How to Tell When a Cat is Done Giving Birth


If you’re a cat parent or owner, it’s important to know how to tell when a cat is done giving birth.

This knowledge can help you ensure the health and safety of both the mother cat and her kittens.

In this blog post, we will discuss the signs that indicate a cat has finished giving birth and provide you with helpful tips to navigate this exciting time.

Signs that a Cat is Done Giving Birth

  1. Contractions have stopped: One of the most obvious signs that a cat is done giving birth is when her contractions have stopped. During labor, a cat will experience contractions as her body works to deliver each kitten. Once all the kittens have been born, the contractions will cease.
  2. Nesting behavior: After giving birth to all her kittens, a mother cat will exhibit nesting behavior. She will create a comfortable and safe space for her kittens by arranging bedding, blankets, or towels. This behavior indicates that she is done giving birth and is now focused on caring for her newborns.
  3. Placenta expulsion: Another sign that a cat is done giving birth is the expulsion of the placenta. Typically, a cat will deliver one placenta for each kitten. If you have been keeping track of the number of placentas and they match the number of kittens, it is a good indication that the cat has finished giving birth.
  4. Relaxed and calm behavior: Once a cat is done giving birth, she will exhibit a more relaxed and calm behavior. She may purr, groom herself, or even take a nap. This change in behavior indicates that the cat is no longer in labor and is now focused on nurturing her kittens.

Tips for Monitoring a Cat Giving Birth

While it’s important to know the signs that indicate a cat is done giving birth, it’s equally important to monitor the entire birthing process.

Here are some tips to help you ensure the health and safety of the mother cat and her kittens:

  1. Create a quiet and comfortable environment: Cats prefer a quiet and secluded space to give birth. Provide a warm and comfortable area for the cat to deliver her kittens, away from any disturbances or loud noises.
  2. Observe from a distance: It’s important to give the mother cat privacy during the birthing process. Observe from a distance to avoid causing stress or interfering with the natural process. However, keep a close eye to ensure everything is progressing smoothly.
  3. Count the placentas: As mentioned earlier, counting the number of placentas can help you determine if the cat has finished giving birth. Make sure to keep track of each placenta to ensure none are retained, as this can lead to complications.
  4. Monitor the kittens: After each kitten is born, make sure to monitor their breathing and overall health. If a kitten is not breathing or appears weak, gently stimulate their breathing by rubbing them with a clean towel. If you notice any abnormalities or concerns, contact a veterinarian immediately.
  5. Provide post-birth care: Once the cat is done giving birth, provide her with fresh water and high-quality food to replenish her energy. Make sure to also provide a clean and comfortable space for the mother cat and her kittens to bond.

Remember, if you have any concerns or questions during the birthing process, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.

They can provide guidance and support to ensure the health and well-being of your cat and her kittens.


Knowing how to tell when a cat is done giving birth is essential for cat owners.

By understanding the signs and monitoring the birthing process, you can ensure the health and safety of both the mother cat and her kittens.

Remember to create a quiet and comfortable environment, observe from a distance, count the placentas, monitor the kittens, and provide post-birth care.

If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to seek professional veterinary assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take for a cat to give birth?

A: The duration of cat labor can vary, but on average, it takes around 12 to 24 hours for a cat to give birth to all her kittens.

However, it’s important to note that labor can extend up to 36 hours in some cases.

Q: Should I assist my cat during labor?

A: In most cases, cats are capable of giving birth without human intervention.

It’s best to observe from a distance and only intervene if there are complications or if a kitten is in distress. If you have concerns, consult with a veterinarian.

Q: How many kittens can a cat have in one litter?

A: The number of kittens in a litter can vary, but the average litter size is between 4 to 6 kittens. However, some cats can have as few as one kitten or as many as 12 or more.

Q: How long should I wait before handling the kittens?

A: It’s best to wait at least a week before handling the kittens. During this time, the mother cat will bond with her kittens and ensure they are nursing properly.

Handling them too soon can cause stress and potentially disrupt the bonding process.

Q: When should I start weaning the kittens?

A: Kittens typically start weaning around 4 to 5 weeks of age. At this point, you can introduce them to solid food gradually while still allowing them to nurse from their mother.

Consult with a veterinarian for specific guidance on weaning.

Q: Can a cat get pregnant again immediately after giving birth?

A: Yes, a cat can go into heat and get pregnant again shortly after giving birth.

It’s important to keep the mother cat indoors and separate her from intact males to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Spaying the cat is recommended to avoid future pregnancies.

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