False Pregnancy Average Cost

From 349 quotes ranging from $100 - 500

Average Cost

$150

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What is False Pregnancy?

False pregnancies in cats are rare. The only way to determine if a cat is pregnant or is experiencing a false pregnancy is to visit the veterinarian. Because false pregnancies can sometimes mimic serious conditions, it's important to see the veterinarian right away if pregnancy symptoms are displayed by a cat who wasn't around a male cat during her heat cycle.

A false pregnancy, also known as a phantom pregnancy, pseudocyesis, or pseudopregnancy, occurs when a fully matured female cat displays all of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy without actually being pregnant. False pregnancy typically occurs between six to 12 weeks after the cat has been in estrus, also known as “heat”. False pregnancy does not affect a cat's future ability to breed in subsequent pregnancies.

Symptoms of False Pregnancy in Cats

Symptoms appear six to 12 weeks after the cat has been in heat and may continue for several months after a false pregnancy has been diagnosed. These symptoms include:

  • Enlarged mammary glands
  • Brown-tinged fluid or water secretion from the mammary glands
  • Self-nursing
  • Pink nipples
  • Displaying nesting behaviors, such as using blankets and papers to make a nest
  • Mothering inanimate objects, such as toys, stuffed animals and shoes
  • Behavioral changes, such as being extremely affectionate, depressed or guarded
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain
  • Mucoid vaginal discharge
  • Loss of appetite

Causes of False Pregnancy in Cats

The exact cause of false pregnancy is unknown. Hormonal imbalances of the hormones prolactin and progesterone are thought to play a role in its development. During the cat's heat cycle, if she is bred with an infertile male cat, her body will ovulate and produce a corpus luteum. It is believed that once the corpus luteum is produced, the cat's body can no longer distinguish between a real and false pregnancy. Other conditions can cause the same symptoms as a false pregnancy in cats and will need to be ruled out by a veterinarian. These conditions include:

  • Removal of the ovaries and uterus (ovariohysterectomy)
  • Cancer of the mammary gland
  • Infection of the uterus
  • Hypothyroidism

Diagnosis of False Pregnancy in Cats

The veterinarian will need to know the cat's complete health history, the dates of the cat's previous heat cycle, when symptoms first began and the nature of the symptoms. The veterinarian will examine the cat and look for swollen mammary glands and signs of nipple discharge, and will feel the abdomen for the presence of kittens.

Blood tests and labs, such as a complete blood count, biochemical profile, thyroid function tests and a urinalysis will be done. These tests will look for symptoms of more serious conditions that could be causing the symptoms, such as hypothyroidism. A false pregnancy should present with labs that are normal. An abdominal ultrasound or x-ray may also be done. These tests can look for fluid accumulation in the abdomen or uterus, detect a true pregnancy, determine if a uterine infection is present and look for organ enlargement.

Treatment of False Pregnancy in Cats

No treatment is necessary if this is the first false pregnancy that the cat has experienced. Signs and symptoms typically go away within two to three weeks but can last several months. If the cat has experienced recurrent false pregnancies, the veterinarian may recommend the following treatment options:

Hormonal Supplementation

More than one false pregnancy is indicative of a hormonal imbalance. Hormonal supplements can be prescribed by the veterinarian to correct these imbalances and prevent future false pregnancies from occurring.

Surgery

An ovariohysterectomy may be recommended for recurrent false pregnancies. During an ovariohysterectomy, the veterinarian will remove both ovaries and the uterus from the cat. This is done while the cat is under general anesthesia. The veterinarian will make a small incision into the abdominal wall. The two ovaries are tied off and removed along with the uterus. The cat's incision will then be closed with sutures.

Recovery of False Pregnancy in Cats

Cats who have begun to lactate or have swollen mammary glands should have cold or warm compresses placed on their glands. The compress will help to reduce these secretions. An Elizabethan cone, or “e-collar”, may need to be worn in order to prevent the cat from licking or self-nursing, which will cause lactation to occur. Under the veterinarian's advice, food may also need to be reduced to prevent or stop lactation from occurring. It's important to never remove the milk from the cat, as this will continue lactation rather than ending it.

Cats who have an underlying condition that caused the false pregnancy symptoms will need to follow-up with the veterinarian for additional care. Hormonal supplements will also need to be monitored. If the cat had an ovariohysterectomy, an Elizabethan cone will need to be worn to prevent the cat from licking or biting its sutures.

