Why does my pregnant cat keep meowing

Gestation and Cat Birth: Signs, Warning Signs, and Other Tips

Just like us humans, cats also have high phases of fertility during which they can become pregnant - these phases are known as heat or groan. Cats usually get in heat every three weeks - so the chances of pregnancy are high!

To make sure you are prepared to have a cat, do some research on what to expect and how to interpret the first signs of potential complications. We answer all questions about pregnancy in cats and give you tips so that you can best support your velvet paw.

Table of Contents:

Gestation time in cats: how long are cats pregnant?

The pregnancy in cats usually lasts 63 to 67 days, but it is difficult to determine exactly how long a cat is pregnant. The gestation time is different for cats and varies between 61 and 72 days.

Signs of pregnancy in cats

Often times, a pregnant cat will not have any physical signs of pregnancy for the first few weeks. If you think your cat is pregnant, get the veterinarian to examine it.

If you want to know how to tell if a cat is pregnant, there are a few physical signs of pregnancy in cats that you can look out for after two to three weeks.

  • About 15 to 18 days after the onset of pregnancy, cats will have their teats swollen and pink to reddish in color.
  • Similar to morning sickness in humans, your pregnant cat may also feel nauseous and vomit over a period of time. However, if you find that she vomits regularly or feels uncomfortable, speak to the veterinarian.
  • Your cat's belly is slowly getting bigger, but you shouldn't touch it. Otherwise, you could injure the mother or her unborn cubs. However, there are other reasons for a bloated stomach as well. Therefore, watch your cat for any symptoms of illness and contact the veterinarian if you are concerned.
  • Your cat will gain between 1 and 2 kg (depending on the number of young) during the gestation period - this weight gain is a clear indication that it is pregnant.
  • Cat ladies have an increased appetite at the end of their gestation period, which also affects their weight. However, an increased appetite can also be an indication of a worm infestation or an illness. Therefore, have your cat examined by the veterinarian.
  • Your cat may become cuddly, which means it purrs more and demands more care and attention from you.

In some veterinary practices, pregnancy can be determined as early as 15 days after mating with the help of an ultrasound scan. The vet can also tell you how many kittens your cat is expecting from the 40th day of gestation. Be aware, however, that if your cat is pregnant, a larger kitten can hide its smaller siblings in the uterus, which could mean that you end up facing more kittens than you expected!

Tips for pregnancy in cats

Is Your Cat Pregnant? That's great news! Aside from all the excitement, keep in mind that your cat will need extra care, security, and attention during pregnancy.

Switching to kitten food

A plus in protein and energy ensures that your cat has sufficient reserves of strength during pregnancy. Normal recipes for adult cats are ideal for daily feeding, but are not tailored to the additional needs of the expectant mother. We therefore recommend that you feed your cat kitten food again from the first few weeks of pregnancy until after the young are weaned. You can find more information about the correct feeding of pregnant cats here.


As your cat starts making pregnancy hormones, it is likely to become a little more affectionate and in need of a cuddle. Love and affection play a huge role in caring for pregnant cats. Remember, however, that the more your cat changes, the more careful you should be with your cat. Of course, you can continue to pet your pregnant cat, but avoid her belly when doing this. This area is very sensitive and touching it could make her uncomfortable or even injure the unborn cubs. If you need to lift your pregnant cat, make sure that she is resting on your hand with her hind legs as she lifts it. Avoid exuberant behavior in cats towards the end of the pregnancy and try to give them as much space as possible. Make sure that she remains as calm as possible during this time, as overly vigorous movements only add to stress.


Ideally, your pregnant cat will have had all of the necessary vaccinations right before mating. Healthy dams can pass on their immunity to their young by suckling, which is why you should ensure that the amount of antibodies is as large as possible. Ask the veterinarian to test your cat's blood for the presence of antibodies and determine if further vaccinations are needed.

However, you should keep in mind that some vaccinations are not suitable for pregnant cats. So if you are already pregnant and vaccinations are due, you should always discuss with the veterinarian which vaccinations are harmless for mother and kittens.

If your cat is pregnant but not vaccinated, then there is nothing to worry about. Everything should go well, but if you have any concerns speak to the veterinarian.


Worms can be passed on from the mother to the young, so worming should be continued throughout pregnancy. You should also continue to treat your cat for fleas - ask the vet what medication you can use without harming the mother or the young.

