Pregnancy Tests For Cats – Are They Reliable?

Pregnancy tests for cats are quite reliable, especially when conducted at the vet’s clinic.

Female cats that are always around Tomcats during the heat cycle can get pregnant at any time, especially when they are not neutered. When you get your cat to the clinic, the veterinarian may decide to go for a blood test, ultrasound, X-ray, or abdominal palpation, depending on how far gone a pregnant cat is.

Are there pregnancy tests for cats?

Yes, there are pregnancy tests for cats but these can only be done by a vet at the veterinary clinic. Unfortunately, there are no at-home pregnancy tests for cats as we have for humans.

How can I tell if my cat is pregnant without a vet?

There are several ways through which a pet parent can determine whether their female cats have conceived. If your pet cat has been going outside while on heat and there is the possibility that it may be meeting some tomcats there, then you have to be vigilant. You will just watch out for symptoms like weight gain and some other behavioral changes that may occur.

However, we should also note that these changes do not manifest once a cat conceives. Pet parents may start noticing them toward the end of the cat’s gestation period.

How do vets run pregnancy tests for cats?

To confirm feline pregnancy, a vet may decide to use either of these methods;

Ultrasound – Typically, a vet would perform an ultrasound around 20 days into the gestation period to confirm if kittens are developing.

Xray – When a female cat is approaching its final weeks of gestation, the vet may prefer to go for an X-ray as opposed to an ultrasound. The reason for this is that, at this stage, the bones of the kittens have already formed and it will aid the vet in decoding how many kittens to expect; it also detects if any of them would pose possible delivery complication risks. If you know exactly the number of kittens to expect, then you will know when the last one has come out and allow the cat to rest.

Blood Test – Faced with a cat that might be possibly pregnant, a vet may opt for a blood test; he takes samples of the feline’s blood to detect relaxin levels, as well as confirm the pregnancy. However, less number of pet parents and vets go for this method because of the high cost and the long time it takes for the lab result to be ready. A blood test also detects a cat’s serum levels, blood flow, and many more.

The presence of relaxin in a cat’s blood is to relax its cervix and makes delivery smooth and easy. Relaxin only shows in the cat’s blood between 20-25 days of its gestation period. The modern-day cat pregnancy test may take up to 30 minutes for the results to come out.

Abdominal palpation – Abdominal palpation simply means an examination by touching and feeling. Vets constantly use it in detecting pregnancy in animals. Midwives also leverage palpation in determining the position of a fetus.

Can you use human pregnancy tests on cats?

It is not possible to use human pregnancy tests on female cats as these tests are specie specific. What works for a woman may not work for a female cat and won’t give you any useful info.

Signs to know a pregnant cat

When a pet parent suspects that a female cat is pregnant, the following are signs to look out for to confirm whether it is true or not.

Less activity

A pregnant cat is bound to be less active than it used to be. Reduced activity may also be an indication of health conditions and the best thing to do in this situation is to call in the vet.

Change in appetite

When a cat conceives, its appetite changes – there are female cats that become very ravenous and want to eat more while some may only ingest less food. There are cats that even vomit during the early stages of pregnancy as a result of morning sickness. The reason cats eat more during pregnancy is their body burns more calories and uses more nutrients.

Enlarged nipples

Pregnancy Tests For Cats

Enlarged nipples are another symptom of pregnancy in cats. Naturally, a cat’s nipples are very small but once it gets pregnant, they begin to enlarge and get that pinkish color. The nipples may start leaking milk when delivery draws near.

Weight gain

When a cat conceives, the tummy starts growing with the passage of time. However, this is a later symptom that becomes noticeable as delivery draws close. When you notice your cat adding weight during pregnancy, that means you already missed all the earlier signs.

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You may start noticing some nesting behaviors

As delivery draws near, pet parents may observe that their female cats are displaying some nesting behaviors. These behaviors will aid the cat in preparing to welcome its litter when the time comes. The cat may be found kneading incessantly on its bedding or taking to gathering materials to build a cozy nest in anticipation of its litter. A nesting cat may tend to be reclusive and irritable as well.

Other behavioral changes

Apart from the aforementioned, there are other behavioral changes to expect from a pregnant cat. Some of them may start seeking more attention than they used to. On the flip side, you may find your female cat seeking to stay as far away from you as possible and when you bother it, the feline may get irritated.

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