Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fact : Pinking Up

So, you have bred your girl and now you're pacing the floor waiting to find out if she is pregnant or not. The first sign that you will be getting kittens is when the girls nipples go through the "pinking up"-stage.

Counting the first day of mating as day 1, pinking up occurs around day 21, sometimes a few days later. If the pinking up takes 22 or 23 days to occur it can be a sign that the mating on the first day did not "take" and you should probably adjust your expected delivery date forward a day or two as well.

What happens is this: 3 weeks after mating your queens hormone-levels have gotten high enough to start affecting her mammary glands. The first sign is that the nipples themselves start changing color from skin-colored to a rosy pink, thus the term "pinking up".

In the next few days the nipples themselves will also start growing in size. On a maiden queen the nipples are hardly larger than the nipples on a male. Once a girl has had at least one litter of kittens, her nipples will remain larger (though not quite as big as when she actually is pregnant and nursing) and will also never return to the exact shade of her skin that they were before her first litter.

Because of this the process of pinking up is much easier to see on a maiden queen. When you know what to look for you will also see it quite easily on an experienced queen, but without a trained eye it may take a few days extra for you to notice.

By the fourth week you will feel her nipples clearly when you rub her belly.

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