How To Tell If a Cat Still Has Kittens Inside? 11 Easy Ways

Your cat appears unwell and is frequently using the litter box. Upon visiting the veterinarian, you are shocked to learn that your cat has unborn kittens inside her, requiring immediate surgery for her survival.It’s hard to believe but it may occur one time in your life.

Prepared for any potential outcomes by using these sign to recognize that your cats may still have kitten inside sooner.

Take Away Information

11 Signs To Tell If a Cat Still Has Kittens Inside

  1. Still panting
  2. Making noise
  3. Straining
  4. A fluid-filled bubble in birth canal
  5. Genital area licking
  6. Expect a placenta after each kitten
  7. Aggression or protectiveness
  8. Incomplete focus on newborn kittens
  9. Passing discharge
  10. Don’t care foods
  11. Check for undelivered kittens

11 Easy Ways To Tell If a Cat Still Has Kittens Inside

1. Still panting

Heavy breathing is expected as your cat exerts energy and experiences discomfort during labor. She should calm down after the birth process. If she continues panting after delivering a few kittens, there may be more on the way. If panting and restlessness persist for over 24 hours without signs of straining, contact a veterinarian for advice.

2. Making noise

Cats in labor are often vocal due to pain, making chirping or yowling sounds as kittens move through the birth canal. If your cat is excessively vocal for over an hour without delivering a kitten, consult your vet, as it could indicate distress.

3. Straining

Cats bear down during the second and third stages of labor, which may resemble trying to use the bathroom. They need to exert force to push each kitten through the birth canal. Your cat will likely clean and tend to her kittens between births and push for 10-15 minutes.

Kittens should arrive every 10 minutes to an hour. If straining lasts longer than 25-30 minutes, contact your vet, as it may signal an obstruction.

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4. A fluid-filled bubble in birth canal

A dark patch in your cat’s birth canal signals an incoming kitten. If the kitten isn’t delivered within 10 minutes of crowning, it may be stuck. Don’t attempt to free the kitten on your own; consult your vet for guidance.

5. Aggression or protectiveness

While it may be unsettling, your cat’s aggressive or protective behavior during birth is temporary. Her main priorities are protecting herself and her newborn kittens. As she adjusts to the process, she’ll start to calm down after delivering her kittens. Avoid raising your voice or using spray bottles, as it may escalate her protectiveness. Aggression may persist for 3-4 weeks after birth as her hormones regulate. Discuss these mood changes with your vet to help your cat feel safe.

6. Passing discharge

Expect a small amount of clear or tan discharge during active labor. Blood-tinged discharge is also normal. However, contact your vet if your cat bleeds excessively or experiences bloody discharge for over a week after giving birth.

7. Don’t care foods

Cats usually don’t seek food immediately after birth but regain their appetite within hours or up to 24 hours. Consult your vet about dietary needs to ensure proper nutrition for the mother and kittens.

8. Genital area licking

Cats lick their genital area to dissolve the thin membrane surrounding the kitten, facilitating its passage through the birth canal. As the cat senses the kittens shifting, she’ll repeatedly lick the area.

Read more: Do Siamese Cats Shed? All Information You Need

9. Expect a placenta after each kitten

Placentas (rust-colored, fleshy masses) should pass about 15 minutes after each birth. If a placenta hasn’t emerged after a kitten is born, more kittens might be on the way.

Sometimes, two or three kittens are born before their placentas pass. Cats may also eat the placenta, which is normal. If one or more kittens are born without the placenta passing soon after, contact your vet, as retained placentas can cause infection.

10. Incomplete focus on newborn kittens

Cats briefly tend to their kittens after birth and then resume pushing. Only when the rest of her litter is delivered, she is ready to fully care for her newborn. You might observe a rhythm: pant, push, lick the kitten, nudge the kitten to nurse, and repeat.

If your cat completely withdraws from her kittens, contact your vet. Give her space to bond, and don’t leave the room during the birthing process.

11. Check for undelivered kittens

Count the kittens, and if fewer were delivered than seen in prior X-rays or ultrasounds, seek veterinary advice. An emergency C-section may be required. Your vet may conduct imaging, bloodwork, and ultrasounds to assess the situation and ensure the mother and kittens are healthy.

Read more: Can a Cat Get Pregnant By a Dog?

How to Handle a Cat with Kittens Still Inside

If you suspect that your cat still has kittens inside or you’re uncertain, you should gently rub her abdomen to feel for any remaining lumps that might be kittens. If there is no movement, it’s possible that the kitten inside could be deceased. If your cat doesn’t give birth to the last kitten, she may become very sick. Here are some suggestions to assist her in delivering the remaining kitten safely and effectively:

  • Calm your cat and help her feel the lump.
  • Gently rub her abdomen over the shape of the kitten on one side.
  • Then, carefully stroke her abdomen in an up-and-down motion.
  • This can help the kitten reposition towards the birth canal.
  • Remember, do not force your cat in any direction.

In some cases, it’s normal for a cat to have kittens still inside. Immediately contact your veterinarian if you still feel a lump the size of a kitten though cat mom stops giving birth. They are trained professionals who can provide the necessary assistance.

Our Latest Video

What to Do When a Kitten Has Died

It is heartbreaking and distressing to deal with the loss of a kitten for both you and your cat. When kittens or all deceased pets, they are cremated according to regulations.

