Gestation period of cats, a rather simple calculation even if nature then does what it wants and it is good to know what happens in this delicate process to manage it better. Cats always do a little bit of their own business and even with the gestation period of cats, the same happens.
The fertility period of cats is also quite wide, starting in February and lasts until late summer, but it can vary with the temperature and the place, the latitude. The gestation period of cats, of pregnancy of cats, on the other hand lasts from 57 to 63 days, the births usually are around the 57-59th day.
There are several premature births, sometimes even leading to the death of the kittens, unfortunately. But these cases are not included in what are the considerations on the gestation period of cats, otherwise we go crazy with calculations, without being able to give indicative information. Statistics play tricks, even cats, and even the pregnancies of any animal, including humans.
Let’s begin to clarify our ideas on how we can understand the gestation period of cats by dividing it into five generic phases: fertilization, nausea phase, fattening phase, pre-term and childbirth.
Gestation period of cats: fertilization
From about the fifth month of life, the cats are fertile, we realize it because we hear meow continuously, insistently and with a very particular tone. The heat season is like this, the female begins to prepare to be courted and changes her attitude, ready to attract and welcome the suitors. All the more reason, if during this early cat gestation period our female suddenly refuses the attention of a cat, she may have already been fertilized.
Gestation period of cats: phase of nausea
If our cat is pregnant, we move on to the second step of the cat gestation period which is the first phase of the actual pregnancy. It used to be hypothetical. This time it lasts a couple of weeks and has a lot of resemblance to that of the woman, with feelings of nausea and regurgitation. This also has a loss of appetite effect which can be a confirmation or an alarm bell in case we have not yet noticed that the cat is expecting kittens.
Gestation period of cats: fattening phase
If even the nausea goes unnoticed, here is the obvious sign that arrives in this phase of the gestation period of cats, in which before our eyes the belly of the future mother cat rises.
We are about halfway through the entire gestation period of cats and the belly is now in the shape of a “football ball”. It is the period in which, by touching it, the kittens can already be heard moving and we can venture to hypothesize the number. Bets are accepted and can be won. Then the choice of names is the other game to play, but once they are born.
Gestation period of cats: pre-term
It is the terminal phase of the gestation period of cats and includes the week before giving birth. Even these days there are very obvious signs such as enlargement of the nipples that become even more red, with small losses of milk.
In general, the cat may appear more sleepy, more tired. As soon as we notice these signs we can begin to build a small private nest, all for the future mother cat: a kennel with soft cloths, cushions, clean rags, sleepers. Let’s place it in a warm and quiet room, away from prying eyes: a little privacy that the animal will surely appreciate. Reserved as cats are then, let alone!
This pre-partum phase obviously lasts until the cat is ready for expulsion. These are days of moaning meows, she may begin to persistently lick her genitals, appearing nervous to the point of unbearable. Especially if it is the first birth. 24 hours after giving birth, the temperature drops by one degree, the cat returns more affectionate and expects to be cuddled continuously.
Gestation period of cats: delivery
We are at the end of the gestation period of cats, the cervix dilates, the muscles of the uterus begin to contract, breathing becomes more frequent. It is time, and the water breaks, the contractions become more frequent and in a short time the kittens should begin to be expelled. In this phase, the cat chooses for herself whether to stand or lie on her side. Once labor has begun, the first kitten comes out after about an hour.
The little ones can present themselves either from the head or from the rear, it is the mother herself who breaks the amniotic sac and the umbilical cord and then licks the baby to make him breathe and eat the placenta. The birth of cats is very autonomous, we can watch and enjoy it, as a miracle of nature, as an experiment, as magic.
Expelled the first child, the cat continues with a speed that sees the following at a distance of a few minutes to at most an hour. There is such a great variation because the former are born faster, the latter slow down a bit, having to have time to go down the uterine horn. The birth is usually over within 6 hours.
Pregnancy in cats: symptoms
It is not possible to say with certainty, in the days immediately following a mating, if the cat is pregnant. Even if you have an eye, it is only around the third week that you can recognize the first symptoms of pregnancy. They are swollen abdomen, enlarged and red nipples, increased appetite, which then can have sudden drops in the following stages of the cat’s gestation period.
And then with a sixth sense, we can see that the maternal attitude of the cat also increases, in many small gestures. The vet, even with his means, cannot give much certainty before a certain stage of the cat’s gestation period.
An ultrasound is feasible from the 18th day of gestation, it can also be tried with abdominal palpation or with an X-ray, but certainly cannot immediately say that a cat is pregnant, as soon as fertilization has taken place.
Even if the ultrasound, with its timing, gives us its certainties about the state of the cat, it cannot establish the number of kittens. For this you have to wait until the 45th day of pregnancy, when the bones ossify.