10 Ways To Tell If a Cat Is Pregnant

Should your cat not receive spaying, commonly known as “fixing,” you may start to worry that she may be pregnant. This is particularly valid if you’ve recently observed her developing sexual interest.

When a queen or cat is ready to procreate, she will produce heat. Meowing or calling, rolling around on the ground, and becoming extremely loving are signs of heat exhaustion. She might also make a valiant effort to exit. She may also push her tail to one side when being petted close to her back, which is another indication. Usually, heat lasts for a week or two. Certain cats endure longer periods of heat. In addition, heat will stop if your furry friend gets pregnant. Although they mate all year round, cats tend to do it more frequently in warm weather and during long days.

The easiest way to avoid getting pregnant with a cat is to spay them before their first heat. Also, by following this method, pyometra, a potentially fatal illness, is avoided. In addition to preventing unwanted kittens, spaying your cat can protect her against developing breast cancer in the form of mammary tumors as she ages.

It’s fantastic to know when a cat is in heat, but how can you tell whether it’s pregnant? There are numerous indicators that your cat will give birth to kittens. Cats and human ladies share many of the same cues. If you’re not sure if your cat is pregnant, keep an eye out for these symptoms!

1. Vomiting

Your cat can feel queasy in the initial weeks of her pregnancy. This is comparable to morning sickness in human women. This usually only lasts throughout the first two to three weeks of the pregnancy. Other symptoms of a sick cat include drooling and an unwillingness to eat. Moreover, cats have the ability to dry-heave, or move as though they are vomiting but are not.

Nevertheless, vomiting is a typical indicator of disease in cats. Therefore, if your cat is throwing up more frequently than once every few weeks or occasionally gets a hairball, you really need to take her to the vet. This is particularly valid in the event that they refuse food. Fatty liver syndrome, also known as hepatic lipidosis, can occur in cats after as little as 48 hours without food. If this illness is not treated promptly and aggressively, it may be fatal.

2 & 3. Increased Appetite and Weight Gain

We’ll discuss these two indicators of cat pregnancy together because they go hand in hand.

Increased Appetite

Pregnant cats require more food to nourish their growing offspring, just like pregnant people do. Your cat may eat more than usual as a result. She might even turn to robbing the trash or taking your meals. Consider taking your cat to the veterinarian if you notice that it is eating more than usual because this could also be an indication of hyperthyroidism.

Gain of Weight

Cats begin to acquire weight when they get pregnant. That’s because as they grow, the babies put on weight. Your cat may be pregnant if she appears to be gaining weight really quickly. On the other hand, rapid weight gain may potentially indicate diabetes.

4. Pinking Up – One of the Earliest Signs a Cat is Pregnant

The average length of a cat pregnancy is 63–67 days, or roughly 9 weeks. That period of time is known as the gestation period.Pregnancy lasts around the same length of time in dogs.In comparison, the gestation period of an elephant is approximately two years, and that of a human is only nine months!

When it comes to cats, alterations in the size and color of the nipples are frequently the first indicators that anything is amiss! This occurs precisely 21 days into the pregnancy. The nipples become a vibrant pink color during this stage. They might also start to enlarge. This is a result of cat’s body preparing for childbirth. Fortunately, there is rarely any correlation between this pregnancy indication and any other medical issue. Veterinarians and breeders call this phenomenon “pinking up.”

5. Sleeping More

Just like with human women, developing babies put moms to sleep. As most of us know, cats may now snooze for up to 20 hours every night. However, if your cat appears to be more exhausted than normal, this may indicate that she is expecting. Lethargy, or the inability or unwillingness to move around, may indicate the presence of more significant issues. Take your cat to the doctor if it appears lethargic!

6 & 7. Personality Changes and Hiding

These are two more indicators that your cat is pregnant that frequently appear together. Some people might even view them as one and the same.

Changes in Personality

A sudden shift in demeanor could be one of the more interesting signs that your cat is pregnant. Usually, this is a sudden increase in attachment or clinginess. If your cat usually prefers to be left alone, she may deliberately come snuggle with you. She may also rub her head and face more than usual against you, items, or other animals. She might even invite you to flip over and stroke her tummy to flaunt it. The rise in motherly hormones is thought to be the cause of these alterations. Some claim that cats are able to detect these hormonal shifts in women and may react by being more loving or protective of them.

Contrarily, a pregnant cat’s personality can occasionally shift. Kitty can turn hostile and want you to stay away from her. If you get too close or touch her tummy, she could become highly protective of it and strike out with her fangs and claws. Additionally, when eating, Mama Cat may become extremely defensive of her food and may even fight other housemates if they get too closely. This kind of shift in personality is also a normal response to her pregnancy. She is naturally inclined to defend her young at any costs.


