Pregnant cat - photo by superna
The feline gestation period is the length of time from conception to birth. Conception could be defined as the moment embryonic life begins by the formation of a viable embryo (zygote) through the coming together of the male sperm and female ovum or egg.
The feline gestation period averages 65 days with the range extending from 63 to 69 days all of which are normal. Apparently the gestation period of Siamese cats may be longer at 71 days.
If the kitten is born prematurely before 60 days of gestation the kitten is unlikely to survive.
It may be difficult to tell if our cat is pregnant. Cat breeders of course will have all the knowledge gained from experience to tell. I have a web page on cat pregnancy which expands this page considerably.
My research indicates that at the time of this post there is no equivalent of a pregnancy test (wrong? - please leave a comment). However at:
---17-25 days veterinarian may be able to feel the kitten (feeling the inside of cat from the outside is called "palpation"). This clearly must be done with care and experience (veterinarian only I would suggest) as it can damage the embryo.
---20 days the heartbeat can be detected
---22-25 days (Drs Carlson and Giffin say it can detect pregnancy as early as 15 days) ultrasound can be used to check pregnancy.
---30-35 days a blood test can confirm pregnancy.
---43-45 days an X Ray can tell how many kittens are in the womb as the skeletons would have formed.
Signs during of pregnancy:
---slight gain in weight
---sometimes there is morning sickness at 3rd to 4th week lasting for 3-4 days. This is due to hormones and distention of the uterus
---pink nipples (35 days)
---near birth - enlarged breasts and milky fluid may come from the nipples.
From Feline Gestation Period to Cat pregnancy
Feline Gestation Period - Sources:
- www.answers.com (definitions)
- Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook by Drs Carlson and Giffin