If you have a female cat at home, you may or may not bother whether she is pregnant or not. However, most people are not happy with this news. Given that the pregnancy duration is about two months, and a cat may become pregnant several times in a year, which increases the population rapidly. It means more and more kittens ending up in shelters.
When a Cat becomes Pregnant
There are no specific criteria when a cat becomes pregnant. It depends on many factors, including genetics and environmental conditions. Some kittens become mature at three and a half years of age, weighting about 8 to 9 kg. When your cat is pregnant, you can notice her changing behavior as she will try to come closer to you or sometimes scratching your sofa set, etc. But remember that like rabbits, they are also efficient reproducers, and their heat cycle may occur between 14 – 21 days.
The pregnancy period is around two months (63 days to 65 days), and she can birth five kittens in a year. Two of the signs of her pregnancy are increased appetite and an enlarged abdomen. Near delivery time, she will find safe and comfortable places for the birthing process, like baskets or soft and thick clothes.
Breeds of Cats and their Fertility:
Generally, cats can reproduce first time at the age of six months. Depending on which breed it is, and also when it can reproduce, it will differ. For example, Persian can give birth at the age of ten months, but the reproductive maturity of Siamese is around four months. Female felines get maturity one or two months earlier than male cats.
In the opinion of some vets, if a female is brought up at your home, try to give her time of one year to be matured. Although many times this is not in your control because the cats, some way or other, find the opportunity to go out of your home for matting.
Caring for a Pregnant:
When you realize your pet is pregnant, you can consult your vet for her checkup, ultrasound, or x-ray. Whenever you are going to change the diet of your pregnant cat, always consult with your vet.
Factors Affecting the Reproductive Health of Cats:
Like human females, felines do not have menopause problems. They can reproduce almost throughout their lives. Although as soon as the reproductive age passes, the number of litters produced per year decreases. Cats with certain diseases, such as arthritis, may not be able to become pregnant.
Furthermore, their uterus becomes weak and exhausted when they produce litter after litter. Therefore a cat having an age of 13 years or older can still release the eggs to make her pregnant, but her body needs a rest.
Males have the capability of breeding, but diseases like arthritis become a hurdle. With them, one more problem is spermatic defects increases with age which decreases the chances of conception.
How to Control your Cat’s Reproductive Capacity?
In order to control the population and prevent mating, two measures should be taken.
Number one, don’t allow them to go out of your home. The mating of feral cats in the outdoor environment cannot be controlled. Because of that, you can’t stop her from getting pregnant.
Number two, spaying
Spaying helps control the overpopulation of cats; on the other side, spaying helps you prevent them from some health problems. To spay or neuter, you have to consult your vet.
Therefore most owners prefer spaying to prevent their house from a population.
Even if they have given birth to several kittens, people sell or donate them to other people.
Understanding Cats in Heat:
They go into heat in warm weather, generally between January and August. Each heat cycle lasts around a week and is constantly repeated every two to three weeks. Therefore un-spayed cat becomes pregnant about three times a year. Young male kittens can impregnate a large number of females in heat.
How many Kittens can a Cat Bear in its Lifetime?
A cat can birth three litters of kittens in one year, with a typical four kittens per litter. If an indoor cat survives for 15 years, it will produce a total of 180 kittens. If we assume that all the litters survive, there may be hundreds of thousands of kittens which will create overpopulation problems.
But factors such as disease, food scarcity, animal rivalries control overpopulation.
Factors Influencing Cat Fertility:
Although not all of those survive, 180 kittens are still a big number. Furthermore, the number of kittens per litter is influenced by both internal and external factors. Note that there may be different fathers of kittens in a litter.
External factors which influence several kittens per litter are nutrition and disease. Those cats which were given good feed produce a large amount of litter, but those which were not given proper nutrition at young age produce less litter.
This variation is because of the number of eggs released and also due to fetal abortion. The cats facing diseases like “Feline Distemper” and “Feline Infectious Peritonitis” have fetal abortions resulting in smaller litter size.
How many litters a cat can have in a year also depend on the age. Younger cats produce smaller litters than older age,
Another factor is the breed of a cat; for example, Persian cats produce a smaller number of litters, whereas Siamese can produce more.
Why Less number of Litters:
For cats that live in homes with their owners, the kittens per litter may survive and have a good life expectancy. Feral cats face external threats which decrease the number of surviving kittens. There are diseases like predators and malnutrition, as well as shocking accidents that affect the figure of kittens per litter.
We all love cats as they are very innocent and cute animals. People brought up male and female felines at home, but female ones require more attention because they become pregnant often. Taking care of a pregnant cat and its kittens becomes a hassle if you don’t have time or are simply not interested in kittens.
Many people worry when a cat is pregnant because cats are efficient reproducers and can reproduce twelve or more kittens in a year. Therefore it is important to organize responsible breeding habits or control the population by spaying or neutering it.