What are the signs of pregnancy in cats?
The gestation period for a cat is 63-65 days. This varies between cat though, and anywhere between 60 to 70 days is normal. Unlike humans, it is not possible to determine a pregnancy via a blood or urine test in cats.
However, there are often indicators that your cat is pregnant, some signs include:
- By the third week of pregnancy, the cat’s nipples will become enlarged and pink. This is known as ‘pinking-up’.
- By the fourth week of pregnancy, she should have gained enough weight to make her pregnancy visible.
- By 3-4 weeks your veterinarian should be able to palpate the abdomen and feel the babies.
How does the veterinarian confirm pregnancy?
An experienced veterinarian will be able to feel the abdomen and feel the kittens around 17 – 25 days. Do NOT attempt to do this at home as you may cause miscarriage or damage to the developing kittens. After 32 days the developing fetuses and fetal membranes become difficult to distinguish.
The fetal bone structure can be seen on x-rays around the 43rd day. An X-ray should be avoided in early pregnancy.
Pregnancy can also be detected by ultrasound. By around day 26 the fetus and heartbeats can be seen.