How to Tell If a Cat Has Given Birth

If your cat has given birth, she will show several physical signs of having a litter of kittens. You must observe closely to know if your cat is pregnant and continue observation to know when she's given birth.

Determine Pregnancy

You will not know the cat is pregnant until she starts to show signs. Feline gestation takes roughly two months. During that time, you will notice weight gain and by the final trimester lumps in her stomach area will be present. Feel around her stomach to determine if she is pregnant. It helps if you know your cat was recently in heat and had access to the outdoors or a fertile male.

Physical Signs

After she has given birth, your cat will show considerable weight loss. Her stomach will shrink from losing the weight of her kittens. She also will have swollen nipples as she produces milk for feeding her litter. She will also show signs of dehydration and increased thirst after experiencing labor. Increased appetite is also possible after giving birth but she may focus more on her young than on food.

Behavioral Signs

Before giving birth, your feline will show signs of anxiety. Watch for pacing and panting as signals of a near birth. Keep a close eye on her at this point. If she disappears for a day or more, she is likely giving birth. Many cats will make their own private bed where they give birth without you knowing. She may use and indoor or outdoor space and you must monitor her movements to know where she gives birth. Under a deck, in a garage or in a corner of your yard are all possibilities.

Tips

  • Provide your cat plenty of food and water when she shows signs of being pregnant and being ready to give birth. The water will prevent dehydration during the birthing process. Also provide a box with towels and blankets to encourage giving birth in a comfortable and quiet space.

Locating Kittens

If your cat gives birth and has the kittens hidden, watch her closely but do not follow her. She will not lead you to the kittens if she knows you are watching. Eventually, you will see where she goes. Also, make rounds on your property and listen for purring and crying to find the kittens. Make a weaning box for the mother and litter and move them to a safe area. She may relocate the kittens after you move them but making a single attempt is worth the effort. If she does relocate the kittens, simply monitor them and provide food and water as support for the mother.

Author

Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can view his work at zachlazzari.com

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