Q. i believe my cat is pregnant but showing signs of being in heat
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Cats are induced ovulators, meaning they will continue to go into heat until they are bred, or spayed (reproductive organs removed). If your cat is showing signs of being in heat (excessive yowling, presenting her rear to you for inspection, attempting to get out or other cats hanging near your house) and you don't want kittens, it is best to have her spayed. Most cats are also semi-seasonal in their heat cycle meaning they will more likely be in heat through Spring-Summer than in Fall-Winter.
Pregnancy in cats lasts about 60 days. Signs of pregnancy may include weight gain, increased appetite, nipples that become pronounced or "leak" and seeking nesting areas to deliver kittens. If you saw that your cat was in heat, or had her mated, you can use the date she was bred to determine when she may be due for kittens. Your local vet can help determine if she is indeed pregnant and can also take an X-ray to determine the number of kittens present if your cat is nearing her due date. Be sure to feed mom a kitten formula in the last few weeks of her pregnancy and during nursing as it will help provide extra beneficial nutrients for both mom and babies.
If you do not want kittens, some very early term pregnancies can be aborted with spaying, otherwise spaying mom is usually done when kittens are weaned from their mom.