Has your cat in heat escaped outside and now you are unsure if she has been mated? Some signs can be clues to this and still give you enough time to prepare for the birth.
However, these usually only appear when the pregnancy is already further advanced. If no offspring is desired, you should therefore prevent the possibility of pregnancy in any case as safely as possible.
After an unwanted mating, however, there is still a gentle way to counteract a pregnancy. This must be done as early as possible in order to be effective and not be a major burden.
Signs of a mating act in the cat
Whether your cat escaped during heat, the separation of cat and male failed or you did not even know that your cat was already fertile – if there is a suspicion that a mating act has taken place, fast action is required.
This is true both if you want to have kittens or if you want to prevent a birth.
We have compiled a list of typical signs and important tips for you.
Sign 1: Shortened heat
The technical term for the heat is estrus. On average, this lasts about three weeks.
An exception is when indoor cats become permanently in heat. This condition is dangerous, because it can lead to pathological changes in the ovaries.
On the other hand, the cat will lose a lot of weight if you do not consult a veterinarian.
Knowing the approximate length of estrus is important for several reasons.
Has your cat just gone into heat and finished already after one week, while there was possible contact with a male cat?
Then this could be a sign of mating. After the first mating, cats can stay in heat for another four days.
This allows them to be mated by different males.
Was the estrus unusually short this time? If so, you’d better see a veterinarian.
Sign 2: Changes in the teats
If your cat has been successfully mated and fertilization has occurred, the body is preparing for birth and care of the kittens.
This includes the teats changing in size and color.
They then stand out clearly, can appear enlarged and swollen.
In addition, they can become rosy or darker.
In some cases, the milk ducts and glands are also noticeable as swellings around the teats.
If pregnancy occurs, your cat not only has to take care of itself. The growth of embryo and later fetus, demands a lot from the mother’s body.
Depending on her already existing reserves and the number of kittens, her appetite may increase considerably.
She may beg long before the usual feeding times or complain because the previous portion size is no longer sufficient.
As a rule, pregnant cats are very motivated to get food. Biting through the packaging of their food, scavenging the garbage or even stealing directly from your plate is not far from their mind.
Did you have to persuade your cat to empty its bowl or change its food all the time? After successful mating, this is no longer necessary.
Sign 3: Increased need for rest
Your cat was restless and very active during heat? This is normal. After all, she has the need to reproduce.
This is genetically ingrained and therefore cannot be controlled by her or you.
If your cat has been mated, her behavior will change significantly within a few days. She becomes calmer and wants to sleep a lot.
The change in behavior is not only related to the need for rest, as you will see in a moment.
Sign 4: Mood swings
One moment affectionate, cuddly and in need of love – the next moment aggressive or distant: Pregnancy in cats is hardly different from pregnancy in humans in this respect.
This is understandable, because the hormonal changes, the stress on the body and the changes are also noticeable in the mood.
Some cats are seemingly unpredictable even outside of heat and pregnancy. This, of course, makes it much more difficult to distinguish and perceive as signs.
However, if your cat has been rather relaxed up to now and now growls or hisses more frequently, this can be an indication of an existing pregnancy.
Sign 5: Nausea and vomiting
Occasionally, your cat may experience nausea and even vomit.
Unfortunately, this is not uncommon in most velvet paws either. Eating too much too fast, for example, can cause vomiting.
Stress, fur hair or eating grass will also trigger vomiting.
So a sure sign is neither nausea and salivation nor actual vomiting. It is only in conjunction with other symptoms that it is an indication of pregnancy.
Sign 6: Weight gain
Slight weight fluctuations are normal for every cat. In winter the animals eat more, in summer less.
If your velvet paw suddenly gains weight shortly after the heat, this could still indicate a mating and thus a pregnancy.
With outdoor cats this is often the case in spring and summer.
Sign 7: Increasing abdominal girth
Towards the end of pregnancy, the offspring in the mother’s belly can no longer be overlooked.
The abdominal girth increases significantly. About two weeks before birth, you can both feel and see the unborn kittens moving around in the womb.
Even before that, a thick belly is visible and noticeable. Many then blame the increased abdominal girth on the fact that the cat has been eating more lately and has been calmer.
This is not wrong and can not be caused by pregnancy alone. Diseases are also a possibility.
With an intact – i.e. un-neutered animal – you should always consider pregnancy.
This is at least true if your cat has the opportunity to run free or if there is an intact male cat living in the household.
Sign 8: Nest building
When the birth is approaching, cats seek a safe, quiet and protected place.
If you keep them completely indoors or in your home during this time, it could be the closet, attic or basement, for example.
It is important for most animals to be as undisturbed as possible.
However, exceptions prove the rule. For example, some cats will settle right in the dog bed or in your laundry basket if they feel safe, protected and comfortable at home overall.
For outdoor cats, it may be completely different and they may seek out a more secluded spot outside the house instead.
Many signs, but no certainty
Whether mood swings, increased appetite or increased need for rest – all signs in themselves can also indicate illness.
Therefore, you can only be sure once a veterinary examination has taken place.
This includes imaging, palpation and blood tests, if necessary.
My cat was unintentionally mated – what to do?
If you recognize pregnancy early or suspect that your cat has been mated, consult a veterinarian immediately.
At the beginning of the pregnancy, the vet has the possibility to administer a drug to terminate the pregnancy.
This is Alizin®. This solution is injected twice at intervals of exactly 24 hours.
The aim is for the embryos to be absorbed or excreted by the body.
The sooner the injection is given, the higher the chances of success and the less stress your cat will have to endure.
The thought of experiencing kittens from birth and watching them grow up is tempting.
But keep in mind that you cannot keep all kittens. It is often much more difficult than expected to find new, responsible owners.
Not for nothing are animal shelters overcrowded, again and again cats are abandoned, left behind when moving or spend their lives in animal protection.
In addition, un-neutered cats kept indoors often suffer from permanent curl, which causes them to become considerably stressed, and they can develop pathological changes in their ovaries.
Therefore, it is part of responsible cat keeping to have the animals neutered in time.
Depending on the breed, the individual and the circumstances of life, cats first come into heat between the fourth and twelfth month of life.
Therefore, they should not be allowed unsecured outdoor access for the first few months until they are spayed or neutered.
Although remedies can be found to suppress estrus, these should not be used long term.
Surgical intervention is therefore the only safe way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and permanent estrus.
How can I tell that a cat has been mated?
At the beginning of pregnancy, a safe detection is possible only by the veterinarian.
There are some signs, but these usually appear late and can also have diseases as a cause.
Therefore, it is better in any case a detailed examination to exclude a pregnancy or other problems.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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