How to Tell That a Cat is Pregnant
With pregnancy, a cat's heat cycles temporarily cease. A couple of weeks later, its nipples will start to swell and take on a rosier color, a process known as "pinking up." Also in these early weeks, she might experience a feline version of "morning sickness." You can get some indication about that if she throws up or avoids food. At around 30 weeks, the tummy of a pregnant cat will begin to expand.
Confirming the Pregnancy
If you still aren't certain that your kitty is pregnant take her to the veterinarian, where the animal doctor can run a series of tests to confirm the cat's pregnancy. Palpating, or feeling around the cat's abdomen, is a simple low-tech approach but the catch is that it isn't foolproof. An ultrasound can accurately detect pregnancy starting at 16 weeks, but it cannot determine how many cats are in the litter. Litters, by the way, average out at four kittens but can be either much smaller or much larger. Some vets, but not all, also use X-rays for confirmation, according to WebMD.
The Second Half of Pregnancy
During the second half of pregnancy, the cat's tummy will continue to grow, and her nipples will begin to produce milk. With about two weeks left to go, she'll start looking furtively around your home for a place to nest. Now that she's moving into maternal mode, she might behave in a more loving and affectionate way than usual with humans. About two weeks from delivery, she might start looking around the house, trying to spy a good place to nest. You can help her and her forthcoming family out by choosing a dark, quiet room in the home as the nursery and placing a medium-sized box in there with a low entrance. Cover the box with newspapers, towels and blankets to give it a comfortable feel. Let the cat check out the new surroundings for a while prior to delivery day, according to The Spruce.
The "Big Day"
For about a day before delivery, the mother-to-be might lose her appetite and temporarily stop eating. Her temperature will fall to below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When she does begin delivering her kittens, humans should just let the cat do her own thing, only stepping in if there's an emergency of some sort. Post-delivery, the mother will want to be left more or less alone with her kittens for a couple of days, so she can nurse and bond with them, says WebMD.
When's the Next Pregnancy?
Female cats can become pregnant at as early as four months old. The females go into heat once every two or three weeks all the way from spring to early fall, leaving them plenty of time to get pregnant. If your cat hasn't produced a litter yet, she's pretty much bound to at some point, unless you have her neutered, a process that can be done at the age of two months old or up.