre only pregnant for around two months, more or less, so youâll only have a few more weeks to a month to prepare for the kittensâ arrival.
If you are suspecting that your cat is carrying kittens in her belly, itâs best to visit your vet and let them check your cat through ultrasound. They can often confirm your catâs pregnancy as early as the 15th day since conception.
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How To Look After A Cat In Labour
Surprisingly you might not even be there to witness your cats birth. You might wake up to find a whole litter of clean and healthy kittens being nursed by their proud mother. If you can, its better for you cat if you can monitor her during labour in case something goes wrong, but she should be able to manage her labour and kittens by herself and you shouldnt intervene unless you are certain something has gone wrong.
Labour is broken up into 3 stages. Speak to your vet for advice on what to expect and how to manage a birth prior to your cat going into labour.
The first stage usually lasts 12-36 hours. This stage is the going into labour stage. Signs of this stage include restlessness, pacing, vocalisation, excessive grooming, or panting. A lot of the time this stage will pass by without you noticing.
This stage of birth is when your cat gives birth to her kittens. Her contractions will build and become more frequent usually with intervals of 2-3 minutes. The amniotic fluid will come through first and then active straining will begin. It will be around 30 minutes to an hour before the first kitten emerges. The kittens can be born head first or rear paws first. Once the head is out your cat should take an additional 1 or 2 strains before the kitten is out.
Tips For Breeding Cats
The heat cycle is the very first step of the process. It is the time during which the cat is ready for mating and allows a male to come near her. These cycles begin when the cat reaches an age of 6 months, and are repeated approximately every 2 weeks till the mating happens. The signs that will help you make out that your cat is in heat are:
- When you observe that your irritable and please stay away from me cat has suddenly turned very affectionate, take it seriously. It may be due to the fact that your cat is on a heat cycle.
- Though cats are known for their frankness when it comes to being loud and making their point clear, cats may become extra loud during the heat cycle, and may even screech. This is equivalent to mating calls used by the animals in the wild. So dont forget to look out for the moods of the extra audible member of the family.
- A female on heat also tends to raise her rump when patted or stroked on her back. So make sure you notice this change in its posture.
- Raising the rump may also be followed by twitching the tail. A female uses this process to signal that she is ready for the mating process.
Once done with all these checkups and evaluations that your cat is ready to reproduce, you can go ahead with the rest of the procedure. What remains is the actual mating, gestation, and the delivery. You just have to make sure that the cat finds the right partner, in order to avoid any infections that may pop up later.
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Finding Homes For The Kittens
Sending kittens away to a new “forever home” can be either a joyous or worrisome occasion, depending on how you handle the preparations. You have invested almost two months or more of work, worry, and probably expense, in caring for the mother cat and then the kittens. Their futures will depend on your investing a bit more time to ensure that the new homes they are going to are truly good homes.
The only thing left to do now is to have the mother cat spayed if this has not already been done. You’ve been responsible for her care during her pregnancy, and I’m sure you will agree that this is now the only responsible thing to do.
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.
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Tips For A Successful Breeding
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
So, youre planning to breed your dog. Well, Ive been there, done that and got the t-shirt, and I can tell you that if you think its just a matter of putting a male and an in-season female together and expecting nature to take its course, you might be mistaken. Ive suggested before that dogs arent always the sharpest tools in the shed , and this can be especially true when it comes to breeding. Sometimes, believe it or not, they actually need help getting the job done.
When Would I Know If The Cat Is Prepared For Mating
When a family possesses a cat, they usually choose to spay it before she goes on heat. We have seen most people discussing waiting till the pet turns six months old as that is the time of heat. But its totally a misconception! Different cats vary with their time of being in heat. Several external factors affect a cat and its behavior while shes ready to mate.
Numerous studies are done and different experts have different views. Some say a cat experiences her first heat at an early age of 3.5 months and others say it is four and a half months. Its well and good if you turn your female feline friend into a spayed one before she goes on heat. In an otherwise case, the process will continue unless and until you stop it through surgery. Most cats encounter mating between March and September, so take special care of your feline friend in these months of the year.
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Stage : The Third Month
In the third month, she will start getting ready to have her puppies. They will end up getting into position before arriving on the 63rd day on average. Heres what you can expect in month 3:
- After 58 days: the puppies are almost fully developed and move into the birth canal.
- After 62 days: she will lose her appetite completely, become agitated, and even appear slimmer as the puppies move into position.
- On average after 63 days: your pregnant Chihuahua will give birth.
Watch Out When The Female Cat Is On Heat:
You need to know when the female cat is on heat. The heating cycle usually starts when the cat has reached 4 to 5 months of her age. It continues until the cat has mated. You may feel that the female cat is very affectionate towards male cats. It may seem that she is trying to attract a male cat.
Indoor cats can usually mate during all times of the year. This is because they have a different effect of artificial light on their heating cycle than outdoor cats.
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Cats Are Prone To Rambunctious Style Of Courtship
Sun., March 20, 2005
Growing up in rural Southern Idaho, at a time when spaying and neutering of barn cats was unheard-of, this veterinarian-to-be got one of the most visible and certainly most vocal birds and the bees lessons available.
My earliest sex education was courtesy of the barn cats that were mating right under my bedroom window.
Duke was a big, black longhaired tom that lived in the shadows of our farm. His mistress that night was Punkin, the orange tabby barn cat that would sit on her haunches to drink milk arching across the barn straight from the cow.
Looking and sounding more like a brawl than a breeding, the actual mating took only a few seconds to complete. In retrospect, the courtship between Duke and Punkin was certainly more leisurely, taking place in a complex ballet of body behavior in and out of the farm buildings and haystacks and lasting a few hours.
