If you have been trying to figure out if your cat has had kittens recently or in the past, this post will help you to figure it out.

So, how to tell if my cat has had kittens recently? To tell if your cat has had kittens recently, it would help to observe where your cat has been going, to see if her nipples are enlarged and to consider if she has suddenly lost weight.

If you think your cat has had kittens recently, it would help to play newborn kitten sounds on Youtube and to see where she goes.

There are a number of things to do to help figure out if your cat has had kittens recently. There are also some ways to tell if a cat has had kittens in the past.

How to tell if a cat has had kittens recently?

Below are ways to tell if your cat has had kittens recently.

Determine if your cat was pregnant

First, it would help to figure out if it is likely that your cat was recently pregnant.

Signs of a cat being pregnant

It would help consider if your cat was recently showing signs of being pregnant.

These signs can include:

  • Your cat suddenly gaining a lot of weight
  • Morning sickness
  • An increased appetite
  • Enlarged nipples
  • A sudden interruption of her usual heat cycle
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Mood swings
  • Nesting behavior where your cat goes to quiet and hidden parts of the home

Observe if your cat’s appearance and behavior has changed

If your cat recently gave birth, it would also be likely that there would have been changes in your cat’s appearance and behavior since then.

These changes can include:

  • Your cat’s nipples still being enlarged but slightly smaller than they were recently
  • Red nipples
  • A change in your cat’s appetite
  • Your cat not leaving a certain area for a long time period
  • Your cat suddenly losing a lot of weight
  • Suddenly seeing your cat a lot less frequently
  • You only see your cat when she is coming for food or to drink
  • Grooming the private areas more than usual

Observe what your cat has been doing

It would also help to observe what your cat has been doing. If you notice that her behavior has suddenly changed and that you only see her when she is eating or drinking, it would help to watch where she goes without her noticing. It would also help to listen out for crying since kittens are usually very vocal.

If you cannot hear the crying in your house, it would be more likely that your cat gave birth to them outside or that there was a false pregnancy or that she was never pregnant to begin with.

It could also help to play the sound of newborn kittens near her since it could cause her to go to take care of the kittens.

How to find the kittens if my cat had them outside?

If you cannot hear the sound of kittens inside the house, it might be the case that she had kittens outside instead.

It is likely that she would have chosen a spot that is away from foot traffic, sheltered and hidden. It would help to consider what possible areas you are aware of near your home that would fit the description then to check them.

Examples can include:

  • Secluded buildings, barns or sheds
  • Hard to reach areas around the home
  • Underneath the house if there is a way to get there
  • Den type areas with only one small entrance

In order to help locate the area, it would help to watch where your cat goes after eating or drinking. If that does not work, it might help to set up some cameras around the home to see where she goes, or to have multiple people on lookout to watch her movements.

Why would a cat have her kittens outside?

Cats are very instinctual creatures. It is in their instinct to give birth to kittens in what they deem to be the safest place possible. If your house is very noisy, has a lot of foot traffic, does not have secluded and quiet areas that your cat can hide away in and particularly if you have dogs, your cat may decide that there is no safe space inside the home and will choose to have the kittens outside instead.

It is also more likely that your cat will choose to have kittens outside if there is a particularly appropriate spot such as in a hidden part of a barn or shed.

How to tell if a stray cat has had kittens?

To determine if a stray cat has had kittens can be very difficult. However, there may be some signs including:

  • If she has enlarged nipples
  • Red nipples
  • She seems to be unwilling to leave a certain area
  • She gets very defensive when you go near a certain area
  • Grooming the private areas a lot

If you notice that she is willing to roam around freely and you see her around often, it would make it a lot less likely that she has had kittens recently. This is because a mother cat won’t leave her kittens often or for long time periods unless absolutely necessary in order to get food or to drink.

One thing to try would be to play the sound of newborn kittens near her. It may trigger her to go back and care for her kittens.

How to tell if a cat has had kittens in the past?

To determine if a cat has had kittens in the past can be difficult. However, some signs can include:

  • The belly sagging a lot (however, the belly can sag naturally so this is not a sure sign)
  • The nipples still being enlarged

If you are not sure but would like to know, it would help to ask your vet for their opinion when you next see them.

Do a cat’s nipples shrink after pregnancy?

A mother’s milk supply will usually dry up around 10 weeks after having the kittens. The nipples will usually be enlarged while nursing the kittens and will shrink afterwards. However, the nipples will not always shrink back down to their original size before the pregnancy.

Why would a mother cat only carry one of her kittens?

When a mother cat only carries one of her kittens to a different location then goes back to the rest of the kittens, it is because she is abandoning the kitten. They do this because it allows them to give all their energy to the other kittens so that they have a higher chance of survival. Reasons why a mother cat will choose to abandon a kitten can include the kitten being very weak, small, having an illness or having a deformity.

If you find kittens abandoned by a mother cat, it would help to call a local animal shelter to see if they have a surrogate mother that can feed the kittens. If they do not, you may have to provide the necessary care.


I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.