Pregnant cat. Would like experienced input on potential due date.

ConfusedKittyOwner

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Hi everyone and thanks for taking time to look at my post. My main question is can anyone tell me what they personally experienced with cat pregnancies as far as the timeline of events and when movement was first seen, NOT felt? I find a lot of "general" advise but since I'm trying to judge from seeing not feeling it has me a bit lost. Recently I got a cat who was already pregnant. I've had her roughly a month and I have no idea how far along she actually is. I noticed her being round soon after bringing her home. She has not been a fan of belly rubs so I have only felt the movement in the past few days. On May 13th I 100% confirmed visual kitten movements by video. I thought I had seen movement a bit earlier than that, maybe around the 10th, but can not confirm. So I'm curious about when anyone thinks I could expect kittens. I have never been in this situation before and lack of experience is driving me mad. I am fully aware nobody can tell me 100% but I have stressed myself out wondering about this for days, over analyzed everything, worried myself silly, and now just hope someone with experience can toss out a little more exact info. Sorry for the long post and thank you for reading.
 
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ConfusedKittyOwner

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I can't edit my original post but I would like to add that I believe she is right at 8 weeks pregnant after discussing it with the previous owner but they were not 100% sure of her last heat cycle.
 

jefferd18

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If she was starting to show when you got her then she is half-way there. I would suspect you have roughly another month.
 
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ConfusedKittyOwner

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Thank you for replying. I've been assuming she would be due in the near future. Other than being very round in the middle and the obvious kitten movement she shows no signs of being pregnant. She runs around the house wildly in the middle of the night, plays with toys almost every time we try to play with her, jumps on furniture, eating/drinking/sleeping/bathroom habits seem normal, etc. She does everything I'd have expected from any cat. I've always had my animals spayed/neutered and I have never had a pregnant animal so I've just never been in this position and have no idea about these things and it makes me nervous. Honestly I never planned to be in this position so I'm just trying to prepare the best I can with limited history on her. I've been researching everything as much as I can but I seem to see more people speaking on feeling kitten movement vs seeing it. She wasn't interested in belly rubs so I didn't think it worth stressing her for it.
 

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ConfusedKittyOwner

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Ok. Thank you. I was assuming it would be soon since I've seen movement for over a week. The only thing I'm sure of is she is at least 5 weeks and I see kittens moving. Your cat looked very large. How many kittens did she have?
 
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ConfusedKittyOwner

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Congratulations. She's a beautiful momma. I've read stuff saying you can feel kittens a week or 2 before they are due but I gave been confused a bit as my cat is small but has obvious movement. Could she just have a small litter? I have no idea of average litter sizes.
 

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She may be having a small litter, but she will most likely get somewhat bigger soon.
 
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ConfusedKittyOwner

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I will try to give a full outline as best i can remember, although it may not be completely accurate since I'm trying to go off memory. I'm not sure it would help anyone help me with guessing a date but I'd like to hope. Keep in mind I've been careful to avoid irritating her as she is newer to the home and pregnant so I thought stressing her even shortly was just not needed.

Around the middle of last month she joined us, looking a bit round when she stood on her back legs.
A few days later, maybe 3/4 of the way through the month or April, I noticed she had a slight pooch on each side.
Around the middle of the first week of this month, just say the 6th to be safe, I thought I felt a small lump a couple time about the size of a small egg. I then felt a little more to try to see what was going on, didn't feel it again so assumed it may have been a kitten but I wasn't sure so disregarded it as potentially thinking too much and causing myself to imagine things.
Around the 10th of this month I thought I had seen kitten movement but wasn't sure.
On the 13th I took a video to confirm what I thought I was seeing and became 100% sure I seen movement.
A few days ago, maybe Sunday or Monday, I felt a kitten briefly and I thought the bump felt around the size of a kiwi.
A few times this week I have seen a small bulge on one side or the other while looking down at her when she is sanding and a quick pet confirms it to be a kitten as it seems to move out of that position pretty quickly.
Daily since the 13th I have watched movement multiple times per day, since cats pregnancy isn't generally treated the same as human pregnancy I assumed looking for movement 2-3 times per day would help me to be sure everything was normal since I am in new territory for me.

Sorry this is so long, I'm just a hair bit stressed and without knowing dates I've stressed myself over everything. I never intended to be in this kind of situation so I am just trying to prepare the best I can. I've got a half a dozen boxes tucked around with bedding in them that I've shown her, towels, droppers, syringes, should be getting kitten formula my next trip out, a hot water bottle (a rubber-like flask meant for hot water), and a heating pad. I feel prepared other than knowing when to expect labor.
 

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Are you able to get her to a vet for an x-ray? That would tell you how many and an approximate gestational age.
 
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ConfusedKittyOwner

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I have been considering it but wasn't sure how accurate it would be and knowing she came to me pregnant I know she has to be in the last third of pregnancy if 9 weeks is the typical length for cats. I also wasn't sure the stress of a trip out would be worth it if there was nothing wrong other than not knowing dates.
 

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I'd guess around a week left. I just got a pregnant foster from the shelter a few days ago. When I got her home her sides were only popping out a bit, not round at all, looked like your cat. I felt a kitten move just lightly and thought she must have about 2 weeks left. You can imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning to her nursing 4 beautiful babies. She adopted 3 more orphans and is now nursing 7 babies. She has a longer body and is a young cat plus she had already dropped so she looked deceptively small.
Has she lost the fur around her nipples yet?
 
