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How long are cats pregnant?

Female cats can become pregnant up to five times a year! Knowing the signs and what to do can help make each pregnancy go smoothly. Here, our Lacey vets discuss how long a cat is pregnant and what to expect during delivery.

How many kittens will your pregnant cat have?

Female cats can have as many as five litters of kittens a year. Each litter can have between one and nine kittens, although the average tends to be between four and six kittens. This means your unspayed female cat could have an astounding 30 kittens yearly! That's a lot of kittens to find loving homes for, which is why our veterinarians recommend having your female kitten spayed before she goes into her first heat. If a female cat is not spayed, they could begin having her own kittens as young as four months old.

How long are cats pregnant in weeks?

The full length of a healthy cat's pregnancy is about approximately nine weeks or 63 to 65 days.

How long are cats pregnant in months?

Since a cat's pregnancy is roughly nine weeks long, this length of time equals two months. 

The Different Stages of Pregnancy

The full gestation period of a cat is divided into three distinct phases or trimesters, similar to a human pregnancy.

First Trimester (1 - 21 Days)

Detecting the first trimester of your cat's pregnancy is very difficult. Your cat may begin to show subtle changes, but only the most observant pet parents will likely spot any signs. You may notice that your feline friend's appetite increases slightly, or behavioral changes may occur.

Second Trimester (21 - 42 Days)

Physical signs will gradually become more apparent as your kitty's pregnancy progresses. Your cat's tummy may grow and stick out more. When more signs appear, it's a good time to head to the vet to confirm your cat's pregnancy. This will be done with a physical examination and an ultrasound. Your veterinarian can provide valuable guidance on how to care for your cat during her pregnancy. They will also share the steps you can take to help ensure your cat has a successful birthing process.

Third Trimester (42 - 63 Days)

During the final weeks of your cat's pregnancy, you can spot several more obvious changes to your pet. The most obvious sign is that your kitty's abdomen will become visibly swollen. She may begin exhibiting 'nesting' behaviors in preparation for the arrival of her kittens. You may also notice a large increase in your kitty's appetite.

What happens during labor and delivery?

Cats will most likely give birth when they reach day 63 of their pregnancy. It is also normal for them to give birth between days 63 and 65. Signs that your kitty is in labor include restlessness, pacing, and vocalization.

Once a cat's labor begins, it should progress fairly quickly. Kittens tend to arrive at intervals throughout four to six hours. There could be as little as ten minutes between the birth of each kitten or as long as an hour. In some cases, complications may arise, and it's essential to have a veterinarian's contact information readily available as the big day approaches. 

If your cat shows any signs of distress, contact your primary care vet immediately for immediate guidance or visit your nearest animal emergency hospital, such as ours, in Lacey.

Preparing for Your Cat's Kittens

To ensure a healthy pregnancy and smooth delivery, provide your pregnant cat with a nutritious diet, access to plenty of fresh water, and a quiet, comfortable space to rest. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential. These examinations allow your veterinarian to monitor your cat's overall health and address any concerns.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat experiencing complications during pregnancy, labor or delivery? Contact Olympia Pet Emergency today for emergency veterinary care.

Walk-in Patients Welcome

At Olympia Pet Emergency, you can always access our full complement of emergency services without an appointment. We treat both walk-in patients and referrals for urgent veterinary care.

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