How Long Do Cats Stay Pregnant? petscentral December 11, 2015 Pet Care Felis catus is the scientific name of what we know as cat. They are one of the cutest pet animals. Cat is a small, carnivorous, furry and domesticated animal. Often, they are called house cats because they are kept inside the house and made as pets. Cats are often raised because they are loved, they are needed for companionship and they have the ability to track vermin. In this article on how long does cats stay pregnant you will be given information on the various stages, challenges you can face during the duration and suitable steps to assist the pet in delivery. We know that most of the people love and adore cats because of their cute and lovable appearance. But, it’s not only that, we can also play with our cats and they often give love and affection. We also know that cats are just one of the furry animals and that they can make environment harmful for the people who have asthma. However, that does not stop the people from raising and taking care of a cat. For cat lovers, they should know that it is not easy to take care and breed a cat. They need constant care and attention for them to grow and multiply healthily. Even some cat owners wanted to multiply their pet cats by breeding but it is not a simple one. We need to prepare ourselves and our cats before impregnating them. Knowing that, we will take breeding cats as just a simple case. How Long Do Cats Stay In Heat? Most of us complain that cats are too loud because of their noise. But this is just a natural event. Often, they are in a group and yowling endlessly along with other cats. We didn’t know that they are already in discomfort. We even ask questions on health so that we can be saved from their loud noises. Cats will stay in heat for seven to ten days and this happens every week. ‘Estrus’ is the name of the first heat cycle and this happens at sexual maturity when the kitten is already around six months old. For cat owners, this heat cycle will not end if they will not control their cat. In normal times, cat stays in heat for four to ten days in which it occurs again and again until your cat reaches its sexual maturity. Cats are known to be a seasonal breed which means they can only go in heat if there is daylight for more than twelve hours. This means, cats can go in heat for over six months during the early autumn and early spring in most parts of the world. The heat cycle consists of: Proestus – it is the time when the cat’s body is preparing to be in heat. It usually happens in the period of one to two days. Early symptoms during this period may be present. Estrus – this period happens from four to ten days. It is this time when your cat can ovulate, conceive and can respond to mating. It is also this time that the cat is said to be ‘in heat.’ Interestrus – this time, cat cannot conceive and the signs of being in heat are slowly disappearing. Cat is not in heat during this time and her body is inactive for the next heat cycle. This period lasts for seven to fourteen days. Diestrus – this is the time after mating and estrus. Your cat undergoes through different stages and if your cat becomes pregnant, it will last for 60 to 70 days before she gives birth to her kittens. However, if your cat is not pregnant, then she will stay away from the heat cycle for 30 to 35 days. Anestrus – this phase lasts between 2 to 3 months and this is the phase of inactive hormonal and sexual activities between the phases of estrus. The following are the steps that you could do in calming your cat while she is in heat: Regularly consult your veterinarian. Try to distract your cat as soon as possible because this will take her mind away from the events happening around her and it will let her feel better. Try to stroke your cat’s lower back and raising her pelvis will be her response. While your cat is in heat, give extra affection and love. When you calm the cat by physical petting, her mind will be at ease knowing that you are always there for her. For other cat owners, they let their cats undergo a surgical procedure which removes their cat’s ovaries and uterus and that is called spaying. This aids by stopping the reproductive diseases and accidental pregnancies. How Long Does A Cat Stay Pregnant? For cat owners and breeders, waiting is the hardest thing to do because of the excitement that they are feeling. Sometimes, they go to a veterinarian and ask them ‘how long does a cat stay pregnant? That is just one of the numerous questions often asked by cat owners and breeders. Let us check the time frame of the cat’s pregnancy. The very fertile cats are the domestic long-haired and short-haired cats. However, other fancy breed of cats tends to be less fertile. The length of the pregnancy or the gestation period of cat averages 64 days. The gestation is generally about 9 to 10 weeks or in between 62 and 67 days. The cat’s pregnancy is noticeable after three weeks. Others have the gestation period between 57 and 66 days. The gestation period of a cat does not really have a definite numbers of days or weeks because it depends on the cat but it is normally between 60 to 70 days. How Can We Know That The Cat Is Pregnant? Unlike humans, we cannot determine the cat’s pregnancy using urine or blood test. However, these are the signs and symptoms that your cat is pregnant which includes: During the third week of the cat’s pregnancy, nipples will become pink and enlarged. This is what we called the ‘Pinking Up.’ During the 4th week of pregnancy, the cat will gain weight so that its pregnancy will be visible. In this time, the cat needs a stress-free environment, good quality of food and a lot of fresh water to drink. During the 3-4 weeks, the veterinarian should be able to feel the palpitation of the cat’s abdomen and he can also feel the babies inside. If you ask if cats also experience morning sickness, the answer is yes. They are also suffering from morning sickness and stay away from food during the third week of their pregnancy. Food rich in calcium and protein is recommended to be given to your cat during her pregnancy. You should also avoid foods of gaining weight and overfeeding as it will make its labor complicated. For the last two weeks of your cat’s pregnancy, make sure to keep her indoors so that she will not give birth to her kittens on a different place. Also, like humans, you should take the mother cat or queen to the veterinarian during her pregnancy for a health check up. Equipments you need for the cat’s birth: Kittening box. It can either be hand-made or bought. Scissors Kitten milk replacer Clean towels Cotton threads or dental floss for ties Antiseptic which is used to apply to the umbilical cords. Emergency phone number of your vet Surgical gloves that are sterile Eyedropper or syringe which is used to aspirate the mouth and nose for possible secretions. Cat breeding is a hard duty and should only be done by experienced breeders. Most of the time, everything, which includes cat’s pregnancy and giving birth, will just go along smoothly. But there are times that problems will occur during this time frame. You will encounter some of these problems if the cat’s pregnancy is unplanned. The following are: Death of the mother or queen Difficulty in giving birth which will need caesarian section Death of the kittens Kittens getting rejected by the mother. Raising kittens on your own will be satisfying but it will be a hard job. Are you ready for that? Are you ready to keep hold of the kitten until they are 10 weeks old, the least? Kittens will also need to be vaccinated and wormed before going to their new homes. The final stage of gestation period is giving birth. The stressful time for cats is during their pregnancy. During this time, the cat may seek comfort from her surroundings. You will also notice the change of the cat’s behavior when she is about to give birth. The cat may wander around looking for a place where she could give birth to her kittens and she will become restless. This time, your cat will be uncomfortable due to the weight of her unborn kittens pressing on her tummy. In order for you to help your cat, you can make a nesting box for her to make her delivery easier. However, she will need time to adapt to her new environment and nest. What Are The Serious Problems That Might Happen During And After The Cat’s Pregnancy? When these symptoms appear, contact your vet immediately: The cat’s pregnancy lasts more than 66 days The mother or queen stays away from food and becomes weak and depressed The kitten is stuck in the birth canal of the mother for more than 10 minutes The temperature of the mother becomes below 100F for a day or below 98F The mother’s vaginal discharge becomes infected and has a foul odor For more than 4 hours, the mother still have contractions, yet no kitten appears The mammary gland becomes hard, hot or painful If the kittens appear agitated, do not sleep and meows continuously When you are sure that another kitten is still inside the mother but five hours has already elapsed Kittens will appear weak or they will not nurse When the mother’s temperature is over 102.5 and two days has already passed after giving birth Kittens did not receive enough milk When labor is distinguished, your cat will show some signs that she is about to give birth through the changes in her behavior. You will notice that your cat may hide often. Birth is the weakest time in the cat’s life. That is why; she will hide her herself and her kittens away from danger. Signs That Your Cat Is Going Into Labor Dropping of your cat’s body temperature into around 99F. Your cat will start nesting During the last week of your cat’s gestation, her mammary glands will increase in size. Your cat will start producing milk two days before she will give birth. In the last day or two of your cat’s pregnancy, her appetite will decrease. The behavior of your cat will change. Your cat will avoid food and refuse to eat if she is about to give birth. She may cry or vomit as her labor begins. Fortunately, the labor is not the lingering episode. Within six hours from the start of labor, the final kitten should be delivered. This time estimation may even be reduced if your cat has fewer kittens. Most of the time, your cat can handle the labor and delivery just fine on her own. However, you may need to be watchful to see if your cat is struggling in delivering the kittens so that, you can provide assistance. Things Not To Do Or Use On Your Cat Avoid using human antiseptics such as Dettol because this can burn their skin and are poisonous to them. If you want to use antiseptics, you should only use the ones which are recommended by your veterinarian. Avoid handling or carrying the newborn kittens too much in their first 2 days. Let the kittens bond with their mother. Cats are known to eat their kittens if they can sense danger in their surroundings, threatened by other animals or if there are too much human meddling. Please be reminded that female cats can become pregnant again as early as 2 weeks after giving birth but usually, it takes up to 8 to 10 weeks after giving birth. Make sure that the mother cat is safely restrained during that time.