It’s reasonable to be concerned about a cat giving birth for the first time, especially if you’ve never seen a pregnant feline before.

When you learn that the queen cat is expecting kittens, it’s a good idea to read up on all you need to know about labor and delivery so you can create the best kittening environment.

If you have a pregnant cat (queen) that appears to be ready to give birth to her kittens (queening), you probably won’t need to do anything but encourage her. You might even wake up one morning to find that your cat has given birth and is nursing her babies peacefully. Although nature has a way of taking care of itself, you should be aware of potential complications that may arise when your cat is in labor and what you can do to assist.

Keep reading this article, to know what to expect from a cat giving birth for the first time.

Cat Giving Birth For The First Time

Cats First Litter What To Expect?

Here are the things you can expect from a cat’s first litter: –

Cats First Litter What To Expect?

1. Your Cat Giving Birth First Time Can Take More Time

Before giving birth to the first of her litter, the mother cat will be in labor for 12 to 24 hours.

Labor can extend up to 36 hours in some situations and still result in a normal delivery.

Every pregnancy produces four to six kittens in cats. The births are spaced 20 minutes to an hour apart.

Some cats like to take a break between straining and tending to their already-born kittens before continuing with the rest of their litter.

When cats consciously want to avoid straining, usually due to stress or when they are waiting for the cat guardian they rely on, the resting period can extend anywhere from 24 to 36 hours.

2. Let Your Cat Decide When She Requires Assistance

The majority of queen cats prefer to give birth alone. She may seek a dark and quiet location in which to give birth in seclusion.

Your cat should be kept at home during the latter weeks of pregnancy, and everyone in the household should avoid adding to her worry.

Your cat can give birth in a variety of places, including a haystack, a box, or even a cabinet.

She is less likely to give birth in her bed and may even appear restless as the due day approaches.

Prepare a box for her to give birth in and urge her to sleep in it in preparation for the birth, but don’t push her to give birth anywhere she doesn’t want to.

She will make it clear if she requires your assistance and presence during birth. Some dependent cats will even postpone giving birth in order to wait for their cat guardian.

If you have a mother cat who is reliant on you, you should learn how to assist a cat in giving birth.

When the expectant mother follows you around and calls your attention, be cool and console her.

If not, even a social cat might become an introvert when giving birth to her kittens. When this occurs, be close enough to observe but not so close that you interfere with the birthing process.

3. Different Signs Of Labor

Cats can be pregnant for as little as 58 days or as long as 70 days, though most cats give birth around 63 to 65 days.

My cat will most likely lick her genitals to induce kittening if she is giving birth for the first time.

She may have some vaginal discharge as well, but it should not be green or smell bad. Her vaginal discharge may contain amniotic fluid, indicating that her first kitten is already in the birth canal.

Her body temperature will drop to roughly 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37.2 Celsius). Her normal temperature indicates that she is on the verge of giving birth.

She’ll also have 2 to 3-minute intervals of contractions with opportunities to relax. Prolonged contractions that last an hour or more should be avoided.

As she approaches to labor, her appetite will drop and she will become restless. She can be drawn to the cabinet, closet, shed, or even the garden to dig a hole.

Don’t try to go on vacation during this period because first-time cat mothers are generally nervous and want to be with you all the time.

Cats, on the other hand, like to give birth in quiet and will go to a private, secluded spot to give birth to their kittens.

4. She Will Eat The Amniotic Sac, Placenta, And Umbilical Cord

Before you freak out at the sight of your kitten’s fetal membrane and placenta being licked off and consumed by your cat, you should realize that this is normal behavior.

It’s your cat’s method of caring for her kittens after they’ve been born, and it should be done right afterward.

The kitten’s survival depends on the cord and amniotic sac being a bit off. If your cat refuses to do so, gently tear the sac with your hands and clean the kitten’s face and nose to stimulate breathing.

Inexperienced mother cats may delay eating the umbilical cord, causing a hernia in the kitten.

In this situation, rip but not cut the umbilical cord, leaving an inch or more of it attached to the kitten’s body before tearing it away.

