Early Contractions and Labor Average Cost

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Average Cost

$650

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What is Early Contractions and Labor?

While a kitten born on or after the 61st day of gestation has good survival odds, contractions and labor before then can endanger both the kitten and its mother.

Pregnancy in cats usually goes smoothly, but premature contractions and labor do happen from time to time. In an ideal situation, a cat would give birth after 63 days of pregnancy. However, factors ranging from stress to bacterial infections can cause a pregnant cat to go into labor too early.

Symptoms of Early Contractions and Labor in Cats

Before a cat fully goes into labor, there are a few tell-tale signs. If a cat is showing these signs before the 61st day of pregnancy, it is likely that the cat is going into premature labor:

  • Bloody vaginal discharge
  • Lack of appetite
  • Loud and frequent vocalizing
  • Hiding
  • Unexplained affection

Causes of Early Contractions and Labor in Cats

The causes of early labor in cats are particularly varied, but can be put into two different categories: stress-related and medical.

Medical

  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Genetic disorders
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Malnutrition
  • Death of a fetus
  • Hormonal imbalances, specifically a sudden drop in progesterone
  • Lyme disease

Stress-Related

  • Loud noises
  • Emotional disturbances like screaming or fighting owners
  • Excessively cold temperatures
  • A recent move
  • Receiving vaccinations while pregnant

Diagnosis of Early Contractions and Labor in Cats

If a cat starts displaying symptoms of early contractions, it is vital that it is brought to a veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian will require a complete medical history of the cat, as well as some information regarding the pregnancy. This includes things like the cat's general health before and during the pregnancy, information about the symptoms being displayed and any stressful incidents that could have contributed to premature labor.

Once the veterinarian has this information, they will begin a physical examination of the cat, while being careful not to cause further stress. Depending upon the results of the physical examination, the veterinarian may need to run any of the following tests: a blood chemical profile, an electrolyte panel or urinalysis.

The blood profile will reveal any issues with progesterone levels, while the urinalysis will show any disorders or diseases that may be causing the early labor. After these tests have been performed, the veterinarian will perform an ultrasound to see if fetal death or abnormal positioning of the fetus could be causing the early labor.

If the kittens are stillborn or die shortly after birth, they may need to be necropsied by the veterinarian to identify the cause of death. This will help determine if the issue could affect the cat later in life as well as ensure the viability of any future pregnancies.

Treatment of Early Contractions and Labor in Cats

At this stage, the cat will most likely require medical treatment either for the underlying disease causing the problem or the stillborn kittens.

Stillborn Kittens: Stillborn kittens will typically need to be surgically removed. The procedure is quite low-risk for the cat, but if other undamaged fetuses are still in the womb, it may prove dangerous for them. 

Other Treatments: Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to stop early labor once it has started. The veterinarian will likely give the cat and any surviving kittens medical attention for any complications, but may not be able to halt the process of the early labor.

Recovery of Early Contractions and Labor in Cats

After the delivery, it is important to keep the cat isolated from other animals for a period of three weeks, with exceptions being made for any surviving kittens, of course. Even animals that live in the home and that the cat knows should be kept at a distance, as the cat will need time to recover from going through labor. As much as possible, the cat should be kept in a warm and quiet room by itself.

After a cat has gone through early labor, it is important to bring it in for a checkup after the three week period. At this point, the cat should be returning to normal, and it can be a sign of other diseases if the cat is still weak or sick after the first three weeks. 

While a cat is nursing its kittens, it is important not to give it any medication without approval from a veterinarian. Many medications can affect the cat's milk and be harmful to kittens.

Early Contractions and Labor Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Milly
Turquoise
12 Months
Fair condition
-1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Meowing, sore belly

My cat is acting strange she keeps moewing at me and i walk with around tge house but she doesnt know where she wants to be only just found out shes pregnant by her belly size not show how far along she is or if anything has happened to the kittens inside her dont know what to do

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1043 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If Milly is pregnant, she will have kittens about 60 days after getting pregnant. She may be displaying normal nesting behavior, but she may be having a problem, It would be best to have her examined by your veterinarian, and possibly have x-rays taken to determine the number of kittens and make sure that everything is okay. If she is straining and not having any kittens, she needs to be seen at an emergency clinic. I hope that everything goes well for her.

