How Long Is A British Shorthair Pregnant For?

There is only one thing better than owning a British Shorthair: owning a British Shorthair queen with its litter of adorable kittens!

How long is a British Shorthairs pregnant for? Usually, domestic cats have a gestation period of 65 days. It is quite likely for cats to give birth before or after this period. British Shorthair cats are normally pregnant for 65 days, and they go into labor on the 65th day or a few days after that up until the 70th day.

Need to know more details about your British Shorthair’s pregnancy? Keep reading!

But before that, check out this interesting video:

British Shorthair Cat Review after 3 years


British Shorthair’s Gestation Period

British Shorthair has the gestation period like any other domestic cat:

Sixty-five days to be exact.

British Shorthairs usually give birth to their kittens on the 65th day, but it is quite normal for this breed to go into labor a little later than that.



The 70th day of a British Shorthair’s pregnancy is the day you need to start worrying about it. Rush your cat to the vet if it hasn’t gone into labor by day 70. There might be some serious medical causes behind it.

This is not the only time you will have to take your British Shorthair to the vet. You must take your cat to the vet well before she is pregnant, right after she starts getting her heat cycles. Make sure there aren’t any health problems or conditions that will harm your cat and the kittens if she falls pregnant.

After she is pregnant, schedule another visit to the vet for a checkup. This will help you confirm the due date of the pregnancy and the overall health condition of your cat.

A visit to the vet in week three or four will help you determine the number of kittens in the litter.

British Shorthairs usually have a healthy and happy pregnancy with little to no health problems. Make sure you are there for your cat at all times, though.

British Shorthair’s Pregnancy Is A Happy Affair!

British Shorthair cats do not have a difficult or complicated pregnancy. On the contrary, they have a healthy, happy pregnancy that ends pretty well too.

Most cat breeds have very tough deliveries, but British Shorthairs have a comparatively smooth delivery because this breed has a flat, small head.


This in no way means that your British Shorthair doesn’t require proper care and nourishment during this period. Pregnancy is a heavy and hearty job, make sure your cat is properly cared for and is well nourished.

British Shorthairs have a big appetite. As a British Shorthair owner, you already know how to keep your cat’s diet in check to stop it from being overweight. You should keep monitoring your British Shorthair’s diet at the start of the pregnancy as well. Gaining unnecessary weight can lead to complications in labor.

However, towards the end of the pregnancy, let your cat eat its fill. Not only is it eating for itself but also for its kittens.

Do’s and Don’ts Of The Pregnancy

  • Carry out routine veterinary checkups for your cat to make sure that the mother and the kittens are all fine.
  • Keep your cat inside the house during the whole pregnancy period in order to make sure she’s out of harm’s way.
  • Do not limit your cat’s diet once she is one month into her pregnancy. Keep in mind that this food intake is now for the nourishment of multiple bodies, not just her own.
  • Set up a safe space somewhere in the house for the cat. A kittening room or a secluded spot where your cat can lie down and relax during pregnancy and ultimately give birth at.
  • Your cat will disappear into some unknown spot of the house while giving birth if you don’t set up a secluded, private spot for her yourself. This will make it harder to help her through the birthing phase. So, set up the kittening room as early on as possible.
  • Make sure you clean the food and water bowls as well as the litter tray on a regular basis. You don’t want any lingering bacteria anywhere near your pregnant British Shorthair.

Tell-Tale Signs Of Your British Shorthair’s Pregnancy

If you are not sure whether your British Shorthair is pregnant or not, you can look out for certain signs that will give you a hint.

During the first two weeks of her pregnancy, the only change that you can observe in your cat is her behavioral changes. A British Shorthair female on her heat cycle is the loudest of all cats. You know she is pregnant for sure when she stops calling.


Many British Shorthair cats are chatty during the first two weeks of their pregnancy as well. So, you can’t be certain based on this sign alone.

Another behavioral change that you’ll notice right away is that your otherwise reserved and aloof British Shorthair is being exceptionally friendly and affectionate. She will seek you out, shower you with cuddles, and be close to you all the time.

Week Three and Four is when you will finally see some physical changes. Her nipples will progressively become pinker and protruded as she advances into her pregnancy.

Your cat will also start getting morning sickness, just like any human mother.

You should know this:

If your cat is nauseous all the time, you should get her checked by a vet. This can be a sign of something seriously wrong with her and not just a pregnancy marker.

Week five and six, that’s when you will see the bulge in her tummy.

This is when you should start preparations to welcome the newborns.

Now the heavily pregnant cat must not be completely sedentary. True, it is hard for the British Shorthair queen to engage in physical activities like it used to, but if your cat doesn’t get up at all, you must take it to the vet.

Another health problem that you need to keep an eye on is vaginal discharge. This can prove to be fatal for the mother as well as kittens.

Week Seven will roll by with a greater bulge, a more rounded tummy, and you can even observe the movements of the kittens.

The newborns are pretty close to their arrival at this point.

Throughout the pregnancy, take care of the food and water intake of your cat. Dehydration and overeating at the start are perilous, so are dehydration and malnutrition towards the end of the pregnancy.

The Birthing Process

You should set up a proper spot or a kittening room for your cat by week four of her pregnancy. Even if you have an outdoor cat, make sure you keep her indoors during the whole pregnancy period.

The kittening room is the safe space of your British Shorthair; there should be a minimum number of intruders here. This is eventually the place she must give birth at. If this room isn’t “safe,” she will disappear into some corner of the house when she goes into labor. This is both tedious and harmful. Tedious for you as you won’t be able to assist your British Shorthair in her birthing process easily and harmful for her in terms of health.

Another noteworthy thing about the kittening room is that it should be kept clean at all times. The litterbox, the food and water bowls, and the floor should be cleaned regularly. You don’t want any germs lurking around your cat!

Have a heating pad at ready, once your British Shorthair goes into labor, make sure the room is nice and warm. An optimal amount of warm, not too hot, not too cold. Extreme temperatures can prove to be fatal for the newborn kittens.

The expected period of time of the labor is three to six hours, depending on the size of the litter. It can go upto seven hours if the litter is larger. However, the eighth hour is when you should take your British Shorthair to the vet or at least contact the vet for advice as such long labors can be dangerous for the cat.

Don’t disturb your cleaning regimen after the birthing though. Make sure you regularly clean the kittening room well after the birthing process.

Related Questions

Can British Shorthair cats be left alone?

British Shorthairs can be left alone; in fact, they enjoy their alone time. Unlike most cats, British Shorthairs are independent and like to be left alone to have some ‘me’ time. You can easily leave your cat alone for up to 3 days without worrying about it. If you wish to stay away from your cat for 5 or more days than make sure you arrange for someone to watch over your cat.

Do British Shorthair cats have blue eyes?

British Shorthairs are sturdy and stocky, with a rounded head and a thick tail. British Shorthairs come in a wide range of coat and eye colors. The most common eye color is blue; however, they can have copper, gold, and green eyes depending on their coat color.

A number of British Shorthairs have odd eye colors as well. It’s all in the genes!

Do British Shorthair cats jump?

Cats, in general, love jumping around. And so do British Shorthairs. This inborn ability of these cats to jump from mighty heights and always land on their feet is quite awe-inspiring. British Shorthairs do not jump from places that are at a dangerously mighty height, so you don’t really have to worry about your cat’s well being when it jumps: It knows what it’s doing!

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