When caring for a pregnant cat allow the expectant Queen to live as normal a life as possible in the early stages. Over-vigilance and strict supervision are not required and you will likely observe your expanding pet spending greater amounts of time relaxing on her side as she approaches full-term. At this time, when she is greatly distended, make sure that she does not climb or otherwise strain herself.
When you first note that your cat is pregnant is it strongly advisable to start adding vitamin supplements to her meals. With young developing inside her, a pregnant Queen needs all the extra nutritional help she can get; she'll no longer be eating for just one and will likely enjoy larger portions at mealtimes.
Added calcium is important for the development of strong bones in the unborn kittens. It is also wise to consult a Veterinarian who can suggest additional vitamin and mineral supplements/powders that will serve as valuable dietary additions; remember to ask about the length of time supplements need to be given. Many experienced breeders swear by raspberry leaf, used as a uterine tonic and general aid, as an addition to your pregnant cat's diet. Administer from the fifth week of pregnancy until a week after kittening for best results; available in tablet form.
On average, sixty-five days is the usual gestation period for a feline; be sure to factor in the usual twenty-one day period after mating, at which stage the queen's deep-pink, slightly swollen nipples should be clearly showing. With increased progesterone levels your cat's behavior may also be more affectionate than it usually is.
Don't be alarmed if the birthing doesn't occur exactly on cue but be conscious of the fact that she will likely begin 'nesting' close to this time so be sure to provide a suitable nesting box, located in a quiet, darkened corner. A simple cardboard box lined with alternate layers of cotton fabric and newspaper should suffice. A pen enclosing the box is a sensible idea but make sure it is disinfected beforehand with a cat friendly substance.
No matter how well-prepared you efforts, some pregnant cats will choose a bedroom cupboard, drawer, or linen cupboard etc, as a suitable place to give birth; if you have provided a comfortable box as an alternative you may be well served. Don't be disheartened if your cat does indeed choose another location, instinctively she will search for a private area, away from potential predators and aggressive male cats in order to protect her precious young.
Make sure to keep a close eye on the Mum-to-be and if any signs of discomfort, undue pain or premature bleeding occur, hasten to consult a Vet. In a small number of cases, a cesarean birth may be required, a procedure which could actually save your beloved pet's life.
Keep your cat away from danger and stressful situations (loud noises, dogs, etc) especially in the later stages of pregnancy. A bit of extra love and unobtrusive attention will help calm her at the time of impending motherhood.
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