Despite the fact that pregnancy in a cat is a natural physiological process, the task of every loving owner is to create comfortable conditions and provide the necessary assistance to the pet. One of the requirements for the normal course of pregnancy is a balanced diet. It is one of the main factors that determine the health and development of future offspring.
Features of carrying kittens
The animal’s need for energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins is largely determined by its lifestyle and physiological state. During gestation, significant physiological changes occur in the body that increase the appetite of a four-legged friend.
Under normal course, pregnancy in cats lasts, as a rule, 9 calendar weeks. Depending on the condition, the period may change up or down by seven to fourteen days. During the gestation period, the appearance and behavioral habits change. The animal tries to spend as much time alone as possible, choosing secluded places. Noticeably reduced activity, increased sleep and rest time.
Gaining weight, the pet eventually loses its former activity and grace, becomes more clumsy. During such periods, you need to carefully monitor your physical condition, avoid damage and injuries.
A pet’s taste preferences and appetite may change. In one period it increases, in others it decreases. So, in the last few weeks, rapidly developing kittens in the stomach, begin to put pressure on the internal organs of the mother’s body, as a result of which the appetite decreases.
The pet may be sick in the first two to three weeks after fertilization. This is a normal physiological process that is not considered a pathology and passes after a while.
Changes in the cat’s appetite and nutritional needs
After learning that your pet is in a position, you should contact the veterinarian in a timely manner to conduct an appropriate examination and determine a care plan.
Food food for pregnant women of the same brand should be transferred to the cat when feeding ready-made food. In the event that the animal eats only natural products, it is necessary to form a competent, complete diet in accordance with the needs for nutrients and vitamins.
- For the first fourteen days, your pet’s need for food increases, and its appetite increases. There is a significant increase in weight. It is recommended to increase the daily diet by ten to fifteen percent. Feed should be at least four times a day.
- Starting from the twenty-first day, the amount of food is increased by another forty percent. But you need to make sure that the animal does not overeat. Portions should be small, the number of feedings-five to six times a day.
- From about the twenty-seventh week, the need for food decreases, as kittens exert pressure on the internal organs. My appetite is waning. The amount of food during this period is reduced, and the frequency of feeding is increased.
- A few days before birth, the animal completely refrains from eating. In this case, there is no need to panic. By refusing food, the cat instinctively prepares for a future event. Try not to disturb your pet. Organize a quiet secluded place, where in the near future will be the offspring.
Food composition of a pregnant and nursing cat
For the normal course of pregnancy, the cat needs a full, balanced diet. An improperly organized feeding diet can harm the health of both the mother and future offspring.
If the cat is on a natural feed, the food should include foods high in protein and fat. Daily portions must contain meat, egg yolk, vegetables, dairy products, cereals. Minor addition of fish products is allowed.
When using ready-made food, follow the recommendations specified by the manufacturer.
Fluid is an important component of any organism, especially for normal gestation of offspring. Being in this position, the cat increases the need for water. Of particular importance is the liquid during lactation of the animal.
Despite the fact that the exact value of water consumption is not established, at home your pet should always have open access to clean drinking water. Also, use extra moisturizing foods to improve the absorption of the liquid.
Energy during pregnancy
The cat’s energy requirements fluctuate throughout the gestation period. There are periods of natural loss of appetite, during which energy needs are minimized. Such periods should not be a cause for concern.
Insufficient nutrition can interfere with the normal development of the fetus and further lactation. While carrying kittens, it is recommended to increase the diet by 30-45% of the usual regime, which is about 90-110 kcal per kg of weight per day. An animal with multiple pregnancies has an increased need for food. In this case, free access to the bowl can help the cat regulate its own food intake.
Energy during lactation
Feeding is an energy-consuming process, especially from 6 to 7 weeks of lactation. At this time, the need for energy can reach up to 240-260 kcal per kilogram of body weight.
At the age of three weeks, kittens need their mother’s milk in excessive amounts. Therefore, during this period, the need for food increases. Increased energy costs during feeding kittens require increased nutrition, up to 310 kcal per kilogram of weight per day!
And even with such a saturated regime, the mother will continue to lose weight. It is recommended to provide free access to the bowl, since it is not possible to calculate the exact amount of food. Animals that lose weight quickly may have poor lactation.
During the period when your pet is in position, the need for protein as the main building component increases. To maintain a full course of gestation, the protein level in the food should be 35% of the dry components. Its lack causes fatal consequences for the health of the nursing mother and has a detrimental effect on the development of kittens.
Fats and essential fatty acids
Due to the increased caloric content, foods with a higher content of fatty acids are more suitable. If you eat enough food (more than 20% of the dry matter), the reproductive function of cats improves. The survival rate of offspring and development progress is significantly increased if the diet is saturated with high-fat foods for a long period of time.
Calcium and phosphorus
In the period of conception and gestation significantly increases the need for calcium and phosphorus. For the full development of the fetus, a ratio of 1.0-1.6% of the dry matter is recommended. Good specialized food covers this demand, the introduction of additional calcium supplements is not required.
Pregnancy of a cat is an important and exciting period for any owner. The additional responsibility of providing your pet with everything you need falls on your shoulders. A well-chosen diet will help maintain the health of your favorite four-legged friend and get active, healthy offspring.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.