My cat is 60 days pregnant. Today about an hour ago s h e started meowing constantly and rubbing against our legs and wanting me to rub ber belly which she hates normally. She went to her cage where is nesting layed down for 10 min and then she jumped up on our bed and went to sleep and it hasnt happened again yet. Its been 2 hours i think. Could she be in labor?

I need some help my Bengal is heavily pregnant and at my guess she is due any day but today her tail is fluffed up and she is wondering around the house seems like she is scared could this be a sign of labour?

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Dagger
Tuxedo
6 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Panting

Hi my cat dagger is attacking our male cat I feel like she may be pregnant even though her belly has not gotten bigger she recently came into contact with a stray Male in the last few days of her heat and hasn't been in a heat for a month and a half now if she is pregnant I feel like it will be one kitten we also have a another female cat which she doesnt attack. Dagger has been very loving toward us when she usually dont want cuddles but she follows us everywhere and has begun to pant. Will a Cat attack a male cat when going into labor

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
She may do if she is not wanting to be disturbed or she is getting the nest ready for queening; gestation in cats is around nine weeks so keep an eye on her as it would still be early for labour if she is pregnant. If you have any concerns, it is always best to check in with your Veterinarian for a physical examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Queenie
Unknown
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Decreased hunger
Behavioral change
Nesting
Movement in belly

I think my cat is going into labor any day now. Her mood has changed,she's nesting,you can clearly see her babies move inside her belly now,today it took ages for her to want food and she only ate a little. This is her first time having kittens btw.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
A loss of appetite in a pregnant cat may occur just before birthing, any other time before then should be treated as a possible sign of a problem with the pregnancy; but if she is due any moment it may be just normal especially if she is nesting. Keep a close eye on her and visit your Veterinarian if you have any concerns. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.purina.co.uk/cats/health-and-nutrition/pregnancy/things-to-look-out-for-during-cat-labour

I'm in need of some advice.
My cats is having her third litter. Her water broke at 11am, her first kitten didn't come till 9:03 that night. It's not 10:18 and she has only had one kitten. Yet she eats, drinks, going toilet. She is not showing any signs of distress. She still has live kittens inside her.

What do I do?

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kitten
Cat
1 Day
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

for kittens born outside, would 80 or above be too hot? i dont want them to suffocate from the heat. im just not sure what the appropriate temperature is to keep them at. can you help?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
Generally it is recommended that a queening box is kept around 85-90℉ and reduced to 80℉ after a few days; I don’t think the temperature would be too hot for them but they should ideally be brought inside since the wind or breeze may cause rapid heat loss especially since kittens cannot regulate their body temperature. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Molly
tabby
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

pregnant

My cat is pregnant, I’m pretty sure it was by her father. And I’m really worried that the cats are gonna be abnormal, or my pregnant cat dying while giving birth because of the babies being abnormal?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1043 Recommendations
It is possible that the kittens will have some health problems, but there isn't any way to know until the kittens are born, other than possibly an ultrasound that may show obvious abnormalities. It would be best to have her examined by a veterinarian, and cats are pregnant for approximately 60 days, to give you an idea as to when to expect the kittens. I hope that all goes well, and you should probably have her spayed at some point to prevent this from happening again.

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Stormy
Cat
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Hungry
-bloody dischar

I’ve recently taken in a stray cat, whom is very loving. I’ve had her for about three weeks now, about a week ago someone brought to my attention that she is pregnant. She has to be less than a year old, and her stomach isn’t that big. I noticed a little spot of blood discharge what should I do?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
Without knowing how far she is in pregnancy it is difficult to say whether she is near term, possibly aborting or has blood drops due to another cause; I would keep a close eye on her and clean the blood from around the vulva but if there is constant drips of blood or any other concerning symptom you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Indy
Ragdoll
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Bloody
Sleepy

