Pregnancy in cats. Rapid pregnancy kit
Physical changes that may indicate pregnancy can be detected in pregnant cats. These include cessation of heat cycles, swollen and reddened nipples, increased appetite, vomiting and enlarged abdomen. In addition to these changes, the vet may perform a clinical diagnosis to obtain further information.
Pregnancy can be detected around day 17–20 by palpating the abdomen. Ultrasound can be performed after 22–25 days of pregnancy for a more accurate diagnosis. At this stage structures are noted and measurements are taken to confirm that the foetus is developing correctly. An X-ray can be performed in the final stages of pregnancy to determine the actual number of foetuses.
Rapid diagnostic kits
One method of identifying pregnancy in its early stages involves the use of rapid kits for detecting relaxin in urine. Relaxin is a specific hormone produced in the placenta of pregnant cats. A study has clearly shown that the rapid diagnostic kit can be used to diagnose pregnancy in cats using dilute urine.
For a diagnostic test to be useful for owners, it must be able to detect pregnancy after only a few weeks, and must also be cheap and easy to use.
Urine is easily collected using non-absorbent beads in the litter tray. A simple pregnancy test is a useful prospect and is worthy of a more in-depth study.
Feeding pregnant cats
During a confirmed pregnancy , we can change the cat’s diet for one that is more specific to this circumstance. It is important to maintain a good diet during pregnancy as the cat requires a higher energy intake for foetal development
There is also a diet for sterilised cats
Sterilisation also causes changes in cats. We can use an adequate diet to correct these changes. Sterilised cats require a lower energy intake, more protein and less fat. This will be key to preventing obesity in sterilised cats, reducing the risk of urinary problems and improving insulin sensitivity.