Veterinarians and animal shelters usually offer this service for free. Bury them in their backyard that what owner prefer to keep them side by side when they death.
It is always difficult to part with kittens, even if you didn’t know them well.

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Duration of Cat Labor

6 Common Signs Your Cat is in Labor

  • Enlarged mammary glands
  • Nesting behavior begins
  • Body temperature drops
  • Vocalizations such as howling, licking, chirping, and pacing
  • Changes in behavior
  • Decreased appetite

How Long Are Cats in Labor

A great question! You’ll notice your cat straining and experiencing strong contractions when she starts giving birth, but how long will this last?

Typically, the first kitten is born within 30 minutes, and subsequent kittens arrive between 10 minutes to 1 hour apart. Kittens are usually born within a thin sac, which your cat must tear off to allow them to breathe.

Additionally, your cat will pass a placenta (afterbirth) after each kitten is born. This usually occurs around 10 to 12 minutes after each kitten. Some case kittens being born before their placenta that’s the reason why placenta may not always released in perfect order. Keep track of the placentas during this process, as it will help you determine if your cat still has kittens inside. Consult a vet if there is a concern about a remaining kitten.

Both head-first and tail-first deliveries are normal, although tail-first births may take slightly longer. Overall, most kittens are born within 4 to 16 hours after the first signs of labor, but the duration can vary depending on the situation.

Important Note: If your cat is struggling for about 30 minutes without delivering a kitten or cries out in pain, contact a vet immediately.

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Nutrition for Pregnant Cats

Feeding Your Pregnant Cat

Pregnancy is an exciting and demanding time for both you and your cat. Nutritional support during this period is the most important for the soon-to-be mother. Choosing the appropriate diet during pregnancy ensures proper development of the kittens and supplies the mother with the energy required for birth and nursing.

While adult cat food is suitable for your cat’s daily diet, it may not provide the additional energy needed during pregnancy. To ensure a happy mother and healthy kittens, select a formula that caters to her increased nutritional demands.

A high-quality kitten food formula will supply your pregnant cat with all the nutrients she needs during this stage. Begin introducing the new food into her diet as soon as she mates, and continue feeding it until a few weeks after birth. This will help your cat stay strong and energetic while raising her kittens.

Guidelines for you to feed pregnant cats:

  • Feed with a high-quality kitten food: Calories, protein, and essential nutrients as calcium and phosphorus must be added more in pregnant cats diet. Kitten food is designed to meet these needs as it is formulated for growing kittens. Begin introducing kitten food into your pregnant cat’s diet once she mates, and continue feeding it until a few weeks after birth. Protein you can choose made from tuna, chicken, salmon, Crab,…
  • Gradual transition: Transition your cat to the new kitten food gradually, mixing it with her current food over a period of 7-10 days. This will help prevent digestive issues and allow her to adjust to the new food.
  • Feed more frequently: Pregnant cats may have smaller appetites due to the growing kittens taking up space in their abdomen. Instead of providing large meals, offer smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to ensure she consumes enough calories and nutrients.
  • Maintain hydration: Ensure that your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Proper hydration is essential for pregnant cats to support their increased fluid requirements.
  • Monitor weight gain: Regularly weigh your cat during pregnancy to ensure she is gaining weight appropriately. Consult your veterinarian for guidance on the ideal weight gain for your cat.
  • Avoid supplements: Unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise, avoid giving your pregnant cat supplements. High-quality kitten food should provide all the necessary nutrients for both the mother and her developing kittens.
  • From a kitten to a cat, a pregnant cat or a cat with diseases as Feline Leukemia you must avoid feeding them with pickles, sausage, marsmallows. If you want to add some fruits, let’s try first with blackberries, apple & applesauce,…or some vegetable as Beets, Bell Peppers,… consider with Black Beans, Hummus,….

Why Should I Feed My Pregnant Cat Kitten Food?

Not only cats which are from a kitten to a cat or cats with diseases as BipolarFeline Leukemia, cat using Subcutaneous Fluids, a pregnant cat requires more calories and protein, both of which are present in a high-quality kitten food formula. Feeding the mother kitten food also benefits the litter, as they will try to mimic their mother and begin eating solid food during the weaning process. If your cat has a sensitive stomach, opt for a sensitive kitten formula. If your cat follows a special diet due to medical reasons, consult your vet before making any changes.

When choosing a kitten formula for your pregnant cat, consider her preferences.

Dry food contains more calories per serving than wet food. Mixing her dry food with wet food to introduce her first, then if your cats prefer wet food, feed them more or frequently. This could help your cats conduct more energy and nutrition.

Read more: Can Cats Be Bipolar? All You Need To Know 

Q&A about How To Tell If a Cat Still Has Kittens Inside?

My cat gave birth to one kitten three days ago; is it possible she’ll have more kittens?

Typically, kittens are born 15 minutes to two hours apart. Within 30 minutes after the amniotic sac ruptures, kittens will be delivered. It is concerning if more than three hours pass between kittens.

My cat delivered 5 kittens but still has one more inside; why has her labor stopped?

Interrupted labor, where a mother cat stops straining and rests happily while nursing the kittens already born, is common enough in cats to be considered normal.

When is a second litter after the first is born?

A cat’s next heat cycle may occur just a few weeks after giving birth to kittens. To prevent another pregnancy, keep your cat away from male cats and consult your vet about spaying your cat.

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