How Long do Cats Stay Pregnant?

I guess you could say that cats took God’s word very seriously, when God said, “Go forth and multiply.” Maybe going a bit overboard right there. Cats can multiply like crazy! They can get pregnant in multiple consecutive times if they remain un-spayed. But how is that even possible? Just how long do cats stay pregnant for them to be able to do so?


Cat Pregnancy Cycle

Fertilization Occurs

Actually, before this stage, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes before the actual fertilization happens. Your momma cat will first have to attract a potential mate. They undergo several heat cycles because they are polyestrous. They are in heat every three weeks until they get pregnant.

Initial Stages of Pregnancy

A momma cat and a human mom feel quite the same way during the initial stages of the pregnancy. There is also a possibility that your cat may feel that morning sickness, or feel nauseous in the morning. Your momma cat will eat significantly less during this time. Do not worry! She will regain appetite in the latter stages of pregnancy. Usually, this happens during the third week of pregnancy and you can also start feeling up her tummy for those kitties!

Middle Stages

At this stage, your momma cat may become extra sensitive. Some momma cats wouldn’t even want to be touched, especially in the tummy area. It would be as if they are in pain, or angry. At this stage, the kittens are getting bigger and bigger! The feline mother will look as if she’s swallowed a ball or something, she will start to look like she swallowed some sort of a giant egg. If you want to know the number of kittens she is carrying, you could bring your momma cat to the vet and have an ultrasound.   

It’s Almost There!

A week before the feline mother delivers her babies, her nipples will become even more protruding – almost as if it is swollen. She will usually stay in places she thinks is appropriate for birthing. These areas are usually isolated and very private. Momma cats can become really protective of their young. Prepare clean linens (does not have to be new, used and recycled ones are okay as long as it is clean), newspapers and boxes. Offer them to your momma cat and observe if she sees any of them fit for use.

Here They Come! It’s Time!

Sometimes, you wouldn't even see the momma cat giving birth, they will want a private time and focus on getting the kittens out. Do not try to watch the mother cat when giving birth as this will only cause her discomfort and anxiety. Let her be and wait for her to be done. Your role will come after she gives birth when you can change the bloodied linens and change them into new fresh ones. You can then also give momma cat some food and water because she will definitely be hungry and dehydrated afterward.

Physical changes:

A mother cat's nipples become more protruding and evident, the number of nipples they have can become indicative of how many kittens are to be born

Your cat's tummy gets bigger, although sometimes they might just be full. Another way of knowing is to get a feel for your cat's tummy

Behavioral changes:

Your cat can either be extra grumpy or extra affectionate

They will be quite noisy and meow a lot more than usual

They will frequent places they deem fit for delivering the young ones

Round Up 

Did you know that after a mother cat has delivered the kittens, she can right away become pregnant as long as she has undergone the estrus cycle again and the availability of mate? Well, there are also some mother cats who wouldn’t want to become pregnant right away. If you do not wish to have unwanted pregnancies and too many kittens, you could have your momma cat spayed instead, or the daddy cat neutered as well.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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