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Understanding Why C-Sections are Common for Pregnant Persian Cats

Understanding Why C-Sections are Common for Pregnant Persian Cats

Certain breeds of cats may have a higher risk for certain conditions such as Persian cats experiencing issues when having kittens. Here, our vets in Memphis discuss the difficulties faced by Persian cats when birthing and how C-sections can help with safe delivery.

Congrats! Your Persian Cat is Pregnant

Is your Persian cat showing signs that they are expecting such as a round tummy and swollen pink nipples? Congratulations! Once your vet has verified the pregnancy with a physical examination and diagnostics you can begin to prepare for the delivery of the kittens.

After 63 to 65 days your beloved feline friend will be ready to have their kittens and often, everything will go smoothly. Unfortunately, some breeds such as Persians, have kittens with large, round heads. This can lead to longer and more difficult delivery of the kittens.

Some Persians may need to rest for an hour or more between delivering each kitten. If it's been more than a few hours and the next kitten has not arrived then you should reach out to your veterinarian right away for assistance.

Birthing Difficulties in Persian Cats

As we mentioned above, a healthy mother cat won't usually have any difficulties delivering her kittens but some issues are more commonly faced by Persian cats compared to other breeds.

Here we go into more detail about the signs of issues in birthing cats and how C-sections (Cesarean sections) may be able to help.


Dystocia is a term used to describe difficulty giving birth. In some breeds, mainly ones with flat faces, difficulties are more common and litters of kittens are often delivered by C-section.

Some of the typical signs that there may be issues during delivery include:

  • More than an hour of straining without producing a kitten.
  • You can see a kitten in the birth canal after 10 minutes of strong labor.
  • Constant fresh blood during and for at least 10 minutes after each delivery.
  • Lethargy or fatigue that occurs suddenly.
  • Infection that is indicated by a rectal temperature above 104 F (40 C) or below 97 F (36 C).
  • If labor suddenly stops or the mother is agitated, anxious or weak.

C-Sections to Help Persian Cats

If your Persian cat is giving birth and experiences problems, then your vet may determine that a C-section may be required for the health and safety of both your cat and her kittens.

When deciding to perform a C-section, your vet will consider several factors such as:

  • The length of time your cat has been in labor.
  • The physical condition of your cat.
  • Results from diagnostic tests like X-rays and ultrasound images.
  • The size of the kittens.
  • Lack of response to oxytocin (a hormone that facilitates birth).

During a C-section, your vet or the veterinary surgeon will create an incision leading to the womb where they can carefully remove each of the kittens.

Because this is an invasive surgical procedure, your cat will be placed under anesthesia and you will need to be prepared to care for the wound once they are home.

Typically, a C-section can be performed without issues as long as the mother cat is healthy. Even so, certain risks may occur. These include potential complications from anesthesia and toxicity.

Welcoming Your New Kittens

Once the C-section is complete and the mother and kittens are stable and clean we will provide you with all the information you need to continue caring for them once you bring them home.

This includes keeping them warm and dry and watching for signs of infections. If you have any questions about care once back at home, or if you have any concerns, please speak with your vet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat showing signs of complications while giving birth? Contact one of our PetVax Complete Care Centers locations right away.

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