Symptoms Of False Pregnancy In Cats

Symptoms of false pregnancy in cats

False pregnancy is also called a phantom pregnancy or pseudocyesis. It is more common in dogs than cats, according to Debra Promivic’s veterinarian. False pregnancy only happens to spayed cats. The only way to permanently cure a cat of false pregnancy is to get her spayed, which removes her ovaries and uterus Symptoms.

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As such, some of our pets may experience false pregnancies not having satisfied the vital need to have offspring. The two canines and felines can foster this sort of pregnancy, which is mental yet can cause genuine changes in the creature’s body.

This usually occurs in unspayed females and usually occurs 3-6 weeks after heat, as this is the time when the hormone that prepares them for pregnancy, progesterone, is produced. In this article, we will describe the symptoms of false pregnancy in cats so that you learn to realize for yourself if your pet is going through this situation. 

The reasons a cat may have a false pregnancy are hormonal

As mentioned in the introduction, all animals have a highly developed reproductive instinct and even produce a hormone ( progesterone ) that is responsible for preparing the animal’s body to bear its young. The release of this hormone occurs in the weeks after heat, a period in which the cat is receptive to meeting the male. This type of pregnancy can occur even if the animal has not been fertilized during this period since the hormone can act on its own and prepare the body to have offspring that do not exist. This is why false pregnancies usually occur in unspayed young female cats, who are therefore ready to have babies.

This is why false pregnancies usually occur in unspayed young female cats, who are therefore ready to have babies.

Now we will start talking about false pregnancy symptoms in cats 

You should know that some experience it and others do not, depending on the animal. In addition, the intensity of the pregnancy will also depend on the animal in question, since each one of them goes through a false pregnancy in different ways.

Symptoms and signs to watch out for

As in the case of female dogs, cats are also highly likely to experience a psychological pregnancy. Well, certainly, one of the instincts provided by nature over which we have the least control is the process of reproduction, so in this case, cats can suffer a psychological pregnancy if they do not fully satisfy this vital need.

It is a desire that remains unsatisfied in the cat, which gives rise to frustration that manifests itself through meowing, aggressive behavior, tendencies to flee and even an escape attempt may be made to manage to respond to your wish. This may be a trick of nature, because it makes cats believe that they are waiting for puppies due to signals sent by their hormones, when in fact this is not the case.

What you should do: It is vitally important that once you identify the cause of psychological pregnancy in your cat, you go to your veterinarian immediately, as the progress of the process could be highly dangerous, so much so that it could compromise the health of the animal.

Symptoms Of False Pregnancy in cats

breast milk 

Progesterone prepares your body for reproduction, and as such, your breasts may begin to produce milk. You can check this if you notice a swelling of the breasts or if you notice some milk coming out. It will be essential to visit a veterinarian in these cases because it can be dangerous for your cat. 

increased appetite

It is also common for the cat to ask you for food more times a day, or you may notice that he finishes his meals faster. This also has to do with the body’s predisposition to carry her young, as the mother consumes more nutrients to ensure that they are delivered strong and healthy. 

swelling of the abdomen

Another symptom of false pregnancy in cats could be that the animal has a swollen belly as if its young were developing inside. This impact is additionally connected with the very chemical that changes the creature’s body to have the option to convey a litter. This means that your pet may gain weight. 

appearance of discharge

A few Cats wind up emitting vaginal liquids as their conceptive organs get ready for labor. Assuming you notice this change, it is likewise fitting to visit a veterinarian so the creature can be dealt with.

hides more often

This is likewise typical conduct for felines going through real pregnancies. They do this to find the bedding they will use at birth, so they can care for the young in the first few days. Putting aside a safe place and away from any danger is innate for these animals and something that can also happen when the pregnancy is psychological.

Treat objects like kittens

The maternal instinct of cats that go through this situation can be so extreme that they end up picking up an object from the house and treating it as if it were a kitten. You will notice that she does not separate from him, that she grooms him, pampers him, and tries to breastfeed him.

What to do if your cat has a false pregnancy? 

You need to go to the veterinarian as soon as you detect any of the aforementioned symptoms so that this professional can help you take better care of your pet. This situation can also cause some problems for the cat, especially if he produces milk and does not have babies to drink it. In this case, the milk can harden and remain in the breasts, causing serious problems such as mastitis. 

To avoid this situation, the best thing to do is to get him spayed. This operation reduces the instinct of the animal and, by doing so, improves its quality of life in the home. It should be noted, however, that a spayed cat can go through this type of pregnancy, although it is not common. This will happen if the female has been spayed shortly after going through the heat because, as mentioned above, progesterone is released for a few weeks after the completion of this period and as such can still have an effect.


Cats that were pregnant, yet lost cats before the seventh seven-day stretch of pregnancy through unnatural birth cycle or reabsorption of the embryos, will give all indications of bogus pregnancy, as per “Feline Owner’s Home Veterinary Manual.” These events do occur. often to cats with a lack of taurine in their diet or if the cats have been infected with the feline leukemia virus.


Although false pregnancy in cats is rare, cats that experience a false pregnancy are more likely to go on to develop a false pregnancy unless they are spayed. Cats that were spayed while they were ovulating will go for false pregnancy once they recover from anesthesia, but will never have another episode again.

 Symptoms and types

  • behavior changes
  • The nonpregnant cat may show symptoms of maternal activity, nesting, and self-care.
  • Restlessness
  • Abdominal distension
  • Enlargement of the mammary glands
  • vomiting
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Tanish watery liquid or water discharge from the mammary organs


The exact cause of this condition is unknown. However, hormonal imbalances, especially progesterone and prolactin, are believed to play a role in its development. Some cats have been found to show these abnormal symptoms within three to four days after an Ovariohysterectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus).


You will need to give a detailed history of your cat’s health and the onset and nature of symptoms. Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam to assess all body systems, and to assess your cat’s general health. Routine blood tests will include a complete blood count, biochemical profile, and urinalysis, all of which usually reveals normal results unless there is an underlying disease. And diagnostic imaging such as abdominal x-rays and ultrasounds are used to rule out an infection of the uterus or normal pregnancy.


Unless symptoms persist, treatment is typically unnecessary. If not, your vet may recommend hormone supplementation or an Ovariohysterectomy (removal of the ovaries and uterus) to prevent further episodes.

Live and manage

To reduce secretions from the mammary gland, your veterinarian will advise the use of hot or cold compresses to minimize the stimulation that promotes lactation. An Elizabethan collar (cone) can also help prevent self-loathing or licking behavior that can stimulate lactation. In some patients, reducing daily food intake can help reduce milk production.

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For owners who do not plan to breed their cats and do not want their queens to reproduce in the future, an ovariohysterectomy is a good solution to prevent future episodes of false pregnancies. The general prognosis is good, and most cats improve within two to three weeks, even without treatment.