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If you have decided to read this article, you have a pregnant cat in your home, or one is on the way. Pregnancy is, of course, a very important stage in your pet’s life. In order to give you the best possible understanding of the processes that take place in the cat’s body throughout the pregnancy, we have tried to describe them one by one.

Cats reach sexual maturity at 7-9 weeks. The female cat is then in heat and can be inseminated. It is easy to identify estrus by the typical behaviour of the animal. Cats usually begin to walk slowly around the house with their knees bent, meowing lustily and persistently, responding readily to petting, rubbing themselves against various objects or their owner’s legs; some cats may begin to mark.

But the first litter is not recommended at this age. It can lead to difficult parturition and curvature of the spine in the female and to reduced fertility in the male. Cats usually have their first kittens at 1,2-1,3 years.
The average gestation period of a cat is 9 weeks. This is duringThe iodine can vary by more or less depending on the breed and physical characteristics of the animal. However, if the cat has given birth before day 60, the chances of the kittens surviving are slim. The following is an overview of the changes in the body and behaviour of a pregnant cat during certain periods of pregnancy.

0th week

Cats, unlike cats, which are ready to mate at any time, although their peak activity is nevertheless in early spring, can only mate during estrus. The intervals between estrus periods may vary according to the breed of animal and the time of year. Observations show that stray and old cats tend to start estrus in spring and autumn. Domestic cats may estrate much more frequently, with an interval of 15-25 days. The average length of the estrous period is 6-8 days, although this is individual for each individual female.

Ovulation of the female cat typically takes place after mating (after 23-30 hours). The average number of ova varies from 3 to 7.The egg travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. They attach to the uterine wall. Later, a protective placenta is formed. Through the placenta, oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood enter the kittens’ bodies.

If a cat has mated with a male cat, it does not mean that she is pregnant. The first signs of pregnancy cannot be seen until after three weeks.

If the cat is not pregnant, the eggs have not formed, the swollen mucous membranes will gradually return to normal and the body will start preparing for the next heat.

1-3 weeks

During the first three weeks of pregnancy, the cat usually becomes less active, eats less and sleeps more than usual. It may also ask for more attention from the owner.

Usually the first sign of impending motherhood, which appears three weeks after the start of pregnancy, is that the nipples turn a distinct pink colour. This is particularly evident in first pregnancies.

In the 3rd week, vomiting may occur, which is associated with psychological hormonal changes, as well as with gstretching the uterus. This state lasts for a few days and can even go unnoticed.
On the 20th day after insemination, the vet can already feel the pregnancy.

Week 4-6

After four to five weeks, the developing embryo is large enough to be grasped by light pressure on the abdomen. It should be handled very carefully and not pressed too hard or suddenly, as this can damage the membrane and lead to miscarriage.

In the fifth week, the cat’s abdomen begins to round out clearly.

Around the sixth week of pregnancy, if more than one or two kittens are formed, the cat’s abdomen suddenly becomes very large because the embryos grow very quickly.

On day 35, the uterus fills with fluid. It is then impossible to determine the exact number of embryos by simple grasping.

Week 7-9

After the seventh week, it is possible to feel the movements of the kittens and to grasp their heads. At this time, the cat becomes nervous and looks for a place to nest.

In the last week, there is an increase milk glands and protruding nipples. Sometimes a slight white discharge appears at the exit of the vulva. The cat becomes reclusive and inactive.

But 3-4 days before giving birth, her behaviour changes and she follows her owner continuously. Her body temperature drops to 37C.

At this time, a thorough X-ray and ultrasound are recommended to determine the number, size and position of the kittens in the uterus, which will definitely facilitate the delivery process. These examinations will allow the veterinarian to predict whether or not the birth will be pathological.

It is important to note that some cats are in heat when they are pregnant, and if she is then impregnated, embryos of different ages will appear in the uterus. In this situation all the kittens may be born at the same time. The second litter will then be premature (as a rule it rarely survives). In rare cases, kittens are born after a slight interval.

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