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10 Signs to Tell If Cat Still Has Kittens Inside

By Last Updated: November 25th, 2022Categories: Pet Pedia

It’s known that a female cat can give birth to multiple kittens. While all of the little kittens are delivered typically at the same hour, there are times when some are stuck inside their mother’s belly. In fact, there are instances where the full delivery ranges from 4 to 42 hours.

With this, it’s important to learn how to tell if cat still has kittens inside. Sure! Cats can deliver kittens without assistance, however, there are times when they do need help. Yes! Complications may arise if you are not quick to respond to your cat’s needs during delivery. Early detection can help you identify whether you need to take your cat to the vet. That way, you can decide whether C-section for cats is needed.

So, if you are unsure whether or not there’s a kitten left inside your cat’s belly, read this article. We will discuss with you the most critical signs you should look out for.

1. The Cat Licks Her Genitalia

It’s true that cats clean themselves by licking. However, when they just had a few deliveries and they start licking the genitalia, it could mean that there are still more kittens to come. Kittens are delivered gently through the birth canal in a fluid-like sac. When this happens, she can feel the movement of the kitten, which then leads her to lick the area to hasten the delivery.

Cat Licking

Actually, a cat’s saliva together with the licking motion can help break down the layer of membrane wrapping the kitten. And if your cat is still licking her genitals, it’s possible that another one is coming or stuck inside.

2. Your Cat Is Panting

You can say that your cat is not finished with her labor when heavy breathing occurs. Panting is a sign that your cat is trying to deliver more kittens. Delivering kittens is not easy for a cat, either. It needs a lot of energy and she has to deal with the discomfort. And panting and breathing heavily is a cat’s way to ready herself and relieve pain.

When all the kittens have been released, your cat should start calming down. If not, an unborn kitten might be stuck in the birth canal. When this happens, it’s best to call your vet to know your next steps.

3. She’s Not Eating

When your cat is subjected to extreme discomfort due to labor, she loses her appetite, even if you give her delicious food. Like humans, cats prioritize where they focus their energy. They’d do everything just to deliver the kittens successfully.

Cat Not Eating

So, if your cat has already delivered a few kittens, and she still doesn’t touch her food, It’s likely that she’s still in labor. She may just be waiting for the kitten to finally get in a perfect position to be ejected. However, if this goes on for a day or two, you need to contact your vet immediately. The kitten may be stuck inside or your cat is suffering from something not related to her delivery.

4. Your Cat Is Being Aggressive

When your cat is pregnant, she becomes more protective of herself. And if she delivers a few kittens, she’s going to be more fierce in protecting them. In fact, cats even become more aggressive when they are still in labor. And this is completely normal.

Delivering kittens makes your cat vulnerable to external threats. That’s why she needs to do everything she can to scare away anything or anyone she considers a threat. But such aggressive behavior is temporary. Once all the kittens have been delivered, your cat should return to normal.

5. She’s Not Paying Attention To Her Babies

When your cat is still in labor, she’d definitely focus more on delivering more babies than taking care of those that already got out. This is a normal behavior especially since active labor is really uncomfortable.

Cat Giving Birth

Not focusing on her newborn babies is not a sign she doesn’t care about them. It’s just that she prioritizes complete delivery so she can get out of the discomfort. Until then, your cat won’t be able to take care of her kitties.

6. The Cat’s Making Different Sounds

Like other animals, making sounds is the way cats communicate. They meow, growl, hiss, purr, etc. However, if such sounds or vocalizations happen after delivering a few kittens, it’s highly likely that there are still more kittens waiting to be born.

The sounds your cat may produce during labor or after delivering a few kitties can signify intense pain. This could be because a kitten is stuck in the birth canal, which is causing a lot of discomforts. She’s trying her best to push it out and she might be crying for help.

7. There’s A Bubble-like Object In the Birth Canal

You may also observe that there’s a bubble-like object stuck in your cat’s birth canal. That is not just an object, that’s a kitten waiting to be born. When this happens, you may need to wait for 10 to 15 minutes before you conclude it’s stuck.

Cat Amniotic Sac

But if there is no progress after the said time, you may need to call your veterinarian. The kitten is stuck and it must be released immediately to free your cat from prolonged pain. Besides that, your cat might also harm the kitten if not delivered right away.

8. You Don’t See Any Placenta

Typically after successful delivery, there should be a placenta right after the last kitten. To confirm this, you may need to wait up to 15 minutes for the placenta to be released. If not, there’s a high chance that delivery is still ongoing.

However, it may be difficult for you to observe the placenta if you are not looking closely as your cat delivers her babies. There are times when the cat eats the placenta to restore her health.

9. There’s Liquid Discharge

Blood and other liquid discharges are present when your cat is still in labor. This is normal. It’s a sign that more kittens are arriving. However, if there’s excessive bleeding, it can be a sign that a kitten is stuck and your cat is struggling to get it out.

When this happens, the best course of action is for you to call your veterinarian. If your cat is not being aggressive, you may take her to the vet clinic yourself for emergency intervention.

10. Your Cat Only Delivered Few Kittens than Expected

If you had your pregnant cat checked through ultrasound or x-ray, you’d know how many kittens to expect. So, when she is only able to deliver a few cats, it’s possible that the other ones are stuck or your cat is still in labor.

But if you hadn’t brought your cat to a scan, the average kittens she should have is around four to six. So, if she only delivered three, it would be best to wait for 10 to 15 minutes before you think something is wrong.

What to Do If Your Cat Still Has Kittens Inside

If you notice the signs mentioned above, you can tell that your cat still has kittens inside. And it’s normal. Full delivery lasts up to 48 hours. However, if such indications persist beyond the normal period, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. The kittens may be stuck and a professional’s help is needed to assist with the delivery. Your last resort would be a C-section if the kittens can’t be delivered manually.


Can a cat give birth to only one kitten?2022-11-15T10:01:30+00:00

It’s possible for a cat to give birth to only one kitten, however, such an occurrence is extremely rare. This happens when only one of the fetuses inside the cat’s belly is fully developed.

Can cats die from giving birth?2022-11-15T10:00:55+00:00

Yes. Female cats bleed when they give birth, and it’s normal. However, an emergency like excessive bleeding after delivery can lead to death if the cat is not brought to the vet immediately.