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Today, many cat owners are often contemplating whether to purchase a male or a female cat. As a prospective cat owner, you’ve decided to adopt a female cat, but a question came to your mind; how young can cats get pregnant?
Cats can get pregnant as early as four months of age. Every breed of cat does not attain sexual maturity at the same time. Some breeds experience their first heat cycle at six months, while some at ten months.
This article will discuss some signs you can watch out for that may reveal your cat is pregnant. Later on, we’ll supply answers to some frequently asked questions about cats’ pregnancy.
Before that, let’s consider some signs that might indicate that your feline is pregnant.
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Signs Your Cat Is Pregnant
Determining whether a cat is pregnant can be very tricky. This is not surprising because it can take 2 or 3 weeks before it becomes glaring.
Now, let’s consider the early signs you’d not to know your cat is pregnant:
Increased appetite is one of the most significant indicators that your feline is pregnant. At this stage, she would desire more food from you.
This is understandable because the feline is no longer feeding only herself but a litter of kittens.
As the pregnancy progresses, the demand for food will also increase. Your cat will likely be eating 50% more than its usual food.
Feeding a pregnant cat is relatively easy. All you have to do is increase the ration of the food you would typically give to her.
As long as you feed a pregnant cat well, she tends to behave sensibly.
Morning sickness is another cardinal sign of pregnancy in cats. For a pregnant human female, a similar thing occurs.
Morning sickness might show up as a lack of appetite or vomiting. The vomiting happens as a result of a hormone surge.
If you own a pregnant cat, be prepared to do some extra cleaning up very early in the morning. Your cat may also start falling sick as early as 3-4 weeks.
If the vomiting becomes too much, you should take your cat to the vet with all sense of urgency.
Heat cycle change
A cat will always be in heat once every ten days. When your cat is in heat, there are some changes you would notice.
With a change in a cat’s heat cycle, there would likely be increased yowling, or you might find your cat constantly rolling on the floor.
A change in the level of affection of your feline is at the top of what you would notice. She may become more affectionate.
Apart from this, your cat might start walking differently in the early days of pregnancy.
But remember, no two cats are the same. Some cats would become more aggressive when pregnant rather than be affectionate.
Changes In Behavior
Another sign of pregnancy in cats is behavior change. A typical female cat will start sleeping more during the day.
The cat would also appear not interested to move or play. She may also become needier and start acting more maternal.
If you observe your cat rolling on the ground and being highly vocal, chances are there you have a pregnant cat.
Changes In Appearance
A change in appearance is one of the main signs to look for in a cat. The nipples of your cat may become darker and a bit enlarged.
The enlarged chest and darkened nipples may become more evident around 2-3 weeks of pregnancy.
Another common sign of pregnancy in cats is weight gain. The weight gain is usually around the tummy region.
Pregnant felines gain around 2kg; it can at times be more than this, depending on the number of kittens the mother is carrying.
Can a 3 month old cat get pregnant
No. A 3-month-old cat can not get pregnant. A cat can only get pregnant from around four months of age.
If you don’t want your cat to bear kittens, you are advised to spay your cat for around three months.
One unique thing about cats is that they don’t experience menopause as humans do; a cat can keep giving birth till the last few years of its life.
Neutering your cat comes with many benefits; a neutered cat won’t exhibit irrational behaviors like not using the litter or being overly aggressive.
The bottom line is that a cat that has not been neutered can get pregnant very early in life and very late in life.
What Happens If A Cat Gets Pregnant Too Young
If a kitten gets pregnant at a tender age, she may not possess the physical strength to give birth to kittens because she’s even still growing herself.
It is detrimental to a kitten’s health to get pregnant too young. A cat doesn’t attain full skeletal maturity until about ten months of age.
When a cat of four months old gets pregnant, it’s like a double-edged sword; both the mother and the kittens are affected.
An unplanned kitten’s pregnancy directly means more kittens at your home. We already have more than enough kittens in rescue centers waiting for an owner.
One good way to protect your kitten from getting pregnant is to keep your feline indoors and far from any male cats. You can do this until the kitten is neutered.
Can A Cat Get Pregnant After One Mating
Yes. A female cat can easily become pregnant during her first postpartum estrus cycle. Female cats are induced ovulators, which means ovulation doesn’t occur without mating.
If a female cat refuses to mate when in heat or during its estrus cycle, she won’t get pregnant because hormonal levels would have dropped.
The estrus cycle of a cat occurs every 2-3 weeks. Furthermore, ovulation in a cat would generally occur 20-50 hours after mating.
One interesting thing is that cats can mate several times before ovulation is complete. This means kittens can have multiple fathers.
Both male and female cats reach sexual maturity almost simultaneously, about 4-6 months of age. A kitten can impregnate his mother.
In addition, a cat’s health can be seriously affected when there are several repeat pregnancies within a short period.
The act of several births and nursing kittens can leave a cat physically exhausted.
Can You Feel Kittens In a Pregnant Cat
You can feel kittens in a pregnant cat by gently pressing on her abdomen. But if you want an official diagnosis, take your cat to the vet.
If you suspect your cat is pregnant, it’s a good idea to take her to the vet to ensure she’s in good condition.
The vet can be able to determine your cat is pregnant by palpating her abdomen. For a vet to accurately determine a cat is pregnant by pressing the abdomen, it must be the 17th to 25th day of pregnancy.
Apart from pressing against the abdomen, your vet may also make use of the ultrasound. This medical device can detect a cat’s pregnancy as early as the second week.
The kitten’s heartbeat can be detected during the third week.
The last but not the least method is the use of radiographs, otherwise known as X-rays.
An X-ray of the abdomen is usually taken at the latter stages of pregnancy to determine the number of kittens the mother carries.
Will A Cat Get Pregnant Every Time They Mate
No. A female cat doesn’t get pregnant every time she mates. For a cat to get pregnant, she may need to mate several male cats to get pregnant.
The act of getting pregnant is not so easy for cats; a cat may need to mate for about 15-20 times to get pregnant over a 6-10 days period.
When female cats go into heat, they don’t just do it once or a few times in a year. Cats are seasonally polyestrous.
Several female cats undergo many brief heat cycles during the breeding season. A cat’s heat cycle is dependent on temperature.
For example, an indoor cat can breed throughout the year, whereas a street or a homeless cat may experience difficulty doing this.
How Many Kittens Do Cats Usually Have
Cats usually have an average of four kittens in each litter. It can be as high as 12 kittens in some cases.
Some breeds of cats such as Siamese, Oriental, and Burmese often produce larger litters.
When one or more kittens have been given birth, the mother will stop straining and take a break, suckling those kittens already born.
The mother would then eat and drink and then take a break for up to 24 or 36 hours. After this short break, she would resume straining to birth other kittens.
How Do You Help A Cat Give Birth For The First Time
Prepare a birthing area for your cat using a cardboard box or a laundry basket lined with towels.
Try to keep your cat calm as much as possible during this time. However, I noticed that cats could take care of themselves without much supervision.
A cat would hide when about to give birth. To tell you how confident they are in grooming themselves.
The mother will generally bite through the umbilical cord after the birth. If this doesn’t happen, you’ll need to assist them with that.
You should get the following items to make the delivery of kittens hitch-free:
- Nesting box
- Absorbent I pads
- Heating pad
- Refuse bin
- Clean scissors.
Regardless of whether the delivery was hitch-free or not, your veterinarian should assess the mother within 24 hours after giving birth.