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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 11300
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have a cat and she has a bloated tummy and her are swollen.

Customer Question

I have a cat and she has a bloated tummy and her tits are swollen. But we don't know if she is pregnant. Also so have worms . What shall we do . How can we till if she is pregnant or it is just the worms making her bloated. Please help
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.

Hello Lisa, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I have a few questions to ask about your cat, if you don't mind:

1. Has been in heat (if you know)?
2. Does she go outside?
3. What kind of worms have you seen?
4. Any change in her behavior?
5. Have you gently squeezed her nipples to see if any milk comes out?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I not sure if she has been on heat as she is a stray cat. She was a outside cat but haven't let her out as we don't know if she has worms. She has rice like worm so that is pineworm. Haven't really notice any changes in her behaviour. And I have squeezed her nippers but no milk cone out of them.

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.


Thanks for the additional information.

The worms that you're seeing sound like tapeworms which wouldn't cause her abdomen to be swollen. Now if you saw worms that look like spaghetti, these would probably be roundworms which might cause her abdomen to be somewhat distended but wouldn't cause her nipples to enlarge.
I like to treat tapeworms with Praziquantel which is available at pet or grain stores here in the States; I'm not absolutely certain if this medication would be available to you in the UK but it would be safe to give during pregnancy.
Roundworms can be treated with Pyrantal Paomate, another medication which is readily available here in the States at pet/grain stores and would be safe to give a pregnant female cat (if she is pregnant) as well.

It's actually going to be a little difficult for you to tell if she's pregnant unless you can start to feel the babies move when you press your hands on her abdomen or if she starts to go into labor, of course. An x-ray or ultrasound could easily diagnose a pregnancy but I'm assuming that this is a step you'd prefer to avoid.

More often than not, if we think a female cat is pregnant, then she probably is, especially if she was an outside cat who hasn't been inside for more than two months. Gestation is approximately 63-65 days so if she's been in your house for more than 2 months and you don't have any unaltered male cats, then she couldn't be pregnant.

Her nipples might enlarge if she's starting to come into heat or is in heat now, though, so this isn't a reliable indicator of pregnancy.

Other causes of an enlarged or distended abdomen (especially in an outside cat) would be FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) which causes fluid build up in the abdomen. These cats usually have other signs such as weight loss, lethargy and don't look healthy. Hopefully, she doesn't have this problem since it's universally fatal to cats, unfortunately.

I hope this helps. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What should we do about this stray cat ? Cause we can't keep her?

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.

Unfortunately, your options are going to be somewhat limited in this situation:

1. Find a home for her with neighbors/ friends/ family members.
2. Take her to a shelter.
3. Continue to treat her as an outside cat but spay her first so she doesn't continue to have babies. Provide food and shelter for her, of course.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What about if her kittens are dead?

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.

I'm not sure I understand your concern since we don't know if she's pregnant at this point.

Do you want to know if she can deliver dead kittens? Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ya can she deliver dead kittens ?

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.
The answer to that is that she could probably deliver a kitten which was dead but not in every case. Sometimes surgery has to be done to retreive the dead fetus; otherwise it could cause a fairly significant infection.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have no idea what we should do? Cause she is a stray cat. Should we take her to the vet ?

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.
It's probably not a bad idea. A thorough physical exam may answer your question about whether or not she's pregnant and you can discuss trying to find a home for her with them.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok we will take her to the vets . It is curel how someone could leave here in that state. Also she has bald patches under her back legs dose that mean anything ?

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.
I've stopped trying to understand why people do the things they do to people, much less innocent animals:( It's enough to break your heart.

Hair loss can mean a lot of things...allergies to pollens or food or fleas, for example, or fungal infections, etc. Your vet should be able to give you a better idea of what's going on with the skin when she's seen.