Feline Pregnancy and Birth
Approximately three weeks after mating the colour of the nipples
will become pinker, and this can be taken as a sign that the mating has been successful.
From this point on your mum to be should receive a nourishing diet to help the
kittens develop good strong bones and teeth. If you are feeding your cat a
well-balanced diet there should not be any need to supplement it, as it is easy
to overdose on minerals and vitamins. Some breeders give their cats calcium
supplements to promote strong bone growth in the young kittens. It is very
important that you consult a veterinarian before using any kind of supplement to
avoid doing more harm than good! It is a good idea to increase the amount of
food available both while she is pregnant, and for the first five weeks after
The pregnancy will normally last for sixty-five
days and you will need to provide a nice
warm place for your cat to have her kittens. It can be a box lined with old
newspapers, you will need to use several layers so that dirty layers can be
removed as necessary to enable each kitten, as it is born, to be kept dry and
warm. Keep the box in a quiet place without too much light and away from the usual household
pregnant cat will need to feel secure, and should be introduced to her new environment
so she can start to get ready to" nest" You may think that your chosen
location for her kittens to be born is excellent, but cats are really good
mothers, wanting the best for their kittens, and will often want to give birth else
ware, so you may have to move the
"birthing box" to a new location if that is what "mum"
The birth is normally straightforward and you will probably be
more worried than your cat is, as most cats will know exactly what to do. The
safest time to give birth in the wild, is at night and that is when most cats
tend to produce their litter. The first sign of the impending birth will be the
appearance of a "bubble". This is the protective water-filled birth
sac containing her first kitten, as the contractions become apparent and the
mother tries to push the kitten out the sac will burst allowing the first kitten
to emerge, head first. The mother will then lick it all over to stimulate
circulation and to dry it, then proceed to chew through the umbilical cord.
There will be a separate placenta for each kitten, unless she has identical
twins. Most cats will eat some or all of the nutritious placentas.
Things with continue to proceed like this until all the kittens
are born. Cats, like humans, all differ in the amount of time they spend in
labour. Here is a listing of some possible problems that could be encountered:-
Placenta being retained, causing an infection -
Make sure that a placenta is expelled with each kitten.
Cat's muscles unable to contract any longer - A vet
will need to administer an injection to stimulate her back into labour, if
this fails a Caesarean may be necessary.
Kitten stuck in the birth canal - Can be pulled out
with clean, and lubricated fingers. Better left to the veterinarian if you
have never done this before.
Here are a few items to keep
with you when the time arrives:-
A pair of blunt sterile scissors - if you have to cut
the umbilical cord.
Clean towels - if the kittens are born quickly and
the mother can't keep up with cleaning them, then you will have to clean and
Keep your vet's telephone number handy - If there are
problems and you cannot handle them.
You should always inform the veterinarian of your cat's
pregnancy as she may require regular check-ups.
[ Alphabetical Table of Feline Gestation Times
] Anatomy of a Pregnant Cat
After Kittens ] Neutering
[ Sexing a Kitten
Feline Names ] [ Site Map
] [ False
Pregnancy ] [
Feline Mating and Conception ] [
Orphaned Kittens ]