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ConfusedKittyOwner

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Thank you for replying. She has maybe a dime or nickle sized furless area around her nipples as far as I can tell. She tends to get up for head rubs as soon as I'm near enough that she knows I'm close, so It's been hard to check too much. I managed a semi good feel earlier and I could feel 2 kittens I think but it was one area with one hand on one side so that only tells me there would be at least 2. She is far enough along that I felt more distinctive body part lumps as they rolled around. I'm afraid that I'd be too rough if I actually tried to feel for anything so this was just resting a hand on her side while she slept beside me.

I'm sorry If I cant answer anything the best. I have never had a pregnant animal and wasn't expecting one either. I worry everything could be stressful or harmful so I really just let her do her own thing and let her come to me now. I could be overreacting but I guess it's better to be safe.

I have a few more questions if anyone reading could answer.
She has slept a lot in the past week. In the past few days she has slept almost all day except eating/drinking/bathroom. If we wake her up she will play a little or want pets but goes back to sleep shortly after. Is that normal?
She hasn't are much today or yesterday, a combined total of approximately 8 ounces of wet food, a few (maybe 10) little treats, and maybe 1/4 of a cup of dry food. Would this also be normal in late pregnancy?
She has also been a bit fussy with the dog, who she usually ignores. Now if he gets close she is ready to smack him. A little background with the dog, he almost completely ignores her and does not care she is here. Occasionally he goes to see what she is doing when she is noisy (scratching post, litter box, running wildly around the house like cats do) but then sees its her and goes back to sleeping. He is old, lazy, and sleeps all day. I can't see a reason for her to be angry with him as the only times he is "near" her is usually when she runs to the door to peak out when he goes out and he passes her coming back in, they are sleeping on opposite sides of the couch, or when he goes to another room and she is laying in the hallway. Now she just seems angry with him. Could this be normal? Maybe she doesn't want him around because she's closer to being due?

I know I've read more sleep and less food can be normal leading up to labor, but this seems like so much sleep and so little food to me.

I'm sure I'm probably making a big fuss over everything but I just want to do the best I can and with everything going on in the world currently its not been as easy to get advise from vets and vet visits so I figured this might be a good place for help. I had planned to get her spayed as soon as vet visits in my area returned to something more normal as I thought a visit where I just load her up and drop her off without walking her in and everything would be more stressful. I never wanted to be in this situation and I know nothing other than what I've read online the past few weeks. I feel like I'm trying to cram all this knowledge in with a small window of time and I might be no better off than I was to start with. I've always had my animals spayed or neutered as soon as possible to avoid this but this one was out of my control. Again, sorry for the long post.
 
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ConfusedKittyOwner

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Another question. Does anyone have opinions on clay litters? Are they all basically the same? I read sometimes kittens may try to eat a bit of litter while learning and clumping litter could cause a blockage. I figured I have a little time to switch litters for momma and I would assume kittens are messy and may need litter completely changed often and clay is cheap. I know there are many types of litter, clay, clumping, pine, crystals, etc but I'm mainly interested in clay as its cheaper and this is another of the many expenses I wasn't expecting. Momma doesn't seem to care about litter types as long as she has somewhere to go and its kept cleaned up. We are currently use clumping but someone had given us clay which we tried to begin with and she used it just the same. I just prefer clumping as I feel compelled to change the whole box every time I scoop it because the pee is just there with clay. Also, if I do use clay litter to begin with is there a good age for switching to clumping for them? Thanks for any advise given!
 

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Everything you describe is normal for late stage pregnancy in a cat. If she is stressed by your dog then keep them separate for now. It’s not the dog, but rather her hormones which cause her to instinctively be on alert to “predators.”

Any clay litter is fine, though you can use clumping litter until the kittens are about 4-5 weeks old and litter training.

Try to relax. You are doing a great job with the situation you inherited! :)
 
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ConfusedKittyOwner

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Thank you! The dog does a good job of separation himself, he understood her first swat at him and decided he would be more careful, but those brief moments in passing seem to make her mad. I've tried to keep them more separated but she is making that difficult. She loves to look out the door, never tries to go outside when its open just peaking out the window of the storm door, so every time I take him out she runs to the door and when we come back in there she is. The rest has been situated I think as he doesn't mind to be limited to less roaming, just this door issue we keep having the main issues with and I have no idea how to fix. She isn't having anything to do with being contained or kept out of any room. As soon as a door closes she digs the floor and starts getting very vocal about her disapproval. That's not been an issue until now as I just let her roam the whole house as she wants.If she wouldn't need to look out the door we probably would be fine.

Thanks for the input on the litter. I had not thought about when they start using the box either.

I may relax in a few months it seems. This has me horribly stressed. If nothing else it has taught me that spay/neuter was not only good for my animals but good for my sanity.

Again, thanks for the help! It's a lot to take in.
 
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ConfusedKittyOwner

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A few quick questions if anyone has a moment.

How long should I expect labor to last? Should I expect pauses between kittens? Could breaks be minutes? Hours? What would be the best signal to her being finished?

Does anyone have any "cheap" litter box ideas? Ideally I'd like something large, somewhat taller sides, smooth inside, and cost effective.

What age do most allow kittens to freely roam the house?

Will multiple cats share the same litter box without issue?

Our normal sized litter box was ok since she is a smaller cat but I'm afraid I'm going to need to provide at least 1-2 more. I wouldn't mind any suggestions for cheap alternatives. I have looked at a few plastic storage bins and most seem to either have ridges and such inside that would just catch the waste or they are just as costly as a box specifically marketed as a litter box. For the kittens before they get free roam of the house I would like to just use the current box we have but want to get something bigger at some point. I don't have many rooms that are appropriate for litter boxes so I would like to use 1 maybe 2 litter boxes and I'm not sure if cats will easily share either.

Thanks again for any help or suggestions!
 
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