How To Tell If My Cat Is Pregnant? [Answered]

If you find yourself asking, "How do I tell if my cat is pregnant?", you are in the right place. Figuring out feline pregnancy can be a difficult task, especially if you've recently adopted a stray or forgotten to spay. This article is here to make the task a little easier.

In the sections to follow, we'll guide you through the key indications of cat pregnancy - from physical changes to behavioral clues.

We'll also cover what to do if you think your cat might be pregnant, including how to confirm the pregnancy and potential next steps.

Whether your cat has been in heat recently, her behavior has changed, or her tummy seems to be growing, we have the answers to your pressing questions.

Please bear in mind, this article is a guide, and nothing can replace the expertise of a vet. Let's get started.

tell if my cat is pregnant

"How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Pregnant?"

Unfortunately, it's a question we get quite often in the Care for Pregnant Cats and Kittens forum. It is unfortunate because if it's your cat, you should spay her at 4-5 months of age and not have to ask whether or not she's pregnant.

There are of course cases where people take in a stray cat, not even knowing if she is spayed or not, and they want to try and assess her condition. Either way, we're here to help.

Has The Cat Mated?

If you know that a female cat was in heat and outside, then in all likelihood she is pregnant.

The act of mating is typically brief. Should an unspayed female cat in heat venture outdoors, neighborhood male cats will rapidly gravitate towards her, akin to heat-seeking missiles locking onto their target.

Consider taking her to the vet ASAP for a spaying procedure before any early signs of pregnancy even appear.

If you don't know whether or not the cat was outside or has mated, then there are signs you can look for.


Recognizing Pregnancy in Cats: Physical Indicators

Ascertaining feline pregnancy involves a keen eye for subtle changes in your cat's body. Recognizing these physical signs can aid in confirming a suspected pregnancy.

Early Changes: The Pinkening of Nipples

The initial sign of pregnancy surfaces around two to three weeks after conception. Your cat's nipples may start to swell and take on a deeper pink hue.

This transformation, often referred to as 'pinking up', may be more noticeable in cats with lighter fur or skin.

The Belly Tells the Tale: The Growth of the Abdomen

As the pregnancy progresses, your cat's abdomen starts to expand. This gradual enlargement of the belly is due to the growth of kittens inside the uterus.

During this phase, the cat might gain approximately two to five pounds of weight. The bulge becomes prominent and more apparent from every viewpoint.

Longhair Cats: Concealed Signs

In longhaired breeds, the swelling of the belly may not be immediately apparent. Their thick, long fur can camouflage the expanding abdomen for some time.

However, as the pregnancy progresses, even their fluffy coats will not be able to hide the signs.


tell if my cat is pregnant

Be Observant, Be Sure

Accurate detection of pregnancy in cats often hinges on our ability to spot these subtle bodily changes.

Paying attention to these physical signs can help ensure that, if your cat is indeed expecting, she receives the necessary care and attention.

Always confirm your suspicions with a visit to the vet to guarantee the well-being of both the mother and her upcoming litter.

Recognizing Pregnancy in Cats: Behavioral Indicators

Apart from physical signs, a cat's behavior can also hint at her possible pregnancy. Understanding these shifts in demeanor can further support your suspicions and guide your next steps.

The End of Heat Cycles: A Shift in Patterns

A significant change in a cat's behavior during the early stages of pregnancy is the cessation of heat cycles.

If you've been attempting to keep a cat in heat indoors, you may notice that her previously frequent heat cycles have halted. This is a consequence of hormonal adjustments as she prepares for motherhood.

The Tale of Two Appetites: Changes in Eating Habits

Changes in eating patterns often accompany pregnancy in cats. The early weeks may see a decrease in appetite, similar to morning sickness experienced by some pregnant humans.

Conversely, during the latter half of pregnancy, your cat might start eating more than usual. Ensure to provide her with adequate, high-quality nutrition during this phase.

An Important Note on Eating Habits

If your cat completely stops eating, don't disregard this as a mere pregnancy symptom. A cat not eating for more than a couple of days can have grave health implications.

If you notice such a change, seek immediate veterinary assistance.

Affectionate Felines: Altered Social Behavior

You may also observe a shift in your cat's social behavior. Some owners report that their cats become more affectionate during pregnancy.

As a responsible pet parent, it's important to understand and respond to your cat's needs. Whether she seeks extra attention or prefers more privacy, respecting her cues is crucial.

Behavior as a Clue

Behavioral changes are strong indicators of a cat's potential pregnancy. Observing these shifts in appetite, social behavior, and routine can provide vital insights into her condition.

However, always ensure to validate your observations with a veterinarian to guarantee your cat's health and well-being.

Confirming Your Cat's Pregnancy: A Guide

Once you've noticed potential signs of pregnancy in your cat, it's time to confirm your observations. A trip to your vet or taking an in-home pregnancy test can provide definitive answers.

When to Visit the Vet: Assessing Pregnancy

When the pregnancy is advanced, it becomes quite apparent. If you're unsure, a visit to your vet can offer clarity.

Your vet will conduct a thorough check-up, visually inspecting your cat's body shape and nipples. They might also gently palpitate your cat's abdomen to feel the kittens, if present.

Ultrasound: An Insight into the Litter Size

Sometimes, professional breeders opt for an ultrasound test to confirm pregnancy and estimate the number of kittens.

While this isn't necessary for most healthy pregnant cats, it's an option if you're curious and can afford the procedure.

Feline Pregnancy Test Kits: Convenient but Tricky

For cat owners who prefer an in-home solution, feline pregnancy test kits are available. However, these kits involve drawing a blood sample from your cat.

This is typically not a practical solution for most cat owners, as it requires the skills of a vet or a veterinary technician. Sinc you need a veterinarian or a veterinarian technician to draw the blood for you, you may as well have the vet confirm the pregnancy by other means.

