A fetus is a mammal before it's born. Once upon a time, you started as an embryo, matured into a fetus, and were then thrust into the world as a newborn.
Fetus is a Latin word that means "the bearing, bringing forth, or hatching of young." Even though the Latin points to a fetus "hatching," contemporary science only regards viviparous vertebrates as having fetuses. In other words, if an animal has a backbone and was delivered via live birth, it was once a fetus. If a kitten has claws, whiskers, and ears, but is still inside its mother's womb, it's a fetus. In the UK, fetus is spelled foetus.