Potential Problems During Cat Pregnancy

During cat pregnancy there are a number of problems that may occur. Being aware of these, you can detect potential problems in time and act to the benefit of your cat.

Cat Pregnancy Symptoms

The gestation period for cats lasts about 9 weeks. The cat can give birth anywhere between 57 to 69 days after fertilization.

The symptoms of pregnancy include vomiting, affectionate behavior and swelling and color changes in the nipples. The pregnancy can be determined 16 days after fertilization.

The cat may lose some weight in the first stages of pregnancy, but overall you will notice weight gain. You will notice a large abdomen area and after 5 weeks of pregnancy, you can also feel the kittens when palpating the abdomen.

You should start a more nutrient and protein rich diet to ensure that she has all she needs, and the kittens can develop normally.

Resorption and Spontaneous Abortion

Spontaneous abortion means that one, several or all of the kittens die before the gestation term is over. Resorption is when the fetus is reabsorbed. This can happen in the early stages of pregnancy.

The abortion may result in expulsion of the dead fetus, if a spontaneous abortion occurs later in the pregnancy. Spontaneous abortion may be caused by diseases of the mother or the abnormal development of the fetus. Some diseases that can lead to spontaneous abortion are:

  • Herpes
  • Brucella infection
  • Uterine problems
  • Low levels of progesterone

The mother can abort one or several kittens, and still deliver the rest of the kittens.

Spontaneous abortion occurs without any warning signs.

Labor and Delivery Complications

Cats don't often experience labor or delivery complications. The labor is signaled by a restless cat that is vomiting, grooming, crying and nesting. She'll then have contractions and within 6 hours, all the kittens should be born. A cat can give birth to 1 to 8 kittens, and they are normally delivered every 30 to 60 minutes.

If the contractions last for more than 60 minutes with no kitten expulsed, this means you need to call the vet. This is a condition known as dystochia.

If the mother is stressed, she might interrupt labor and continue the following day. Don't move the cat after the contractions have started.

If the mother has vaginal bleeding prior to her due date, this may signal a premature delivery and a cesarean section might be needed.

If the placenta is not expulsed, it can result in an infection. Take your cat to the vet, as the placenta needs to be removed.


Eclampsia is a condition that may occur after cat pregnancy, during the lactation period. The cat will suffer from seizures, collapse, fever and nervousness.

The condition is caused by calcium deficiency when the cat is lactating. She should consume more calcium and nutrients to make up for the extra calcium needed during lactation.

There is a higher incidence of eclampsia in first time mothers.