Do you have a Persian cat that is expecting kittens? You must be wondering what happens when it’s time for the kittens to arrive. You may also be worried about how long it will take her to have her kittens, how many she may have, and possibly worried about any problems she may have along the way. So let’s look at all those possibilities and see if we can ease your mind for when the big day arrives.
The average litter size for a Persian cat is three to five kittens, but litters of up to eight are not uncommon. The gestation period is approximately 63 days, give or take a few days. So, if your Persian cat became pregnant around March 28th, you can expect her to give birth around May 30th.
Of course, every cat is different, and some may give birth a few days earlier or later than others. For example, if your Persian cat is pregnant for the first time, she may have her kittens later than 63 days. On the other hand, if she’s had multiple litters, she may deliver sooner.
The most important thing to be aware of is when your kitty goes into labor. She will show sure signs that labor is imminent. All breeds can have difficulty delivering their kittens and may need the help of a qualified veterinarian.
Signs your Persian cat is in Labor
- Loss of Appetite
If your Persian cat shows any of these signs they are most likely in labor. If you have concerns at all contact your veterinarian. They can help you through the delivery process and make sure both mom and kittens are healthy.
Queening is when a cat gives birth. A mother cat is called a queen The queen delivers her kittens, along with the placenta and the umbilical cord. The mother nurses and cares for her kittens after they are born.
Some cats, such as Persians or other flat-faced breeds, may not be able to give birth on their own and require a Cesarean section surgery to deliver kittens safely. A veterinarian performs this surgery under general anesthesia.
Normal gestation lasts sixty-three to sixty-five days. Most mother cats know what to do when it is time to deliver. If your cat starts building or sleeping in a cozy nest, you’ll know you are in the final week of pregnancy.
Stages Of Labor In Cats
Cats go through three stages of labor. The first stage of labor is when the uterus starts contracting, the cervix starts to relax, and the cat’s water breaks.
Birth stage one can last anywhere from six to twelve hours on average and up to 36 hours for first-time mothers. During stage one of labor, the mamma cat may become lovey and want attention. Others may want to be alone. Mamma cats may meow and purr. This behavior depends on the cat.
Starting 24 hours before giving birth, the mother cat will usually refuse food and her temperature may drop under one hundred degrees Fahrenheit.
Stage two labor is when the kittens are delivered. This stage can take up to 16 hours on average for a cat to deliver all her kittens. Some cats can take three days to finish the delivery of their kittens.
The stage two-length depends on how many kittens your cat is pregnant with and whether this is the first pregnancy or not. First deliveries tend to take longer because the first kitten takes longer with a first-time mother.
Delivery of a kitten usually takes five to thirty minutes. Once the kitten’s head passes the vulva, one or two abdominal contractions will finish delivering the kitten. Mamma cat will remove the amniotic sac from around the kitten, lick the kitten’s nose and mouth, and eat the umbilical cord and the placenta once delivered.
Stage three labor involves the delivery of the afterbirth, consisting of the placenta and other fetal membranes. Stage three occurs between the delivery of each kitten. However, there are times a kitten is delivered so quickly after another that labor may be delayed temporarily.
The length of kitten births varies. The interval can last fifteen minutes to one hour. Labor can be interrupted when a mother cat stops straining, rests, and nurses kittens already born. She may even eat and groom before delivering the rest of her kittens.
However, if a mother cat goes longer than one hour between giving birth to kittens, you should call your vet for advice or if you notice any of the following things.
- straining without delivering
- she appears weak
- she ignores her already born kittens
Cat owners should not interfere with their cat when she is delivering because mother cats instinctively know what to do in most cases. Instead, provide a quiet, warm, safe place to deliver, and check on her at least once an hour.
However, if you have a first-time mother cat, monitor her birthing process. Watch for more signs of dystocia, which means difficult birth.
Signs of Dystocia
- The mamma cat strains to deliver for 20 minutes or longer without delivering a kitten
- Mamma cat strains for 10 minutes and fails to deliver a kitten whose head has appeared or crowned.
- The mother cat is bleeding from the vulva for 10 minutes or longer.
- The mother cat becomes lethargic.
- Mamma is feverish (rectal temperature higher than 103 degrees Fahrenheit or more than one hour has passed in between delivering kittens.
If your cat shows signs of dystocia it indicates an emergency. Therefore, you should call your veterinarian for advice. However, if labor proceeds normally, once all kittens have been born, you can remove dirty bedding and replace it with clean bedding.
Caring For Mother And Kittens After Birth
Healthy mother cats take care of themselves. You should check on mamma kitty daily to make sure she is nursing her kittens. Provide a safe, warm area for her and the kittens, watch for signs of disease, and feed her the right diet.
It takes a lot out of a mother cat to have her kittens, make milk, and then recover from delivery. You should free-feed pregnant and nursing cats a kitten formula food or one formulated for pregnant and nursing cats.
Mother cats can have conditions related to pregnancy and nursing. For example, a retained placenta, infected uterus, infected mammary gland, or eclampsia resulting from low calcium called milk fever causes severe sickness.
Times When Mother Cat Needs Veterinary Attention.
- She has a poor appetite
- She has a loss of energy
- She refuses to nurse kittens
- She has a fever
- She has a bloody vaginal discharge that won’t stop
- There is brown or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Her tummy is sore to the touch.
- She is vomiting
- She is panting
- She has muscle tremors or spasms
- A nipple or nipples are inflamed and may be hot, red, and have discharge. This issue is called mastitis.
If your Persian cat has given birth to healthy kittens and she’s done well, congratulations on the new family members. We wanted to give you some helpful information to get you through a stressful but happy time in this article. We hope that the information is valuable and that your cat has a speedy recovery. Thank you for reading.
Please consult your vet if you have any questions or concerns about your Persian cat’s health during pregnancy or after birth.
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