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Unless you are a professional cat breeder, you should think carefully before breeding your cat for the sake of getting cute little kittens! There is a lot of hard work involved as we know from experience so do not allow your female cat to breed unless you are sure you can cope with the kittens. If you have an un-neutered male then you should consider that your male cat will be searching out female cats that  haven't been spayed and you may be giving their cat owner a lot of grief by allowing your male cat to mate freely!

Pregnancy & Pre-natal Care

Pregnancy lasts between 58 & 62 days.

Once your cat is pregnant you need to ensure that she is provided with everything she needs to ensure a smooth pregnancy. Just as you would like to be pampered and looked after if you were pregnant, your cat needs it also (though not quite as much - they certainly won't need anti-natal classes for one!).

A pregnant cat must be fed a nourishing, well-balanced diet and you may need to increase the feeding during the last few weeks. You should be feeding the pregnant queen at a least 1/3 more than normal and this should be spread over 3 or 4 meals. This may cause problems if you have other cats as well as they may eat the extra food and the queen may not get as much as she should. You will find, however, that most cats will only eat as much as they want and they are not 'greedy' like dogs so the queen should get what she needs.

It is not worth separating the cats off to ensure she eats more as this may cause even further problems when you come to re-introduce them.

A healthy pregnant cat will remain active throughout the pregnancy and will continue to play as normal. Do be gentle with her when it comes to handling. It is advisable not to pick up a queen unless really necessary as she will probably not appreciate it.

We found that we fussed more over our pregnant cat than she did and to be honest they are quite capable of looking after themselves! (see the later section on giving birth, however).

All the cat books suggest that your queen will start hunting around for a suitable place to give birth several weeks before the big event. We didn't find this to be true, however, and it was only literally an hour before giving birth that she decided where to have the kittens (well we actually persuaded her where to go!). We did follow the 'book' though and provided her with a kittening box, and several alternatives which were in a warm, quiet room and away from all the noise and other cats.