We all have an idea that rabbits are fast breeders, and they have a reputation for reproducing rapidly. However, the cat does fall in the same category of fast breeders. A queen (female cat) usually starts to breed as soon as the heat cycles begin. The cat undergoes two or three litters per year. Each litter brings one to eight kittens that can add up to a lot of kittens very rapidly. Due to this quick breeding process of cats, the vets recommend spaying the pet cats if they are not in use for the breeding purpose.
Heat or Estrus in cats
The term heat or estrus describe the “period of receptiveness to mating”, but in the veterinary field it is known as “heat cycles”.
Breeding season in cats
The breeding season of the cats is practically year-round that starts in february and last as december. However, in the western hemisphere, the breeding season starts from march and ends in september.
Heat cycles in cats
Cats usually referred as “polyestrous”. The term polyestrous means that the cats will come in heat regularly during their fertile years. The breeding season may will according to the geographic and environmental factors such as temperature and number of daylights hours.
How long does estrus last?
The cat’s heat cycles are easily noticeable. However, still, no one can say with confirmation that the heat cycles are painful to cats. The loud yowling and other signs of heat cycles in cats show that it is an uncomfortable process for the female cats. The main aim of loud yowling by the cats during the heat cycles is to get attention.
The heat cycles start as early as the 4th- 5th month of a kitten’s life and will last till she is either bred or spayed. The heat cycles in cats last for many days to two weeks or even longer and repeat every two to three weeks.
The heat cycles usually last for several days with an average length of six days. If the un-spayed cats do not get mated during the heat cycles, then they may go out of the heat for a shorter period. Thus, the heat cycle of a cat can range from one to six weeks.
Signs of estrous in cats
The behavioural changes of cats during the estrus make the heat cycles notable such as:
- Some cats become very affectionate and will regularly rub themselves with the owners or any hard object.
- They may roll on the floor to get attention.
- The cats may raise their back quarters in the air and tread the rear legs when they stroked on the back during the heat cycles.
- The cats may become very vocal during the heat cycles. This vocalisation is usually louder than the normal meow of the cat.
- Some cats urinate more frequently on objects during the oestrous cycle. The urine of cats consists of both pheromones and hormones that act as a signal of reproductive status to another cat status.
- The female cats will give more attention to the genital region.
- The appetite of cats during the oestrous will reduce.
- The cat will insist on going more outside. Some cats are “silent callers”, and they may not show any of the above signs.
When does cat get pregnant
The cats can mate during any time of heat cycles. They are the induced ovulate, i.e., the act of breeding triggers the release of eggs from the ovaries. Some cats need 3-4 mating with a period of 24 hours to get the ovulation to happen.
Cats take one to two minutes to mate. Thus they can repeat the process multiple times within a short period. A queen may mate with different tomcats during the heat cycle to make it possible that a litter of kittens may have different fathers.
Once the appearance of ovulation occurs, the female cat will go out of the heat cycle within one to two days.
How long cats are pregnant
The pregnancy in cats usually lasts for 64 to 71 days, with an average of nine weeks, but it is difficult to know precisely how long cats are pregnant. The cat usually does not show any physical signs of pregnancy until a few weeks into her term.