Cat labor

8 Pre Labor Signs in Cats You Must Know to Take Care of Your Cat

Animals & Pets

Taking care of your household cat during her pregnancy is the best gift you can offer to her. But to do it effectively, you must know the pre labor signs in cats in detail. For a cat giving birth for the first time, it becomes even more important to make necessary arrangements for her care.

Unless you know the mating day of your cat, you cannot predict her labor day. However, there are certain labor signs that cats show before their labor day. Knowing about these signs and behavioral changes can help you take care of her in a better way.

During a cat’s pregnancy period, it is important for you to do the necessary planning to ensure the healthy sustenance of her kittens. It includes feeding your cat a healthy diet and addressing any medical condition if necessary.

Besides, one should definitely focus on preparing a suitable house for a cat to keep her kittens safe. Before we enlist the common pre labor signs in cats, you must know about the pregnancy period of cats.

Length of Pregnancy Period in Cats

Some pre labor signs in cats to look for

How long does it take for a cat to give birth? The answer to this question is really important to prepare for the healthy pregnancy of a cat. Well, a cat’s pregnancy period can vary from 64 to 67 days which is a time period of nearly 9 weeks.

However, some kittens are born even before 58 days or post 70 days of mating. A total of five pregnancy stages of a cat include fertilization, early stage, middle stage, pre-labor, and labor stage. In each pregnancy stage, a cat shows different symptoms that could help you determine the labor time of your cat.

There are certain behavoiral changes that a cat shows when she is going to enter the labor period. Below you will read about the pregnant cat labor signs that will hint you how close your cat is to give birth to kittens.

8 Common Pre-Labor Signs Cats Show

cat giving birth for the first time

Following are the pre labor signs in cats that will tell you that your cat is very close to giving birth to kittens. In case your cat is giving birth for the first time, you must note these signs carefully. Eventually, it will help you take care of your cat in an adequate manner. Here are the pre-labor signs:

Increase in the Size of Mammary Glands

In the final week of a cat’s pregnancy, her mammary glands see an increase in their sizes. Cats have 4 pairs of mammary glands extended from the groin area to the underside of their chests.

Just a couple of days before she gives birth, she will start producing milk. You will see the secretion of a white cream-colored substance out of her nipples. Besides, you will also see small whitish scabs after drying up milk from her nipples.

Onset of Nesting Behavior

Your cat will show nesting behavior when she is close to her delivery date. Nesting behavior is one of the easiest pre labor signs in cats that can help you take necessary steps for her care. After noticing this, you should put a nesting box in a warm and quiet location in a room.

More importantly, you should keep the nesting box draft-free to help kittens regulate their body temperature. Besides, it is important for you to ensure you keep the nesting box away from other pets or your children. Sleeping in the nesting box will help your cat undergo labor with ease.

Some pregnant cat labor signs

Changes in Appetite

Cats experience a change in their appetite when they reach close to their labor period. A few weeks before the delivery of kittens, they notice an increase in their appetite. However, their appetite decreases when they are close to delivering kittens.

Some days before delivery, a cat experience loss in appetite due to labor pain following the weight of the kittens pushing against her stomach. Hence, it is a good hint for you to judge the labor time of your cat. It is an easily recognizable sign among all pre labor signs in cats before their delivery time.

Fall in Body Temperature

Before one to two days of giving birth, your cat will show a decline in her body temperature. Her temperature will drop from 39.1 degrees celsius to 37.7 degrees celsius. If she allows you, you can measure her body temperature from the armpit area.

Behavioral Changes

You will notice many behavioual chances in your cat giving birth to her kittens. The cat labor period brings many easy to notce changes in her. She will become clingy towards her caretaker. Besides, she will show affectionate behavior and she will try to hide herself in a secluded place.

This is the time when you need to take care of her the most. From feeding her with the best nutritional diet to make arrangements for her safe delivery, you must do everything very passionately.

Pregnant cat

Visible Movement of Kittens

Before a few days of her labor day, you will see movement of kittens in her stomach. It is one of the common pre labor signs in cats that anyone can notice easily.


If your cat is showing uneasy behavior like moving from one place to another without any reason or showing excitement, then you can anticipate her labor day is about to come soon. She will feel restless and it will give you a hint about her delivery day.

Other Signs

Cats start cleaning her rear side to prepare for the delivery of kittens. Besides, there are other signs that would hint you about it. Before the birth of kittens, a cat starts licking her genitalia.

She experiences a discharge of her vulva some hours before the start of birth. Your cat will show pacing, restlessness, howling, meowing or chirping. These pre labor signs in cats are sufficient for anyone to tell her delivery time is near.


From the above information, you could learn a lot about several signs that cats show before their labor time. Besides, it is important for you to take adequate actions and make certain arrangements to prepare for your cat’s delivery time.

As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to know about your cat’s delivery process. It will ensure the worry-free birth of kittens in a comfortable fashion.

In case, you find it difficult to understand your cat’s behavior apart from the above-mentioned pre labor signs in cats, you must hire a cat caretaker to adequately take care of your cat. Here are some of the tasks that you could do to take care of your cat effectively:

  • Pay attention to the grooming routine of your cat. Especially, trim her body hairs near her nipples.
  • Spend time with her and involve her in playful activities to make her feel happy.
  • Prepare a special diet and nutrition program for your cat to take care of her well.
  • Start taking the cat’s temperature daily and call a doctor in case of any emergency.
  • Visit an expert veterinarian to address the health issues of your cat and get a proper checkup of her body.

So, it is all that you need to know about pre labor signs in cats. Besides, you need to take necessary steps to take a proper care of your cat to ensure the safe birth of her kittens.

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