My cat is pregnant, but when is she due?

I woke up this morning and my cat's belly had dropped so low (was by her ribs and high to her back, now very low) I thought she had her kittens. Her belly is tighter as usual too. Her nipples are pink and most of them can have milk extracted from them. She wants to sleep all day and won't leave my side. The kittens are also more active than usual. Is she getting close to labor? I don't know when she conceived but I do know she is very close to being due.

  • Vetinfo

    By: Kara McCarty El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    A cat's gestation length is about 65 days. If you take your cat's temperature daily (normal temperature about 102F) you will notice a drop in temperature to 100F the day of delivery. She may also not want to eat. Milk production can start a few days before delivery. Cats will usually begin nesting behavior a few days before delivery, looking for a place to deliver and rearranging blankets or bedding in the area she chooses. It's best to give her a safe place where you'd like her to deliver or you may end up with kittens in your bed! The clingy behavior you are noticing and the tight belly is very normal. She is probably within 24 hours of delivery.

    When she goes into labor you will notice rhythmic contractions of her abdominal muscles. Once active pushing begins the kitten should be born very quickly. If she pushes longer than an hour with no kitten visible or 15 to 20 minutes with part of a kitten visible but no progress she's in trouble. Kittens may come one after another or it may be an hour or two between kittens. Each kitten will have a placenta which the queen may eat if you don't remove it so if it's not too upsetting for her I recommend you take them away from her. You may want to tie off each kitten's umbilical cord with dental floss about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from its body. Rarely a queen will deliver a few kittens and then 24 hours later more kittens. This is fine as long as she isn't actively pushing. She will have a light bloody discharge after delivery for 3 to 7 days. As long as the discharge is decreasing in amount, not foul smelling or green/yellow in color, and she's eating and drinking and the kittens are satisfied she's probably fine.

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