What do cat contractions look like?

This cat blog will answer the major question, “What do cat contractions look like?” we will also discuss the process of giving birth in cats, how you can help your cat after giving birth, and how you can tell if your cat is in labor.

What do cat contractions look like?

You will see a cat contracting its belly downwards and uterine contractions will lead to the birth of babies. It is a painful process for your cat so you might assist by providing a suitable place and towels to keep the kittens warm and clean in the nesting box.

How does the process of birth take place in your cat?

The first thing that is important is the stimulus that initiates the birth process in your cat. The most common stimulus is the fetus size and hormones which will trigger cortisol which is the stress hormone that will initiate the process of birth in your cat.

The PGF2a will release and will cause degeneration of the corpus luteum which can lead to an increase in the estrogen level in the body which will initiate the contraction of the birth canal. Initially, the contraction is not forceful but as the level of estrogen increases in the body, it increases the contraction force.

The fetus is delivered somewhere between 5 and 30 minutes but it can take up to 12 hours for a cat to deliver all the babies in the home. If your cat is straining and there are no babies coming out of the birth canal then there must be a problem with your cat and you must see a vet.

After the birth, the baby is cleaned by the mother with its tongue. The babies are covered in an amniotic sac and this sac is ruptured by the cat itself. The mother cat will lick its babies to start respiration in the babies. 

If your cat due to some reason is not able to tear the amniotic sac then you just do it yourself and you must rub a clean rough towel with the nose of the baby to start the respiration process in the baby. The mother also tears the umbilical cord but if the mother is not able to do it you must do it.

You just need to tie it an inch away from the mother’s body and then cut it from the mother’s side. You also need to count the number of placentas because retention of the placenta is a thing. You should also call your vet if the placenta is not delivered within 12 hours by your cat. 

The number of babies is equal to the number of placentas so it is easy for you to count the babies.

How can you tell if your cat is in labor?

Following are the signs that will tell you that your cat is in labor:

  • The first sign is the excessive sweating, vocalization, and pacing of your cat. Your cat will look restless and you might think that your cat is sick but it is normal for a cat to get restless when it is in labor.
  • Your cat will look nervous and will hide in places where no one can reach the cat so it is important that such a place is there in your home.
  • The next thing is your cat will eat less and you might see its belly moving down, it is a sign that parturition is approaching in your cat. You must be ready to receive the new babies at your home.
  • The last thing you might see is excessive grooming of itself, especially the perianal region because most cats like to do that.

How can you help your cat after giving birth to babies?

Following are the things you just need to do to help your cat after giving birth to babies:

  • The first thing you must do is to provide a safe place for your cat where no one would be able to disturb it.
  • The next thing is to provide a nesting box according to the size of the cat and the number of babies.
  • The next thing is to provide a heating pad that is attached to the nesting box. Please avoid putting babies on the heating pad directly because it will burn them.
  • The next thing is to cover the nesting box with a towel to keep the heat in the box. 
  • The next thing is to provide a clean and dry towel to your cat in the nesting box.


In this cat blog, we answered the major question, “What do cat contractions look like?” we also discussed the process of giving birth in cats, how you can help your cat after giving birth, and how you can tell if your cat is in labor.



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