During the 7th to 9th week of pregnancy, your cat can start hiding more. She might be found in odd, silent, and dark locations. At this point, she has to sleep a lot, therefore she’ll probably look for safe areas to do so. As we previously noted, aggressive personality changes can also result in this. It’s preferable to let your cat do her thing unless she’s lurking somewhere unsafe. She will feel more relaxed and at ease about her pregnancy as a result of this. Regrettably, excessive stress during pregnancy can cause a cat to miscarry spontaneously, losing their litter.

8. Swollen Belly: The Clearest Indication That a Cat Is Expecting

Pregnant cats typically “show” or have a bloated belly around 5–6 weeks along, depending on the size of the litter. She might start showing sooner if the litter is really big—more than four infants, roughly speaking. Your cat will clearly be pregnant after its belly begins to enlarge and take on a spherical shape.

Sometimes a pregnant cat’s enlarged belly makes it difficult for her to properly groom herself. Make sure your cat is maintained tidy and keep a watchful eye on her. If necessary, utilizing baby wipes to assist her maintain a neat back end greatly aids in this regard.

9. Nesting: The Instinctual Sign a Cat is Pregnant

When a pregnant cat starts looking for the spot where she wants to give birth, it’s known as nesting. This could be coupled with evasive actions. Pregnant cats naturally seek out a quiet, protected, and safe location to give birth. This is where her instincts lead her. She needs to feel secure, but she also needs to know that her children will be protected if she has to leave them for whatever reason.

Your cat has to locate a secure nesting area that isn’t her litter box. This is due to the possibility of litter-caked newborn kittens. The kittens themselves or their mother may inadvertently consume this when washing them. Additionally, it might adhere to the nose, making breathing difficult for the infants.

It’s best to wait until your cat is ready to give birth and until the kittens are old enough to understand not to eat the litter to transition to non-clumping litter (such washable litter pellets). Litter clumping can result in fatal intestinal obstructions.

10. Restlessness

Your cat could get fidgety at the conclusion of her pregnancy. To be restless is to always be on the go or strolling around. She can appear uneasy. When their contractions, which occur when the muscles required for giving birth tighten and loosen, begin to help reduce their agony, pregnant cats frequently pace, or walk back and forth. She might also emit a sound you’ve never heard her make before as she cries out in anguish.

You might observe your cat shifting bedding or blankets if she has already started to build a nest. She could dig, too. She might bring extra blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals inside the nest place.

After the kids are born, mother cats sometimes get restless. Usually, this is a result of their unease. You may assist by making sure your pregnant cat has a secure place to make her nest, as we’ll talk about in a moment.

How to Tell Your Cat is Pregnant Chart

The following chart is a very basic guideline. It includes signs your cat is pregnant and which stage she may be at in her pregnancy.

Sign Your Cat is Pregnant Likely Stage
Vomiting 1–3 weeks
Increased Appetite 3–9 weeks
Weight Gain 3–9 weeks
Pinking Up 3 weeks
Sleeping More entire pregnancy
Personality Changes entire pregnancy
Hiding 7–9 weeks
Swollen Belly 3–9 weeks
Nesting 7–9 weeks
Restlessness 8-9 weeks

How Do You Handle a Pregnant Cat?

Visit the vet with your cat if you suspect she is pregnant. This will verify the pregnancy and guarantee the health of the mother and kittens. Cats typically have a trouble-free pregnancy and delivery experience. But you and your veterinarian’s supervision can assist ensure that it does. Let’s find out more about what you can do to assist your cat in having a healthy litter if she is pregnant!

Get an Ultrasound

Whenever after roughly three weeks of pregnancy, your veterinarian can perform an ultrasound. They can now see the kittens’ heartbeats thanks to this. The best way to identify feline pregnancy early on is using ultrasound. In order for an ultrasound to produce images, sound waves are passed through the abdomen, bounce off of solid objects, and then repeat. It is comparable to bat echolocation.

Get an X-ray

The doctor can take an X-ray after roughly 45 days to assist you estimate how many babies your cat will have. It is not advised to get x-rays taken before 45 days because it would be a waste of money and unlikely to detect the kittens’ immature bones. Your cat experiences tension for no apparent reason.

We inquired with Dr. Shelly Wyatt, a veterinary medicine specialist at Northwood Hills Animal Hospital, regarding the potential risks to the mother or kittens associated with x-raying before 45 days. “It’s useless because you won’t be able to count kittens before then, but radiologists who work with humans do not worry about a few radiographs on pregnant women at any point in time,” the woman stated. A CT scan, which uses far more radiation, would be a totally different story. Studies on humans, dogs, cats, rats, or primates have not discovered any solid evidence linking in-utero radiography to any higher risks of malformations, malignancies, autoimmune diseases, etc. on offspring.” So don’t worry about doing an x-ray on the kittens and injuring them!

