When a cat is expecting young, it should be given a adapted diet. Pregnancy is a period during which the body has special and greater needs than usual. The master must therefore adapt the diet of the pregnant cat in order to meet her nutritional needs, but also when after giving birth she will breastfeed her kittens. Let’s see how to feed a pregnant cat while controlling her weight gain.
Pregnant cat: special nutritional needs
In cats, gestation lasts about 66 days. Her body is undergoing changes and her organism needs more energy than before, on the one hand so that she can go through this period with sufficient strength and on the other hand for the fetuses to develop properly. At the end of these 8 weeks, the little female must be in excellent health so that the birth goes well.
From the beginning to the end of gestation, her needs for calories increase by about 10% per week. His body stores them for 40 days and then draws from the reserves on the one hand at birth, on the other hand throughout the duration of breastfeeding. Thus, at the end of gestation, the food portions of the cat increased on average by 55%.
The nutritional needs of the pregnant cat being more important, it is essential to give her foods specifically designed for her. This is the case with kibbles for pregnant cats. But we can also give him kitten food. They are rich in protein and energy since they are whole foods. The following quantities must be respected:
- From the beginning of gestation until the 5th week: between 70 and 90 grams per day,
- From the end of the 5th week until childbirth: 90 to 110 grams per day.
However, it is preferable to establish a food program with the veterinarian so as not to make any mistakes.
Pregnant cat: monitor her weight gain
In addition to allowing him to drink water at will, it must also be able to feed in sufficient quantity throughout the day. The ideal is to leave a food dispenser. Thus, the food is not left in the open air but in addition the doses are respected. Indeed, there is no question that the little female takes more weight than necessary. She must not have taken more than 40% of its initial weight, that is to say for a cat of 4 kg, a weight gain of 1.6 kg. Too much can cause serious difficulties when kittens are born. Note, however, that the organization will use 20% of fat reserves throughout lactation.
It is recommended weigh a pregnant cat once or twice a week throughout these two rather special months to ensure that she does not gain too much weight. In case of too much weight gain, do not hesitate to consult the veterinarian who will be able to readjust the diet of the little female.
The feeding of the pregnant cat must be able to provide it with sufficientessential fatty acids essential for the good health of kittens, but also carbohydrates and of protein, vitamins, minerals and essential trace elements. Foods for pregnant, lactating and kitten cats are very well balanced. Therefore, the master does not need to purchase additional vitamins and minerals in the form of food supplements.
It is also necessary to ensure that it receives a sufficient level of taurine but not excess. Here again, good quality kibble (dry food) for pregnant cats and pâtés (wet food) are well balanced at this level. On the other hand, for the perfect bone development of the little ones, it is essential that the food given to the pregnant cat is not acidified.
Feeding the cat after parturition
When the cat has given birth to her kittens, it is important to continue giving her the same whole foods because the nutritional quality of its milk must be optimal. Until the weaning of her kittens, the little female needs to eat a lot more than before gestation, but she will nevertheless regain her normal weight. Her master must therefore ensure that she does not lack anything. Also, now is not the time to change the pussy diet as that would only disrupt your digestive system and would lead to diarrhea.
For the good of both mother and kittens, it is important to meet the basic needs of these animals through food, both in terms of food rations and quality. But, we insist on the importance of avoiding uncontrolled and excessive weight gain in pregnant cats, who should not gain more than 40% of their normal weight.
Finally, there is no need to worry if during the last days of the gestation period the cat seems to be sulking her bowl. This is completely normal and it is a sign that the birth of the kittens is near. However, if the loss of appetite drags on and is accompanied by weight loss, the veterinarian should be consulted as soon as possible, as this may have a serious impact on the development of the fetus.