So your cat has been pregnant for awhile now and been getting rounder and rounder. Suddenly, her whole demeanour changes and you're standing there, wondering if this is really it – is your cat in labour?
Are her kittens coming?
How can you tell?
Just what are the signs of labour you should be looking out for?
Cat lovers the world over do their very best to make sure that their beloved pets receive the best care possible.
But when our feline friends become ill – or in this case, are due to give birth to kittens – we begin to feel very anxious and out of control as we realise that we simply do not know enough about the situation.
After all, we can not all be vets! You need to know what to look out for and you need to know fast.
Your cat is due to go into labour around the 64th day of her pregnancy, although it is very unlikely that you will be able to be that accurate in your calculations. Instead, you will have to rely on your ability to read the signs of the stages of pregnancy and of her impending labour.
Firstly, you are likely to have noticed that your cat's appetite will have almost doubled in the past few weeks and you will be able to see her kittens moving around in her abdomen quite clearly.
Also, she will have been displaying nesting behaviour – looking for a safe, warm and quiet place in which to give birth. Hopefully, you will have already provided a suitable nesting box for her to use, otherwise you may find that she has chosen to give birth in the middle of your bed!
Then, as your cat nears the start of her labour, her appetite will reduce dramatically. It may even disappear completely.
A further sign of your cat's labour is that she may become particularly clingy and want to be around you constantly, seeking your affection.
As she gets closer to the time that her labour begins in earnest, you may find that your cat starts pacing about, appearing nervous or particularly excitable.
Another very distinct sign that your cat is very close to going into labour is that she will begin to 'call' to you. Even if you have never been present when a cat is giving birth, you will not be able to mistake this particular sound!
As the time approaches, you will see your cat repeatedly licking her bottom as she reacts to changing sensations in her body as it prepares for the birth of her kittens.
And finally, when your soon – to – be mother cat starts to feel the first twinges of her labour, she will appear to be uneasy and will repeatedly go in and out of her nesting box, 'treading' on the nesting material that you have already provided.
When you see this last behaviour, you can be quite sure that your lovely cat is entering the first stage of the birth process – your cat's labour has begun.
In conclusion then, when you find yourself faced with a heavily pregnant cat and are wondering just when things will start to get moving, the foregoing, seven signs will give you a good guide to follow.
But do yourself a favour, the hard work does not stop there – for you or your cat. Learn just what you need to know to help her through the actual birth process and how you can best care for your cute, newborn kittens by visiting the link in the box below.
© Jane Tompsett 2007