What to expect when your Queen is expecting - News from Suvika

Bringing up a litter of kittens is stressful for a cat and can be expensive for you.
If you would like to avoid an unexpected litter of kittens then sterilise your cat before her first season, roughly 4 to 5 months of age. Cats come into season or go on heat about every three weeks for roughly 7 to 10 days.

Pregnancy normally lasts between 63 to 72 days and often your Queen won’t show any physical signs of pregnancy until she is a few weeks in. (Take her to the vet to confirm).

In the first 15-18 days of a cat’s pregnancy, you may notice that your cat’s nipples become enlarged and red, known as "pinking up".
Your queen may go through a stage of vomiting, but if sickness becomes frequent contact a vet.
Her tummy will start to swell, avoid touching it to reduce the risk of hurting
mom or unborn kittens.

She will gradually gain 1-2kg (depending on the size of the litter).
Increase of appetite will be experienced later in pregnancy (an increased appetite may also be a sign of worms, so consult a vet).
Your queen may be acting more maternal, she will purr more and seek more
attention from you.
Make sure she is on a good food .Kitten food is best for pregnant and lactating Queens as it has all the beneficial nutrients necessary for optimal development of the unborn kittens as well as giving mom the extra fats and nutrients that she will need during breast feeding.

Pregnant animals should be de-wormed and treated for ticks and fleas during and after their pregnancy. Not all deworming, and tick and flea treatments are safe during pregnancy and lactating so consult your veterinarian or Vet Store team member to determine the correct product to use.

During the last two weeks before your queen gives birth, make sure to let everyone in the family know to be calm and quiet around her.
Try to keep your queen as inactive as possible and never try to move her from her chosen birthing spot.
A few things to keep ready in advance when you think labour is approaching and she might need assistance: Clean bowl of warm water, clean towels, disposable gloves, dental floss, cat carrier and vets’ details.

Most often, Queens will do just fine on their own so only intervene if absolutely necessary. 

Frequent, unsuccessful trips to the litter box, vaginal discharge and panting are all normal signs of labour. Kittens can be born head first or feet first between 30 and 45 minutes apart. The Queen may eat some of the placenta but do not disturb her as this is also perfectly normal.

If your queen doesn’t break the amniotic sac or clean the kittens you may need to step in and help look after the new-born kittens.
Gently tear the unopened sac with a towel (never use a sharp object), clean their nose and mouth then quickly dry kitten with the grain of their fur with a small clean towel.

Last of all make sure you get your cat sterilised 6-8 weeks post birth, to avoid another litter or inbreeding.