During pregnancy, your cat has special nutritional needs. It is necessary to adapt her diet so that she's perfectly healthy and her kittens develop correctly.
By respecting the cat's energy, mineral and vitamin needs, you ensure that her gestation and calving go well, but also that she can be ready to breastfeed her young until weaning.
Here you will learn more about the nutritional needs of a pregnant cat, as well as what to eat during birth and lactation.
Characteristics of pregnant cats
Before learning about their diet, it's necessary to firstly speak of the main features of pregnant cats.
- It lasts an average 66 days.
- Up until the 40th day approximately, the cat stores reserves which will be used thereafter at the time of birth and during the breast feeding.
- The cat will gain weight during the first couple of days of pregnancy, contrary to dogs.
- The amount of weight gained corresponds to the weight of the kittens in the uterus.
Nutritional requirements for pregnant cats
It is important to respect the nutritional needs of a pregnant cat. This will help ensure they, as well as their kittens, stay healthy. Your cat's energy, mineral and vitamin needs must be taken into account.
Their diet must include:
- above average fat content
- a high level of taurine (amino acid produced in small quantities by the cat) (0.1% in the kibbles, and 0.25% in the feed)
- few acids
Source: Barf-Raw Feeding
How do I feed a pregnant cat?
When feeding a pregnant cat, it's important to respect certain rules to make sure they remain healthy. As well as respecting their nutritional needs, it's equally important to know when and how to feed them, as well as their weight fluctuations. Here are a few tips on how to do this:
- Increase their ration by 10% during the first 8 weeks (during birth, this should increase t0 50% their normal amount).
- Be careful! Too much weight gain could prove to be dangerous and cause problems during birth.
- Check their weight regularly, as well as the development of the kittens with your vet.
- You could also give them special kitten kibbles.
- Quantity: 70 to 90 grams per day until the 5th week, then 90 to 110 grams per day until the 9th week.
How to feed a cat who's nursing?
Once they have given birth, your cat will normally lose weight (around 20% of their normal weight). Their fatty reserves are useful during breastfeeding.
Good to know:
- A cat can produce between 1,5 and 2 times their weight in milk. A mother's milk is very rich in protein and fat.
- While they are nursing, a cat exerts 2 to 3 times their usual energy.
While they are nursing, make sure to keep an eye on their water intake. They must stay hydrated so make sure to regularly fill up their water bowl.
You can still give her 120 to 190 grams of kitten food or special nursing cats per day. You can also leave them in self-service.
If your cat is pregnant, it's important to help them throughout this time, pregnancy and nursing. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to talk to your vet.