Feeding and nourishing during cat pregnancy
Your feline pal’s pregnancy is an exciting journey but at the same time, it can also be an exhausting one. As with all mammals, it is necessary that all their nutritional needs are met, so your support is absolutely essential during this period.
Choosing the right diet for your pregnant cat
It’s really exciting when you find out that your cat has conceived. In a few weeks, you will be welcoming little kitties playing around your home. But it can be hard work too, as appealing as it seems. Appropriate nutrition is one of the crucial factors during your cat’s pregnancy. Selecting the right feeding plan will ensure that your kitty and her little ones are healthy. It will help her through the pregnancy and will keep her fit even after delivery.
During this crucial period, it is very important that you provide her something extra in addition to her everyday diet. For healthy and happy mum and tots, it is important to pick up a formula which meets all her nutritional needs.
Do provide her with high-quality kitten feed that supplies her with all the nutritional requirements at this crucial stage. Right from the time of mating, keep feeding her with high-quality kitten food so that she gains enough strength for the delivery and is able to support her kittens during the initial months.
Is it necessary to feed kitten food to your pregnant cat ?
The requirement for calories and proteins is much higher in pregnant cats and high-quality kitten food is the best option for your pregnant cat. Shifting to a high-quality kitten food will not only cater to her needs but will also help her litter. Once those kitties start to wean off her milk, they will most likely turn to her for solid food, so it will benefit them also. We provide a variety of products that will serve the various diets patterns of your feline friends.
Make choices keeping your cat’s health and needs in mind. For a cat with a sensitive stomach, it is best to opt for delicate kitten formula. If she follows a specific diet due to health reasons, consult your vet first before making any changes.
As for portion, the calorie content of dry food is higher than in wet food . If your cat is inclined towards wet food then provide her with the extra amount to cater to her nutritional requirements. For a win-win case, try adding a bit of dry food with the wet one.
Your cat’s diet during pregnancy
Right from her mating season to the end of her pregnancy, your cat’s food intake will increase gradually. You will notice that her food intake during pregnancy has multiplied to 50% more than her regular intake.
But the good news is that cats are not very fussy when it comes to food. So they will eat as much as they want and will stop once their tummies are full.
We would advise you to start the kitten formula during the fourth week of her pregnancy, as it will help the kittens gain the extra nutrition which is essential for them. Keeping your cat hydrated is crucial especially if she prefers dry food. Make sure that there is water available for her throughout the day.
Choose the kitten food for your cat according to her food preferences. If she is more inclined towards wet food, you have to keep in mind that it has a lower calorie content than dry food. So, it's better if you mix the two together to provide her with the extra energy that is required for labour and weaning.
The transition to the new food can be a bit of a bumpy ride for your cat, so it’s best that you introduce it to her slowly. A tip for the smooth transition from adult to kitten food is to try replacing kitten food with the adult one gradually, taking 7- 10 days until its fully swapped.
Providing your cat with small portions of food and plenty of water throughout the day will help keep her energy levels high. There will be substantial growth of her kittens from week 9. You need to provide her with adequate food because her food intake will increase until the nursing period is over.
Due to the increased food intake, she will start to gain weight as well. A part of the weight will be fat which will help her nurse her litter. Don’t worry! During the 3-4 weeks of nursing, she will shed that extra weight gained.
Losing appetite a little towards the end of her pregnancy is an indication of upcoming labour. So be prepared. Even though she becomes fussy and loses her inclination towards food, it is important to provide her with both of food and water for healthy labour.
During all the stages of pregnancy, do make sure that she receives her required nutrition. If you notice any sign of weakness, please do contact the vet.
Nourishment during the nursing period
The sole source of a kitten’s nutrition is its mother. Food taken by a lactating cat helps in building the immunity for both the cat and her kittens. Feeding your cat with a high-quality diet during this crucial time will provide both your cat and her kittens with the required amount of nutrients. It is important to note that during the nursing period, her food intake will quadruple from her pre-pregnancy diet. So don’t shy away from providing her as much as she wants.
To help her nurse healthy kittens, keep feeding her kitten formula until the interest of the little ones has waned off. During the nursing period, your cat’s diet should be one of your major concerns. High energy is an utmost priority during her feeding period as she will have to keep an eye on the naughty ones and the kitten formula will help her to be on her paws!
Increase the number of meals during the nursing period while keeping the portion sizes same. You can always increase the amount of fluid intake by adding water to the food (whether wet or dry) - this will also help the kittens to take interest in solid food as it’s easier to eat it while it’s moistened.
Eventually, mum will cease lactating in about 6-8 weeks from delivery. This is the time for you to start decreasing her food intake until she returns to her pre-delivery diet. As was done at the start of pregnancy, start to reintroduce adult food until she’s totally back to the adult food.
Is your cat’s weight one of your concerns? Is she losing or gaining weight suddenly? Use our body conditioning tool for more insight. Also, consult your vet for more details on post-pregnancy nutrition.
Purina brands for pregnant and nursing cats
PURINA®’s select range of cat food offers high-energy kitten food that’s ideal for pregnant and nursing cats. Learn more about PURINA® Cat Food Range. here.