False Pregnancy Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Midnight
Half Bengal half British long haired ??
25 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Wanting attention cons
Constantly licking
missing fur
Nearly bold
Wanting attention constantly

Hi my cat has been licking herself loads lately and has Made herself nearly bold all at the back of her and I don’t know could you offer any advice on why or what to do.

Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
There are various possible causes for this excessive licking which may be due to a medical issue or a behavioural issue. The first thing is to try and stop the licking, a cone may help; afterwards you should bathe Midnight and see how she is afterwards. Possible medical conditions may include infections, parasites, hormonal conditions, allergies, other irritation among other causes; it would be wise to have your Veterinarian examine Midnight to help narrow in on a cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Missy
short haired
2 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Mammary Gland Swelling

My cat is most definitely having a phantom pregnancy and her boobies are huge full with milk will they just go naturally or is there something I should do thanks

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
Phantom or false pregnancy is rare (in comparison to dogs), however symptoms normally will self resolve within ten days or so; keep an eye on her for signs of resolution of symptoms. If there is no improvement within two weeks you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side as there are many underlying conditions which may cause hormonal imbalances. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thanks for you advise I will take her to our local vet if there is no improvment

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Zelda
Shorthaired domestic
2 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Temperature 101.8
Excessive affection
Excessive meowing
Swollen belly,

My cat got outside while she was in heat March 8th and was outside for three days putting her around 62 days, hasn't been in heat since getting outside. Exhibiting all signs of pregnancy except her nipples aren't lactating yet. Around day 54 she started licking her abdomen and genitals, meowing excessively, and putting her bottom in the air like when she was in heat. Those symptoms have backed off and she's been eating a lot a resting and her nesting box. Is everything okay or is she not really pregnant?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations

I cannot say if she is pregnant or not without examining her; milk production doesn’t always start before queening. False pregnancy is a possibility as well as pyometra; I would just keep an eye on her as she will either give birth or if it is a false pregnancy, the behaviour will revert back to normal. You may be able to feel kittens in the abdomen by applying light pressure to the abdomen (don’t push hard). If you are concerned, visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sparkle
Domestic shorthair
5 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Extreme Large Belly

I have rescued a feral cat and her 4 kittens in my neighborhood. The kittens were born prox Sept 1, 2017. On December 18, 2017, I had the mom spayed. All seemed to go well, but after awhile I noticed the mom getting bigger and bigger. I thought she was pregnant (again) but she had been housebound with all 4 kittens since that time (couldn't figure out how she could have gotten pregnant) but subsequently never delivered any kittens. I have never seen a cat this round and I have had cats for 50 years. She is huge and I suspect something is seriously wrong although she acts normal;y. She eats normally and cleans and plays with the other cats. I read an article somewhere that said if a cat is spayed some of the tissue can be left behind in the cat during the surgery which can cause a false pregnancy. It also said that if the tissue is not removed, the cat will have serious and even fatal problems down the road. So that is what I am worried about. It has been 5 months now since her spaying surgery and she has been "fat" at least 4 of those months. She does not look like a normal fat cat and I cannot touch her as she is still feral. Her nipples and underside seem be be ok. I read on here that false pregnancies usually resolve by themselves but I don't see that happening in this case. Can you give me some advice on whether I need to do anything? BTW, I did worm her 6 times since Nov. 2017 with no change in her size afterward. They all had worms and mites and fleas when I rescued them and the humane society said they all needed long-term worming, so that is what I did. But her size was normal up until she was spayed. Also, there has been no vomiting. There was diarrhea but it cleared up with worming.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1375 Recommendations
If Sparkle is otherwise acting normally, she may just be gaining weight. Without seeing her, I can't comment on what might be going on with her, but a false pregnancy is uncommon in a spayed cat. If you are able to have her examined, that would be best, as they can look at her and see what might be going on.

