A female cat usually exhibits signs of being in heat one or two months before a pregnancy. Male cats can detect a female’s scent and may begin to hang around her in an attempt to mate.
A cat owner may often hear the sounds of mating in cat calls such as yowling. A female can show minor cuts or scratches as a result of copulation.
Some cats may exhibit a kind of “morning sickness” early in pregnancy that can manifest as a lack of appetite and vomiting. A cat’s nipples redden and swell, a condition called pinking, around two to three weeks after conception. A cat’s belly begins to enlarge around 30 days after she mates, as her kittens begin to grow and develop. She is then no longer eceptive to mating.
Cats may also show signs of fatigue, due to escalating hormone levels and uterine changes. Symptoms of fatigue usually fade after the first few weeks. A cat usually exhibits an increased appetite and begins to gain weight as pregnancy progresses.
A cat’s abdomen starts to drop and become pear-shaped and more rounded later in her pregnancy. Abdominal distension is most pronounced in the last weeks of gestation and is more easily seen in thin or short-haired cats. Kittens are more mobile and active in the last stages of pregnancy. An owner can often feel the kittens’ sudden twitches and movement under a cat’s skin.
A female cat can become pregnant as early as six months of age. Pregnancy usually lasts 63 to 65 days.