03 9328 3021

Care of the pregnant cat

The normal length of pregnancy in cats is 58-70 days. The time period is estimated from the last day of mating (if known).

During pregnancy owners should ensure:

  1. Confinement - keep the cat inside when it is obviously pregnant (approx six weeks) so that it's behaviour can be observed adequately.

  2. Feeding - feed the queen her normal diet for the first six weeks then switch to high-calcium kitten food. You may need to feed the pregnant cat more frequently in late pregnancy. Pregnant cats have increased requirements for protein and vitamins as well as energy later in pregnancy. Those requirements will continue until the kittens are weaned. Often cats will lose their appetites just before queening.

  3. Vaccinations - ensure her vaccinations are up to date before she gets pregnant. If your cat has not been vaccinated or is overdue, it is ideal to vaccinate before the 42nd day of pregnancy. The timing is not essential, however good immune status of your cat will ensure maternal immunity to the kittens. Although this immunity is only temporary, it helps protect kittens at a time when they are most susceptible to cat flu and enteritis. It is important to note that studies to support the use of vaccines in pregnant cats have not been conducted.

  4. Parasite control - regular worming, especially for roundworms and hookworms is important. Continue regular flea control.

  5. Prepare a suitable whelping area - this should be warm, dry and clean. Most importantly it should be where she can be observed in case of any problems during labour. Get the area ready about five to seven days before she is due.

  6. Clipping - long haired cats may need to be clipped along the abdomen and around the back end before whelping.

* Lort Smith Animal Hospital does not encourage breeding of cats given the large over-population of cats currently in Australia. We strongly recommend early desexing of cats (from 4 months of age) to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Lort Smith Contact Details