Pregnancy Process in Cats
Since cats are mammals, they reproduce by going through a certain gestation period. When a cat is approximately 9 months old, its body is ready for reproduction. This period may decrease to 6 months or increase to 12 months, depending on the breed and living conditions of the cat. Considering these periods, the sterilization of cats should be carried out until the twelfth month, provided that it is not earlier than 6 months. However, neutering should not be done before your cat shows the first symptoms.
Cats can give birth 3 times a year and their pregnancy lasts an average of 2 months . In cats that give birth to at least 2 kittens at each birth, this number can increase up to 5-6 kittens. Pregnancy is a difficult process for cats, as it is for humans and other mammals. Breed cats survive the pregnancy process harder than mixed breeds such as tabby, and the care needs of every pregnant cat increase.
Pregnancy Symptoms in Cats
It is difficult to tell when a cat is pregnant in the first few weeks. If you know the date your cat mated, you can also predict the time of pregnancy and birth. This is because cats become pregnant within 24 hours of mating.
In the first weeks of pregnancy, some cats may show the first signs by experiencing a loss of appetite. Dizziness, nausea and vomiting in cats in the later weeks of pregnancyeffects can also be observed. Weakness, fatigue, decreased desire to play, and restriction in energy and movements are also interpreted as pregnancy symptoms in most cats. But there are also cats that never show these symptoms. In the third week of pregnancy, you will notice that your cat tends to eat a lot of food. By the third week, your cat’s belly begins to grow and the color of her nipples changes. Increasingly swollen abdomen and nipples that turn dark pink in color are physical signs of pregnancy. Also, your cat will not allow her stomach to be touched during the third to fourth week and beyond.
Behavior Changes in Pregnant Cats
Along with the physical changes during pregnancy, there will also be differences in the mood of the cats. Behavior changes can occur in two ways. Your cat may expect more attention and affection from you and want to be with you at all times. On the contrary, your cat’s behavior may be in the direction of wanting to be alone and hiding. The reason for these two opposite behavior patterns is that the cat feels more vulnerable while pregnant and wants to be safe. In addition, your cat may need more love than usual during pregnancy and may be more aggressive.
Things to Do in the Prenatal Process
Cats become pregnant within the first 24 hours after mating. In the second week of pregnancy, you should definitely have your cat’s veterinary examination to check that everything is okay. Vaccines and vitamin supplements required for your cat will be determined by your veterinarian.
As the birth approaches, your cat searches for an environment where she can feel comfortable and give birth to her kittens safely. For this, you should prepare a suitable environment for your cat. For example, you may need to get him a cat bed . If your cat does not prefer the environment you have prepared, do not force it and make the place your cat chooses suitable for birth. Your cat will most likely identify a secluded place such as under the bed, inside the closet, which is difficult to reach.
Cats give birth after about 2 months of pregnancy. This process may be shorter for a few days or as long as a few weeks. But if your cat refuses to get out of the birth environment that you have prepared for two days by stopping the food, it means that the moment of birth has come. In this process, do not forget to check your cat frequently, but avoid touching it too much and stressing it.
What should be done at the time of birth?
Cats are born within 24 hours. Just before birth, your cat instinctively licks its genital area to prepare itself for birth. Your cat, whose breathing rate changes, makes various purrs throughout the birth and does not leave the place until the birth is completed. Therefore, it is absolutely not right to move it or try to touch it. It is very important that you leave your cat alone at the time of birth. If the birth has not occurred in more than 24 hours, you should consult your veterinarian.
Cats usually give birth to their first kittens within half an hour. Subsequent offspring are born every 15-20 minutes . After all the kittens are born, the mother cat licks them clean and eats the placenta. This is a natural state and should not be interfered with.
You do not need to take the mother and her kittens to the veterinarian immediately after an uneventful birth. It is sufficient to keep in touch with the veterinarian by observing the condition of the kittens and mother cat after birth. Until the puppies open their eyes and start to move in a few days, the puppies should not be touched and water and food should be left where the mother is.