Cats are fecund breeders. Females take merely 6 to 9 months to make sexual adulthood ; but it is non unheard of for female kitties every bit immature as 4 months to go pregnant. Males mature a spot subsequently but both sexes can engender before they are a twelvemonth old. Although female can go pregnant at any clip of the twelvemonth. there are specific copulating seasons when cats become sexually active. In northern Europe it is usual for domestic female cats to come into heat ( estrus rhythm ) in January and so once more in June. The estrus rhythm is the period in the female reproduction rhythm when coupling is most likely to happen. A heat period lasts approximately 4 to 7 yearss if the cat is mated and longer otherwise. Female cats indicate their preparedness to copulate by naming for male company with a particular type of bellow. which like the ( extremely vocal ) copulating itself has frequently disturbed the slumber of worlds who live in the locality.
One of the most interesting characteristics of the generative procedure of cats is a phenomenon known as induced ovulation. The male cat’s phallus has backward indicating spinal columns which scratch the inside of its spouse. and do ovulation to happen. Because gestation will non take topographic point without this stimulation. rather frequently the first cats to copulate with a queen with non beget any kitties. However. the super-fertility of cats means that one time she gets started. the female is capable of holding a figure of spouses. and bearing kitties from several male parents in the same litter.
The mother’s eggs are fertilized in the Fallopian tube and arrive in the uterus 4-5 yearss after copulating. Cats do non travel about the procedure softly. and to the unpractised ear the procedure sounds unusually like a drawn-out and really vocal cat-fight. Pregnancy lasts between 56 and 71 yearss. with the mean gestation taking 68 yearss. Litters are most normally of 3-6 kitties. but a individual litter may hold every bit many as nine. The record was a litter 19 kitties ; the female parent being a Burmese/Siamese cross from Oxford shire in England. The kitties were born on the 7th of August. Unfortunately four of the kitties were stillborn.
Let’s meet at the milk saloon
A few yearss before she is due to give birth the pregnant female will go ungratified and will look for the best nest. This will usually be quiet. warm and in one of the darker parts of the house. This is where she will give birth. It is a good thought non to upset her in her nesting topographic point. Kittens are both unsighted and deaf when born but otherwise good developed. They are. for illustration. more antiphonal than newborn puppies. A newborn kitty has a really good sense of odor and she will shortly choose a nipple to feed from and will suck at no other. A kitty will be ready to play at three hebdomads old and will be to the full weaned by 8 hebdomads. The female parent can come into heat every bit shortly as four hebdomads after giving birth.
If the kitties are pedigreed. the male parent is referred to as the ‘sire’ and the proficient term for the female parent is the ‘dam’ . As we said earlier cats are fecund breeders and can engender throughout their lifetime. Again dunking to a feline book of records we will happen that the most fecund breeder of all time recorded was a tabby from Texas. USA called Dusty. She produced 420 kitties. the last litter being in 1952. Although birthrate may bit by bit worsen over clip. cats do non travel through “the menopause” . Therefore there is no age after which a female cat can no longer go pregnant. Indeed the oldest cat to hold a litter was Litty. who gave birth to two kitties in May 1987 when she was 30 old ages old.
With this birth rate it is no admiration than left to itself the feline population will rapidly run out of control. It has been estimated that in a 12-year lifetime. without human intercession. a individual female cat could be responsible for every bit many as 3500 posterities. There are already excessively many cats born each twelvemonth and unhappily. many are destroyed. It is hence of import that the cats are neutered every bit early as possible. Neutered cats are much better pets and surveies have besides shown that females spayed before they are six months have a significantly reduced hazard of mammary ( chest ) malignant neoplastic disease. It is besides the instance that if male cats are spayed subsequently. they may go on aggressive scent-marking ( spraying with piss ) . out of sheer force of wont.