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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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Yesterday, my pregnant cat was displaying nesting behavior

Customer Question

Yesterday, my pregnant cat was displaying nesting behavior (looking for a secluded place, including my dresser drawer!) and was very anxious and restless and meowing alot. She had little interest in food and was intermittently spotting a pinkish-red discharge (not bright red). She would occasionally lay down and pant, then get up and pace again. She never LOOKED as if she was in active labor (No squatting or straining as if using potty) and it has been about 18 hours and still no kittens! She is still spotting occasionally, not enough to be significant (also same color), and she has been sleeping alot. I have not seen her pant any more, and she was eating this morning when I checked on her. She has been confined to my bathroom, where I have placed her bed and a large box lined with blankets and towels. Her last litter was 3 yrs ago. Is it normal for her labor behaviors to stop? How long should I wait for her to give birth before becoming seriously concerned? Please help!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Terri replied 7 years ago.

Dear friend.


Take her temp. If it is below 100, she should begin labor within the next 24 hours/ as it sounds like she lost her mucus plug.

Cats like to pick their own birthing area so you may want to allow her into your son's closet.

They can hold it off if they are not comfortable with the spot you have provided.


Cats have two uterine horns so mommy can have kittens in each.The nursing by the baby should bring on further contractions so you want to encourage that. Also allow her to eat the afterbirth as that brings on contractions as well

It can actually take 30 hours or more for a cat to complete a four kitten(average) delivery. When she is done she will want to eat as they feel starved. She CAN have more up to 30 hours later.

A cats appetite is the best barometer of her health because if they are sick or in pain, they will not eat.

The baby happy and nursing indicates she is producing good milk.

I would not worry unless she appears upset,has pale gums, seems in pain, has an odorous discharge or another several hours goes by with obvious labor and no production of babies. Otherwise she should be fine.

Sometimes cats can develop uterine infection, the symptoms are:

pain, fever, odorous discharge, in appetite and pale gums.


If your regular veterinary office is not open today, you can use this directory to look for an emergency clinic:
Emergency veterinary directory here.

As long as you do not see any of those symptoms she is ok

Please let me know how everyone is doing .I will always be here for you.

Best of luck with your blessed event

Warmest wishes,




Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Also another silly question... Do cats bellies "drop" the way peoples do when they are close to giving birth? Her belly looked round 2 days ago and now it looks like it's hanging down and I can feel 2 small lumps when I lightly stroke her belly on the underside close to her legs (one on left one on right) but they aren't moving that I can feel. I also didn't notice movement before she her nesting but she's usually outdoors and then sleeps indoors at night. I this normal? Sorry I'm full of questions, I'd hate to call an emergency vet if it's not a true emergency and no vets are open on Sundays around here :)
Expert:  Terri replied 7 years ago.


That is not a silly question at all.

Actually the uterine horns are on the sides of a cat so the only reason the belly drops is due to the engorged milk in her breasts.

You may be feeling the horns.


DO NOT let her go outdoors or she will seek a place to have them in the street.


I will be here till six eastern time so just keep in touch and let me know what is happening.


Best wishes,




Terri and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much! You have relieved some of my stress over her condition. I'm a worried grandma-to-be! I am at work, so I will have my husband check on her periodically and will have him allow her access to the closet (once all the toys are out!) Thanks again, I will keep you updated!
Expert:  Terri replied 7 years ago.

Dear friend.

You are more than welcome!


It is my pleasure to help someone as lovely as you and your sweet baby.


I will always be here for both of you.


Thank you for your accept.


Keep me posted.

Sending as an I R so U R not charged again.


Best wishes,


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Momma cat is up again and is very restless! She has access to the whole house, closets, drawers and all. She is meowing and pacing, still spotting occasionally, but no sign of kittens! She does seem to be eating and drinking. How long should I give her until I become very concerned?
Expert:  Terri replied 7 years ago.

If she does not have a kitten in the next two hours I would take her in.


Let me know....

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Momma cat went to the vet and had an exam and bloodwork done. The xray machine was down, but the vet said it looks like she's still in the early stages of pregnancy. Her blood work came back normal, so he doesn't suspect an infection because her behavior, food and water intake and temperature are all normal. He doesn't consider the discharge a big concern (it actually stopped altogether yesterday), although we should continue to monitor it, and come back if it changes (more or constant flow, foul-smelling, etc) and to make sure she's eating and drinking. She seems happy and healthy, and through all this,she has been purring away! Thank you so much for your help!
Expert:  Terri replied 7 years ago.

Sounds good!

Please keep me posted on how its going!!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to give you an update on Maya. She continued to spot and the amount and color of the discharge alarmed me enough to take her to the vet again. We had her scheduled for a spay after the vet informed me that she was either miscarrying or had pyometria. Thankfully she didn't have pyometria, but sadly, we found that she was having complications with her pregnancy and the fetuses were no longer viable. She got spayed and is now healthy and doing great. Thank you so much for your advice and concern!

Expert:  Terri replied 7 years ago.

I am so glad you had Maya seen and she is OK!


Thats GREAT news!


Thanks so much for letting me know.