A cat’s reproductive behavior is more complicated than we often think. We know that they go into heat, but we don’t necessarily know what implication this has on the cat’s well-being. During their heat period, they undergo both behavioral and physical changes. Vaginal discharge is one such physical change which can confuse cat guardians. While such discharge may be a normal sign of their reproductive cycle, it can also be a worrying issue. When a cat is pregnant and they present with vaginal fluid or discharge, we need to consider the health of both mother cat and kittens. If you notice your pet cat exhibiting any sort of change in their regular vaginal discharge, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any potential problems or complications.
If your pregnant cat is leaking fluid, it’s important to understand all the potential causes and implications for both the mother and kitten’s health. In this AnimalWised article, we explore all the possible reasons for this issue and explain what treatment options may be available.
Timeline of a pregnant cat
A pregnant cat’s fluid retention is due to a number of reasons which we will explain below, but first, it is helpful to understand some general aspects of cat pregnancy and labor. A cat’s pregnancy timeline is as follows:
Heat cycle: Although male cats usually reach sexual maturity between 6 and 12 months of age, a female cat can become pregnant as young as 4 months old. After this time, the cat will go into its heat cycle – a process which can occur at any time of year, but usually happens every two to three weeks between spring and autumn.
Inception: cats in heat will actively seek out males for copulation. If successful, the female will become pregnant.
Gestation: there are no obvious signs of pregnancy in the early stages. However, if you notice your unspayed cat stops their heat cycle, this could be an initial sign. After 2-3 weeks, an ultrasound can confirm the pregnancy, but you are not likely to tell a cat is pregnant simply by feeling their belly until about 30 days.
Labor: a cat’s gestation period is 63-65 days. After that time, they will start to show signs of labor including nesting, increased vocalization, and restlessness. If your cat has reached day 65 and labor does not begin, you should consult a veterinarian. Kittens will be born one by one and arrive in an amniotic sac. The mother will then instinctively break open the sac.
The cat will usually give birth without complications, but it is important to be aware of potential complications. One of them is the emission of leaking fluid from the *****. Some vaginal discharge is normal, but the quality and consistency can help us determine if there is any cause for concern.
If your cat is pregnant, you may notice that she leaks fluid from her nipples. This is called pinking, and it’s a normal part of the pregnancy process. However, if the fluid is a different color or has a bad odor, it could be a sign of a problem with the pregnancy.
The best way to avoid complications during pregnancy in your cat is to keep them healthy. This means feeding them a nutritious diet, maintaining their deworming and vaccination schedules, and taking them to the veterinarian for regular checkups. After some time, the veterinarian will also be able to determine how many kittens will be in the litter.
Because a pregnant cat regularly licks their ****** or nipples, leaking fluid may not always be observable. For this reason, it’s important to be vigilant for any signs of discomfort or change in the cat’s behavior to troubleshoot complications.
My pregnant cat is leaking yellow fluid
If our pregnant cat is leaking white, clear, or yellowish fluid and has reached the end of her gestation period, it may be a sign that labor is about to begin. We are likely to see leaking fluid after the mucus plug is detached. The mucus plug is a barrier of cervical mucus that protects the uterus from bacteria. It is detached to make way for the kittens that will be born soon.
The mucus plug can detach anywhere from a week to three days before labor begins, so just because it falls out doesn’t mean that you will go into labor immediately. The consistency of the mucus itself is more or less fluid, but the plug itself will be viscous.
If you see that the amniotic fluid leaking from the ***** is clear, it usually means that the sac has broken and that the kittens will be born soon. This is similar to when a woman’s water breaks. If you see the presence of amniotic fluid but there has been no delivery after a few hours, there may be a problem with the pregnancy. In this case, you should contact a veterinarian immediately as it could be due to stillbirth or obstructed labor, also known as labor dystocia.
If your pregnant cat is leaking fluid, but it is not yet at full term, this is a veterinary emergency. The secretion could be coming from either the uterus or the urinary tract and the reason could be an infection. Keep in mind, when there is an infection, it usually appears cloudy, very yellow or even reddish if it contains blood.
If your pregnant cat has white or clear liquid leaking from their *****, it is most likely the beginning of labor. If the liquid looks yellow or purulent and it is too early for a healthy labor, it may be an infection. You should take the queen to a veterinarian immediately.
My pregnant cat is leaking green fluid
As we saw in the previous section, a greenish liquid discharge from the ****** can be a sign that a pregnant cat is about to have her litter. If the kittens are born soon after and everything progresses normally, there should be no problem. If they are not born soon, however, you should seek veterinary help. If we observe green vaginal discharge, it may also be a sign of dystocia, which means the kittens will need help being born.
If our mother cat is leaking green fluid but is not yet in labor, she might be suffering from an infection. It’s also possible that the pregnancy has been aborted for some reason. Feline pregnancies can be damaged by various factors, including those that are attributable to the mother or kittens themselves. Some possible complications of feline pregnancy include:
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Genetic abnormalities
- Poor diet
- Side effects of medication
- Physical trauma