Cat pregnancy and personality changes

My cat escaped and was left outside overnight on April 3rd. I was positive she was pregnant because my cat is now unusually friendly, when she was normally quite unsociable. My cat also had enlarged nipples, a change in appetite, etc. She has never really had the larger belly though. In fact, my cat looks like she may have lost weight (or had kittens), but she is still acting very unusual.

She follows me wherever I go, acts like she is in heat, does not have much of an appetite, etc. I have two other cats, both female, and one of which is her sister. My concern is that maybe my cat did have kittens and one of the other cats (one is quite the hunter) found them and ate them. Or that my cat had kittens and left them behind (since she still wanders about so much). Or lastly, that she is STILL pregnant with no signs of going into labor on the 73rd day.

Maybe my cat was never pregnant in the first place....but then why did her personality change so drastically? And why did she show the other cat symptoms that go along with it?

I am confused and concerned. I just don't know what to think or do for my precious kitty.

Dear Confused and Concerned,

Try to remember that, just because your cat’s personality has changed and she became friendlier, it doesn’t mean that your cat is pregnant. Pregnant cats do not show signs of heat, although some owners do struggle to distinguish between cat pregnancy symptoms and a cat in heat.

It is hard to imagine that your cat would be pregnant if you didn’t see a substantial enlargement in the size of her belly. It is also not likely that a pregnant cat would lose weight or have a decrease in her appetite.

If your cat is an indoor only cat, it is unlikely she has given birth in your home without you knowing. Your cat would have created a nest, which you were likely to have seen or found, and you would have found blood in your home. And, if she was pregnant, it would not be possible for her to still be pregnant 73 days later and still eating, drinking, and acting okay.

As sad as it may be, if one of your other cats killed your pregnant cat’s kittens or if the mother cat abandoned the kittens, there is nothing that could be done at this point. Sadly, newborn abandoned kittens would have died very quickly.

It is unclear from your letter whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat or both, but it sounds as though she is housed exclusively indoors and escaped one night. If that is the case, anything is possible, but maybe being outside made her friendlier because of the fear she experienced while outdoors.

Overall, it seems as though your main cat pregnancy symptom is that your previously scared and unsociable kitty has now become warmer and friendlier. I say try to enjoy it! But if you are still concerned, I recommend bringing your kitty to a vet for peace of mind. Doing so would be wise anyway, as weight loss and a decreased appetite could be symptoms of other cat illnesses.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

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