How long cats are pregnant? – Need to Know Facts

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Cats are extremely efficient breeders. Usually, if you have adopted a cat from shelters, there are chances that she is spayed already. Therefore, the odds of pregnancy are less. Otherwise, you may never know when your indoor cat just slipped away, and it is surprising now that she might be expecting kittens. It can happen to any pet parent. They have chances to get pregnant twice a year if you have left them unsprayed.

Also, telling whether the cat is pregnant is never an easy task because the symptoms are highly subtle. Therefore, whether it is a planned or unplanned pregnancy, confirming with the vet is essential.



However, having kittens at home is very exciting and emotional for you and your cat. Before you welcome the new guest’s home, there are things you might have to know about the pregnant cats. To make the pregnancy easy and happy for the cats, as an owner, you have to start training the cats and put them in practice. Listed are the things that you need to know about the process of cat pregnancy.


At what ages the cats get pregnant?

It is difficult to think that your cat got pregnant in a short time from the time when they are brought home. But you must know that even kittens of 4 months old are likely to get pregnant if they are not being watched. Also, pregnancy at a very early age is unhealthy. It is not encouraged for breeding at four months as they are not considered as adults. But with the slipping away and when they are practiced being outside, the probability of the pregnancy is uncontrollable. That is why the cats at the shelter are usually spayed in eight weeks. The Animal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that it is one of the effective methods to control homeless pets.


Which is an ideal season for the cats to be in heat?

The question should be, alternatively, “Why is my cat not in heat?” It is because cats have the heat cycle every two weeks. The light plays a significant source in contributing to developing the heats in the cat. However, the heat cycles are codependent on the climatic changes and light cycles. Suppose if your cat is taken on a vacation, and they get exposed to the sunlight for 10+ hours, then there are chances that their hormones are activated. Therefore, even though you know the reason for the heat in the cat, you may not determine the time or predict the season in which they get pregnant.

On the other hand, if you are indulging the cats through breeding technically, in that case, even artificial lights are induced to activate the hormones.


How do you know that the cats are in heat?

You can easily find the dog undergoing the heat by checking the vital symptom – if they are bleeding. But with the cats, it is hard because they do not show any dramatic behavior changes. They wander with their tail raised all the time. They quite often yowl or meow loudly. Although, most of the cats even do this during the average time. The Vets agree that prominent symptom to notice in the cats is that it eats less when in heat. Therefore they insist on providing multi-vitamin and protein as part of the diet. Purina Probiotic Supplement is one of the recommended supplements for the cats during the pregnancy. You can consult the vets before offering these tablets to your cat. The doctors also say that it is crazy to note that when the cats do not have the partner to mate, they start yowling or meowing and show tail antics to humans and even to dogs.



So how are the cats going to be pregnant?

It is dreamy to wake up to that morning when you have the kittens lying on the carpet quietly. Although, you might be wondering about when you can see these kittens? However, you should know that how longs the cats are pregnant is not an exact science. The actual gestation duration for the cats is on an average of 58 to 67 days at the maximum; cats are pregnant up to 72 days and not more than that. You have to understand that the time taken for the pregnancy does not depend on age or breed. But there is variation in rare cases because when the cats get pregnant at a younger age, they are not equipped to handle it well. Because of the stress, the kittens arrive either in a short or more extended period than usual.


Stages of cat’s pregnancy

There are some of the critical dates that you may want to remember so that you know what exactly happens to the cat and when you can expect the kitten.

Important days to remember What happens to the cat?
Day 6 Transfer of eggs fertilized to the uterus area.
Day 12 The uterine wall is settled.
Day 15 The embryos and the cat’s circulatory systems are connected.
Day 21 You can check the growth of the embryo using an Ultrasound machine.
Day 28 The growth of the embryos is observed as 3-4 cm in size.
Day 38 The muscles, nerves and other organs are starting to develop.
Day 50 The babies are in the process, with the fur starting to develop.
Day 60 It’s time for the delivery.



There are 5-crucial stages in the cat’s pregnancy process. You can find the list below with the respective symptoms for each of them.

Early Stage

Usually, in the early stages of pregnancy, you may not be seeing any noticeable symptoms. After two weeks, from 15 to 18 days, there are some visible signs. Even they get their morning sickness just like the case of humans. The cat’s nipple gets enlarged and red. They experience vomiting or nausea due to which they tend to eat less.

