Is My Cat Pregnant & When To Expect Kittens

How Can I Tell if my Cat is Pregnant?

The majority of cats will conceive when they are mated. Sometimes though they do not which is why I think this article may be of use to people as a guide to deciding if your cat is pregnant.

I find that there are a few sure fire signs which tell me when my cats are pregnant.

Some of my girls display all of these signs and some of them only display a couple of these signs but with experience deciding if your girl is pregnant or not becomes second nature.

Let me show you the easiest signs your cat is pregnant.


Two Early Signs Your Cat Is Pregnant

Often when my girls come home from visiting a stud cat they will go straight off call. Which I find is a good indication that the job has been done and the girls eggs have been fertilised. I find my girls know when they are pregnant and so do not feel the need to continue calling.

After about ten days some of my girls display morning sickness. I also find my girls display behavioural changes and become much more affectionate.

An Obvious Sign Your Cat Is Expecting Kittens

When my girls are about three weeks pregnant the most obvious signs start to be displayed. My girls nipples ‘pink up’ which basically means that their nipples change colour from their usual skin colour to a pink or even a red colour. In conjunction with this ‘pinking up’ the nipples become slightly enlarged, which is particularly noticeable in a maiden queen. Also the hair around the nipples starts to clear to give easy access to the future kittens when feeding.

Maiden Girls Nipples

3 Weeks Pregnant - Nipples 'Pinked Up'

Pregnant Cats Eat More & Have Larger Mid Riff's

Usually I expect my girls to show what I like to call ‘saddle bags’ at about 5 weeks pregnant though sometimes they are more obvious slightly earlier. Saddle bags being an enlargement of the mid riff which bulges outwards rather than hanging down. I also find my girls tend to put on some weight in what I believe to be the girls preparation for the drain the kittens will surely place on her reserves.

You will usually find an increased appetite in a pregnant cat and they start to eat more, drink more and urinate more often. I like to keep complete diet biscuits down at all times and allow my girls to eat as much as they want to. I also find that my girls will graze on the food and eat little and often rather than eat their usual size portions in one sitting.

Pregnant Cats Often Show Nesting Instincts

I also find that towards the end of the pregnancy my girls start to display the nesting instinct and look for a nice place to have their kittens, This usually being under the bed or in a wardrobe or basically any place you would rather not let her have her kittens.

Value Bomb

Avoid Bad Nesting Choices

Leave a large cardboard box on its side with some blankets in and leave it in a quiet room in the house for the girl to ‘discover’ by herself (this way you reach a compromise). She picks where she wants to have her kittens and you are happy to let her choose….as long as it is in the cardboard box in the quiet room!

 By this time of course pregnancy is usually not in any doubt due to the fact that my girls look as if they have swallowed a rugby ball!!!

How Long is a Cat Pregnant?

The gestation period for a cat is between 63 and 67 days with the average being 65 days. 

I find it easy to remember, nine months pregnancy for humans, nine weeks pregnancy for cats.

I like to use day two of the honeymoon as my conception date though with experience of my own girls I may modify this to suit the girl or line in question. 

It is not unusual for a maiden queen to go as much as 67 days. If your cat has not given birth by day 72 I would recommend veterinary advice.


About the author

Ross writes extensively about cats and kittens and has been featured in magazines such as Your Cat and Our Cats and has also guest authored on newsletters for various cat organisations. He is also a guest speaker at cat seminars.

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  1. In most cases, the gestation period of cats is 65 days from the first day of mating. But some breeds such as Peterbald, Oriental, Sphinx and some others, can have a longer gestation period up to 72 days

    1. I breed Siamese and Orientals and I agree cats can go up to 72 days though in my experience this is not usual. If a girl goes as long or longer than 72 days I advise owners to seek veterinary advice.

  2. I love your answer about where the queen gives birth. I had boxes in suitable places, and Poppy, my 3year old son’s cat, had her babies on his bed! You can imagine his delight!

    1. Hi Jenny

      My cats have always chosen where they want to have their kittens . . . the trick is to give them somewhere they will choose themselves. 🙂 There is nothing worse than trying to force them to have their kittens in a particular place that is not their choice. All it does is create stress for the cat (and you) and in any event your girl will move the kittens first chance she gets anyway.

      Glad you liked the article,


    1. Hi Edna

      Your cat could be pregnant or she could just be very maternal and has adopted the kitten.

      Has she pinked up?


  3. What is the percentage chance my queen is pregnant, she has never had kittens before but she spent 5 days with a stud, two of those days was spent mating. She was in heat at the time. She is 14 months old.

    1. There is a very high chance. Generally speaking cats are very good at reproducing, if the mate they usually get pregnant.

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