How To Tell If Your Cat Is In Labor

How To Tell If Your Cat Is In LaborIt’s a very exciting time. Your household (along with your cat, of course) is expecting a new litter of kittens. A cat’s pregnancy lasts for 64 to 67 days or approximately 9 weeks.

But how can you tell when your cat’s going into labor? Here’s a list of signs that are good indicators that labor is imminent!

5 Signs To Know Your Cat Is In Labor

Mammary glands will increase in size

During the final week of pregnancy, the mammary glands of your cat will increase in size. Her mammary glands are arranged in 2 parallel rows running along the outside body wall that extends from the groin area up to the underside of her chest. Cats usually have 4 pairs of mammary glands. Approximately 2 days before your cat gives birth, she’ll start to produce milk.

You may notice some cream colored thick secretions coming out of her nipples. Your cat might lick it off or she could just let it dry up and you’ll notice that her nipples will have small whitish scabs on them. It’s commonly believed that each nipple has its very own unique smell, which kittens use to attach themselves repeatedly to the same nipple.

Nesting behavior will begin

Similar to humans, your cat may start nesting behavior – You can help your cat at this time by putting the kittening or nesting box in a quiet, warm room that is free from drafts. Draft-free is very important since kittens aren’t able to regulate their body temperature. Make certain that the location of the box is off limits to any other pets you may have, as well as to children. Encourage your cat to sleep inside this box as soon as you notice any nesting behavior going on.

Temperature will fall

Your cat’s normal temperature falls between 37.7º to 39.1ºC (100º to 102.5ºF) – One to two days before giving birth, her temperature will drop to 37.2ºC (99ºF). You can take her temperature in the armpit if she lets you, but usually, there are enough other signs that labor is starting that you won’t need to worry about taking her temperature.

Behavior changes

Your cat will begin to exhibit behavior changes. During the final week of the pregnancy, your cat might become reclusive (hiding out as much as possible in a secluded place in the house) or she might become extremely affectionate, which happens most if she has a close relationship with one particular caregiver – Cats that become more affectionate will want the caregiver to be right at hand. They might be clingy but also very restless.

Decrease in appetite

Your cat may have a significant decrease in appetite – This will be noticeable since most pregnant cats display an increased appetite during the pregnancy’s last weeks. The appetite decrease can be caused by the weight of the kittens pushing against their mother’s stomach, or it could simply be a symptom of general anxiety

Licking, pacing, howling, and chirping

  • You might notice your cat licking her genitalia frequently – There is a discharge from the cat’s vulva a few hours before birth starts. Your cat’s water will break as well. Now is the time for pacing, restlessness, and howling, meowing, or chirping from your cat.

All of the above are good signs that will let you know when your cat is in labor. To learn more information, contact Guildcrest Cat Hospital today!

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