Most experts recommend getting your cat spayed or neutered to help control the feral cat population and reduce the risk of health complications later in life. It can also help make it much easier to deal with your pet, as they can get pretty wild when in heat. However, for any number of reasons, you might find yourself with a pregnant cat that’s about to give birth.
Luckily, cats have been doing this for a long time and should be fine, but we’re sure you still have plenty of questions, like how long your cat will be in labor. Your cat will typically be in labor from 6–12 hours once the cat begins giving birth, but most experts recommend taking the cat and the kittens to get looked over by the vet if your cat is in labor longer than 7 hours. A prolonged birth can put an enormous strain on the mother, leaving her weak, dehydrated, and anemic.
Keep reading while we explain several other things you can expect while your cat is giving birth so you both can feel comfortable and confident about the litter of kittens about to arrive.
How Large Is A Litter Of Kittens?
Most cats will have between 3 and 5 kittens, but some litters can be as large as 10. If it’s your cat’s first-time giving birth, there will usually be fewer kittens.
How Long Is Normal Between Kittens?
Your cat should produce one new kitten every 10–60 minutes. Any longer and your cat could be going into distress. With this timeline, your cat should have enough time to complete the delivery in fewer than 6 hours.
How Can I Help My Cat?
Your cat knows what it is doing, and there is little you will need to do besides keeping an eye on things to make sure labor doesn’t last too long. You will want to prepare by having a carrying cage ready to go should your cat require it. You should also take steps to ensure the area is quiet and won’t be disturbed by other family members. If possible, you should increase the room’s temperature to make the cat and the new kittens more comfortable.
What Happens During Birth?
Birth occurs over three stages, with the second and third stages repeating until all kittens have arrived.
What Should I Watch For While My Cat Is Giving Birth?
Cats usually stay in labor for roughly 6-12 hours and will produce several kittens, most often unseen in the middle of the night. However, you should prepare for every outcome to minimize risk to your cat and the kittens. Having a carrier ready can help make sure you get to the vet in time if you need to, and we recommend contacting your vet a week or two early, so you have a number to contact after hours if there is an emergency.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide, and it has helped you learn more about your pet. If we have helped you prepare for your cat to deliver kittens in your home, please share this look into how long a cat can be in labor on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured image credit: abubibolabu, Pixabay