Witnessing your cat bringing new life into the world can be a pretty amazing experience. It’s only natural that most cat owners want to nurture their kittens and experience real happiness of stroking the adorable and playful kittens.
Kittens are adorable and universally loved, but too many kittens at once can turn into a nightmare for cat owners. When caring for a pregnant cat, it’s only natural for you to wonder how many kittens can a cat have. We’ll answer your question with a great deal of information in this article to provide you with the essential knowledge so you and your pet can be happy and safe.
All about kitten season
As winter is closer and the weather starts to become a bit warmer, it signals the beginning of kitten season. If your cat didn’t spayed, they’ll go into heat. Being in heat means a female cat is mature enough to mate with another male cat.
Most cats are only in heat during certain times, primarily lasting from March to October, depending on where you live. Places like California can have kitten season twice a year because of the warmer weather.
What is litter?
When a female cat is ready to give birth, people call it a litter.
An interesting fact is cats can mate with several fathers at a time. That results in them giving birth to kittens with different dads. But this occurrence only happens when they mate within a range of seven days.
How many kittens do cats have in a litter?
Although the sizes do vary, the average-sized female cat can give birth to around four to six kittens per litter. It’s common for first-time mothers to give birth to smaller litters. Many external factors contribute to the number of kittens your cat gives birth to such as breed and health.
If your cat is a smaller breed or size, they tend to have smaller litters as they have a smaller stomach as opposed to larger cats. Breeds such as Persian and Siamese cats produce larger litters.
Health plays a significant role in how large or small a litter she’ll have as a healthy cat will produce healthier litters. If your cat is suffering from any health issues, she may have a smaller litter or produce a partially stillborn offspring. Infections, bacteria, and viruses can also affect litter size. A way to prevent to make sure your cat’s vaccinations are all up-to-date.
How many kittens do cats have in a lifetime?
The difference between cats and humans is that they don’t go through menopause. It is possible for senior cats to get pregnant too!
As most domestic cats have life spans from 12 to 15 years, we can use this statistic to find a rough estimate of how many kittens a cat produces in a lifetime. With an average of 5 kittens per litter and four sets of litter a year, your cat can give birth up to 300 kittens in its lifetime!
While it’s true that cats can reproduce at any age, the number of litter can decrease as they get older. When cats reach a certain age, they stop bearing kittens in their last two years.
Determining kitten numbers
Later on in the pregnancy, you can easily tell how many kittens your cat will give birth to as they start moving around in her belly. When visiting the vet’s office, you can also request for an ultrasound during earlier stages, and the doctor can tell how many kittens she bears.
When visiting the vet’s office, you can also request for an ultrasound during earlier stages, and the doctor can tell how many kittens she bears. This can be done around three weeks when the fetus has slightly developed.
Another way is through palpation, where your vet will palpate the stomach and get an idea of how many are inside. You should never try to do it yourself as you can easily hurt the kittens.
Method of prevention
The only way to stop your cat from giving birth is to get them spayed or neutered. Both methods consist of sterilizing your cat to avoid them from reproducing. Cats that have reached six months of age usually get sterilized by a veterinarian. When thinking about whether to sterilize your cat or not, every owner should decide based on their circumstances.
Before the surgery, you should visit a veterinary office to discuss the procedure as well as get specific instructions for before and after surgery.
This type of sterilizing is for female cats. The operation is painless and straightforward as they are given an anesthetic. It starts with an incision from either side of her body, resulting in her ovaries and sometimes uterus to be removed.
After the surgery, female cats usually have to stay overnight so the vet can keep an eye as there’s a large incision in her abdominal. Your cat should get the stitches removed after ten days. Spaying ensures that your cat gets fewer chances of diseases such as breast cancer, feline AIDS, and uterine infections.
A process of sterilization for male cats, much simpler than spaying. This procedure doesn’t require any stitches and consists of the removal of their testicles. Male cats usually can come home the same day as the surgery.
Some vets will give the cat a cone to temporarily wear around the head to stop them from worrying. Male cats that have been neutered become more affectionate, less aggressive, and have a reduced risk of getting diseases.
Now that you know how many kittens can a cat have in a litter, you can start preparing for the future of your cat and kittens.
Understanding how different factors interplay between a cat and its size litter, such as health and age, will help you maximize her breeding potential. In addition, you can start outlining how many homes are needed after birth, if you’re planning to give some away.