Roblin Animal Hospital/ Red River Spay and Neuter:
Feline Pregnancy and Delivery
Pregnancy in a cat will last about 60-66 days with a general average of 63 days.
Pregnancy in cats can be diagnosed by ultra sound after 14 days.
Pregnancy in a cat can be diagnosed by abdominal palpation oafter 16-30 days. It is recomended that this be done by a veterianrian as to not hurt the fetus'.
After 43 days x-rays can be performed to diagnose pregnancy and count the number of fetus'.
One way to determine if your cat is going to deliver soon is to monitor her temperature. As you get close to the end of her gestation get into the habbit of checking her temperature at the same time every day. You can do this by lubricating a themometer and placing it in her rectum (not all cats will allow this). Their regular temperature should be between 38-39.2 degrees celsius. Once their temperature drops below 37.8 degrees celcius they should deliver within 24 hours.
Once the cat is ready to deliver she will choose her own nesting place. They usually start to look for a nesting area 24- 48 hours before labor begins.
Cats that are about to go into labour often lick at their abdomen and vaginal area persistantly. Their breathing often increases and they being to yowl.
During labor, she should be left alone as much as possible.
Kittens should appear no longer than an hour after active labor begins.
A normal interval between each kitten may be as long as 1 hour. She may ignore any newborn kittens other than licking at the placenta and breaking the umbilical cord.
Kittins are born in a fluid filled embriotic sac. Mothers usually start licking at the sac immediatly to open it up and stimulate the kitten to breath. In rare cases the mother may not free the kitten from the embriotic sac. If this occurs you may do it for her. Afterwards rub the kitten with a warm dry towel to help stimulate it to breath.
Mothers will also chew apart the umbilical cord. Again in rare cases she will forget to do this. If this occurs you can tie it off with some dental floss or string and snip it off about an inch long.
Often the mother will begin nursing the kittens before all of them are out. This stimulates the uterus to to continue contrating.
If the mother eats the after birth dont be alarmed! It is completely normal for animals to do this!
After birth the mother may continue to discharge a bloody colored fluid for up to 10 days. Often the mother cleans it up before you really notice it. If the fluid becomes yellow or greenish and has a strong odor contact your veterinarian.
Once delivery is over quietly clean up the mess. Place food and water close to the mother as she will not want to get up and move far from her kittens to eat and drink.
- If the cat is actively straining hard for more than 30 minutes, seek veterinary care.
- If the cat is mildly straining for 3 hours without producing any kittens, seek veterinary care.
- If she seems overly agitated, confused, she may need to be seen.
A c- section may need to be performed in an emergency.
Most cats deliver easily and without problem!
REMEMBER: It is always better for the cat NOT to have a litter before she is spayed. Spaying a cat not only reduces the pet population, but also reduces her risk for behavioural issues and cancer.