Miscarriage in cats refers to the death of a fetus during pregnancy. It happens before the baby is delivered. This fetal death can occur anytime during pregnancy and there might be some signs occur, depending on the stage at which it occurs.
Some cases of miscarriage in cats occur early, specifically during the first half of pregnancy (before 45 days). The miscarriage may be completely undetected as the embryo is often reabsorbed into the body.
In some other cases, other kittens in the litter may be born normally, while one or more kittens in the litter may be miscarried.
Do you have a cat? Then you should prevent miscarriage happening to your cats. Let’s understand the common causes of miscarriage in cats, so that you may prevent this condition from happening.
Causes of Miscarriage in Cats
Fetal death during pregnancy leads to miscarriage. Hormonal imbalance is one of the most common causes of miscarriage in cats. There are some other causes you, as cat parents must know, such as:
The first common cause of miscarriage in cats is infection. Viral, bacterial or parasitic infections may cause feline miscarriages. In most of the cases, miscarriage in cats is caused by viral infections, including feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, panleukopenia, feline herpesvirus and feline enteric coronavirus.
Bacteria may also become the cause of miscarriage in cats, but it is kind of difficult to determine whether those bacteria are the real cause of miscarriage. Cats can be exposed to another type of infection too called upper respiratory infection in cats.
2. Hormonal Imbalance
As being told before, miscarriages in cats happen due to hormonal imbalance. When progesterone, the hormone that is responsible for maintaining pregnancy, is low, it can lead to miscarriage. There are some factors causing the low progesterone levels, such as medications.
3. Myotic Abortion
This is caused by fungus. The fungus mostly causes excessive bleeding in the uterus and as a result, it may lead to an aborted fetus.
4. Neospora Caninum
The parasite can be found in cats, though it is more common in dogs. This parasite is commonly picked up while the cat is eating food or drink water which is shared with a contaminated dog.
Besides those common causes, there are also the other causes of miscarriage in cats, such as:
- Feline leukemia virus
- Feline immunodeficiency virus in cats
- Feline herpesvirus – make sure you get your cats vaccinated by these essential vaccines for cat
- Bacterial diseases, such as chlamydia
- Protozoal infections
- Severe stress – stress is fatal for animals, make sure you follow these tips on how to make your cat mood happy
- Injury – because of a fall or catfight
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Congenital defects
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Hormonal imbalances
- Parasites, such as neospora caninum
- Exposure to chemicals known to induce labor or miscarriage
After knowing the causes of miscarriages in cats, now it is time to know the symptoms of miscarriage in cats. In most cases, miscarriage in cats has no visible signs. Early miscarriage typically result in respoption of the embryo, so it does not have any signs.
Early miscarriage in cats can also be confirmed through an early ultrasound. Meanwhile, the later-term miscarriages have some clinical signs, such as abnormal vaginal discharge (green, black, brown, or pus-colored) during pregnancy, abdominal pain, and fever.
Some cats even experience miscarriages when they have contractions and deliver stillborn kittens. There are some other symptoms of miscarriage in cats, such as bloody discharge, depression, dehydration, delivery of premature or dead fetuses, disappearance of fetuses in ultrasound, and discomfort.
If the baby kittens are still inside the mother cat, then your cat will administer medications for the cats to cause contractions so that they can be eliminated. If the cause is infection, then your vet will administer broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Your vet might suggest you spay your cat to prevent any further pregnancies. If the miscarriage happens because of congenital defects or hormonal abnormalities, then it cannot be corrected easily in the future pregnancies, so it will be better to spay your cat.
Pregnancy in cats is an important process, so you have to make sure it goes well. Get to know more about pregnancy in cats by reading signs of 1 week pregnant cat and common signs that your cat is pregnant. By knowing the conditions of cat pregnancy, you will be able to prevent miscarriages as well.