IC Guide to Cat Pregnancy

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Mating

There is no set “time” for mating, which is to say there is no season or period where it must take place. A mating can take place at any time. The only two major requirements are that the mating itself take place off-cam (or be glossed over in an accepted canon story, such as McFlurry Mishap). The other is that any mating that will result in kittens (as it should if you are reading this) will need to have either the relationship or the mating itself approved beforehand by the admins. It should be noted that mating without any previous relationship will hardly ever be approved. See the Litter ApplicationRelationship Tracking and CoSC Official Stances on Mature Themes for further rules & information in this area.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy in domestic cats (felis catus, not the CoSC definition of “domestic”, or “kittypets” by Clan cats) lasts about nine weeks, with case-to-case fluctuations. On average, a future queen will usually discover her pregnancy at about four to five weeks, when side effects usually start turning up and the she-cat sees the medicine cat about them. She-cats who are exceptionally attentive to their bodies as well as the symptoms of pregnancy may discover it as early as 2-3 weeks, however, this is highly unlikely and pushing the boundaries of believability. Inversely, if a cat is unfamiliar with the symptoms and is unable to contact a cat who is, they may not discover their pregnancy until 6 weeks or later. Common symptoms of pregnancy that a she-cat may go to a medicine cat for include an unusual increase in appetite, a decrease in energy, and stomach discomfort (See Complaint: Pregnancy for a full list of symptoms).

Maternal Leave

A Clan she-cat who discovers she is pregnant does not immediately retire to the nursery to wait out the days until the kits are born. Doing so would cost her Clan not only the prey she can still catch them, it would cause her to become an unnecessary drain on the Clan’s resources. While she should take care not to injure, stress or strain herself, the future queen need not retire to the nursery until the kitting is expected at any time or physical strain or stress might endanger the lives of any kits she is carrying, barring any unusual circumstances.A queen will typically go onto light duty at around 6 weeks, when the pregnancy is becoming easily visible to all Clanmates. This continues until around a week or so before the kitting is expected (8 weeks), barring any discrepancies or extraneous circumstances. Going into labor early, for example, would warrant a she-cat to be immediately moved to the nursery. When the kit(s) are weaned (at about 3-4 weeks old), then the queen will often return to light duty to help with hunting and begin to regain any conditioning and fitness she has lost. Trips will be more and more extended as the kit(s) grow older and more self-reliant, and upon their graduation, the she-cat should return immediately to full duty.

Unplanned Pregnancies

No matter how much a queen may not wish to bear a litter, a medicine cat will very seldom force a miscarriage with the use of herbs. All kits, whether unexpected, unwanted, or both, have the potential to grow up to be productive members of the Clan. A medicine cat will need a very good reason to even consider killing that potential. A queen would also likely be scolded even in that case, as mating in the Clan cats’ world is almost a sure bet for kittens.