Proper nutrition for your pregnant or nursing cat
Unlike female dogs, pregnant cats need more energy early in pregnancy, as
well as a balanced nutrition, which is also essential.
This is important because cats need
to “store” fat as a way to
energy requirement throughout the development of the litter as well as during
lactation, which lasts 6 to 8 weeks. In the first weeks,
the cat’s energy
expenditure is very high, therefore, proper nutrition is so important. With
proper care, the cat won’t suffer from weight loss, decreased immunity, and will
also be able to produce enough milk to feed the kittens, because at the end of
pregnancy and during lactation the cat isn’t able to metabolize energy with the
same speed and amount it needs it.
Therefore, during the whole pregnancy and until the end of lactation it’s
recommended that cats are offered kitten food, as it has a higher amount of
protein and fat, and, consequently, provides more energy. It is also
recommended to double daily servings, or to allow free access to food
throughout the day, as cats usually eat several times a day in small portions.
This kind of care, along with moderate physical exercising, will ensure a
smooth pregnancy and nursing as well as strong and healthy kittens.
Another important tip is to keep your cat’s vaccination records up-to-date, and
visit the vet regularly, which is especially important at this moment.
Thiago Marçal Andrade e Silva
Veterinarian graduated from Universidade Federal de Santa Maria
Technical Manager for Nutrire Indústria de Alimentos Ltd.