Potential Problems During Pregnancy

Cat Reproduction 101

Lina Veresk / EyeEm

Cats may sometimes be prone to certain problems, either during pregnancy or after parturition. For this reason, it is important to have at hand the phone number and location of the closest emergency veterinary clinic. (Everyone who has lived with cats for any length of time knows that they never get sick during normal clinic hours!)

In general, any unusual symptoms during gestation should be followed through with a call or visit to your veterinarian.

This is an important part of the care of a pregnant cat.​

Although many pregnant cats go through gestation trouble-free, there are potential problems that can occur. Learn to spot the specific symptoms of trouble and what action to take to ensure the health of a pregnant cat and her fetuses.The following are a few conditions to be aware of so that you can spot the symptoms if they should occur, and take proper action.


The depletion of calcium in the bloodstream can result in eclampsia, a life-threatening disease, which sometimes can occur during the last stages of pregnancy. A calcium supplement can help prevent this potential problem, particularly when caring for a pregnant stray cat, whose previous diet was undoubtedly minimal.

Symptoms of Eclampsia

  • Behavioral Symptoms
    Includes restlessness, pacing, panting, and irritability.
  • Physical Symptoms
    May include drooling, stiffness in gait, loss of coordination, and pain on walking, according to Race Foster, DVM, in an article for PetEducation.com.

    Final stages of eclampsia include muscle spasms and seizure-like activity. Eclampsia is a veterinary emergency, and the cat should be seen immediately by a veterinarian at the first signs of symptoms.

    Spontaneous Abortion

    Poor health of the pregnant cat or certain infections may result in malformed fetuses, which will be aborted spontaneously. Symptoms include fever, bleeding from the vagina, inappetence, and depression. Aborted fetuses may or may not be found, as the queen may eat them.

    All symptoms of abortion should be considered a veterinary emergency, and the pregnant cat should be seen immediately.

    She will need to be examined in case she retains any remaining fetuses, alive or dead.


    Resorption is an interesting phenomenon in which a dead fetus is completely absorbed by the queen's system. There are rarely any outward symptoms when resorption occurs, which leads to the "pregnant one day, no longer pregnant the next" mystery. However, when this phenomenon seems to have occurred, a veterinary visit is essential to ensure that there are no remaining fetuses inside the queen.