Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Understanding Why C-Sections are Common for Pregnant Persian Cats

Understanding Why C-Sections are Common for Pregnant Persian Cats

Persian cats, with their long luxurious coats and sparkling eyes, are captivating and loving pets. But these beautiful creatures are prone to experiencing issues during the birthing process, often necessitating C-sections. Here's why...

Physical Characteristics of Persian Cats

Along with their long luxurious coats, Persian cats are known for their distinctive flat faces and stunning round eyes. The brachycephalic skull structure that creates these captivating features of a Persian, is also seen in dogs who possess a 'squished' facial appearance such as pugs and bulldogs.

Though this skull shape has been accentuated over the years, through selective breeding practices, it can be problematic. The flattened facial features of Persians often lead them to develop Brachycephalic airway syndrome - breathing difficulties resulting from the pinched or narrow nostrils, narrow nasal passages and long soft palate that are common in Persian cats and other Brachycephalic pets.

Another key feature of Brachycephalic cats and dogs is a larger-than-average skull size. If you compare the head size of a typical mixed breed or non-Brachycephalic cat to a Persian cat, the difference in skull size becomes clear.

Increased Risk of Persian Cat C-Sections

The enlarged skull structure of Persian kittens is the primary reason why natural birth is often problematic for Persian cat mothers. In many cases, the narrow birth canal is unable to accommodate the larger diameter of the kittens' heads, leading to complications that can be life-threatening for both the kittens and the mother.

Planned & Emergency C-Sections for Persian Cats

Following an ultrasound or X-ray of your pregnant kitty, the veterinarian may recommend scheduling a C-section. Planned C-sections are often recommended if the mother cat has an underlying health condition, if there is only one kitten (sufficient cortisol may not be produced to induce labor), or if the kittens appear to be too large for the mother to deliver naturally. 

If you decide to wait to see if your cat can deliver her kittens successfully, it will be necessary to watch her behavior carefully as she approaches the big day. At the first sign of labor starting you will need to stay close at hand and watch carefully for signs of difficulties.

Signs of Complications During Labor

Once the labor process begins, it is important to watch your cat for signs of difficulties or complications. You may also want to give your veterinarian a call to let them know the process has begun, in case an emergency C-section becomes necessary.

While most cats deliver relatively quickly, Persians will often rest for an hour or longer between each kitten's birth. If you know that your Persian has not delivered all of her kittens, and it has been more 90 minutes since the last kitten was born, it's time to call your veterinarian or your nearest after-hours animal hospital for guidance. 

Other signs of cat giving birth problems include:

  • Intense labor for more than ten minutes without a kitten being born
  • Blood loss continuing for more than 10 minutes after kitten is born
  • Fever, lethargy, or lack of interest in the newborn kittens
A cat pregnancy lasts approximately 63 days. If your Persian's pregnancy reaches 68 days contact your veterinarian right away to book an urgent examination for your kitty.

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 Persian cat pregnant? Our Sonora veterinarians are here to help your kitty have a safe pregnancy and uncomplicated birth. Contact our vets at Mono Way Veterinary today to book an examination for your cat. 

Now Welcoming New Patients

Mono Way Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! All of our knowledgeable vets are passionate about helping companion animals in Sonora feel happy and healthy. Contact us to schedule your pet's appointment.

Book Online (209) 532-5507