Top Things to Look for During your Cat's Pregnancy and Labor

Updated: July 12, 2022

Isn't it exciting when our cats are expecting? But aside from being excited, it's all actually an array of mixed emotions. You're happy and at the same time worried that something might go wrong during your cat's pregnancy and labor.

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"Though loss of appetite can occur just before your cat gives birth, it can also be a sign of something serious."

Don't stress out too much about the things that could go wrong. Here, we have compiled things you should look for during your cat's pregnancy and labor that could signal some complications (and will help you prepare to do the necessary actions!).

During Cat Pregnancy

Loss of appetite. According to Purina, you should not worry if your cat loses her appetite a little towards the end of her pregnancy. This is a common sign that gives you a clue that labor isn't far away. Even if she's got a bit fussy about eating, make sure that food and water is still available in case she wants a small snack during this time.

But even though loss of appetite can occur just before your cat gives birth, it can also be a sign of something serious. If your cat is not eating the right amount or not eating at all, she will not be able to get the right vitamins and nutrients to fuel her (and her kittens).

Remember that a pregnant cat that refuses to eat will face consequences. So, work it out and ask your vet to put up the best diet. Some cats tend to become picky when pregnant and may be enticed to eat canned foods. Depending on how severe your cat's loss of appetite is, your vet may prescribe stimulants or syringe-feeding to make sure your cat gets the nutrition she and her kittens need.

Distressed and Agitated. You'll know something is wrong when your cat is visibly stressed. She's crying and meowing frequently and continuously. When this happens, you'll also notice your cat become more irritable and easily stressed out. She'll also begin to lick her vulva intensely yet she's not delivering any kittens.

If you noticed your cat being stressed out during pregnancy, identify what triggers it. Is it your house guests? Your other pets at home? Those stray animals outside? Loud noises? Whatever it may be, make sure you confine your cat away from whatever irritates her. Keep her in a quiet and comfy room where she will feel relaxed.

Increased urination. Wondering, "why is my cat peeing everywhere?" When your cat is stressed, this will bring about a lot of behavioral changes in her. Your once litter box-trained cat may pee or poop and spray in inappropriate areas of your home.

It could be the kittens pressing on her bladder that causes her to urinate more than usual. It can also be the hormones in the body. Or it can also be underlying urinary tract problems your cat is going through that you weren’t aware of. Do cats poop a lot before going into labor? They can for the same reasons as increased urination.

Using high quality cat diapers, like the ones from Pet Parents®, can be one of the simplest things you can do to prevent your cat from urinating around the house.

Sudden vaginal bleeding. If your cat suddenly bleeds and passes blood clots or has blood in her urine, she could probably be experiencing a miscarriage or a uterine infection. This could greatly affect her kittens if not treated immediately. Pet Parents® Washable Cat Diapers also come very handy during this situation and while you’re on your way to your vet. Your vet will perform tests to identify the cause of the miscarriage - bacteria, parasite, or environmental factors - and will prescribe medicines for recovery.

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During Cat Labor

Strong contractions and long hours of waiting. Strong contractions means your cat is trying to 'push' and deliver her kittens. It can be alarming when 3-4 hours have passed and there is intense tension in the abdominal area yet your cat hasn't produced any kittens yet.

This can happen because of several reasons: It can be that her kittens are dead (the kittens must be alive to begin labor), dystocia (the kitten can't be delivered because it is physically blocked in the pelvis), loss of strength in the uterus (the uterus loses strength due to delivery of a large litter).

Call your veterinarian as soon as possible. She might need to inject oxytocin (a hormone that promotes labor) or she might perform a c-section on your cat.

Placentas delivered is not equal to number of kittens. The number of placentas should always equal the number of kittens that were delivered. If the kitten is not born with its placenta and the placenta does not follow soon after a kitten was born without it, the placenta has been retained within the uterus.

According to the experts at Wag Walking, a retained placenta is a very serious and life-threatening condition for a cat. This is so because a retained and un-removed placenta will begin to decompose within the cat’s uterus, causing a dangerous bacterial infection that will likely spread to the cat’s bloodstream and throughout the body.

If this is so, take your cat to the vet immediately to rule out any progress of infection and for proper treatment.

Still 'bloated' abdomen. After your cat gave birth and you notice that her abdomen is still quite big or 'bloated', this might mean that there are remaining kittens that were not delivered.

You will know if your cat has given birth to ALL her kittens when she begins to stand up and takes care of her young. If she hasn't delivered all kittens yet, she will continue to lie down in the same place. Go to the vet asap to confirm.

Chills and fever. Common signs of infection after giving birth are chills and fever. If left untreated, this may be life-threatening. Consult your vet and never (ever) self-medicate. It is best to know the cause of the infection so that proper treatment and management will be advised.

These are the things you need to look out for. But worrying aside, CONGRATULATIONS! Your cat is now a mom and you are now a grand pet parent. Keep an eye closely on the signs mentioned above and bring her to the vet immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment. With your love and care, she'll recover quickly and in no time.

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"Using high quality cat diapers, like the ones from Pet Parents®, can be one of the simplest things you can do to prevent your cat from urinating around the house and prevent infections from getting more complicated."