How can I tell if my cat is pregnant?

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Symptoms such as peculiar eating habits and nesting behavior may indicate a feline pregnancy
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Signs and Symptoms that indicate feline pregnancy

As a college student, I adopted a calico cat that some friends of mine discovered abandoned in a dumpster behind a shopping plaza.  We took in the beautiful cat and she became a wonderful, loving pet.  However, we immediately noticed some very strange characteristics about the cat. 

For starters, she was incredibly talkative.  She meowed constantly, and made all sorts of tonal howls and cries.  For this reason, we elected to name the cat Cry Baby.

Cry Baby affectionately followed me around my apartment, purring, meowing and rubbing at my legs.  She had a terrific appetite and seemed to enjoy all different varieties of cat food.  One day, I was particularly surprised to find Cry Baby on my kitchen counter, devouring a bowl of leftover macaroni and cheese.  A day later, she ate two grapes, and several Ritz crackers off a plate of snacks I had arranged for a study group. 

I was concerned that my cat was exhibiting such peculiar eating habits.  After a few weeks, I noticed that Cry Babyís back and belly looked somewhat distended.  Fearful that my cat had contracted some terrible disease, or perhaps even worms, I scheduled an appointment with a local veterinarian

The vet took one look at my cat, gently massaged her abdomen, and then smiled up at me, explaining that I had better make room for kittens in my college apartment, because my cat was pregnant. 

I was relieved and excited, but also somewhat disappointed in myself for overlooking all the warning signs.  Had I been more perceptive, I would have merely called the vet with the simple question, how can I tell if my cat is pregnant? 

Fortunately, I still had some time to prepare for the arrival of kittens.  Three weeks later, Cry Baby gave birth to six tiny kittens, one calico, one all white, one all black and two tabbies. 

Perhaps your beloved family pet has left you pondering the question, how can I tell if my cat is pregnant?  In that case, you may wish to review this list of symptoms prior to scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian. 

Careful observation is the best answer to the puzzling question of how to tell if my cat is pregnant.  However, not all of these symptoms will manifest in all cats.
How can I tell if my cat is pregnant?

  • Personality changes may be an indication that your cat is pregnant.  The majority of pregnant cats become very friendly and affectionate.  Even cats that are usually aggressive shy or even violent will may become affectionate during pregnancy.

  • Inspect your catís nipples; as they will become more red, darker and enlarged just a few weeks into a pregnancy

  • Just like humans, cats may exhibit unique or peculiar eating habits during pregnancy.  Donít be surprised if your cat vomits. 

  • By 4 to 6 weeks, you will notice your catís abdomen and belly and back looking distended.  If the cat allows you to pick her up, gently feel her abdomen.  You may feel small, acorn-sized lumps, which are the kitten heads.

  • The gestation period for a cat is generally 60-70 days.  As birth draws near, your pregnant cat may exhibit nesting behaviors, such as climbing into cupboards, drawers, boxes, or other safe, secluded places to deliver kittens.  Provide your cat with a comfortable box, bed or crate to deliver her kittens.

  • A pregnant cat will sleep more than usual, and will be reluctant to go for long walks or long time periods outdoors.  

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