If your cat is giving birth for the first time, you may feel stressed. The idea of helping your pet deliver a litter can be overwhelming. The process can be tedious, stressful, and exhausting, but the outcome is a litter of adorable kittens. You may also not know how to tell if your cat is in labor. While a cat giving birth can be exhausting and confusing (especially going through this for the first time), there are some helpful signs for how to tell if a cat is in labor.
Spaying cats to prevent pet overpopulation
First, it's important to note that spaying cats is the best thing you can do for their health and for preventing future illness and disease, like mammary cancers and uterine infections. Spaying cats also helps prevent pet overpopulation and reduces the number of homeless cats in shelters or on the streets.
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While spaying is a major surgical procedure, it is also one of the most common surgeries performed by veterinarians on cats. Like any surgical procedure, sterilization is associated with some risks, but the overall incidence of complications is very low.
However, you may find yourself in a situation where you've taken in a cat who is pregnant or have a cat who's become accidentally pregnant. In this case, it's vital to know the signs that a cat may be going into labor soon.
How to tell if a cat is giving birth
You may be anxious and worried about the prospect of your cat giving birth in the near future, so it's important to know how to proceed with their labor so you can be calm alongside your cat. You want to ensure she has everything she needs to make the labor as comforting and safe as possible for your cat.
Some ways to help would be feeding her a good quality diet, keeping her indoors for safety, and having her examined by a veterinarian to ensure she's in good health before she gives birth. Also, make sure she has plenty of food and water available, and keep the environment as stress-free as possible.
What to do when cat labor is about to begin
In order to get a better understanding of a cat's labor timing, it's important to note that cat gestation is around 63 to 65 days, but can vary by a few days before and after this time. About a week before she's due to give birth, she will start looking for a secure, comfortable place to give birth to her litter. This most likely will be a dark and cool spot in a quiet area in your home; typically in a closet or dark corner of a room.
Keep her in a quiet area she's familiar with and comfortable in and offer plenty of soft bedding. After setting them up in a safe space, watch to see if your cat begins nesting. As she gets nearer to labor, she will visit her nesting spot more often. Make sure you're monitoring her, but do not be overly intrusive. This may cause her to become anxious.
Check your cat's food bowl several times a day in the weeks leading up to labor. Shortly before delivering her kittens, you will notice her appetite change to little or no appetite. If it has been several hours since food has been touched in her bowl, and this is unusual, she may be getting close to delivery. Lastly, it's important to note the vital responsibility of spaying your cat in order to help bring down the pet population and reduce the number of homeless cats.