Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Feline Pregnancy

Question from Jo from West Chester:
My cat is going to have kittens, but I am not sure when and do not want to be out at the time. How can I tell when she will deliver?

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
If you know approximately when your cat became pregnant, you can count on a delivery date approximately 63 to 66 days later. An exam by your veterinarian is recommended to help estimate when she is due. An ultrasound or x-rays can be done to confirm pregnancy and to determine how many kittens to expect.

You should be offering your cat food which has a high calorie content such as kitten food. Increasing calorie intake is important prior to delivery and is especially important while the kittens are nursing. No vaccines should be given to your cat during the pregnancy and it is important that you make sure she does not have fleas.

To prepare for the kittens, provide your cat with soft bedding in a quiet location. Prior to giving birth, you will notice your cat becoming restless, pacing, panting and even vocalizing. If you are comfortable to take her temperature with a rectal thermometer, chart her body temperature once these signs begin. It is normal to see a drop in body temperature (below 99 degrees) usually 12 to 36 hours before a dog or cat gives birth. Normal body temperatures range from 100 to 102.5.

Once the kittens have been weaned, I strongly advise having your cat spayed.

Posted August 15, 2006

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Please have your pets spayed or neutered!