Scissors should not be used to cut the cord because this can cause bleeding. Use sterile scissors if you can’t tear the umbilical cord with your hands.

Otherwise, leave your cat to her post-delivery job of cleaning her kittens. The cord, placenta, and amniotic sac should provide her with the nourishment she needs to be strong enough to deliver the next kittens.

Keep in mind that each kitten has its own placenta, though twins may share one. Your cat may become infected if she does not deliver all of the placentas.

In addition, some first-time mother cats will attempt to devour their kitten, necessitating constant supervision.

Interesting Read: Why Is My Cat’s Umbilical Cord Still Attached To The Kitten?

5. Keep A Lookout For Straining

If your cat is still crouched like a lion and not settling in with her brood after delivering the entire litter of four to six kittens, she may have an undelivered placenta or more kittens on the way.

If your cat is laboring unproductively for more than two hours after the sixth kitten, you should contact your veterinarian right after to have the placenta removed.

6. She Can Lose Her First Kitten

For a novice feline mother, delivery can take longer than expected. For a first-time cat giving birth to kittens, old age, stress, ill health, obesity, and some medicines can all be problematic.

Weak contractions might occur when a queen is weary during hours of labor. If labor does not advance, you may need to contact your veterinarian for assistance in delivering your cat.

Your cat may also have difficulty giving birth to very huge kittens. Furthermore, while most kittens are born head-first, some kittens are poorly positioned, making delivery difficult for their mother.

If the first kitten is placed tail-first, it may drown in the fetal fluid. Kittening can also be challenging due to a limited delivery canal and an unprepared uterus.

If you think the kitten is stillborn, gently rub it to get it to breathe again while ensuring sure the airways are free. Some amniotic fluid may have clogged the kitten’s airways, causing it to gurgle or choke.

You can also check out Cat Bleeding After Giving Birth? Is It Normal?

Cat Giving Birth For The First Time Symptoms?

Here are the symptoms of a cat giving birth for the first time: –

Cat Giving Birth For The First Time Symptoms?

Your pregnant cat will have a voracious appetite for the majority of her pregnancy, as she will require additional food to maintain herself and her growing kids. Her appetite will frequently shift right before labor begins.

Changes in appetite are a good predictor of approaching birth. She will most likely lose interest in food and may even stop eating for a short time.

Pregnant cats are infamous for being picky about where they birth their kittens.

She’ll seek a place that’s somewhat hidden and hidden, so you might discover her hanging out in some unexpected places throughout the house, such as within cabinets and dresser drawers, or on the top shelf of the closet. This behavior might start anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks before labor begins.

If you observe your cat looking for a location to give birth, you’ll know her due date is approaching. Some cat owners assist their cats by providing a comfortable, mostly closed-off box in which the cat can give birth.

However, don’t be surprised if you make her a “nest” and she determines it doesn’t meet her expectations.

When a cat is in the early stages of labor, she will have contractions that are designed to drive the babies down the birth canal so she may deliver, just like a human.

By keeping a close eye on her abdomen or gently laying your hand on her belly, you can generally see or feel these contractions.

Some felines will want extra attention in the weeks leading up to their birth, and may even appear more loving and needy than usual. You should expect to see the kittens shortly if you discover your cat is undergoing contractions.

Also, check out do kittens move alot before birth

How To Help A Cat Give Birth For The First Time?

To help a cat give birth for the first time, make her as calm and comfortable as possible.

How To Help A Cat Give Birth For The First Time?

During your cat’s last two weeks of pregnancy, make sure everyone else in the household understands to be calm and quiet around her and to handle her with care – especially children, who are understandably enthusiastic about the prospect of kittens to play with shortly!

During this time, try to keep her as calm and inactive as possible, and urge her to rest in her special maternity bed.

Even the coziest soft bed might not allure her, and some cats will prefer a corner of a cupboard to your suggested birthing bed!

Just make sure she has a say in where she gives birth, and never try to sway her from her decision.

Your cat’s labor should go easily, but it’s a good idea to have someone on a present to keep her calm and in case anything goes wrong.

