Your heavily pregnant cat has been lying around your home now for the past couple of weeks, eating double her normal amount of food and generally looking very round in shape. For some time now, you've been able to see her kittens moving about in her belly quite clearly and you think that you have a fairly good idea of when she is due to give birth. Then, in a moment, your gorgeous cat heaves herself out of her usual sunny spot and starts to move about, seeming to be nervous or excited about something. At first, you would be forgiven if you thought she was asking for more food, as she'll start calling to you. But when you place a dish of tasty morsels down for her, she'll show no interest.
Don't be puzzled by her apparantly unusual behavior. Bide your time and wait for just a short while longer until you see her seek out her chosen birthing place - her nesting box. Of course, as a well-prepared owner, you have already constructed a suitable nesting box, haven't you? If not, you may have to give up your bed for awhile, if your cat has decided that this is where she will be giving birth.
A large and sturdy cardboard box, with the top and one side cut away will do the job nicely. Just leave a lip at the bottom of the cut-away side to stop small kittens from falling out. Line it with lots of old newspaper - maybe some of it shredded - and find an old towel to cover the top for warmth and privacy.
But whatever the choice of nesting place, your cat will feel compelled to head straight there when she feels that her labor is starting. Here, she will begin to 'tread' on her bedding and once you see her doing this, you can be 100% sure that her kittens are on their way. You will have no difficulty in recognising this treading action as it is a cross between digging in her litter box and kneading with her paws when she is sitting relaxed and happy on your lap.
Even cat experts don't really know why cats tread their bedding immediately prior to the onset of their labor. It is probably no more than a desire to arrange their immediate environment to their liking. After all, your cat will be putting in a lot of hard work over the coming few hours and it's just common sense that she will want to make herself as comfortable as possible! Whatever the reason, treading on her bedding is a major sign that your cat's labor is about to begin. She's ready - are you?.
Make sure that you are fully prepared to help your pregnant cat give birth to her kittens. Learn all about treading behavior and subscribe to Jane Tompsett's free Cat Owners Confidential newsletter by following these links.