How do I know if my cat is pregnant?

If you think that your cat might be pregnant check her nipples. They become more prominent and pinker by three weeks of gestation. By 4-5 weeks after conception a veterinarian will be able to palpate your cat to feel golf ball sized swellings in her abdomen. And then soon afterwards you can see her enlarged belly. Pregnancy lasts about nine weeks. But overall, there are few signs of pregnancy.

Pregnant cat
Pregnant cat. Image by Marc Pascual from Pixabay.
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A reference bookA that I have explains how to determine pregnancy. They say that there is no early pregnancy detection test available for our feline friends as there is for humans. But there are signs, and I mention one of them above. In addition, there will be a slight gain in weight.

An experienced abdominal ultrasound user may be able to detect pregnancy as early as day 15. And the heartbeat of the kittens is detectable by day 20 and these tests are hard evidence that your darling female cat is pregnant.

Pregnant leopard at Johannesburg Zoo
Pregnant leopard at Johannesburg Zoo. Photo: the zoo.

During pregnancy a domestic cat might become more affectionate than normal and understandably they become hungrier. I can remember feeding a pregnant cat who came to me all the time because she liked me. She liked to eat lightly cooked kidneys and would lie down on top of the microwave waiting for them. Her owner disliked the fact that she preferred me and came around to my home to take her back which she strongly objected to. I think that he was a terrible owner who kept her pregnant because he said that her behaviour improved when she was pregnant. However, I think he simply wanted to produce kittens perhaps for sale but he gave us a couple and I fell deeply in love with the female who sadly died prematurely through my negligence. I have never forgotten it and never will. I still grieve for her 26 years later.

Pregnant F2 Savannah cat
Pregnant F2 Savannah cat. Photo: Michael Broad. Location: A1 Savannahs. OK, USA.

A: Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook.


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