How to care for a pregnant cat
Caring for any pregnant pet can feel cumbersome at times, but generally cats are very good at fending for themselves. However, during their pregnancy it is important that female cats are given extra care to ensure that not only the mother is kept healthy, but that kittens are as well.
A cat’s personality may change during the course of her pregnancy, and even the most enigmatic or independant of felines may suddenly seek out the comfort of their human companion.
Feline pregnancies last between 57 and 69 days, averaging at around 63 to 64. There are many different aspects of care that need to be considered when caring for a pregnant cat including diet and nutrition, preparing for the birth and general health.
Diet and nutrition
Everyday cat food does not generally contain adequate nutrient value to help keep a pregnant queen healthy. It is not advisable to increase the amount of food as this can lead to overfeeding and obesity.
Many manufacturers now produce a food specific for pregnant and nursing cats, but if it is not possible, switch to a kitten food until the kittens have been weaned.
Pregnant cats will normally continue to groom themselves. However, as their belly expands with the growing kittens, they may have some difficulties. Groom using a soft bristled brush at least once a day to keep her coat and skin in good condition.
Bed and birthing box
When they go into labour, many cats will want to hide away. Place a soft bed in a warm and quiet area, where she will not be disturbed by people or other pets. Get her used to this place by feeding her nearby.
Vets will not generally vaccinate pregnant cats or treat them for parasites as the treatments may affect the unborn kittens. However, it is still important that she is checked regularly to ensure the health of both mother and kittens.