I Love Cats!
Is My Cat Pregnant Or Just Gaining Weight?
Female cats can gain weight during the winter season, and this is known as "winter weight gain". As the cold begins to set in, cats tend to feel more lethargic, their metabolism begins to decelerate, and then they go on hibernation. While we know hibernation to be common to animals in the wild, domesticated cats can likewise go through the same experience, indoors. Part of this winter weight gain is eating more for insulation. For those that have asked the question, "Is my cat pregnant or is just gaining weight?" below are some clarifications
There are times when even professionals as animal welfare workers or vets are unable to tell right off the bat if a cat is pregnant or has just gained weight. However, since your cat lives with you, you could find out if your cat is pregnant, especially if you pay close attention to your cat day in, day out, both physically, and in terms of behavior. Cats that are pregnant will "pink up". This mostly refers to a change in the color of a cats nipples. As the nipples grow in size and a cats body prepares for lactation, the color of the nipples become "rosy". This can happen about 21 days after a cat is impregnated, but bear in mind that not all cats will show these signs.
Seasoned vets should be able to find out if a cat is pregnant, about halfway through a cats pregnancy, by "palpating" this cats belly and feeling for kittens. At this point, each kitten should be the size of a small egg. Behavior-wise, cats that are pregnant are also likely to eat more, so they should begin to gain weight after about 5 weeks of gestation. At this point, it is best to place a pregnant cat on a diet that is complete and healthy, one that will help her give birth to a healthy litter. Morning sickness is also something pregnant cats experience, about 3 to 5 weeks into their pregnancy. About a week or two before birth, there should be movement in the stomach area of a pregnant cat.
Is My Cat In Heat?
Of course, before your cat gets pregnant, you might first notice some signs that your cat was "in heat", or was "calling". Heat cycles for "queens" (female cats that are still able to reproduce) can occur several times in one season. When a cat is "in heat", she may loudly vocalize herself a lot, act affectionately towards another cat or her owner, and may first refuse to mate. This cat is also likely to lose her appetite, and there may be a bloody discharge coming from the genital region. To attract potential mates, a cat in heat may also roll around on the floor, as well as stick her rear end up in the air.