How long are cats pregnant?

How long are cats pregnant?


Every year, when the seasons' change and spring are in the air, it becomes kitten season too.

This is very much in evidence in spring, when the drive to mate is strengthened by the natural seasonal warming and move into the more favourable conditions for the survival of new kittens.

However, cats are good breeders, and whilst spring is a very busy time when a lot of kittens are born, wanted or not, cats are actually able to have up to 5 litters a year. Once pregnant, a cat takes roughly 2 months to grow her kittens and then give birth. Once her kittens are old enough, possibly as soon as 8 weeks, she will go into heat and want to have more kittens, as a natural drive to procreate.

If you are not wanting to breed your cat, there is no reason not to have your cat spayed or neutered as soon as she is old enough, and preferably before she has kittens herself. Consult a Vet if you do have an unsterilized kitten, to provide the best care and timing for proactive sterilization to avoid unwanted pregnancies. 

A good breeder will not sell a kitten without it having been spayed, to prevent issues with the kitten coming into heat and getting pregnant accidentally, usually too young. Many Councils have laws in place regarding selling kittens that are not sterilized, as unwanted cats and kittens are a very sad reality when responsible cat management is not in place. Foster carers and rescue organisations are inundated every spring with cats and kittens needing help and homes, often pregnant when coming into care.


Cats need to breed, if unsterilized, will dominate her behaviour due to her hormones driving a need to breed. Not being able to action the need can create more issues both for the cat herself and the owners. Loud mating calls and sometimes spraying or marking, and a strong desire to escape outside if an inside cat, causes much distress and unpleasantness from an otherwise docile and loving feline. 

It is also not necessary for a cats health, to have a litter before desexing. Sterilization early before any pregnancy can provide longer life and loving healthy feline companion, without the need to produce more kittens.

Unless there is a desire to undertake responsible and registered breeding of cats, then sterilization as soon as your kitten is old enough is a recommended and sensible way to take good care of your cat and enjoy her companionship for many years

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