Cat's First Litter of Kittens

by Jessica

This is my cat Rosalee's first litter, and mine also. She's an outdoor cat so I have no idea when she got pregnant. She's had a very healthy appetite the past few days and has been pacing and doesn't want to be left alone. I was wondering about how long it could be until she has the kittens. I also live out in the country so I want to be there when she has them so I can get her and the kittens to a safe place so no other animals can get to them.

Thank you

Dear Jessica,

Without an ultrasound to determine how far along in her pregnancy your cat is, it is impossible to say how long it will be until she gives birth. On average, a cat will give birth 62 days after conceiving. Pregnant cats can become restless and begin searching for a safe place to "nest" within a few days of giving birth. In general, however, you would be able to express some milk from her nipples within a day or two before she goes into labor.

I would encourage you to try to encourage your cat to find the safest possible place to "nest." You would need to be very careful about moving the kittens after she gives birth, as she may reject them if you do so. If you can find a safe place like a garage or barn and confine her there, or better yet, give her a safe place in your home to raise her kittens, that would be best and safest for her and your kittens.

There are many pages throughout this covering the topic of feline pregnancy. I would recommend visiting my page on Pregnant Cat Symptoms and reading some of the pages and questions from other readers for more information about feline reproduction.

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

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