What is Miscarriage?
Miscarriage in cats occurs when there is either a deliberate or unexplained termination of pregnancy in your cat. Miscarriage may be chemically induced under the supervision and/or advice of your vet. It can also occur for a variety or hormonal or physical reasons. If your cat is in the early stages of pregnancy, you may not notice any signs or symptoms and the fetuses may be reabsorbed by your cat’s body. In later stages, your cat may miscarry and then develop maternal instincts and behaviors, up to developing milk and crying or pacing, looking for kittens. If you expect your cat is miscarrying you should seek immediate veterinary care.
Symptoms of Miscarriage in Cats
The symptoms of miscarriage in your cat may be minor if the pregnancy is in the first several weeks. Generally, however, you will see noticeable signs of a miscarriage. These may include:
- Bloody discharge
- Disappearance of fetuses previously seen in ultrasound or felt via palpation
- Abdominal straining
- Delivery of premature, dead, or nonviable fetuses
Causes of Miscarriage in Cats
Miscarriage is a condition that may have a variety of underlying causes. While it may not always be possible, it is important to attempt to diagnose the underlying cause of the miscarriage to rule out potential infections or other conditions that may be life-threatening to your cat. Common causes include:
- Feline leukemia virus
- Feline herpesvirus
- Bacterial disease such as chlamydia
- Protozoal infections
- Exposure to chemicals known to induce labor or miscarriage
- Congenital defects
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Severe stress
- Hormonal imbalances
Diagnosis of Miscarriage in Cats
Diagnosis of miscarriage in your cat will begin with a thorough physical exam. If your cat has miscarried at home, you should arrange to bring the aborted fetuses with you for your vet to examine, if possible. The fetuses may provide important clues regarding the underlying cause of the miscarriage. In the initial visit, your vet may choose to order ultrasound or x-ray imaging in order to confirm there are no additional fetuses retained. Living fetuses may need support in order to avoid being miscarried and dead fetuses will need to be removed from the cat in order to avoid infection and potential death to your pet. These images will also rule out any injury to the internal organs of your cat.
During the initial exam, you should provide a thorough history of your cat’s pregnancy. Approximate date of impregnation and identity of the sire, if known, may be important facts for a proper diagnosis. Onset of symptoms and length of time of any unusual behavior such as lack of eating or your cat beginning to nest, will also be helpful.
Your vet will also order a full blood panel. This will allow your veterinarian to identify the presence of any infection and will provide an analysis of various hormone levels throughout your cat’s body. If there are signs of a cold or infection, various smears from the nose, ears and mouth should also be taken to potentially identify an upper respiratory or other type of infection. A stool sample may also be ordered in order to test for parasites.
Treatment of Miscarriage in Cats
Treatment of your cat after miscarriage will depend on whether she needs to be stabilized and the underlying cause of the miscarriage. In the event there are retained fetuses, your vet may administer drugs that cause contractions in your cat to help eliminate the remaining tissue. This will be conducted in your veterinarian’s office and will prevent your cat from becoming infected as the fetuses continue to break down inside of the uterus.
In the case of infection, your vet may choose to prescribe a broad spectrum antibiotic pending identification of the exact bacteria causing the infection. If a cold is minor, they may recommend conservative treatment with rest and fluids. With parasites, your vet will prescribe an appropriate de-wormer. These are typically administered orally in the form of a paste, gel, or tablet.
If the underlying cause is injury, your vet may prescribe pain medication or anti-inflammatory medication to help your cat recover more quickly.
Finally, in some instances, your veterinarian may recommend spaying your cat to prevent future pregnancies. This is especially true if the miscarriage was caused by congenital defects, by hormonal abnormalities that cannot be easily corrected in future pregnancies, or after multiple miscarriages.
Recovery of Miscarriage in Cats
In most cases, your cat will recover well from a miscarriage as long as she receives proper treatment for the underlying condition. It will be important to administer all of the prescribed medications in the appropriate doses, especially in the case of infection.
Some cats may need additional support if they seem depressed or lethargic or are pacing and acting agitated. In these cases it may be appropriate to isolate your cat in a quiet, warm and comforting space until the hormones triggered by the miscarriage and labor subside.
Overall, the prognosis for recovery from miscarriage in your cat is good and she should go on to live a long and healthy life.
Miscarriage Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Hi, my cat has already given birth to 4 kittens on Monday night but 2 died that night. My cat has started to vomit and my mum suggested that there may still be a kitten that is dead inside her. I felt around her stomach and I think I can feel a kitten in her that is not moving. Should I be taking her to the vet first thing in the morning or wait to see if it will pass?
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Why does my car keep miscarring her kittens? This is the first time, was a month an half ago,she only had 2.An today she had 4, both times she miscarried. She's almost one an half years old, in human years .
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My cat miscarried 2 kittens this morning, she has not shown any symptoms of any other kittens. She has not eaten or drank. She is in a dark room. What do I do for her
Cats may miscarry due to various causes, it is important to know if there are any retained foetuses or membranes; other foetuses would be easily palpable using gentle pressure either side of the abdomen. Causes of miscarriage are infections, trauma or hormonal disorders. Keeping an eye on Ethel is important, look out for signs of fever, fetid discharge, increased thirst or loss of appetite; given her lack of thirst or appetite, I would advise you visit your Veterinarian. If you are not wanting to have kittens, I would recommend you have Ethel spayed to prevent future pregnancies and possible health related problems. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
I NEED HELP PLEASE HELP...
Heres the story
so my dads friend found these cats out on a dirt road homeless and she had 4 babies with her not sure how old they exactly where but they had teeth full body of hair eyes open and all (I think that they where about 2 to 3 months old but not so sure) anyways so my dads friend asked if I would want to keep them and heck yeah I would I love animals so i took them in and so we have some cats that live around our house and I know that we have a male that romes our barn so about a few months ago I seen how big my cat with the 4 babies (Blue) belly has gotten. I figured that she might want to get pregnant again because she lost 2 of her babies, one (feonna) got sick and died and her other baby (little bit) dissapeared she was so depressed and she is such a great mommy she clingse onto her other two that she has left (cookie and little man) so and I know this is messed up and I hated to do this but I wanted to make sure so I didn't feed her for at least 5 days and her stomich was still the same size and I seen a few days later that she was leeking milk so just yesterday I took her in a craight and put Blue in my room and took Cookie and Little Man in a seperate craight. We left and I let them rome around my room and shut the door so they couldn't get out (cause my mom is very illergic to cat hair) I came home and went to my room to check on them and I seen that cookie and little man were nursing on her and so I got 2 bottles with warm milk and tried to get them to drink that instead of drink on her so they wouldnt do that so I asked my dad if it was ok for them to drink on her even if she is pregnant and he said that it should be fine so I let them and I went to go pick little man up and he was laying on her by her vag so i picked him up and there was blood on my fingers and i checked him and he didnt have any cut or any blood on him so i look over at Blue and blood is just running out of her vag so im really pretty sure that she had a misscariage i told my dad that we need to take her to the vet and he said no we dont a lot of cats misscarry and never go to the vet and they are fine but i dont believe that so do i need to take her to the vet
I have a cat and she is pregnant about to give birth to babies in two three days and my family is not willing to tolerate more cat as they hate mine too and I love my cat so can I get advice how to cope out of this problem
If I have sister kittens and both pregnant and 1 has miscarried what will happen
I have a Cat experiencing that thing. Few weeks later i think. Then she keeps on sleeping and shes trying to remove something in her mouth that causes her mouth to bleed. What am i going to do? :(
Hi my cat had a miscarriage about 3 weeks ago, and now she is always in the litter tray
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