How Long are Cats Pregnant?

Many cat owners often wonder how long cats stay pregnant. Knowing this helps us prepare for kitten arrival and properly care for the mother cat. The following article answers the question, “How long are cats pregnant?”. We talked about Typical Duration of Cat Pregnancy and Understanding Cat Pregnancy. As well as Factors Influencing Pregnancy Time Change and Labor and Delivery. 

Understanding how cats have babies is really important for cat owners. Unlike humans who take nine months, cats have a shorter but still interesting time being pregnant. This time when a cat is pregnant is called gestation. Knowing the duration and events of cat pregnancy helps ensure proper care for both mother and kittens. 

See also: Are Cats Smarter than Dogs?

Understanding Cat Pregnancy

Cats are known for being independent and sometimes mysterious, but when they’re pregnant, they go through some big changes. They might act differently, and their bodies change too. Cats, just like other animals, go through pregnancy before having babies. But unlike people, cats have shorter pregnancies. The length can change a bit based on factors like breed and health. It’s really important for cat owners and breeders to know how long a cat’s pregnancy usually lasts. 

How Long are Cats Pregnant?

Typical Duration of Cat Pregnancy

Knowing how long cats stay pregnant is important for cat owners and breeders. Normally, a cat’s pregnancy lasts about 9 weeks, which is around 63 to 65 days. However, this can change based on different things.

See also: Can a Dog Get a Cat Pregnant? 

Factors Influencing Pregnancy Time Change 

A few things can affect how long a cat is pregnant. These include the type of cat, how old and healthy she is, and the place she lives. Also, the number of kittens she’s carrying and the traits she’s born with can make a difference. 

Different Types of Cats Breed 

Some cats may have shorter or longer pregnancies than others. For instance, big cats like Maine Coons might have pregnancies that last a bit longer than smaller cats. 

How Long are Cats Pregnant?

Age and Health 

Younger cats and ones in good health might have shorter pregnancies. But older cats or ones that aren’t healthy might take longer to have their kittens. 

See also: Do Male Cats Go Into Heat?

Where They Live 

Where a cat lives can also affect how long she’s pregnant. Cats in warm places might have shorter pregnancies, while those in colder places might take a bit longer. If a cat is very stressed or worried, that could also make her pregnancy last longer. 

Number of Kittens 

If a cat is having a lot of kittens, she might give birth a little earlier than a cat with fewer kittens. The mother cat’s body has to adjust to having more babies, which might change when she gives birth. 

How Long are Cats Pregnant?

Inherited Traits 

Some traits that cats are born with might make their pregnancies longer or shorter. People who breed cats might notice certain patterns in how long pregnancies last in different families of cats. 

See also: Why Does My Cat Headbutt Me?

First Trimester: Early Signs and Growth 

In the first part of a cat’s pregnancy, some small changes start happening. These changes are important for the cat and her babies. Let’s look at what happens during this time and how we can help our pregnant cats. 

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Baby Cats Begin to Grow 

When a cat gets pregnant, tiny eggs travel to her tummy and attach themselves there. They start growing into baby cats. This is called implantation. The mom cat’s body starts giving these babies the food they need to grow big and strong. 

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Changes in Behavior 

Pregnant cats might start acting a bit differently. They might want more cuddles, find cozy spots to rest, and sometimes not feel like eating much. They might even feel a bit sick sometimes and throw up. 

Body Changes 

Even though the mom cat’s belly might not look much bigger yet, her shape could start to change a bit. Her nipples might also look a little different, getting bigger and darker. 

See also: Why Does My Cat Sleep At My Feet?

Eating Right 

During this time, it’s super important to feed mom cats the right food. They need lots of good stuff like protein, vitamins, and minerals to help their babies grow well. So, giving them food made specially for pregnant cats is a good idea. 

Veterinary Care 

Taking the mom cat to the vet early on is really important. The vet can check if she’s really pregnant and make sure she’s healthy. They might use special tools like an ultrasound machine to see how many babies she’s going to have. The vet can also give advice on keeping mom and babies healthy. 

The first part of a cat’s pregnancy is just the start of an amazing journey. By noticing the early signs and giving mom cats the right care, we can help them have healthy babies. In the next section, we’ll talk more about how mom cats change during the middle part of their pregnancy. 

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Second Trimester: Visible Changes and Baby Growth 

In the middle part of a cat’s pregnancy, something big is happening inside the momma cat. This is when the kittens are growing a lot. You can see some changes on the outside too. One big change is how the mother cat’s belly gets bigger. This occurs as a result of the babies developing inside her. You might notice her sides getting rounder and a big bump forming near her tummy. 

Sometimes, a vet can feel the babies inside the momma cat’s belly. They do this by gently touching her tummy. Other times, they use a special machine called an ultrasound to look inside her belly and see the babies. 

