Tips For Caring and Feeding A Pregnant Cat

During gestation period, pregnant cat needs extra energy to provide for both her own needs and those of future kittens. Adequate nutrition is the key to good health for all.
The pregnant cat will therefore need more energy. The principle is to offer her a richer diet and in larger quantities. From classic adult cat food, you are going to give her a kitten diet again. This contains all the nutrients and energy necessary for maintenance of its own strength and the development of fetuses.

The needs of your pregnant cat

At every stage of her life, your cat will need some nutrition. The more your cat’s gestation period comes to an end, the more her needs increase. Thus, your feline will need to receive more protein in order to meet its energy expenditure. You will often find, in specialized stores, complete formulas for pregnant cats. They will meet all the needs in minerals and vitamins that are necessary for him.

It’s a fact. During her gestation period, your pregnant cat must be able to support her organism, but also those of the fetuses present in her body. She should also prepare for breastfeeding. For this, reservations must be made. Don’t forget the calcium intake, which will benefit him.

How to feed a pregnant cat?

During gestation period, the cat’s energy needs increase in a linear fashion, gradually throughout the two months of gestation, unlike the human species.
It is therefore advisable to feed the cat at will.
Unlike pregnant women, cats should not take any particular vitamins or minerals if they are eating a complete food.
It is important to give cats during pregnancy a food rich in omega 3 (DHA) and folic acid:

  • DHA promotes brain development in the fetus
  • Folic acid decreases the risk of developing cleft palate 

Some important points to follow:

The consumption of your pregnant cat increases gradually from mating until the end of gestation. At this time, she can eat 50% to 100% more than the usual amount of food. Fortunately, feeding a pregnant cat is quite easy. Once she has reached satiety, the cat regulates itself quite well;

Start feeding your cat with special kitten food from the fourth week of gestation. This is when kittens start to develop rapidly;

Feed the mother many small meals throughout the day to keep her energy levels constant. Or even, leave dry food available at all times. Remember to have plenty of fresh water available; 

Your pregnant cat weight will increase as she eats more, in part to build up a fat store that will help nourish her kittens while nursing. This weight gain is quite normal. She should be back to her normal weight by the end of breastfeeding;
The female cat may also lose her appetite at the end of gestation. This is a sign that should not alarm you, it is a sign that childbirth is near. Even if she is a little picky about her diet, keep food and water available in case she needs it anyway. 

How much food?

The amount of food to give your pregnant cat increases gradually and with the progress of her pregnancy. On average, you need to increase your ration by 10% each week. Above all, it is important that your pregnant cat has her kibble available. She should never run out.

Rest assured, your cat knows how to control herself and, when she is no longer hungry, will not eat greedily. Above all, you allow your cat to gain enough fat. Important fat for breastfeeding.

However, at the end of pregnancy, your cat may be less hungry. The explanation lies in the place taken by the fetuses in the uterus. It then compresses the stomach. In this case, it is advisable to offer several small meals throughout the day to your cat.   

Monitoring its weight 

There is no question of having an obese cat after pregnancy. Conversely, your cat must not be too thin, otherwise it will be too weak to feed her young. Ideally, your cat should gain 40% of her normal weight during pregnancy. Never again. Thus, if your cat weighs 5 kg at the start, she should not exceed 7 kg at the finish.

The slightest excess weight must be corrected before giving birth, otherwise it will be difficult to extract the newborns. The same goes for underweight, which can lead to low amounts of fat and therefore insufficiently rich milk.

Feeding your cat after childbirth

Once the kittens are born, your cat will immediately begin to nurse them and produce up to a quart of milk per day. This has a major effect on their nutritional needs, which can be doubled or tripled.

While breastfeeding, you should feed her “ad libitum”, that is, without any restrictions, because she will need to eat a lot more than usual. Choose high-quality, high-energy foods that contain the nutrients and fatty acids that your body needs for milk production, and be sure to revert to her regular diet towards the end of breastfeeding.

It is important to stay in touch with your veterinarian and have your cat checked regularly to make sure she is healthy and her kittens. If you are unsure of the best way to feed your pregnant cat, talk to your vet who will be happy and able to help.

How to feed a nursing cat?

During their first 8 weeks of life, kittens will only feed on their mother. Their proper development will therefore depend, among other factors, on the quality of the cat’s milk. For this, it is necessary to:
Continue with a diet based on a rich diet for kittens;
Sometimes a nursing cat eats four times more than before pregnancy. So, it would be desirable to let her eat even if it exceeds her usual needs.
Do not rush the weaning of the kittens. From their eighth week of life, you can offer the kittens some kibble, but if possible, let the mother decide when to wean her young on her own;
On the other hand, be careful that the mother does not reject her kittens too early, because then you would probably have to replace her and feed the little ones with a special milk that your veterinarian would recommend.