Could there be kittens on the way? If you’ve been noticing some body and behavior changes in your unspayed cat recently, it could be because she’s preparing to welcome a litter to the family.

The best way to confirm it is to head to your veterinarian, but before you make an appointment, here are four potential signs your cat is pregnant. If all of them apply, there’s a good chance your sweet feline is preparing for motherhood.

What Are the Signs Your Cat is Pregnant?

1. Changes in the Nipples

A pregnant cat's nipples will be enlarged and more pink than normal. As pregnancy progresses, her breasts will also look swollen, even before her belly shows any signs of pregnancy.

2. Nesting Behavior

When a cat is pregnant, she'll start exhibiting nesting behavior, preparing a place for the kittens to be born. Many cats will start stealing small pieces of clothing or towels and arrange them in a dark place, such as inside a closet or in an empty room.

3. Increased Appetite

If she's pregnant, chances are your cat is going to start eating for two — or for five or six, as the case may be. So, if she's suddenly emptying her bowl more quickly or asking for more food than usual, this could be a sign that she’s preparing for kittens.

4. Weight Gain

Because cat pregnancies are very short (between 63 and 67 days), you might not notice the physical changes at first glance, but the scale doesn't lie. If your cat is stepping with a slightly heavier foot, especially if you notice other pregnancy signs, this could mean babies are on the way. Around the fourth week of pregnancy, the tummy will start rounding out and, by then, the pregnancy will be clear.


What Should You Do?

If you suspect your cat is pregnant, it's a good idea to talk to your veterinarian, especially if this is your cat's first pregnancy. A veterinarian can confirm the pregnancy early by palpating your cat's abdomen. He will then help you figure out how to help your cat have the best possible pregnancy and delivery so both she and her kittens can have a healthy, happy start.

Have other questions about caring for your cat? Learn more about behavior and training, as well as general cat health tips.