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Big, round, hard belly? [Apr. 28th, 2009|08:02 pm]
Cat Health
I volunteer at PetSmart taking care of the cats up for adoption. For the past few weeks we've had a sweet tabby named Mu Shu. She's gotten larger and larger as she's been here. Her belly is very round and hard. She has lots of belly fluff so I can't tell if she's spayed - she SHOULD be though, all our cats are. However if she had a previous owner they will check for a scar.

Could she be pregnant? Her nipples are pointy but otherwise look normal. I'm just concerned because she looks so HUGE and I think this is why she hasn't been adopted yet. Or, she could have gained a lot of weight just by sitting in her cage all day for weeks on end.

When I pick her up to put her back in her cage, I'm careful of her belly and she doesn't protest. My cat is a little fatty but not to this extent and she's definitely not firm in the lower region. That's what worries me the most.

Pics ahead. Just fat, or possibly pregnant?


[User Picture]From: makale_83
2009-04-29 12:09 am (UTC)
It's possible!! Maybe you should ask the vet there to take a look at her.
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[User Picture]From: rhiannon_ruby
2009-04-29 12:10 am (UTC)
I think her being pregnant is a good possibility.
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[User Picture]From: kelism
2009-04-29 12:16 am (UTC)
I'd lean towards pregnant based on that nipple and the fact that it looks like a firm/tight stomach, not hangy-down/fat stomach. But it's not like I've seen a lot of pregnant cat nipples lately.
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[User Picture]From: tokio
2009-04-29 01:04 am (UTC)
Yep, but I have seen a few pregnant cats. The nipple says it all. I wouldn't be surprised if she were pregnant right now.
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[User Picture]From: raingirllori
2009-04-29 12:18 am (UTC)
A vet will be able to tell best, of course.

Generally, a fat cat's belly is squishy. A pregnant cat's belly, after 3-4 weeks of being pregnant (she would be at least that if you've had her a few weeks) would be firmer, and if you feel gently with your fingers, you may notice 'lumps' within.

Nipples turn rose and swell, but without knowing what she looked like before (or comparing to another female cat) that may not be an obvious sign. the closer she gets to birth, the more they swell as milk is produced.

A pregnant cat is often very affectionate and 'nests' the closer she gets to birth - gathering up blankets and rags for a bed and being very enthusiastic if you give her more fabric she can take.

Like humans, cats can get nausea when pregnant and may vomit a bit more often. She'll also be hungrier, and if you're pretty sure she's pregnant, you should slowly shift her over to premium kitten food so she gets the nutrients she needs for the growing kittens.
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[User Picture]From: milkchugyum
2009-04-29 12:19 am (UTC)
She definitely looks pregnant. Have a vet check her out.
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[User Picture]From: midnight21
2009-04-29 12:21 am (UTC)
she looks pregnant. My dad's cat looked exactly like her before she gave birth and ended up having 5 kittens. for the record she was a tabby too named Luci.
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[User Picture]From: morningapproach
2009-04-29 12:24 am (UTC)
She looks pregnant to me, but I would call the vet to make sure.
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[User Picture]From: drowninginwords
2009-04-29 12:46 am (UTC)
I'd vote pregnant, based on the second to last photo. She seems to be carrying the 'fat' more on the left side.
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[User Picture]From: kaelstra
2009-04-29 01:07 am (UTC)
Yup, I'm going to throw in my vote for pregnant. Usually cats that are simply obese do not have hard bellies. For example, I have a 28 pound male Maine Coon with a obviously big belly. His is not firm or hard in any way. (He loves tummy rubs, hehe)
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[User Picture]From: ebilgatoloco
2009-04-29 02:21 am (UTC)
Pregnant but a vet visit would tell you better.
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[User Picture]From: xeyda
2009-04-29 05:53 am (UTC)
I had a girl kitty, same general pattern who had a problem with her digestive system. It caused a lot of gas, and her stomach was perpetually hard and swollen, just like this one seems to be.

I'm not saying she isn't pregnant, but there *are* other things that can cause the preggo look and even feel. How heavy is she, compared to her size?
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From: aeryn
2009-04-29 12:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's kind of why I was asking... I'm surprised at how many people think she's absolutely pregnant! I won't be back there until next Tuesday but if she's still there and looks the same, I will feel her belly more and have one of the PetSmart managers take a look. One of them used to be a vet tech, but I'm surprised she hasn't noticed this cat, but then again the managers don't clean their cages, the employees and volunteers do...
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[User Picture]From: airwaveeight
2009-04-29 09:25 am (UTC)
From someone who's cat just had kittens a little over a week ago, and couldn't tell at all until they arrived-- is she at all lumpy? Obviously, a vet visit will tell you for sure, but this is just my two cents-- When Dusty was still pregnant, there were various small bulges where most of the weight was.
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From: aeryn
2009-04-29 12:57 pm (UTC)
I will need to check next week when I'm there again. Definitely firm, but I don't know about lumps.
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[User Picture]From: mousekinn
2009-04-29 12:46 pm (UTC)
The photos are blocked here at work, but I remember the pregnant fosters we had having very firm, taut bellies that bloat out sideways, as opposed to downwards like most of our tubby cats.

I'd be tempted to put my hands on her tummy and feel for movement. Our pregnant fosters loved tummy rubs too.

But definitely get her checked by a vet - if she isn't pregnant, it sounds like she might have gas bloating, which is dangerous and painful.
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From: aeryn
2009-04-29 12:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah it's bloated outwards rather than down. If you can see the pics, I have one from above where you can see the roundness on the sides, yet when she sits up on her haunches (last pic), you don't see any roundness underneath, she actually looks quite thin!
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[User Picture]From: mousekinn
2009-04-29 01:01 pm (UTC)
I've seen something similar happen with kittens and worms, too, so it might not be babies.

If she's friendly enough, I'd gently lay hands on her belly and feel for movement. Some kitties are too wiggly though. Coco loved us to feel her belly and gently rub it. We could feel the babies moving around.

*Sniff* I miss babies.
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