At the end of the third week, they start to eat again, and they put on weight quickly. Slowly you can see that lumps are developing in the belly area.


Okay! In the middle stage of labor, you can see that they have gained the weight to the earnest. They are growing more prominent, and it will depend on how many kittens are there inside them. Some owners have even felt that the cats have swollen like a football – it is huge. But you may know the number of kittens if you had done the scanning with the vet.




Pre- labor symptoms are very adorable, and it is the time of the process that you may have to take care of them very carefully. Just before the week or ten days prior, the pre-labor symptoms are seen with the cats. The nipples become highly visible such that you may even see the milk drops coming out of them. As they are getting close to giving birth, they start to find this safe and secure place for the kitten. Provide them with the nest boxes in her favorite place. The nesting boxes seem to be comforting as they can keep the kittens nearby all the time.

Labor and Delivery

The first symptom to notice about the cats approaching labor is that they stop eating just before the two days. The primary reason behind it is that they do not have more space in the stomach and may feel stoic when they eat more. The cat will start licking her genital part and make some different noises that you have never heard. If this is her first pregnancy, she may be anxious and freak out.


Once the labor starts, the kittens come every 15-20 minutes until the last one is born. Usually, only his mother kittens tend to clean the kittens entirely. They start licking the offspring to eat the placentas. According to science, it is mainly due to they want to give them enough and more nutrition.


Caring for your pregnant cat

Having kittens is wonderful news. But to make the pregnancy healthy and easy, you need to remember that your cat needs extra care, comfort, and attention when it is pregnant. Here are the essential things to keep in mind:


Petting and being affectionate

When a cat’s pregnancy hormones come into effect, they are more likely to see for the loving environment. They look for hugs, purrs, and cuddles quite often. Love and affectionate is part of the pregnancy process, even for the cats. It is essential that even her body changes, so be careful as you handle her.

The most common way of showing your love is by stroking her body gently but avoid the tummy area in that case. Because the belly becomes highly sensitive, and it causes discomfort inside and even hurts the unborn friend. Rather than lifting from the stomach area, you can scoop her up from the bottom. We know you might be working and busy, but at least, spend some time morning and evening with her. You are reducing the stress for yourself and as well as her.



Okay! The cats are familiar with the parasites. The worms pass from mom to the kittens easily. You must carry out a worming process quite frequently with the help of the doctor. It will not take much of your time. Take her on a Friday evening to vet and continue the process until delivery. The flea treatment is another effective method to avoid any parasites on the newborn friend. The medications are usually recommended which you can add it along with the food that you provide.



Vaccinations are especially applicable for the cases where you voluntarily send your cats to breeding when they become mature. You have the option of taking the vaccine before breeding. Therefore, there are no chances of them getting affected by bacteria or any virus. Also, there are vaccines to boost immunity throughout the labor process. It also helps to transfer the antibodies to the kittens’ through the milk. So to maintain the antibody levels at the peak, give them proper medication and vaccination. The dosage depends on the antibody level, which can be confirmed by the blood test.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many kittens are in a cat’s first litter?

The cats on an average litter up to four kittens for the first time, but this can range from one to twelve kittens.

Do cats have any type of discharge during birth?

You can notice that there is a certain amount of smelly discharge, which is fresh blood, usually reddish black color. Even after a few weeks of birth, you can still find the bleeding. It is natural and will stop within two weeks. Also, the cat’s mammary glands become open, and nipples become reddish-brown or bloody. It is mainly due to the pain or firm the cat is undergoing.

What are the supplies needed for the birthing?

  • Absorbent pants for lining the delivery box.
  • The clean towels are necessary to clean and stimulate the kittens.
  • Paper towels to clean the blood.
  • Depending on the kittens expected, you might have to buy the extra boxes to keep the kittens.
  • Marunda Heating pad for keeping the kittens from being chilled. The pads can be placed in the bottom of the box or put a thick blanket or several towels over them. The kittens cannot be directly placed on them. By draping a towel over the kitten may help them to keep even warmer when placed over the heating pads.
  • Laundry basket for disposing of the wet and cleaned towels.



There is no need to panic or rush to the cat if you find that the cat is in labor. Always keep an eye on things that are progressing. But just before the week after you visit the vet, get all the necessary things in the first place to avoid the last-minute panicking. The kittens always need to be with their mom at least for the eight weeks, but even up to twelve weeks are preferable. We hope that this article would have guided through the entire process of the cat’s pregnancy process.

All the best!

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