Is my cat pregnant or in heat?! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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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!!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 03:50 PM
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Some cats show all the signs of pregnancy, swollen pink teats, swollen abdomen, increased appetitie, etc. but aren't pregnant but can experience a "false pregnancy". Near to term, symptons peter out. Also, she may have resorbed the fetuses due to her malnutrition at the beginning, and now she has come back into heat. I'm not a vet but I suspect the latter is what is going on. The best thing to do for her now is to get her spayed. Some vets prefer to spay after a heat is over. Hope this info has been helpful.

Phantom Pregnancy in Cats

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 04:41 PM
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A queen can go into heat while pregnant and, if mated, can carry both pregnancies at the same time. So, she could be in heat may be a mild heat (I know with our queens, some heats are heavy/horrible/noisy and some are mild like what you describe). It is important for you to keep her away from any intact male if you even suspect she may be calling again.

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.... Slave to Bengal Cats....Luna, Mystik, Simba, Komet, Meli,
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 07:36 AM
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At our shelter, we spay cats that are in heat all the time. Get her spayed and remove the doubt - certainly does sound like she is in heat. As to being pregnant, you can wait (with her safely indoors just in case she IS just in heat).

Aside from all her female woes she sounds like a perfectly adorable, affectionate little girl! Have you checked your social media sites like lost and found FB pages or Craigslist for missing cats? Oh, and welcome to the forum!

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 02:40 PM
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Did your vet do an ultrasound? Our new one was taken in for a routine examination a few days after we adopted her. When we mentioned her huge appetite, the vet did ultrasound and found kittens. She was probably about 5 or 6 weeks pregnant. We had her spayed, as she'd been exposed to three vaccines, deworming meds, and general anaesthetic for dental surgery before we got her. (Prenatal exposure to any one would be a bad for a kitten's long term health and she'd had all three within a three week period.)
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-02-2015, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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She has an appointment this evening so hopefully the vet will be able to tell us something more definite. She has not had an ultrasound because the office we first visited didn't have the machine. If they cannot tell us for certain that she is NOT pregnant then I am going to take her to get one done so we can know once and for all. However as time goes on I become more convinced that she is NOT pregnant. She isn't growing and hasn't gained any real weight over the past three weeks. At this point I'm just hoping and praying that this all isn't something more serious and hazardous to her health. So please wish me luck and send good thoughts our way!!
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