Pregnancy is an important phase in the cat’s life and the pregnant pet must be nourished appropriately in order to deliver healthy kittens and to nurse them well. Pet parents, who invest in the best dry cat food, must add more nutritional supplements to the cat’s diet and the eating habits of the pregnant cat must be monitored closely.
Read on to find out some food-based tips for a healthy cat pregnancy.
What should you feed a pregnant cat?
Pregnant cats need additional proteins and energy to cope up with the stress of pregnancy. While the best dry cat food supplements can keep a normal cat healthy, a pregnant cat must be switched to kitten formula for additional calcium, proteins and other nutrients.
Will there be an increase in the quantity of food consumed?
The amount of food consumed by a pregnant cat gradually increases through the gestation period and there is gradual weight gain too. However, there will be phases of overeating as well as under eating and sometimes fasting as pregnancy puts the animal through drastic hormonal changes. The quantity of food intake is generally the highest during the last three weeks before the delivery. The quantity then goes down during the delivery time and then picks up 24 hours after the kittens are delivered. Prolonged periods of starving during the gestational period could be a warning sign and pet owners must consult the veterinarian immediately.
How to choose the right kitten formula for the pregnant cat?
Any good brand of kitten formula provides the required nutrients for a pregnant cat and can be started around the 4th week of pregnancy. The cat’s preference is the most important factor to be considered while choosing a kitten formula. Cat owners can mix wet and dry formulas to ensure maximum supply of energy (wet food has lower calories than the dry formula). If dry kitten formula is chosen, ensure that the cat is well-hydrated at all times. Since the food is new, owners can take 5-6 days to gradually introduce the new kitten formula into the diet. The kitten formula can be continued until the litter has weaned (which is generally 6-8 weeks after birth)
How important is calcium for a pregnant cat?
Pregnancy (during the last stages in particular) and nursing can cause depletion of calcium in the cat’s body and in some cases lead to a serious condition called Eclampsia. Kitten food that is rich in calcium or calcium supplements can be administered to the pregnant cat after consultation with the vet.
What dietary changes must be implemented post-pregnancy?
A nursing cat needs oodles of energy as producing the mammary milk is a demanding task. Food intake doubles (it some cases it can go up to four times the normal food intake). Food must be offered multiple times in a day and access to fresh, clean water must be provided 24/7. It is recommended to moisten the dry food as this makes food intake and digestibility easier.
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