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  • Writer's pictureDorota Fraczek

Cat pregnancy development

Cat pregnancy is an exciting time for cat owners, as they await the arrival of a litter of adorable kittens. Understanding foetal development week by week can help cat owners provide the best possible care for their pregnant cats and prepare for the arrival of the kittens.


Week 1-2: Fertilization and Implantation

The first two weeks of cat pregnancy are dedicated to fertilization and implantation. During this time, the male cat's sperm fertilizes the female cat's egg, and the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and implants in the uterus. At this stage, the fertilized egg is known as a zygote.


Week 3-4: Embryonic Development

During weeks 3-4, the zygote begins to develop into an embryo. The embryo divides into cells and forms a blastocyst. The blastocyst is made up of an outer layer of cells, which will become the placenta, and an inner cell mass, which will become the kitten.

At this stage, the embryos are tiny and barely visible. However, your cat may begin to display physical signs of pregnancy, such as swollen nipples and a slightly swollen belly.


Week 5-6: Foetal Development

During weeks 5-6, the embryos become fully formed foetuses. The kittens' features begin to take shape, and they develop fur, whiskers, and claws. The kittens' sex is determined, and their organs begin to function.

At this stage, your cat's belly will become noticeably larger as the kittens grow. You may be able to feel the kittens moving around in your cat's belly, and you may notice your cat becoming more restless or seeking out secluded areas to nest.


Week 7-8: Growth and Development

During weeks 7-8, the kittens continue to grow and develop. Their bones become stronger, and their senses begin to develop. The kittens' teeth begin to form, and their eyes begin to open.

Your cat's appetite may decrease at this stage, as the kittens take up more space in her abdomen. You may also notice your cat becoming more protective of her belly and her nesting area.


Week 9-10: Preparation for Birth

During weeks 9-10, the kittens are fully developed and ready for birth. Your cat may begin to exhibit nesting behaviour, such as kneading or rearranging bedding. This is a sign that labour is imminent, and your cat will give birth to her kittens soon.


Conclusion

Cat pregnancy is an exciting and rewarding time for cat owners. Understanding foetal development week by week can help cat owners provide the best possible care for their pregnant cats and prepare for the arrival of the kittens. By working closely with your veterinarian and providing a safe and comfortable environment, you can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery for your furry friend.

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