During this time, it’s super important to make sure the momma cat is eating good food. She needs lots of nutrients to help her babies grow strong and healthy. Talk to the vet about what kind of food is best for her during this time. The momma cat might also act a little differently during this time. She might want more cuddles from you or start getting ready for the babies by making a cozy spot. Making sure she feels safe and comfy is really important for her and her babies. 

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Overall, the middle part of a cat’s pregnancy is when you can really see the changes happening. The momma cat’s belly gets bigger as the babies grow, and it’s important to give her lots of love and care during this time. 

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Third Trimester: Getting Ready for Birth 

As the cat’s pregnancy gets closer to the end, she starts doing things that show she’s getting ready to have her kittens. During the third trimester, ensuring the mom cat’s comfort and safety is crucial for birth readiness. 

Finding a Cozy Spot 

When the cat is almost ready to give birth, she’ll start looking for a quiet and comfy place to have her kittens. You might notice her checking out different spots around your home, like closets or quiet corners. Giving her soft blankets or towels can help her make a cozy nest for her babies. 

Signs Labor is Coming 

As the big day gets closer, the cat’s body starts getting ready for labor. She might act restless, walk around a lot, or meow more than usual. Sometimes, she’ll go back to her nesting spot more often. Watching for these signs can help you know when it’s almost time for the kittens to arrive. 

See also: Can Cats Swim?

Making a Good Birthing Spot 

It’s important to set up a comfy area where the cat can have her kittens safely. Find a quiet room where she can have privacy. You can put together a cozy bed for her, maybe with a box or a soft bed. She will feel more secure and safe doing this during labor. 

Besides getting things ready physically, it’s also good for you to get ready mentally. Learning about what happens during labor and having some supplies ready, like clean towels and a way to contact the vet if there’s an emergency, can help you stay calm and be ready to help when the time comes. 

By understanding what’s important during the third trimester of a cat’s pregnancy and getting ready for the birth, you can make sure the mom cat and her kittens have the best start possible. Providing a cozy and safe space for them will help them feel happy and healthy as they start their new lives together. 

See also: Can Cats Eat Cherries?

Labor and Delivery

When it’s time for the kittens to be born, the mother cat goes into labor. This means her body starts getting ready to give birth. Labor happens in different stages, and there are things owners should watch out for. 

Start of Labor 

Labor begins with the mother cat feeling contractions in her belly. These contractions help her body prepare to push the kittens out. Owners might notice the cat acting restless or finding a cozy spot to have her babies. 

How Long Labor Lasts 

Every cat is different, so labor can be short or take longer. It’s important for owners to be patient and keep an eye on their cat during labor. Sometimes, the cat might need help from a vet if things don’t go smoothly. 

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See also: Can Cats Eat Bananas?

Helping the Mother Cat 

Most of the time, cats can give birth without any help. But if the cat seems to be struggling or if something doesn’t seem right, it’s best to call the vet. They can give advice or even help the cat if she needs it. 

Taking Care After Birth 

After each kitten is born, the mother cat takes care of them. Owners should let the mother do her thing and only step in if something seems wrong. Keeping an eye on the cat and her kittens is important to make sure they’re all healthy. 

See also: Is Lemongrass Safe for Cats?

What to Do in an Emergency 

Most cat births go smoothly, but sometimes there are problems. Signs of trouble include long breaks between kittens, too much bleeding, or weird stuff coming out. If any of these happen, it’s urgent to get help from a vet. 

Giving birth is natural for cats, and they usually know what to do. But owners should still be ready to help if needed. During labor, watch the cat closely. Seek vet help if anything seems wrong. Ensure the cat and kittens are safe. 

Taking Care of Mom and Babies After Birth 

Once the kittens are born, the mother cat needs time to rest and recover. She should have a quiet, cozy spot to nurse her babies without any disturbances. It’s important to keep an eye on her to make sure she’s doing okay. If she seems to be in pain or not eating, it’s best to call the vet for advice.

See also: Can Cats Eat Coconut? 

Looking After the Kittens 

Newborn kittens are very fragile and rely completely on their mom. Make sure they’re nursing regularly and gaining weight. Keep their bed clean and dry to keep them healthy, and handle them gently when you need to move them. 

Watching the Kittens Grow 

As the days go by, keep an eye on how the kittens are growing. Check their weight and watch for signs of them opening their eyes and starting to move around. It’s a good idea to take them to the vet for check-ups to make sure they’re healthy. 

See also: What does Catnip do to Cats?

How Long are Cats Pregnant?


Knowing how long cats are pregnant and what happens during that time is important for cat owners. By understanding the different stages of pregnancy and birth, we can make sure our pets stay healthy and happy. 

Taking care of a pregnant cat and her kittens can be challenging. However, with proper guidance and vet support, it’s manageable. Our furry friends depend on us, and it’s up to us to make sure they have everything they need to thrive. 

See also: https://www.veterinarians.org/how-long-are-dogs-pregnant/ 

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