Cat Pregnancy Signs

Cat pregnancy may be planned or it can occur without you being aware. A female cat can get pregnant is she is in heat, otherwise known as the oestrus cycle. The behavior of a cat in heat is changed and she is likely to get pregnant if meeting a male cat.

Cat pregnancy signs range from physical changes to behavioral changes. The pregnancy will last 9 weeks on average, and some pregnancy symptoms will be visible as early as the second or third week or pregnancy.

Sudden Stop of Heat Cycle

If a female is in heat and is fertilized by a male cat, she will become pregnant and the heat cycle will stop.

A cat has heat cycles once or twice per year, but if she's not fertilized, she can have oestrus cycles every 2 weeks. If you notice that these no longer occur, it is clear that the cat is pregnant.

Tender and Swollen Nipples

The nipples of a pregnant cat will be tender to the touch and will also be swollen. This is among the initial signs of pregnancy. The nipples can also change in color, becoming pink.


Cats can experience morning sickness in the first stages of the pregnancy. The vomiting stage can last for up to 3 or 4 weeks.

Changes in Appetite

In the first stages of the pregnancy, the cat might lack appetite, due to nausea. After 3 to 4 weeks you will notice an increase in your cat’s appetite.

Affectionate Behavior

A pregnant cat has will change her behavior. When in heat, the cat is more distant towards the owner and may even become aggressive.

After the pregnancy occurs, especially later in the pregnancy, the cat will be very affectionate. She will rub her face against your feet, other pets, furniture, walls or toys. She will also start to prepare a place for the kittens in the last weeks of the pregnancy.

Make sure you offer more affection to a pregnant cat, as she needs it.

Enlarged Abdomen

After the fourth or fifth week of pregnancy, your cat’s abdomen will be larger. The kittens can be felt as lumps when palpating the abdomen. If an ultrasound is performed, the kittens will be visible and the vet can establish how many kittens there are.

Looking for Privacy

Towards the end of the pregnancy, the cat will seek privacy and will be hiding. She wants a quiet room where she will start building a nest for the kittens.

Typically, you don’t need to visit the vet to establish if the cat is pregnant, as the signs should be clear enough. If you notice any alarming symptoms such as bleeding or excessive vomiting, you need to consult a vet. Offer special care to your cat throughout the pregnancy. She needs more food and towards the end of the pregnancy, she should receive kitten food. Your cat can give birth anywhere between 60 to 67 days after the breeding has taken place.