To the casual observer, cat mating may seem simple: They mate loudly, frequently, and indiscriminately. A mother cat gets pregnant and then gives birth to a group of kittens. However, the truth is not so clear. For example, did you know that cats don’t ovulate until they mate? Or a mother cat might give birth to five kittens, each from a different father? Whole male cats have prickly penises to stimulate female cats to ovulate?
Learn the truth about these things and more about cat mating here.
Mating and conception in cats
You may have adopted a female kitten, and now that she’s a few months older, her behavior has suddenly become suspiciously “amorous.” Do you wonder if she might be in heat? Yes, you’ve read about sterilization but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe you’re secretly thinking how wonderful it would be to have a litter of kittens — just one.
However, you love her and you also want to know if she can get pregnant at her age. What will happen, in case one day slips out of the house and meets a lively male cat who only cares about one thing?
Is your cat in heat?
Unneutered female cats will eventually go into heat (technically called heat), and the signs are pretty clear once you know what to look for. Kittens can go into heat for the first time as early as 3 1/2 months, so don’t take the old “wait until six months to neuter” advice.Remember, once a female cat is in heat for the first time, it will happen again and again until she mates or is neutered. If you suspect your cat is in heat, here are some behavioral symptoms to look out for. For a lively video description of a kitten in heat, also watch this YouTube video.
Signs your cat is pregnant
Cats in heat will go out of their way to find male cats to mate with, and male cats are sometimes known to tear off screens to get closer to females in heat. If your cat is in heat and has access to a tom (unneutered male) cat, there is a very good chance that she is pregnant.
Pregnant queens will show physical and personality changes that will become more pronounced around three weeks after mating. Learn to recognize the signs that your cat may be pregnant.
so your cat is pregnant
So you got her spayed a bit slow, your cat is pregnant, or maybe a pregnant stray cat adopted you. Maybe you are working with a rescue group and this is your first time with a pregnant cat. where are you going from here? Your first big decision is whether to allow this to continue.
Yes, pregnant cats can be neutered, but the earlier the pregnancy, the better.However, this is a decision you need to discuss with your family and your veterinarian.
stages of pregnancy in cats
The entire development of the embryo is a fascinating study, and each stage has a scientific name, but for brevity and better understanding, we will focus on the basics here. Note: It’s more important to understand the process of development than the names given along the way.
Caring for your cat during pregnancy
Whether you have adopted a pregnant stray cat or your own cat is pregnant, you need to provide everything your pregnant cat needs, both for her health and the health of your unborn kitten. Aside from nutritional considerations, especially with a pregnant stray cat, you provide her with most of the same things you would provide for a cat in your care: shelter, sleeping places, litter boxes, scratching posts, and toys. (Exercise is also important for pregnant cats.)
Potential Problems with Cat Pregnancy
In general, any unusual symptoms during pregnancy should be followed up by phone or visit with your veterinarian. This is an important part of caring for a pregnant cat.
Although many pregnant cats experience pregnancy without any problems, some underlying problems can arise. Forewarning is pre-arming.
Helping your cat through labor
Chances are you won’t need to do anything to help the labor process other than work with your cat to encourage her – kind of like a “cat doula.” You might even wake up one morning to find your pregnant cat giving birth at night and feeding her kittens comfortably. However, if she needs help during labor, you should know how to spot potential problems and what to do.
Postpartum care for mother cats and newborns
The first two to three weeks are the most critical for mother cats and newborn kittens. The kittens should be developing rapidly, at which point the queen will usually show symptoms of any postpartum problems.
Keep the queen and her children in a quiet part of the house; a separate room is ideal, and make sure the room is warm enough. Cold is one of the most serious dangers for newborn kittens.Let Mommy Cat set the rhythm for your attention. If she is a long-term partner and resident, she may welcome your visit.
Finding homes for kittens
Sending a kitten to a new “forever home” can be a joyful or worrying time, depending on how you handle preparations. You’ve put in nearly two months or more of work, worry, and possible expense to care for the mother cat and kittens.Their future will depend on you putting in more time to make sure the new home they’re going to build is genuine OK Family.
The only thing to do now is to neuter the female cat, if that hasn’t already been done. You have been in charge of taking care of her during her pregnancy and I am sure you will agree that this is the only thing responsible now.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your veterinarian right away. For health-related questions, be sure to consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know your pet’s health history, and can give your pet the best advice.