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Cats need a lot of care and attention during their pregnancy. In this article, I would suggest you some important points that will help you take good care of your cat during pregnancy.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

Recognising Signs of Pregnancy

In order to take care of a pregnant cat it is essential to be aware of some signs of pregnancy in cats. Most cats become affectionate and quite during their pregnancy. They will spend more time at home and will completely change their daily routine. By the third week of pregnancy the cat's nipples will become enlarged and dark pink. You can even take your cat to an experienced veterinarian to detect your queen's pregnancy. He will be able to palpitate the abdomen and feel the kittens around 17 to 25 days.

Diet & Nutrition During Pregnancy

Once you are sure that your cat is pregnant, the first and foremost step is to take care of her food and ensure that she gets the right amount of nutrition required at this stage. Cats need more nutrients when they are pregnant especially calcium and proteins. Lack of calcium can lead to something called as milk fever or eclampsia. Brands like Eukanuba, Cimiao prepare special food for cats during pregnancy. This food contains all the necessary nutrients that are essential for your cat during pregnancy. If you are making the food at home than it is important to increase the amount of proteins in her food. Proteins contribute a lot in the growth and development of kittens. You must avoid giving her too much salty, spicy or fatty food as it is not good for your cat's health. It will be easier for your pregnant cat if you start giving her smaller and more frequent meals.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

Notice Small Changes

Another important thing that you must take care during your cat's pregnancy is to keep a track on her behavioural changes. She might act differently or become more aggressive during her gestation period. Your cat can also have morning sickness; make sure there is plenty of water available for her. It is common for a cat to deliver in her own litter box. Therefore, you must ensure that you provide her with a non clumping litter. Such a litter box will help to keep her and her offspring clean.

Role of Exercise

Exercise is very important for cats during pregnancy. This will keep her muscles toned and will help her during birth. Also, you must ensure that the place around her is cleaned and wiped properly. She must be kept away from worms as they can pass to the kittens via bloodstream or mother's milk after birth. Furthermore, you should take her to a veterinarian for checkups at regular intervals.

Things to do in the Last Week of Pregnancy

Apart from these tips your cat needs some special attention during her final stage of pregnancy; here are some points that will help you to take proper care of her during last stage of pregnancy:

Keep other cats awayDon't pick her up, hug her tightly or do anything that will make your cat miserableRemember to give her special attention during the final stage of pregnancyKeep a close eye on your catPrepare a home for kittens before they are born

If you have any experiences related to your cat's pregnancy, you are welcome to share them with us!

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
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