Certainty Over Speculation

Though the aforementioned signs can suggest a pregnancy, the surest way to know is by consulting a professional.

Remember, your vet's advice and professional opinion is paramount when it comes to your cat's health and well-being. Don't hesitate to reach out to them if you suspect your cat is pregnant.


I Think My Cat Is Pregnant - What's Next?

So, you think your cat is pregnant? What should you do now? You have some decisions to make, and it's essential to consider all aspects carefully.

Considering a Spay-Abort Procedure: A Difficult Choice

One option is to consider a spay-abort procedure. This can be a challenging decision and one that's deeply personal.

Remember, though, by allowing your cat to give birth, you might inadvertently add to the overpopulation and euthanization of cats.

Even if you find homes for the kittens, there are already other kittens needing homes that may end up euthanized instead.

Opting for Birth: Read, Prepare, Plan

On the other hand, if you choose to let the cat carry the pregnancy to term, it's time to educate yourself about the birth process and newborn kitten care.

Start with understanding the basics, gather resources, and prepare an emergency fund for any medical emergencies during delivery or post-birth care.

Finding Forever Homes: An Essential Task

One of your most important tasks will be to find loving, permanent homes for the kittens. For help with this process, check out our guide on how to find good homes for kittens.

In Conclusion: Ensuring Your Pregnant Cat's Well-being

At the end of the day, your primary focus should be on ensuring the well-being of your potentially pregnant cat.

Whether you're looking for signs of pregnancy or determining what to do next, every decision must be made with the cat's health in mind.

By remaining informed and vigilant, you can make the best decisions for your feline friend and any potential new additions.

Seeking Help: Our Pregnant Cat & Kitten Care Forum

If you have more questions or need advice, don't hesitate to post your queries in our Pregnant Cat & Kitten Care forum. Our community is here to support and guide you through this journey. Good luck!

Last, but not least, start looking for potential forever homes for the kittens on the way. Read these tips on how to find good homes for kittens. Good luck!

Have more questions? Post them in the Pregnant Cat & Kitten Care forum.

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Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!

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13 comments on “How To Tell If My Cat Is Pregnant? [Answered]

Angela June 22, 2021
My indoor cat that is in heat escape the other day and they found her about 22 hours after I brought her home and now it’s been two days they have passed and she’s puking all day long I don’t understand why she’s puking could you be pregnant and is the puking normal to start only two days after meeting I’m not sure if she made it or not but she was in heat and outside for 22 hours so I’m not sure if the puking could be because she’s pregnant is it normal for pregnant cats to puke only two days after may be meeting? Any help would be appreciated I cannot afford to bring her to a vet and I’m having a heart attack over here. Thank you and God bless. Angela
Hayley January 14, 2021
It sounds like she might be pregnant. That's the first sign..... Her nipples get a darker pink in color and are enlarged. She will be more affectionate asks also will have "vomiting" her appetite will decrease and she'll drink more water. Then about 2- 3 weeks into it she'll eat more.
ColoradoCat December 19, 2020
I have a young female foster cat that I THINK is around 7-8 weeks pregnant (she was rescued from a hoarding situation about six weeks ago and I'm not entirely sure how far along she is) and I'm curious if it's normal for her nipples to be pink to almost reddish but not particularly swollen or producing milk yet. The poor thing is probably only about 6-7 months old herself.
    mani April 18, 2021
    Hi Angelkoi! As the article suggests, please post your question in forum Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care That's where our forum members hang out and they can provide you with advice and support. Thanks!
Kitten girl (aka Keira) May 4, 2020
I don’t see my comment I made before so my cat barely had any nipples a little less than 2 weeks ago and now their kinda big and the top ones are still a little clear but the last 2 rows are kinda pinkish is she pregnant please let me know soon
    Kitten girl (aka Keira) May 4, 2020
    It’s me again to add on I would send you a picture but I don’t know how
Keira May 4, 2020
2 weeks ago my wild cat barely had any nipples and you could barely then now their bigger, easy to see, and a like pinkish color and I really need to know if she’s pregnant I would take her to the vet but their closed due to the virus anyway can you help me
Furballsmom July 1, 2019
Angelkoi said:
 is she pregnant
Hi Angelkoi! As the article suggests, please post your question in forum Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care That's where our forum members hang out and they can provide you with advice and support. Thanks!
Christina50 February 20, 2019
Christina50 said:
Im not sure whats going on. I rescued what i thought was a pregnant cat. She is very loving and very much a part of our family now. Recently she has started vomiting. No diet changes. And when she gets milk it is the kind made for cats. Is this morning sickness? She is little less than a month pregnant. Could she have something else wrong with her?
Update: i took my cat in for vaccinations and they felt a mass in her belly. They were afraid it was something that could rupture possibly so we decided to have her spayed the next day so they could look into what this lg mass was. I got a phone call after her surgery she had 2 mumified kittens in her belly. Has anyone ever heard of this or have experience please reply.
Angelkoi February 17, 2019
 is she pregnant
    dshea5269 March 14, 2020
    Did yor cat turnout to be pregnant? I have a cat that's about 4 weeks along (I think) and her nipples are still whitish, not really pink.
      Ashley1984 May 27, 2021
      Same here. Was yours pregnant. The cat i have is about 5 months and she was outside before we brought her in so im wondering why the long white nipples. Thank you
Christina50 January 17, 2019
Im not sure whats going on. I rescued what i thought was a pregnant cat. She is very loving and very much a part of our family now. Recently she has started vomiting. No diet changes. And when she gets milk it is the kind made for cats. Is this morning sickness? She is little less than a month pregnant. Could she have something else wrong with her?

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