Hysterical pregnancy in cats: symptoms, causes and remedies

Hysterical pregnancy in cats is a condition that can happen, albeit rarely. So let’s see how to recognize it and what can be the causes and remedies.

Although it can rarely happen, hysterical or imaginary pregnancy in cats is a possible condition. The cat who presents a hysterical pregnancy behaves as if she was actually pregnant.

An imaginary pregnancy can occur when the cat has mated with a sterile cat or if the mating has not been successful.

We will see below what are the symptoms to keep under control, what are the causes of a hysterical pregnancy and above all how we can avoid it.

Hysterical pregnancy in cats: symptoms

It will be difficult to understand at first glance if our beloved cat is suffering from a hysterical pregnancy, as it will present itself just like a normal pregnancy.

Physical symptoms of pregnancy are:

  • The cat has a swollen abdomen
  • He retched 
  • The cat does not exhibit the heat phase
  • The cat has swollen, pink nipples and enlarged mammary glands
  • Milk production and vaginal flow

In addition to the physical symptoms, there are also psycho-emotional symptoms, they are:

  • Longing for pampering
  • Fatigue in the cat
  • Very affectionate
  • The cat is more nervous and insecure
  • The cat prepares a nest or shelter to prepare to give birth
  • Impaired appetite

As soon as the cat shows the first symptoms, it would be advisable to take her to the vet for a visit. Symptoms of hysterical pregnancy in cats can last for months.

The causes of hysterical pregnancy

As we said earlier, hysterical pregnancy is a fairly rare condition in a cat, in fact hysterical pregnancy is more common in dogs.

But even if rarely, it can still occur, what can be the causes? The cause of hysterical pregnancy in cats is linked to a hormonal imbalance of progesterone.

Progesterone is a hormone responsible for preparing the animal’s body to develop and maintain offspring. This hormone is released during the weeks following the heat phase in the cat.

In this phase, the hysterical pregnancy can occur even if the cat has not mated, as the progesterone can also act alone, deceiving the body and mind of the cat that she cannot distinguish a true pregnancy from a false one.
This condition is usually present in cats that have not been neutered and have never given birth.

How to help the cat with an imaginary pregnancy

During the imaginary pregnancy, the cat is convinced that she is pregnant, the only thing to do will be to treat her normally and give her a lot of love, since in this condition the cat will seek attention.

As soon as you notice any physical or behavioral changes it is advisable to take the cat to the vet, who will assess the seriousness of the situation.

A hysterical pregnancy should not be underestimated as if the cat begins to produce milk and is not treated in time, the milk could harden causing serious problems such as mastitis.

In less severe cases of imaginary pregnancy in the cat, the specialist may prescribe homeopathic treatments such as valerian, to calm the nervousness and anxiety present in the cat.

In severe cases, however, the vet may prescribe other types of drugs. The best solution to prevent hysterical pregnancy is to spay the cat. In fact, this operation will reduce the cat’s instinct to mate and improve its quality of life.

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