Build a throwing camp

Keep your cat indoors for the last two weeks of pregnancy to prevent her from giving birth outdoors. You can prepare your cat for birth by building a litter box or litter box for her to be comfortable in during and after the birth. The best way to do this is to use a cardboard box and place clean sheets, duvet covers or towels in it. Make sure that the box is big enough for your cat and its litter, but also high enough so that the curious kittens cannot go exploring. Set up the throwing bearing in a pleasantly warm place at room temperature. Do not be surprised if your pregnant cat chooses a different location than the one you have prepared for the birth. In this case, simply take the kittens to the litter box after they are born when you think they will be more comfortable there. Make sure the new place is warm enough for her when her mother isn't around to keep her warm. It is best to put a grain pillow warmed up in the microwave in it; a hot water bottle is not so suitable as the kittens could make holes in it with their sharp teeth or claws!

Cats During Pregnancy: Recognizing Complications

Several symptoms can indicate a problem during pregnancy in cats. If you notice any of the symptoms below, contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • Your pregnant cat no longer wants to eat. Loss of appetite can occur shortly before birth, but your cat should be happy and healthy in all respects for the remainder of the gestation period.
  • She is obviously disturbed and restless, screams more than usual and licks her sex more often without kittens coming out.
  • You notice abnormal, malodorous discharge from your sex or blood during pregnancy in a cat or the birth of a cat.

She goes to the litter box again and again, crouches down without urinating, or blood leaks. These could be signs of a urinary tract infection which, if left untreated, could affect the unborn kittens.

The cat birth

How many young can cats have?

How many offspring a cat gives birth is always different and depends on many factors such as the cat breed. As a rule, cats have 3 to 6 young per litter. The first litter is an exception: here the average is 2 to 3 kittens.

Signs of imminent childbirth

Although your cat is perfectly capable of making it through the birth on its own, you should still be prepared by the end of the gestation period. It is always good to be there right away, to persuade her to be able to help, should there be any complications. There are a few signs of an impending cat birth to watch out for:

  • If your pregnant cat refuses to feed, becomes restless, and looks for a private space, there is a good chance that she will go into labor very soon.
  • Your cat's body temperature will drop to approximately 37.8 ° C in the 12 to 24 hours before it is born.
  • Shortly before the birth, the expectant mother may become a little louder, appear restless or want to keep cleaning herself.
  • The birth is preceded by strong contractions in the lower abdomen, followed by some vaginal flow. If the discharge is thick and black or bloody, you should contact your veterinarian. After this discharge, the kittens should follow very quickly!

Gestation and cat births usually go smoothly. We have listed the most important warning signals for you so that you can recognize possible complications in good time and take action:

Warning signs of problems during labor

When your heavily pregnant cat goes into labor, he or she will become restless before lying down to give birth. Check back often during a cat's birth. But you don't have to stay with her all the time. You should only intervene and call the veterinarian in the following cases:

  • The cat has been in violent labor for more than an hour and has not yet given birth. You can recognize labor by the fact that the abdominal area hardens.
  • Even after three to four hours there are still no kittens born (see labor and delivery).
  • Not all kittens are born within 24 hours of the start of the birth process.
  • Judging by the number of boys, there are not enough placentas to be seen - this can be an indication of placentas that have not yet been excreted.
  • You can see a kitten by the sex of your cat, but the kitten will not be fully born, even when pressed hard.

While it may be a sad experience for you, some kittens may not survive birth. In the event of a late pregnancy miscarriage in cats, the veterinarian should examine your cat to make sure it was not caused by an infectious disease.

Warning signs after the cat is born

  • The mother cat is shaking, restless, or agitated - these could be signs of eclampsia.
  • The mother is still pressing, even though all the kittens are already born.
  • The mother is not doing well, she refuses to feed, vomits or has a fever. Typical signs of a fever are loss of appetite, depression, listlessness, decreased water intake, tremors, or rapid breathing.
  • Your discharge is smelly or contains fresh blood (black / reddish discharge is normal for a few weeks after you are born).
  • The mother cat's mammary glands turn red, harden, or are obviously painful.
  • Discharge from the teats that is foul smelling, brown in color, or bloody.
  • You notice “poor people” among the boys. Poor kittens are kittens who are weak, hardly gain weight, only suckle poorly or generally appear very calm.