Cat mating, also known as cat breeding, is a reproductive process that should result in healthy kittens. However, cat breeding may not be recommended for all pets, and pet owners should understand the concept of cat mating before choosing to breed pets.
Male and Female Cat Reproductive System
Male cats are capable of fertilizing female cats as early as 8 months of age, while female cats are capable of reproduction during the heat cycle. The female reproductive life lasts for nearly 7 years, in contrast to the male reproductive life that can last for nearly 14 years. The heat cycle in female cats also varies according to the climatic conditions. During the heat cycle, the female will search for male companions in an attempt to mate, unless she is spayed.
The Heat Cycle
During the heat cycle, female cats have an increase in the production of a hormone known as estradiol. This period is also known as estrus. During estrus, if the female cat mates, ovulation begins within 1 to 2 days. If the cat doesn’t mate during estrus, there will be a drop in hormone levels until the heat cycle begins again. This reproductive cycle occurs nearly every 15 days during the breeding season.
Female cats should be mated with healthy male cats. During the mating process, the female cat will position herself to facilitate penetration by the male or tomcat. This initial penetration is quick, and the female cat will exhibit a withdrawal response. The female cat may also mate with multiple male cats during the tenure of the estrus cycle.
After ovulation takes place, fertilized eggs migrate to the uterus and become attached to the uterine lining. The entire pregnancy lasts for a little over two months or 63 days. Pregnant cats should be given high-quality food and checked by the vet to detect any health concerns.
In order to keep pregnant cats healthy, it’s best to keep them in a clean environment and provide them with plenty of food and freshwater. Calcium supplements are recommended with prior vet approval. Pet owners can make preparations for the birthing process in advance to help cats, especially if the litter is large. Cats that are used for breeding should also be given routine vaccinations to prevent the transmission of viruses from the queen (mother) to the kittens.
Birthing Requirements Include:
- Litter box
- Clean towels to line the litter box
- Towels to wipe newborn kittens
- Extra litter boxes
- Food and water bowls kept close to the queen
Pet owners should understand the feline reproductive and birthing process to ensure healthy kittens. Cats that suffer from excessive pain during labor may require medical help. In order to prevent kittens from birth defects, pet owners should also choose appropriate mating partners for the cat. It’s best to follow breed standards while choosing a male cat for the female. Pregnant cats should be monitored for any changes or symptoms such as inflammation or bleeding.
Pet owners should perform a thorough vet check on cats before breeding them. Intestinal parasites, viral infections, and underlying diseases should be ruled out before mating takes place.