How Long Are Cats Pregnant And What Happens During Pregnancy?

Ginger cat breastfeeding her little kittens. Motherhood, parenting, care. Orange cat nursing kittens at plaid blanket and blue rustic wood background. Kittens suck milk.

(Picture Credit: Prostock-Studio/Getty Images)

Have you ever wondered how long female cats get pregnant for compared to humans? And what really goes on when a cat becomes pregnant?

Well, the short answer is that female cats are pregnant for around nine weeks. During this time period, a cat might also show visible signs of change, including putting on weight, having a swollen abdomen, and even morning sickness.

Here’s what you need to know about how long female cats are pregnant for and what exactly happens to a cat during pregnancy.

How Long Are Cats Pregnant?

Most medical estimates about the length of a cat’s pregnancy put the time period around 63 to 67 days.

In some more extreme cases, pregnancy might last as short as 61 days or even up to 72 days.

This is not a long time in comparison to a human pregnancy, which usually lasts around 280 days (or 40 weeks).

What Happens To A Cat During Pregnancy?

Pregnant cat rest and recumbent on the floor

(Picture Credit: kan2d/Getty Images)

For the first couple of weeks, most cats won’t show any outward signs of being pregnant. But after that, certain physical signs will begin to appear.

Some of the signs of pregnancy in female cats include:

  • Enlarged nipples, which is also called “pinking up”
  • A swollen stomach
  • Vomiting in the morning, just like human morning sickness
  • Gaining weight and demonstrating an increased appetite
  • Becoming more affectionate towards the humans in her life

If you suspect your cat is pregnant, your veterinarian can perform an ultrasound to make sure that the kittens are doing okay.

Once a cat has been pregnant for around eight weeks, she enters what’s called the nesting stage. This involves searching around for a quiet, safe and cozy spot where she can give birth.

If your cat is giving birth at home, you can provide a cardboard box lined with blankets for this purpose. Contact your veterinarian for help if you can.

During the week of birth, it’s common for a pregnant cat to begin to shy away from food. A pregnant cat might also start to meow more often or even appear a little agitated in the run up to giving birth.

Female cats are capable of giving birth without any human assistance, so it’s important to leave a pregnant cat alone unless something seems wrong, in which case call your vet immediately.

Have you ever cared for a pregnant cat? Do you have any tips for spotting a cat’s signs of pregnancy? Let us know in the comments section below!