It’s A Vet’s Life by Vetsavers of Spalding
We are starting to see more and more pregnant cats and cute little kittens and it’s not unusual for this time of year.
So let’s start at the beginning of the cycle for those of you that may not know what the ‘signs’ are that you should be looking out for in your female cat (queen) when she becomes, shall we say, interested in the neighbourhood male?
Did you know that a female cat becomes sexually active as young as four months of age? That could be only ten weeks after you bought her home!
Signs a cat is on heat are:
* Vocalising, sometimes to the point of sounding as if she is in pain, known as ‘calling’.
* Rolling on the floor – displaying very affectionate behavior.
* Rump in the air (estrus posture ) - her hind feet may appear to “tread” the carpet.
* Moves tail to one side, commonly seen with estrus posture.
* Wants to escape at every opportunity.
* Excessive licking of genital area
If you do suspect that your cat has been mated then you can expect to see changes in her behaviour. The gestation period of a cat is usually 61 to 69 days.
Physical changes in a pregnant cat:
* Heat cycles cease
* If a cat has been ‘calling’ every ten days to two weeks and suddenly stops, it is very likely she is pregnant.
* Nipples swell and become rosier, which may be the first physical sign you will see.
* Appetite increases.
* Possible vomiting.
* Abdominal enlargement.
* Increased affection.
* Towards the last few days (normally 46) she will want to make a safe nest somewhere.
If your cat is pregnant, a nice box with a soft bed where she can feel safe is a good idea
In next week’s column I will discuss the care of the mum and kittens post partuition (giving birth), weaning the kittens off mum and neutering!
This week’s question comes from someone who was refused treatment by their usual vet due to lack of funds and asks, what should she do?
Answer: Sadly, many veterinary practices don’t hold a credit licence. There are options though a - maybe a friend or family member could to lend you the funds. There are organisations that can help but you would need to meet their requirmemts, such as the PDSA which help fund treatment in emergency cases.
My advice is put a little amount away every month in a ‘pet account’ to cover these unforseen conditions.