Most veterinarians agree that kitten season will usually take place somewhere between April and October of each year. Even though a cat can give birth all throughout the year, most kittens will be born between the months that make up the kitten season. As long as a cat hasn’t been spayed, it can, technically, give birth to kittens, although most kittens will usually be born to feral and stray cats. You can’t argue the fact that kittens are very adorable, but how many fluff balls can a cat have in one go? This article will tackle just this.
Most healthy cats will give birth after a gestational period that can last anywhere between 60 and 65 days. The estrus cycle can return within a month of giving birth, even if the cat is still nursing her young. A cat can actually have quite a few babies in just one year. She can get pregnant a total of three times within the same year and have three different litters, each having up to 12 babies. A very interesting fact is that cats are so fertile, that just one unspayed female can give birth to around 20.000 descendants in a period of just over five years. Of course, when it comes to domestic cats, these numbers are way lower, fortunately. The average litter will have only between four and nine kittens, although litters will vary in size even when made by the same cat.
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Even though felines are able to give birth to quite a few babies, the very first litter will usually be considerably smaller, having just around two to three kittens. The size of the litter will also depend on the pedigree of your cat. For example, when it comes to British shorthairs, their average litter will be made of four kittens. On the opposite side, Tonkinese cats, Balinese ones and even Siamese felines will usually be able to produce 12 kittens per litter with ease.
Although all cats are unique and some might mature slower while others might mature faster, the average kitten will still reach puberty somewhere around the age of 7 months. The cat will only be able to get in heat or in her reproductive cycle once she reaches developmental maturity. This is also when she will be able to give birth. This estrus will first occur when your feline will be around 6 months old. Cats also have multiple estrus cycles throughout their breeding season, which makes them seasonally polyestrous. The heat cycle of a feline will also be influenced by her geographical location. For example, a cat that lives in tropical climates or other warm areas might experience head all throughout the year.
It’s usually a big reason of happiness to find out that your furry companion is expecting kittens, but you’ll surely want to know more about the babies to come and of course, their actual number. The bad news is that it isn’t all that easy to figure out the exact number of kittens a cat will have. Although you can get a pretty good idea of what to expect in terms of the pregnancy if you talk with a veterinarian, even professionals will only be able to guess the real number of kittens your pet will have. If you’re really eager to know, then you can get your cat through an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy and then an X-ray to get a really accurate number of kittens she’s expecting. The perfect X-ray should be taken after the 54th day of pregnancy, because the bones of the babies will only then form properly and become visible. Up until the 54th day, which is basically around the end of the pregnancy, even an experienced vet will only be able to guess the number of babies based on your cat’s litter history.
Although it might seem pretty cruel to get a cat through a surgery without her suffering from any severe condition, spaying can actually help your feline friend avoid breast cancer, uterine infections and other important health conditions, and even some behavioral problems she might develop otherwise. Don’t think that just because you keep the pet inside, she can’t find a partner in crime. Most cats are great escape artists and when they’re in heat they become even more unpredictable. And getting pregnant isn’t even the worst thing that can happen to your furball. She might also come across predators or other dangers like crowded streets when running off in search of a mating partner.