I think my cat is going in to labour. This morning there was blood discharge around half 7 but it’s now twenty past nine and no sign of anything. She’s eating away and purring just seems a bit more lazy and wanting to lie down all the time whereas normally follows me around. Just wondering if this is normal? As with another day once the blood came the kittens followed shortly after but with this one there is no sign of anything

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1043 Recommendations
There can be a bit of time between kittens when cats are giving birth. Without knowing more about Indy, I am not able to comment on what might be going on, but if she seems comfortable otherwise and is not in active labor, you may be okay to continue to monitor her for kittens. If she has not started having any kittens within the next few hours, it would be a good idea to have her seen by a veterinarian, as the bloody discharge may be a problem. I hope that all goes well for her.

I’ve recently taken in a stray cat, whom is very loving. I’ve had her for about three weeks now, about a week ago someone brought to my attention that she is pregnant. She has to be less than a year old, and her stomach isn’t that big. I noticed a little spot of blood discharge what should I do?

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Panther
Unknown
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Affectionate
Not lactating
Loud purring

I'm sure wasn't wrong. I think my cat went into early labor,so far there was only to kittens born. One of them died. She is still pretty big and isnt giving any milk.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
If you don’t know the date of mating, we cannot be sure about how many days pregnant she is; you should allow her to give birth and monitor her progress as it is possible there are other kittens to come. If you believe it is early or kittens are dying you should visit your Veterinarian for assistance. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sassy
Calico
10 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

uncomfortable

My cat is heavily pregnant and is really needy and affectionate and went straight to her kennel. She’s been licking her belly and pacing and wants petted and comforted. Is this the start of labor for her?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
This behaviour may be an indicator of labour especially if she is around nine to ten weeks pregnant, keep an eye on her and look for any changes around the vulva; labour with cats is normally uneventful with minimal complications. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Shea
Ragdoll simease
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Affectionate

My very pregnant cat is wanting lots of attention and I thought I felt contractions earlier today but she has not gone into labor yet. I dont know how far along she is but she is very big and from what I have read she is at least 6 weeks. I have not seen a vet and I am doing this at home but I don't know what the contractions should feel or look like. What should I do?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1043 Recommendations
Cats have kittens about 2 months after they get pregnant, and typically will start nesting and finding a quiet place when they are ready to start labor. Active contractions involve the stomach, and are quite obvious in 'bearing down' behavior. They can have kittens 30-60 minutes apart. If she is actively pushing and in labor for more than 30 minutes with no signs of kittens, that is when she needs to be seen. It would be a good idea to have her examined by a veterinarian before she has the kittens to make sure that she is healthy, and have an x-ray done to see how many kittens there are. I hope that everything goes well for her.

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Nounou
Siamese
13 Years
Critical condition
-1 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Walk Unevenly
Low Energy
Vaginal Discharge
Premature Labor
Sneezing

My cat got sick and refused to eat 4days before giving premature birth, now it's 5 days after the birth and she's getting worse, she has obloody vaginal discharge, can't walk straight, she sneezed a lot before the problem starts, now she has low temperature, I live in Morocco so the only very incompetent veterinary in our city didn't know what's wrong

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
Without examining Nounou I cannot determine the severity of the symptoms, but she should be receiving supportive and symptomatic care; also she shouldn’t be nursing if she isn’t eating and you should find a kitten milk replacer because Nounou will not be able to give them adequate nutrition. The loss of appetite may be due to an infection or complication from pregnancy or birth; but in the meantime Nounou should be on fluids and should have a blood test to check calcium levels, blood counts etc… Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

She's dead.

