False pregnancy in cats

Among inexperienced owners, it is widely believed that false pregnancy in cats cannot occur at all. Like, this is the problem of dog lovers, and we, the cat-lovers, should not think about this phenomenon. Unfortunately, this opinion is erroneous: cats, although much less likely than dogs, still suffer from miscarriage. How to help darling and how dangerous is this condition?
To understand the full depth of the problem, let's look at why dogs so often have a false pregnancy. The sexual cycle of a female is somewhat different from that of a cat: the corpus luteum, responsible for the production of a number of hormones, forms and does not disappear within a few weeks after the cessation of estrus, even if mating has not occurred. All this time, hormonal "messages" sent by the corpus luteum "deceive" the body: pregnancy has come, get ready for carrying embryos and feeding offspring. After two months, the hormone prolactin is secreted - milk production begins. This tricky trick has a practical purpose: in the pack, where several bitches give birth at about the same time, there are “spare moms” during the appearance of the puppies. If one of the mothers dies during childbirth or from wounds received during hunting, the offspring will survive, fed by a bitch who has been in a state of false pregnancy for two months. Therefore, for dogs, this condition can be considered conditionally normal.
Why is false pregnancy so rare in cats? The thing is that this is a useless condition for cats: cats in their natural habitats do not accept foreign cubs, and even destroy them. Therefore, the cat’s body is "insured" from false pregnancy: normally the corpus luteum forms only after mating and regresses in a short time if fertilization has not occurred.
In what cases can signs of false pregnancy appear in cats? First of all, it is mating with a castrated, unhealthy or sterile male: stimulation has occurred, the corpus luteum has formed, the uterus is ready for embryo implantation, but there are no embryos. The second option - the cat is full, but the reproductive function of the cat is impaired, i.e. fertilization did not occur due to cat health problems. The reasons why fertilization does not occur are many: latent infections, systemic diseases, congenital pathologies of the reproductive organs, and much more. In addition, false pregnancy can occur without mating: hormonal imbalance, artificial stimulation, thyroid disease, etc. False pregnancy in cats indicates that something is wrong with the body of the pet. Therefore, it is important to consult a veterinarian and undergo an examination to identify the cause of the pathological condition.

How does a false pregnancy appear in a cat?

As a rule, owners often pay attention to the psychological signs of a false pregnancy in cats:
  • apathy, nervousness, drowsiness;
  • unwillingness to make close contact or, conversely, exacting attention;
  • digging in closets, dragging clothes into a nook (building a "nest");
  • carrying kittens in the teeth, the role of which is played by slippers, socks, etc.
Some pets become noisy - meow loudly, especially at night, are annoyed by open / locked doors, etc. Others, on the contrary, become quiet, try not to catch the eye. Behavioral changes are often mistaken for whim or hooliganism, trying to tame the pet, but this only enhances the manifestations of hormonal chaos.
The physiological symptoms of mock pregnancy in cats are as follows:
  • six to eight weeks after the cessation of estrus, minor discharge from the vulva is observed (the pet licks more often);
  • the stomach is enlarged;
  • enlarged nipples;
  • milk is excreted;
  • at first it strengthens, and then the appetite decreases;
  • gastrointestinal tract disorders;
  • a slight increase in temperature.
Symptoms can be expressed to one degree or another, depending on the level of various hormones and the type of nervous system of the pet. Some cats do not respond to physiological changes, others, despite the absence of physiological symptoms, are acutely experiencing a false pregnancy. The more often this condition is observed, the higher the likelihood of serious consequences: mastitis, purulent inflammation of the uterine cavity, tumor, thyroid pathology, etc.

To treat or not to treat?

One can often hear the opinion that treating false pregnancy in cats is a waste of time. This misconception came to the owners of cats from dog lovers, since, as mentioned above, for dogs a false pregnancy is a conditionally normal condition. But in cats, false pregnancy must be treated, especially if the symptoms are pronounced.
First of all, you should slightly reduce the portion and limit the consumption of dairy products. It will not be superfluous to remove everything that can remind a cat of offspring (toys, shoes, etc.). In relation to the pet, you need to behave with restraint, not encouraging her behavior, but not frightening punishments: the cat considers herself pregnant, and therefore needs protection and care.
Only a veterinarian prescribes medication for miscarriage in a cat. As a rule, light sedatives plus drugs that stop the production of milk are used. With mastitis - cooling compresses, anti-inflammatory ointments and antibiotics (if mastitis has turned into a purulent form). In severe cases, hormone therapy is necessary. If a false pregnancy develops from estrus to estrus, the doctor recommends sterilization, which will avoid such formidable consequences of hormonal disorders as tumors, pyometra, endometritis, etc.

Watch the video: Dr. Becker Discusses False Pregnancy (April 2020).