How to Tell If Your Cat is Pregnant? Here Are Some Physical and Mental Signs!

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

how to tell if your cat is pregnant

If you are a parent, you will know how adorable and precious babies are. If you are an animal lover, I bet you must be so fond of precious baby animals, such as kittens and puppies.

Now, let’s take a minute to think: Has your female cat been spayed yet? Has she been unsupervised for some time recently?

If the answer is yes, there is a high chance that your cat is pregnant, so it is essential that you learn the signs of pregnancy in cats. It’s best that you recognize the signs during the beginning of the cat gestation period, so the kittens can be born safe and sound.

So, how to tell if your cat is pregnant? In this article, I’ll address as many cat pregnancy symptoms as possible, which includes:

  • Physical changes: In general, some physical changes your cat might have are darker nipples, change of heat cycle, increased weight, larger abdomen, increased appetites, and more vomiting.
  • Psychological changes: Just like humans, the pregnant cat behavior will change to be more affectionate. Additionally, their sleeping duration extends.

Is my cat pregnant for real? How can I be sure? Well, there are three methods to make sure that your instinct is right:

  • Having An X-ray: This method allows you to see how many baby cats there are so you can prepare yourself in advance.
  • Palpation: A visit to your veterinarian can tell whether or not your cat is pregnant. They only need to press the abdomen to diagnose.
  • Ultrasonography: This is the best way to diagnose your cat’s pregnancy early, but it may not show the number of kittens.

You will not need to prepare any materials. Just pack some patience and be ready to observe your cat closely. Are you excited to find out what happens during the gestation period for cats? Check out the following sections to know!


Signs to Tell If Your Cat is Pregnant

Physical Changes


Among all signs of pregnancy in cats, their changes physically are the most significant so we can recognize them with no difficulty. It is hard to see signs of getting pregnant during the first few weeks, but as soon as you are in doubt, take your cat to the vet instantly.

So, how to tell if a cat is pregnant? The most obvious sign is that their nipples turn into a much darker color, which other people also call it pinking up. Look more closely and you will recognize their nipples swelling slightly.

1. Darker and Swollen Nipples

This phenomenon is caused by the enlargement of her mammary gland during gestation period. Nonetheless, mammary gland enlarging doesn’t necessarily mean having a baby.

There are several other causes, such as mammary cancer, or mastitis. Therefore, take your pet to the vet for a more accurate diagnosis and follow the instructions given on what you need to do.

2. A Change of Heat Cycle

A heat cycle is the cycle of reproduction in animals, or so-called estrous cycle. Normally, their heat cycle occurs every ten to fourteen days. During this duration, you will see your cat rolling more often, or becoming more vocal.

Therefore, if you notice that it stops happening, there is a high chance that she is having some cute kittens in her belly. Hence, you have to keep an eye on their behavior for the best prediction.

3. Gaining Weight

It depends on each cat that their weight increase may fluctuate. Nevertheless, pregnant cats gain a lot of weight during their pregnancy just like humans. Commonly, an increase of two to four pounds is normal.

4. Larger Abdomen

When a cat has kittens, it is obvious that their abdomen will grow bigger to make space for their offspring. This sign might not be recognized as soon as they are five weeks in gestation. The longer the pregnancy, the larger their belly will become.

5. Increasing Appetites

Your cat’s eating behavior can be a great method to know if they are pregnant or not as their habits will increase dramatically. You will notice that they crave for more food than they usually do. Why? Because she is not only eating for herself, but also for her babies!

6. Vomiting

Once again, pregnant cats are quite similar to pregnant women as they are prone to have morning sickness. During this time, they are more likely to feel under the weather and vomit frequently. This is normal for pregnant cats, but if this condition continues for too long, ask your vet for some advice.

Now that you have learned to diagnose your cat’s pregnancy through their appearance let’s take a step further to look into their characteristic changes.

Psychological Changes


Every pregnant human and animal has a lot in their mind during the gestation period. Therefore, it’s not abnormal if your cat’s personality changes drastically while they are having kittens.

1. More Affectionate

Once your cat has become a mother, she will naturally develop various nesting behaviors. For instance, your cats will be more sensitive and desire attention from their owners. Hence, it’s best that you are beside your cat regularly throughout this milestone duration.

Moreover, it’s completely normal that your pet cat prepares her own space to take birth by dragging towels, soft blankets, or some paper into a corner. Then, lend her a hand and provide her with some cardboards.

2. Sleeping Time Extends

Apart from being more affectionate, your cat might feel exhausted during this period of time since they have to carry many kittens in their belly. Consequently, your cat will be tempted to sleep more often than usual.

How Can I Be Certain that I Am Having Baby Cats

Once you have identified some signs of pregnancy, there are three methods you can try to double-check if your prediction is correct.

  • Having An X-ray

This method is only applicable to those who have been at least forty days into their pregnancy. Furthermore, having an x-ray will only show the skeletons of your baby cats, so you can count how many your cat is carrying in total.

  • Palpation

This technique is operated by professional and experienced veterinarians, and is the earliest method to diagnose pregnancy. As soon as they are twenty days into pregnancy, the vet can press on their abdomen to feel if there are kittens inside.

  • Ultrasound

Using ultrasound is the most ultimate method to detect pregnancy among the three techniques since it can be operated during the second week of gestation. You might see the heartbeats in the third week. Therefore, you should save your pregnant cat week by week pictures so you can look back some time in the future.


Overall, it is important that you know how to tell if your cat is pregnant. Therefore, you can provide the best care for your beloved cat during her difficult time as well as prepare yourself to welcome new family members.

I hope you have enjoyed this article so far. Let me know your opinion in the comment section. If you find the article helpful, share it with your friends and family as well.

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