Give Her Cat Food

Making sure your pregnant cat always has access to premium kitten food is one of the most crucial things you can do. The kitten food gives your mommy cat all the calcium, lipids, and other nutrients she needs, along with a plenty of fresh water. Giving food to the kittens will keep her strong and ensuring that they have the nutrition they need to grow up happy and healthy!

From the moment you learn that a mother cat is pregnant until the kittens are completely weaned, the mother cat should be fed kitten chow. Be advised that up to 48 hours prior to giving birth, your mother cat may completely quit eating.

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Create a Safe Nesting Place and a Birthing Kit

Establishing a secure location for your cat to give birth is another crucial step you should take. There must be food, water, and a litter box in this peaceful location. A laundry room or bathroom is frequently used.

Naturally, you’ll also require a nesting place. Since newborn kittens are not yet able to retract their nails, it is advisable to avoid using towels in the nest box. Tiny hooks on towels have the potential to injure infant kittens’ claws by catching them. A blanket made of soft fleece works well. Fold the blankets so they lie flat, and take care not to add too much to the nest. This is due to the ease with which kittens can suffocate or be lain on by their mothers when they become entangled in blankets.

To make sure you’re prepared to assist if needed, you might also want to put together a birthing kit. Extra blankets, gloves, bottles, puppy pads, kitten milk replacer, thread or fishing line (to tie off umbilical cords), and so on are possible items to include.

How to Help When Your Pregnant Cat is Ready to Give Birth

Pregnant cats typically give birth on their own, without the assistance of humans. In fact, if you are staring at your cat the entire time, she can get upset. Periodically checking in on her is OK, but try to avoid getting in the way. Contrary to popular assumption, it’s also acceptable if the kittens emerge breech, or backward. This is directly tied to the positioning of the kittens and is rather usual.

You should only assist a pregnant cat in giving birth in the following situations:

After birth, if mom is unable or unable to clean the kittens, you can carefully remove the sack, being sure to remove it off the kitten’s face to allow for breathing. After that, you can gently pat dry the cat by gently rubbing it against the fur on the back using a gentle cloth. This will mimic the mother’s tongue movements. This kind of lifting helps the hair dry faster. When the kitten is dry, put it close to mom’s stomach so they can start nursing.

Mom doesn’t bite through the umbilical cord: You can use fishing line, twine, or sewing thread to gently cut the chord off, about 1/4 inch away from the kitten’s body. Using your fingernail, carefully tear off the remaining chord and placenta, or carefully cut with clean scissors.

Mom is leaving the kittens behind: A heating pad or covered hot water bottle can be used to give warmth. To avoid burns, make sure that no portion of the kittens comes into contact with the heat source.

Mother is lying on a kitten: Mothers occasionally are unaware that they are laying on kittens. The kitten can be carefully removed from under mom and returned to the vicinity of her abdomen. However, exercise caution—some mother cats may become combative if you try to pet their young.

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2. PetSafe ScoopFree Premium Blue Crystal Litter, 2-Pack – Includes 2 Bags – Absorbs Odors 5x Faster than Clay Clumping – Low Tracking for Less Mess – Lasts up to a Month – Lightly Scented Click Here
3. ARM & HAMMER Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter, Multi-Cat, 40 lb Click Here
4. Cat’s Pride Max Power: Total Odor Control – Up to 10 Days of Powerful Odor Control – Strong Clumping – Hypoallergenic – 99% Dust Free – Multi-Cat Litter, Unscented, 15 Pounds Click Here
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What Time Is Best to Call the Vet?

To be honest, if you have any concerns at all about your cat’s pregnancy or delivery, you should contact your veterinarian. It’s always preferable to be cautious and appear a little foolish than to put off calling in case there is an urgent issue. If you see any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian:

For thirty minutes, your cat has been pushing constantly with no improvement.

Mom is too exhausted to continue pushing, and the kitten is just partly outside.

Suddenly, your cat appears extremely frail or is unable to raise her head.

Now that she is not giving birth to kittens, your cat is bleeding profusely.

If you don’t have a kitten and notice green discharge.

You’re convinced there are more kittens, but after an hour, none have appeared.

Concluding Remarks Regarding the Signs of a Pregnant Cat

We have discussed the several indicators that your cat may be pregnant. We also talked about the need of getting veterinarian care as soon as you suspect your kitty companion is carrying babies. Finally, we covered ways to assist your cat in getting ready for and having a safe birth. As usual, the best approach to ensure your cat is happy and healthy—pregnant or not—is to speak with your veterinarian!