Prior to your cat giving birth, get your vet’s after-hours phone number, as deliveries often happen at night, and they may require an emergency helping hand.

If mum has trouble delivering her kittens, you may need to take her to the veterinarian, so make sure you have transportation.

When you suspect labor is on the way, get a few things ready ahead of time, such as a clean bowl of warm water, clean towels and clothes, dental floss, and disposable gloves, as well as a cat carrier and your veterinarian’s contact information. It’s critical to have these items on hand in case of an emergency!

You’ll need to keep the kittens warm if you need to move them away from mum at any point.

Because hot water bottles’ sharp teeth and claws might cause punctures, we recommend using a microwaveable beanie bag instead.

How Many Kittens Is Normal For A First Litter?

2-3 kittens are normal for a first litter.

A litter of kittens is the only thing cuter than a newborn kitten. You might be wondering how many kittens to expect if you’re the proud parent of a first-time mama feline.

Knowing how many kittens to expect will help you prepare the necessary resources to care for them and their mother. 

Cat litters normally range from 4 to 6 kittens, however, litters for adolescents, elders, and first-timers are typically smaller.

Typically, first-time mothers have just two or three kittens. Though experts aren’t sure why purebred cats have more kittens per litter than mixed breeds.

A Burmese/Siamese mix had the largest litter of kittens on record, with 19 kittens.

The number of kittens a cat will produce is determined by a variety of environmental, genetic, and health factors.

Litter size is mostly determined by genetics and breed. Siamese, Mane Coons, Ragdolls, and Ragamuffins, for example, are known for having large litters, but Persians have fewer kittens.

In mixed breeds, predicting litter size can be tricky. However, if a cat’s mother had a huge litter, that cat will almost certainly have a large litter as well. Larger felines, like most mammals, have more offspring than smaller felines.

The quantity of kittens produced by a cat is also affected by its age, with middle-aged cats producing more kittens on average than their younger or much older counterparts.

The health and nutrition of a cat can influence not just the number of fetuses that develop, but also the number of kittens that are carried to term.

Fetal reabsorption and miscarriage can be exacerbated by malnutrition and diseases such as feline distemper.

Interesting Read: How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Give Birth After Her Water Breaks?

Frequently Asked Questions

How to treat a pregnant cat?

You must look after your pregnant cat as if she were a queen. Some cats will accept food and drink during and after a protracted labor and the birth of kittens. Keep her favorite food and kitty litter close by, but not too close together, as some cats have an aversion to this. Avoid handling your cat and her kittens right after they’ve been born. If you must change the bedding, do so as soon as possible and allow your cat and her litter to bond.

Will my cat’s behavior change during pregnancy?

The cat’s temperament changes fairly little during pregnancy, while some cats become more loving and others become violent. The queen may look for a suitable kittening bed or nest during the final week. During this period, the pregnant cat should be kept indoors. It’s critical that you can keep a close eye on your cat in case anything goes wrong.

Where should I put the newborn kittens?

The infant needs a lot of warmth. For the first few weeks of their lives, kittens are unable to regulate their own body temperature. Kittens in the wild stay warm by rubbing against their mother and littermates in the enclosed nest bed. Because a damp newborn kitten loses heat quickly, it’s critical to get it dry off as soon as possible. If the queen is sick or unwilling to cooperate, carefully place the kitten on a warm, towel-wrapped hot water bottle and cover it with a blanket to keep it warm. It’s crucial to avoid inflicting contact burns by keeping the bottle excessively hot.

Final Words

When a cat becomes pregnant for the first time and is close to giving birth, mother instincts kick in.

They will lick their genitalia and search for a suitable location to give birth. The majority of cats are self-sufficient and give birth in private, caring for their newborn kittens entirely on their own.

Some cats rely on their cat guardian to guide them through the delivery process, and they may require assistance with cleaning and feeding. Trust your cat to deliver her babies securely as much as possible. Don’t be concerned; instead, keep an eye on the birth for any difficulties.

Ask us questions in the comments section if you have any.


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