Is my cat pregnant or in heat?!
Hey everyone, I desperately need some experienced/educated opinions about this. I just took in a cat about 2 weeks ago. She came right up to us as we were unloading groceries from the car, rubbed on my leg and was very affectionate. She had clearly not been well taken care of or fed recently if she belonged to anyone: she had a pretty bad uncture wound on her cheek and half-healed scratches and whatnot in several places.
After taking her to see if she was chipped (and wasn't) we named her Arya and took her home, cleaned her up, and voila! However about a week and a half ago I noticed her nipples were pretty swollen. I had an experience taking in a stray cat when I was younger and found out a day later that she was pregnant. So when I lifted Arya up and noticed that her torso was straight about two thirds of the way down and suddenly bulged outwards, (not alarmingly but definitely a sudden swell) I was pretty certain that I was dealing with a knocked up little lady. It made complete sense what with her unusual affection and comfortability towards us her very first night, the fact that she shows no interest in regular cat interests/curiosities, as well as her exceptionally high amount of sleeping and eating.
At the vet, they estimated her age at about a year old or so, confirmed she was negative for feline leukemia, and conducted a fecal test for presence of parasites with no concerns. We brought up our suspicion of pregnancy, and while they were doing the routine check-up in the back room they had all three of the veternarian take a look to see if she was indeed pregnant. We were told that only one of the three was the go-to for palpitating abdomens for embryos, and she said she was pretty certain she was pregnant. Of the other two, one said he coud easily be convinced that she is and the other said he didn't think so. So that really didn't tell us much. We didn't see the point in paying $200 for an x-ray, since gestation is only for 9 weeks and they can't even detect skeletons until 45 days in, which at that point should be obvious by looking at her. They did not have an ultra sound machine so we settled on just waiting to see when we took her for her 2 week- follow up, which is next Monday.
However this is where I am torn. Two nights ago she started acting very strangely. She was extremely more loving and affectionate, almost playful. She showed interest in her toys for the first time, albeit briefly. She was even less hostile towards our dog, Boba. Then she started army crawling on the floor, butt in the air, tail to the side, with a clear discharge coming from her vulva. I had never seen that before so I thought it may have been pre-labor contractions. Quickly learned these were all signs of a cat being in heat. My first reaction was disappointment, but I accepted it and thought well maybe this is a good thing. (The pregnant cat I had before went into labor prematurely due to malnutrition and none of the kittens survived, I was hopeful to see it turn out well this time around)
However the more I processed everything I had seen firsthand and what I recently learned (I'm pretty sure I have seen every feline forum that exists within the past week) it just didn't seem certain to me. She isn't showing desire to try to go outside, as cats in heat are wont to do. Her stomach definitely looks like the early showings of pregnancy, as do her nipples. She is pretty restless and extremely affectionate, always wants to be near me, but she isn't showing any nesting behaviors.
PLEASE HELP!!! I do not feel settled about just waiting to see if she is pregnant if this is actually some other health issue that I haven't considered. Not to mention I am simply going NUTS trying to get to the bottom of all this. Most things I have read are only making this more confusing since pregnancy and heat share a ton of the same symptoms and behaviors.
Any personal stories, experience, perspective, advice, ANYTHING PLEASE!!