When it comes to sex, the male cat and female cat are romantically shackled and shaped by genetic and biological patterns forged over millennia, but ever changing to todays environment.
Like many species, the males mating motor is always revving, while the female cat ovulates only during the breeding season from January or February to October or November. The queen is able to bear young as early as 7 months and is fertile until 7 to 9 years of age.
After a few questions to confirm they were in estrus, I told them this feline break dance is simply a body-language way of attracting a partner.
When Do Kittens Go Into Heat
A heat is part of your kittys estrus cycle a reproductive cycle that shares some similarities to a humans menstrual cycle. If your female cat hasnt been spayed, shell go into heat by six months of age .
Here are some things you should know about your cats estrus cycle:
- A cat can go into heat as often as every 2-3 weeks, year round.
- Pregnancy can occur as early as the first heat.
- Cats dont experience menopause, so they continue to go into heat well into their senior years.
- A cats heat may be identified through tests at your veterinarians office, but most commonly, its identified because of a cats behavior.
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How Will My Veterinarian Treat My Cats Infertility
Treatment of infertility, and its prognosis, depends upon its underlying cause.
“Treatment of infertility, and its prognosis, depends upon its underlying cause.”
In all cases, cats are likely to benefit from improved management. Ensure that your cat is receiving adequate quantities of a high-quality, well-balanced diet. Keep your cat in a stress-free environment take care to eliminate overcrowding and other sources of stress. All breeding females should receive at least 14 hours of daylight per day, and should be allowed to breed several times per day during estrus.
Your veterinarian may recommend injections to aid in inducing ovulation in young, healthy cats. Artificial insemination may also be considered in cats who refuse to mate.
Ovarian cysts or tumors may require surgical treatment, while cystic endometrial hyperplasia may be improved by medical treatment. Work with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your cat.
Does Mating Always Result In Conception
Mating does not always result in conception. However, there is a high probability of conception in cats as their ovulation is induced. Therefore, ovulation will immediately follow after successful mating.
The ovulation usually occurs 20 to 50 hours after successful mating. As for the eggs, they have the capability to be fertilized for just approximately one day. Once fertilized in the oviduct, they will go to the uterus where it will be implanted in the lining of the uterus from 10 to 12 days.
Another indication that your cats have mated is if your female cat abruptly stops its behaviors that are related to the estrus cycle. It will then take on behaviors that are related to pregnancy like nesting, a sudden increase in appetite, and occasional vomiting.
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Why Do Cats Cry When Mating
If you have ever witnessed two cats mating you may be confused and wondering why they are crying so much. Or, you may see two cats in a tussle wondering if theyre fighting or mating.
Cats cry when they are mating because it is painful for the female cat. The male cat has a barbed penis which is needed to scratch the inside of the female cat to initiate her ovulation. This causes the female to cry.
So now you know why cats cry when they are mating. But, what signs can you look out for to indicate that your cats are mating?
The Cat Heat Cycle Explained
All female cats will go through the natural heat cycle unless they have been spayed or are pregnant. This is also referred to as the estrus cycle and during this time, a cat is capable of breeding that is, mating and having kittens. The stages of the cat in heat cycle are described in detail below:
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What Are The Basics Of Cat Reproduction
Cats reach sexual maturity from around 4 months of age. Hence current advice to have your cat neutered around 4 months old to prevent unwanted pregnancies .
The timing of reproductive activity is probably triggered by an increase in day length which signals that better weather is on the way bringing with it an availability of food animals for the cat so that when the kittens are born after a 9-week pregnancy the mother and kittens will have sufficient food. In the northern hemisphere, therefore, cat pregnancies and births increase in March, April and May and decrease from October to January, while in the southern hemisphere the reverse is found. Cats on the equator probably dont have a great deal of change in their reproductivity throughout the year.
However, for female cats, this time of heat or coming into season, or oestrus, isnt one long period but many short periods . During these periods the cat will exhibit what could be described as flirtatious behaviour, rubbing and rolling on the floor, marking, and making a plaintive yet demanding rising and falling pitch known as calling. Owners who havent previously owned an unneutered female cat sometimes think that their pet is in pain and that these behaviours are signs of illness, whereas in fact, theyre quite normal for a female cat in search of a mate.
If mating does not occur the eggs are not released and the cycle is repeated again about two weeks later.
Why Is My Male Cat Not Mating
A Scared Cat Hiding
You may have noticed that your male cat is not mating at all. And, you may be wondering what could be causing this.
Your male cat is not mating because of anxiety or not feeling comfortable in his environment. The anxiety could be linked to a recent bad experience trying to mate. With regards to not feeling comfortable, it could be a simple as the incorrect temperature or layout.
So, now you know your male cat may not be mating because of anxiety or his environment.
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Is My Cat Pregnant
Common signs of pregnancy in cats include:
- Red, enlarged or swollen nipples known as pinking up
- No signs of coming into heat displayed
- Vomiting early on in the pregnancy
- Slight mucus discharge around a month after mating
- Swollen tummy and gradual weight gain
- Occasional loss of appetite and subdued behaviour in the early stages
- Increased appetite in the later stages youll need to increase her feed during this stage of pregnancy
- Nesting behaviour
Did you know Its important not to touch your cats tummy when shes pregnant, as this can damage her unborn kittens.
The next step is to make an appointment with your vet. Your vet will give your cat a thorough clinical examination. They may be able to detect the pregnancy by gently palpating your cats abdomen to see if there are any kittens in her womb. If this is inconclusive an ultrasound can be performed from around day 20 to identify the kittens and see their heart beats. It is not possible to accurately determine how many kittens your cat is carrying but you should get an idea of how many to expect.