Can Cats Have Miscarriages?
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Cat pregnancies are always a delicate process. We care for them during their pregnancy and try to help them deliver their kittens. During this time, it's normal to feel alarmed or worried when an abnormality arises.
Any cat can experience a miscarriage during their pregnancy. Since cats cannot communicate with us, it's important for us to recognize their symptoms so we can act quickly in helping them. In this AnimalWised article, we are going to help you detect the symptoms of a cat miscarriage, as well as go through the causes, diagnosis and treatment.
What is a miscarriage?
A cat miscarriage is when a fetus dies during the mother's pregnancy. This death can happen at any time during the pregnancy, some occur early during the first half, others may occur later on in the pregnancy. These may result in a variety of outcomes. Some miscarriages occur before their due date or even on their due date.
Another result may be the mummification of the deceased fetus within the uterus. In other words, the body will create a protective membrane around the deceased fetus. Usually, this process of mummification doesn't post any threat to the mother. However, in some cases an infection may occur, and it can be fatal. This is why it's important for your veterinarian to do the proper examinations to make sure any lingering tissue from the deceased fetus or infections are taken care of and eliminated as soon as possible.
Symptoms of miscarriage in cats
Miscarriage in cats tend to have noticeable signs and symptoms. However, they may be mild if she is in her first several weeks of her pregnancy. It's important to observe our cat during this process as she has limited ways of demonstrating her pain or discomfort. Here are the common symptoms of miscarriages in cats:
- Bloody discharge
- Abdominal straining
- Delivery of premature or dead fetuses
- Disappearance of fetuses previously seen in ultrasound
Causes of miscarriage in cats
Miscarriages in cats can have a variety of underlying causes. Although it's not always possible to diagnose the underlying causes, it's very important to try as some infections can be fatal. Common causes of miscarriages in cats include:
Diagnosis of miscarriage in cats
To diagnose miscarriages in cats, a standard blood test is used to detect the presence of parasites or other medical conditions in the cat. Your veterinarian can also use an ultrasound to detect a viable pregnancy or to look if there's anything remaining in your cat's uterus following her miscarriage.
This is very important as if there is any remaining tissue from the deceased fetus, your cat may get a serious infection that can lead to her death. This is why your veterinarian will make sure that there are no infections or possible risks.
If your cat has discharged the deceased fetus at home, ask your veterinarian if you should bring it to the check-up. Many times the fetus can help vets determine the underlying cause for the miscarriage. Your veterinarian will go through physical checks, your cat's health history, ultrasound and perhaps a couple more exams to properly diagnose your cat and select the best treatment for her recovery.
Treatment of miscarriage in cats
The treatment of miscarriage in cats depends on whether or not the cat needs to be stabilized for the underlying cause of her miscarriage. If the fetus was not discharged, your veterinarian may administer drugs to cause contractions and help your cat eliminate the remaining tissue.The elimination of the deceased fetus is crucial for your cat's life. If even one piece of the deceased tissue remains inside her uterus, it will get infected and may lead to death. It's best to eliminate it as soon as possible.
In the case of infection, your veterinarian will evaluate which antibiotic and which dosage is correct for your cat and her condition. To learn more, we invite you to read our article on if it's safe to give cats antibiotics.
Finally, if the miscarriage was caused by congenital defects or hormonal abnormalities, your veterinarian may recommend you spay your cat after this pregnancy to avoid future pregnancies and the issues it may bring.
Recovery of miscarriage in cats
Following a miscarriage, your cat may have a great deal of discomfort and perhaps some vaginal bleeding or abnormal discharge. In many cases, some long-term bacterial issues arise. It's important to bring her to the veterinarian to have regular check-ups regarding any bacteria or infection she may have. In most cases, female cats recover well from miscarriages as long as they have the proper treatment given to them by their veterinarian.
Due to the fact that your cat may still be pregnant with her other kittens, only your veterinarian can determine what medicine and what dose will be correct for her and her situation. In short, as long as you take precautions and listen to your veterinarian, your cat should fully recover after her miscarriage.
Prevention of miscarriage in cats
It's difficult to prevent miscarriages in cats as this can happen to any cat. Nevertheless, there are certain precautions that can help make sure everything is in order and that our cat has very low chanced of having a miscarriage.
Firstly, if you don't intend on professionally breeding your cat, perhaps you can consider having her spayed to protect her against unwanted future pregnancies. Spaying your female cat will also have other advantages such as decreasing certain infections and the elimination of certain behaviour when she is in heat.
Learn more about spaying a pregnant cat on our article is it safe to spay a pregnant cat?.
On the other hand, if you do intend to professionally and responsibly breed you cat, consult your vet for a check-up prior to mating. You should also make sure that your cat has followed her vaccination and deworming schedule, as it will help her have a healthy pregnancy. It's important to note that vaccinating your cat during her pregnancy can put the life of herself and her babies in danger. So make sure to do that before mating.
If you're interested in caring for your pregnant cat, we invite you to read our article on what to feed my pregnant cat.
False pregnancy in cats
Just like humans, cats can experience a false pregnancy. This false pregnancy mimics many of the physical and emotional symptoms of a viable pregnancy, such as a swollen abdomen, lactation or vomiting. False pregnancies are often caused by hormonal imbalances. Your veterinarian will need to attend to this as soon as possible to evaluate your cat's overall health and hormonal balance.
For more information, read our article on false pregnancies in cats.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Can Cats Have Miscarriages?, we recommend you visit our Pregnancy problems category.