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Pregnant or just fat?
December 21, 2006 11:42 PM   Subscribe

Is my cat pregnant or am I just paranoid?

We adopted a wonderful kitty on October 29th. She was at least 6 months old when we got her and had previously been feral. Lately, she's looking a little fat, especially from above, looking down. She doesn't seem to eat anymore than usual and this is the same brand of cat food that I have fed every cat I've ever owned.

She has also started (within the past two weeks) chewing up a card board box and spending a lot of time in it, almost like she is making a nest.

All of the websites I've googled seem to indicate that I would know if she were pregnant at about 3 weeks by the size of her nipples but I see nothing unusual. I've felt her entire abdomen area and it feels much larger than what I think it should be but I don't feel individual kittens in it.

Behavior wise, she has become very affectionate and clingy in the past two weeks. I originally attributed this to her finally becoming used to her new owners and environment but now I'm not so sure.

I had planned on having her vaccinated and checked out by a vet after the holidays but the websites I've looked at seem to indicate that if she were pregnant, she would be delivering by January 1st.

Am I crazy or am I about to have a lap full of adorable black kittens? Please pardon my ignorance of feline reproduction, I've only had neutered male cats in the past.
posted by Ariadne to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
 
Our family had this exact thing happen to us - adopted a cute stray kitty, and pretty soon we had, well, we had adopted 4 more cute kitties. Feel on her belly. Are her nipples poking out more than usual? Jokes aside, this is one of the things to look for.

Other than that, while IANAV, those all seem like pretty good signs of a pregnant cat.
posted by rossination at 12:28 AM on December 22, 2006


You are not crazy, and yes, you are about to have a lap full of adorable kittens.

A roommate of mine once had a kitten who was only 6 months old and very tiny, not looking mature at all. The cat got out on the porch roof one day. (We lived in an upper apartment in a triplex, and the cat was an indoor cat.) A couple of hours later one of us saw she was there and brought her in. Not long after we noticed the same "fat from above" thing and soon we had a houseful of kittens. My roommate had been given to understand that she didn't have to spay the kitten yet because she was too young... and if she went into heat, we never saw it. Honestly, the kitty looked far too young and small to give birth, but she had a nice healthy litter.

Take care of your momma kitty and enjoy the kittens... it's wonderful to have some kittens around, and since it's usually best to neuter pets these days, it's not often you get to enjoy the kitten experience. :)
posted by litlnemo at 1:43 AM on December 22, 2006


Maybe she's just clingy because of the cold weather? I know my two are like velcro these days - can't sit down without one of them on our laps. And it happens like this every winter with these two.
posted by jvilter at 5:49 AM on December 22, 2006


She's nearly certainly pregnant. This happened to me a few years ago, with a 6 mo. old female stray.

Look at the anus area. Is the vaginal opening a bit red and swollen? It usually is if they are pregnant.

Telling how far along is apparently a bit inexact. You might want to feed her some extra kitten chow and/or canned food. Getting her to the vet is still a very good idea.
posted by QIbHom at 5:59 AM on December 22, 2006


Take her to the vet.

I hate to be the "it's awful, it's awful, panic!" person in the thread, but my cat died last week of a growth in his abdomen. If he hadn't been a male, we would've been sure he was pregnant. He looked pregnant, spent even more time sleeping, and started licking the sidewalk. Pregnancy is much more likely in your situation, but if it is a non-kitten growth you should find out so you can start treatment and/ or pain management.

I'm probably wrong, but still -- take her to the vet.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:22 AM on December 22, 2006


It's possible she's just in heat and has gotten a little fat from getting comfortable in a new home, but it does sound like she's preggers. Cats can absolutely go into heat before 6 months of age - we got my female kitten spayed at about 5.5 months and the vet had told us she was in heat at the time.

After she delivers her kittens, I just want to beg you to please have her spayed. Not only will it reduce her risk of some cancers, but it will cut down on the overpopulation of kittens in the world.
posted by tastybrains at 6:34 AM on December 22, 2006


Signs point to yes, but a vet will be able to tell for sure. Some cats don't look that big before they bring forth the next generation. And, as tastybrains points out, get her fixed as soon as possible: yes, kittens are cute, but thousands are put down every year because they don't have homes, and they can get pregnatnt pretty darn quick after giving birth. Be a part of the solution, not part of the problem!
posted by baggers at 7:00 AM on December 22, 2006


Vet visit will clear things up. Kittens often have worms, which cause a distended, hard belly as well.
posted by agent99 at 10:59 AM on December 22, 2006


Man I just adopted my own adorable black kitten or I'd offer to take one off your hands. (I'm in Dallas).

Sounds like she is pregnant, I would take her to the vet sooner rather than later. If you need to adopt out the kittens, take them anywhere other than a city-run shelter please!
posted by jesirose at 12:05 PM on December 22, 2006


I'd say a vet could tell for sure. Sounds like pregnancy, but you want to rule out anything health-related. And if she is pregnant, the vet can check for any problems and give you tips on kitten-birth, etc.

Ditto spaying her after she's given birth and the babies are weaned. Also, if you can afford it up front, I'd recommend getting all the babies their first set of shots and fixed before they go to new homes. Ask that the new owners reimburse you as an "adoption fee." It will help stop pet overpopulation, and gives the kittens a much better chance at landing in a good home (free to a good home is not a good idea!)
posted by radioamy at 12:48 PM on December 22, 2006


go to the doctor. my mother insisted that her kitty was pregnant, but it was nigh impossible for that to have happened because, in her lifetim, that cat had never seen day light other than thru a window. when i came back for college break, i insisted we go to the vet and he found a cyst the size of a fast pitch softball. we had to put her down.

go to the vet.
posted by Davaal at 1:08 PM on December 22, 2006


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