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Pregnancy in Cats – What are the Signs & How long Does it Last?

Like humans, animals also show signs, mood swings, and disinclination towards certain things when they expect our bundle of joy. This is when you treat them like a queen. Queening is the act of a female cat, the queen, giving birth to kittens. Cats get their heat as early as six months old since their bodies are ready to birth kittens. Learn all about how long are cats pregnant and how to care for your kitty cat.

What Age Can a Cat Get Pregnant?

What age can a cat get pregnant? Cats get their estrus cycle when they are around four to five months old. A cat can most likely conceive after four to six months old. Even though they develop heat from an early age, they are not yet mature enough for breeding. It is ideal for spaying them to avoid unwanted pregnancies and other health complications. Before spaying your cat, take the advice of a vet. There is a possibility of spaying in shelter cats so you don’t have to worry about your cat pregnancies.

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Cats get heat very often, that is, every 2 to 3 weeks. It depends on the season and light cycles. So it varies from one cat to another who lives in different world geographies. Cats get heat when exposed to light actively for ten to twelve hours. They are seasonally polyestrous and can go through multiple cat heat cycles. Cats can get their heat soon after they have delivered, and they can be pregnant again within a few weeks from when they last delivered. The age at which a cat should get pregnant or breed is not specific, but ideally they should be over 18 months of age and mentally and physically fit before breeding.

How Long Are Cats Pregnant?

How long are cats pregnant? Cat’s gestation period is somewhere between 60 to 67 days. The average cat delivers around nine weeks unless the conception date is incorrect. The gestation period can be short in young cats as their bodies are not fully ready for birthing. Cats, on average, give birth around when they are due 63 days. The longest cat gestation period can go up to even 72 days. It is better to take note of the conception date.

As their pet parent, you may need to provide them with food and dietary supplements, light exercise, and treat them like a queen. Usually, the second week’s ultrasound confirms pregnancy after breeding. Like all pregnancies, there are various stages your queen undergoes to give those cute kittens. Consult a vet and cater to all her needs, especially during this period.

Cat Pregnancy Signs

A cat shows various physical signs by the third week of gestation. People usually touch cat bellies to know if they are pregnant, but it might not be the right method to predict pregnancy. In young cats predicting a pregnancy can be difficult. It is always better to get in touch with a vet to find out if your cat is soon to be a mamma. So let us see some of the signs a cat is pregnant.

  • There are various physical changes like enlarged breasts, darker nipples which are referred to as pinking up, weight gain, swollen abdomen, white discharge from nipples, and morning sickness. Just like in humans, changes are not limited to physical appearance. These are some of the cat pregnancy symptoms.
  • In pregnant cat, behavioral changes include frequent purring, more devotion, increased appetite, unusual vomiting tendency, lethargy, uninterestedness, apathetic intolerance to other pets, nesting behavior when close to labor, and loss of appetite towards labour.  
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 Cat Pregnancy Timeline – All About Stages of Cat Labor

There are various stages that a cat undergoes during its pregnancy. As a pet parent, one should be aware of what to do and what not to do throughout all cat pregnancy timelines. To serve better to your queen, one needs to know how the gestation period advances in a cat. The cat pregnancy stage is 9 weeks, with slight variations from cat to cat. It takes at least two weeks to confirm a cat’s pregnancy. This is the time when, through a cat pregnancy test, you can confirm your feline’s pregnancy.

Week 1:

  • End of Estrus cycle or “in-heat” period.
  • One of the early signs a cat is pregnant is that there are no calls from a female, which usually attracts males.

Week 2:

  • Pregnancy can be confirmed with an ultrasound.

Week 3:

  • More visible physical signs can be seen; your cat starts to pink.
  • Pinking up is used when a female cat’s nipples turn darker than usual to a pinkish, reddish shade.

Week 4:

  • Vomiting, nausea, and morning sickness similar to humans develop.
  • This could lead to food aversions.
  • Noticeable unusual vomiting occurs, which is not fixed to a particular time of the day.
  • The swollen belly is more evident.
  • Touching your pregnant cat belly at this time in gestation is not advised as it may affect growing kittens.
  • If an inexplicable abdominal swelling occurs, bring this immediately to the notice of your cat’s vet.
  • Increased appetite and weight, on average 2 to 4 lbs. weight gain is expected.
  • Arrange water and food supplies in clean bowels on ground level, where she can reach easily and more frequently, without perching and jumping often.
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Week 5:

  • Radiography or ultrasound can determine the number of kittens in a litter.

Week 6:

  • Behavioral changes include frequent purring, intolerance of other pets, and showering more affection.

Week 7:

  • At 7 week pregnant cat sleeps and rests more often as she nears delivery.
  • To maintain a healthy food intake, feeding cats nutritious cat food rich in dietary fibre and vitamins is necessary.

Week 8:

  • As she nears delivery, she will look for quieter, calmer, and more convenient places for delivering kittens.
  • What we, as pet parents, can do is prep a cardboard box lined with newspapers, warm paper towels, and blankets to make her feel safe and comfortable. The place chosen for birthing should not have bright lights and a noisy atmosphere. That area should be off-limits from other pets or toddlers for peaceful birthing.

Week 9:

  • Food aversions become stronger when she reaches the final stages of the gestation period.
  • By anytime around 9 weeks, your cat might be delivering her kittens.
  • They can deliver independently, and human intervention is not at all needed unless you spot an emergency.
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How to Tell if a Cat is Pregnant?

Now you got to know all about cat pregnancy stages, how to tell if a cat is pregnant? To know if your furry friend is pregnant, you can touch her belly. It’s not advisable to use this method. Your cats’ vet will use ultrasound and x-ray to detect pregnancy. The second week of pregnancy is a good time for ultrasounds. After 40 days or when a litter is approximately approaching 40 days, it is possible to find out the number of kittens in a litter using radiography. On average, a cat has four to six kittens in a litter. In general, new moms have fewer kittens than adept elderly moms.

What is Best Food for Pregnant Cats?

During pregnancy, a cat should have food rich in vitamins, fibre, and minerals. Before making any changes in its diet abruptly, always consult your veterinarian about the best food for pregnant cats. As each cat is different, some things might work against your wishes, and instead of giving her good food, she might refuse to eat any. Gradually transition from her usual diet to a tailored diet. Feed her the same diet until three weeks after the kittens arrive. Add more of the dry ingredient diet as they are rich in calories.


Like human pregnancies, pet pregnancies also require great attention and care. Although they are self-sufficient and don’t require any human help during this time, we can serve them better if we know how their gestation period works and how long it lasts. It is also informative to know how they act in a certain way towards food and their surroundings. This knowledge helps create a calm environment for birthing and avoid any health complications during this period.