Is my cat pregnant?
Age: 2-5 years
How can I tell if my cat is pregnant? She has a big belly and I want to know if this is because she is pregnant.
Dr. Marie replied:
Thanks for your question Susan.
If your cat is not spayed and she goes outside then there is a very good chance that she is pregnant. A cat's pregnancy usually lasts 63 days counted from the day of breeding. Near the last couple of weeks of pregnancy is when we notice the belly getting larger. We usually see something called pinking of the nipples as well. This causes a waxy discharge on the nipples. Sometimes, in the last week of pregnancy, if you squeeze a nipple you will get milk to come out.
We don't have a great pregnancy test for cats like we do with people. In the last 2 weeks of pregnancy a vet can take an xray to determine if there is pregnancy there. Often around 3-4 weeks into the pregnancy an experienced vet can feel a cat's abdomen and determine if there are kittens there.
There are other possible reasons for a cat to have a big belly. It can just be because she is overweight. It can also be a collection of fluid because of a disease such as liver disease, FIP (an incurable virus), heart disease or cancer.
There is no "morning after pill" for cats who are pregnant. Most vets though will be willing to spay a cat when she is pregnant. This will abort the kittens.
If she has kittens, most cats handle labor well. They don't usually need assistance. But, if your girl is having strong contractions for more than 60 minutes then she may need a vet's assistance and possibly a C-Section. This doesn't happen very often though.
I hope everything goes ok!
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