In fact we think that she has kidney stones, the kidneys are swollen and she doesn't get much urine out, when she does it's bloody.
Thanks for replying.
P.S: the kittens are dead

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Lilith
SHORT HAIRED CAT
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Weight gain, hard stomach,

I took in a stray male a few months ago and it looked like he was fixed, I already had an non spayed female. My female has been gaining weight, becoming more affectionate, her stomach is harder, and her nipple glands have swelled. Could she possibly be pregnant? My male was trying to hump her for a while but right before she started gaining weight he stopped. Is it also possible that he had a botched neutering?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
It is very difficult to botch a cat neutering, but never say never; it is possible that he is still fertile but I doubt it. Another cause may be a false pregnancy where hormonal stimulation causes the appearance of pregnancy when she isn’t. You should have Lilith checked by your Veterinarian to determine whether the cause is pregnancy or not. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tabby
tabby
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Often tired
Tapeworms
doesnt eat much

We rescue cats at my house we have 32 rescue cats on my property and 12 personal cats. We rescued a cat 3 days ago that is about 55 days pregnant. We are calling her Tabby btw. Since they are rescues they stay in 48 inch dog crates stacked on a wall in a shelter room. I sit in their cages and live on them and Tabby was pooping and a really long string was hanging out of her anus. It was about 5 inches long. So I got a paper towel and grabbed the string and it is a tapeworm. A FIVE INCH TAPEWORM! She was a stray cat so I had no doubt she has worms but I didn't know they were this bad. Can this affect the kittens?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1043 Recommendations
The tapeworms will only affect the kittens through nutrition that she can provide to the kittens, but it would obviously be best to have the tapeworms treated so that she is as healthy as possible.

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Mouse
American Shorthair
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Labor
Premature Labor
Tired
pregnant
broken water/ fluid leak, tiredness

I rescued a pregnant cat about 1 month ago. Started feeling babies move maybe a few days over 2 weeks ago, about 36 hours ago I thought her water had broke because she had a very small amount of pinkish clear fluid leak into the floor and then ever since she's had a small amount of somewhat dry/wet blood around the opening of her vagina. She has been laying in her nesting box for the last 36 hrs (since the fluid leakage) and has only came out to eat and use the restroom. Everything other than that is pretty normal. I haven't seen any noticeable conractions, and she hasn't seemed uncomfortable. Just sleeping, stretching, and doing quite alot of yawning. Since she is a rescue I have no idea when she got pregnant but I would say she is full term or veryclose anyway. Just wondering if these signs mean she is in labor already or why hasn't labor started if she has been this way for almost 48 hours now. Thank you!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations
Generally after waters break we would expect to see a kitten within two hours or so, if she isn’t pushing or showing signs of contractions the fluid may not have been from the waters breaking but something else; since we don’t have any history of Mouse before one month ago we cannot be sure of anything. I would recommend given the situation to visit a Veterinarian (charity clinic, shelter or other type) for a quick examination for peace of mine. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Catelyn
Indian domestic cat
16 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Restless
Active
Increased diet
Restless labour

My cat seems to be restless nowdays.. and is trying to get in the closet seeking it as her nest.
But i don't want her to give her labour in closet. Are there any other options to provide a proper nest to my cat instead of letting her to get in my closet. Please help me.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1043 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If you can provide a space that is enclosed, warm, and safe, she may choose it over the closet. Cats instinctively go to safe 'caves' to have kittens, and you may need to adapt the closet so that she is okay having kittens in there.

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Oreo
Bicolor cat
4 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Affectionate

Why is my cat not eating she has not been eating for 4 hours she only drinks water and is hiding in her nest she made a week ago but why is she just hiding and not eating her food?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1043 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. 4 hours is not a long time to be not eating, but if Oreo is not eating, and is hiding, it might be a good idea to have her examined by a veterinarian, as they can assess her, determine if she has a problem, and recommend any possible testing or treatments that might be needed. I hope that she is okay.

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Irish
Tabby
5 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Acting strange

What to look for if early labour my cat got out 4 1/2 weeks ago and she did not want anyone to touch her but this morning she is wanting to be with me so what is going on her belly is getting bigger and she has had morning sickness and the last 3 weeks she is eating a lot more. I don't know what to do

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2466 Recommendations

Gestation period in cats is around 64 to 67 days (varies depending on the literature); typical signs of labor are nesting, milk production, behaviour changes etc… One concern may be the start of pyometra which may occur after two to eight weeks post heat; if you have concerns, visit your Veterinarian to check her over to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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