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Ask the Doctor June 2019 Issue

Dear Doctor: How long will the pregnancy last?

Valitov Rashid | Bigstock

For us, pregnancy lasts 9 months; for them, 9 weeks.

Q. My husband and I came across a stray cat a week ago who was meowing away. We took her in, can tell she is pregnant, and have decided to adopt her. What should we expect?

Claire Higgins

Long Island City, New York

Dear Ms. Higgins,

A. A cat pregnancy lasts about nine weeks. The fact that you can tell your new pet is pregnant suggests she is rather far along. The average litter size is four, and it tends to take about an hour between each kitten.

After each kitten comes into the world, the mother will pass the newborn’s fetal membranes, including the placenta, which is a dark greenish-black. She will also clear the baby’s nose and mouth. And she will bite off the umbilical cord and eat the placenta.

After your cat gives birth and nurses her kittens for a couple of months, you will want to think seriously about having her spayed. Otherwise, she will frequently go into heat, and you may not like experiencing the excessive vocalizations some cats make during that time. More importantly, there are many more cats born than people to love and take care of them, so spaying is critical to stem feline overpopulation.

Comments (1)

Your cat will get pregnant again if you don't get her spayed, within two days to two weeks. Unlike humans, cats can get pregnant while still nursing, which has no effect on her fertility heat cycles. Heat(esters) in queens (female cats) is not the same a menstruation in humans. So after eight weeks, her kitts are can be safely weaned. Get her spayed right away.

Posted by: letarosetree | June 12, 2019 2:50 PM    Report this comment

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