What changes are necessary to make in a cat’s diet once she is pregnant?

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Pregnant cats need extra care to ensure that both kittens and mother are healthy. Good nutrition is critical to this outcome, so you must learn the dietary needs of your cat during pregnancy and the post-birth (nursing) period. The appetite of the pregnant cat will increase significantly in order to provide adequate nutrition for the developing kittens, so a high-quality food is important to provide these nutrients instead of empty calories. While you do want to respond to her caloric needs (that is, more food), you don’t want to add any unnecessary pounds, especially since they can create complications.

Your cat may have been deliberately bred, or it may be a surprise. Either way, she will need additional calories, vitamins, minerals and protein for the growing bodies of her coming litter. Malnutrition during pregnancy can cause low birth weight in kittens, reduce survival rate and create problems for the mother during the birth. Increased protein aids the development of the growing kittens while additional fat helps to meet the high caloric requirements of the mother cat. Sufficient amounts of calcium and phosphorus help in the kittens’ bone growth and the mother’s milk production.
As soon as you become aware that your cat is pregnant, begin offering her a high-quality vitamin supplement. However, do not use supplements excessively as this can have a harmful effect on the growing kittens, and ALWAYS check with your veterinarian first.
The pregnant cat should receive a premium brand adult food for the first three weeks of pregnancy. After that time, begin adding premium kitten food to the mix and increase the amount of kitten food each week. During the final week of her pregnancy, she should get all kitten food she wants. Make sure she also has plenty of water; in fact, you might consider mixing a tiny bit in with her food.

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