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Wispa
Birman
Four Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

No swollen Nipples
behaviour changes
hiding away
no season
Weight gain

Hi i have a four year old birman female she snuck out 7 weeks ago before this she had seen the vet who said she was in her prime not one ounce of fat on her all muscle was his words,she began getting fatter and had 2 occasions of vomiting water nothing else seemed well .her personality has changed completley shes gone from being a gung ho ninja cat swinging off the doors to eating everything hiding away and wanting to be cuddled by me or snuggled up to the dogs previously she hated me ,in a more obscure event shes begun attacking our 1 year old when she crys not just a smack but a unrelenting continous attack so i have to lift her off my child she shows no aggresion to anyone else,she hasnt come into season and just had a few vovalisations shes so big now her sides stick out and shes waddling and feeling her tummy it isnt soft and very bumpy its not fat everything points to a pregnancy but heres the thing her nipples are not swollen, some hair is gone from around them or flattened making them slightly more obvious in her fluffy fur however they are small and white i dont know what to make of it under her fur something physical has happened to her tummy i dont feel movement but i do feel lots of lumps what could easily be little paws and im afraid to pick her up now as i ahve to support the belly shes a small cat so im guessing if shes pregnant its only a few but im worried we have a tom that we got in october same breed and he is massive we have seen them mating 3-4 times but hes suppose to be neutered i looked it up and i know its unusual if hes neutered he was a breeding cat but had cowhock kegs so the breeder had him neutered supposidly my worry is he is the size of a cavalier dog so with my girl being small is she in trouble? and is she infact pregnant

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
Without examining Wispa I cannot say whether or not she is pregnant or if she has another conditions like false pregnancy (rare in cats) or a hormonal condition (may cause fat accumulation in the abdomen). You should visit your Veterinarian regardless for an examination to determine whether Wipsa is pregnant or if there is another cause for these symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Lavender
British Shorthair
4 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

pregnant

My cat Lavender who is a British Blue shorthair cat and aged 4 years has had 3 matings with studs in 2016 & 2017 and has not been able to get pregnant - she has had 2 litters before this in 2014 and 2015 but no kittens in 2016 and I have tried again this year in February 2017 - we thought she was pregnant and was getting bigger and her nipples had appeared to pink up but I took her to the vet as she would have been due to give birth last week and the vet has confirmed that she does not have any kittens. We are going to wait until she calls again and the vet has suggested blood tests and a scan - she is in very good health and no health issues apart from not being able to get pregnant - can you offer any other advice to me re hormonal supplements and whether this might help her?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations

There are many possible causes of infertility in cats, even in a proven queen; these include infections, ovarian cysts and poor husbandry (I suspect that isn’t a problem). Hormonal imbalances may occur for various reasons, but it is important to understand why so that you know that there wouldn’t be a problem with subsequent matings. As your Veterinarian has suggested, a scan and blood tests would rule out the usual causes and would be the next step before any synchronization is attempted. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Kia
Siamese
6 Months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

heat
False Pregnancy

Hello! We went to a vacation and left our cat with some friends and she has to cats (males) and my friend realized my cat was in heat so took her cats outside and left my cat inside a few days later they went to a meeting and when they got back they found the 2 male cats inside with my cat, so we thought she was pregnant and she started showing signs that she was pregnant so after about 1 Month of thinking she was pregnant a few days ago she started acting like she was in heat (rubbing against things, putting her butt in the air etc) what could possibly happened?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1375 Recommendations
Kia may be pregnant, as the hormonal changes that happen with pregnancy can make them act like they are in heat. It is also possible that she is not pregnant. Cats are typically pregnant for about 60 days, and it might be a good idea to keep Kia inside and away from male cats until you are sure.

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Cicko
Egyptian Mau
9 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

pregnant

If a cat having phantom pregnancy does her eating behavior also changing?
I have read it can happen that a cat have at some time less appetite and if is near delivery then she almost don't eat anything? Is that true? And how long does last the phantom pregnancy?
She is in good health and have no problems.
I just worry when will this phantom pregnancy will be over and her eating behavior is not always the same.
Is it because of the phantom pregnancy?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2950 Recommendations
Phantom or false pregnancy in cats is less common than dogs, but in most cases treatment isn’t required because symptoms are normally self limiting and resolve within a few weeks. Typical symptoms of phantom pregnancy do including a loss of appetite, nesting behaviour, other behavioural changes as well as changes to mammary glands and the presence of a vaginal discharge. If there are signs of fever, green or yellow discharge, smelly discharge or anything else concerning you should visit your Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you so much for your fast reply!
I very appreciate!
She doesn't have any fever, and her discharge is not smelly.
The discharge looks bit of greenish but its hard to tell because the greenish color almost can't notice it and if I keep her busy these days then there is no discharging and the most happens when she is resting.
She had already phantom pregnancy twice and the colour was the same.
And that's her now third time.
If I keep her busy will it go over faster?
She have it more than a month and last time was it more than 40 days

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