Cat Care     Links   Contact us
Cats funny videos     Cats care videos     Cats nutrition videos     Cats vaccination videos     Kitten videos

 

Pregnancy and Queening

     Cats are very efficient at reproducing and are able to have several litters a year with multiple kittens in each. Most cats go through puberty at an early age somewhere between five and nine months. Females can be fertile for about seven years, while males may be able to reproduce for 11 years or more. The large numbers of feral cats (cats who have returned to a wild existence) demonstrate that in an uncontrolled environment, cats will keep reproducing. Today’s methods of sterilization are surgical and thus are not easily applied to the vast numbers of feral cats. Researchers are working on new methods of feline contraception, including oral medications and even vaccines. These methods will help stop kitty overpopulation in the future.
 

The estrous cycle


     Most females reach puberty around six months of age and cycle every two weeks until they are bred or induced to ovulate. The cycle begins with proestrus, which lasts one to three days. This is the stage when female cats start showing they are ready to mate, but they will not yet allow males to mount them. Restlessness, increased vocalization, facial rubbing and rolling are the not so subtle female signals.
     Estrus is the period of sexual receptivity that follows. The behaviors that began in proestrus become more apparent, plus the female will now permit copulation. If there are no tomcats and therefore no mating, estrus lasts about 10 to 14 days, then the cat gets a break for 2 to 3 weeks, then estrus returns. Repeated estrus can be annoying for owners, because there is nothing that can be done to calm the cat’s behaviors. It is also stressful for the cat, who cannot control her urges to find a mate. Cats have been known to lose their appetite and sleep poorly during estrus. When a female cat is in estrus, she does not bleed like a dog; rather, she has changes in behavior. The changes can include:

• Increased vocalization
• Rolling on the ground and crying
• Lying on her belly with her rear end pushed up in the air
• Acting more affectionate
• Attempting to escape the house and get outside
• Urinating outside the litter box, often on vertical surfaces

     Metestrus occurs the day after estrus ends. During this time females aggressively reject male approaches. Pregnancy follows if fertilization occurred during mating. Anestrus is the quiet part of the estrous cycle. It occurs between periods of estrus and during the late fall, when the seasonally polyestrus cat does not cycle.

Pregnancy


    
If she’s in heat and given the opportunity to be with an intact male, chances are a female cat will get pregnant. The average cat’s gestation period is 63 to 65 days. There are many physical changes a female cat will experience during a pregnancy. The tom takes no role in raising his kittens, and some toms are even aggressive toward kittens. On the other hand, a queen will be very protective of her babies. A mother cat will also protect her kittens from you. If you are caring for a feral queen, be careful of how much you handle her kittens, because she may reject them. She may also become aggressive with you if you try to handle them in her presence.


Signs of Pregnancy


     An inexperienced cat owner may be unaware of the signs of heat. Some cats put on more of a show than others. If you have a cat who has come in and out of heat and suddenly seems to stop cycling, she’s probably pregnant. Cats do not need much special care to maintain a pregnancy. They seem to do fine on their own. Other than allowing a queen to eat what she wants and protecting her from illness and parasites, you can leave the rest to her. Because cats are only pregnant for about nine weeks, things happen fairly quickly. The progression of signs is:

1. Increased appetite and weight gain
2. “Pinking up” of the nipples within two weeks of being bred
3. More rounded appearance of the abdomen
4. Engorgement of the mammary glands

    A veterinarian can palpate a female cat’s abdomen and confirm a pregnancy three to four weeks into gestation. The fetuses develop bones at about 54 days, so an X ray at this time can tell how many kittens will be born. An average litter contains three to five kittens, but in reality, litter size can vary a lot. X rays do not damage the fetuses, and they can be useful if you want to know what to expect. Ultrasound is useful for confirming pregnancy as early as two to three weeks, but it is not reliable for determining the number of fetuses.

 

 

Kitten Development

Kittens develop very quickly and are grown-up cats before you know it. The maturation that occurs during a kitten’s first six months of life correlates to the first 15 years of a human’s life.......

 

Mental Health

Cats rely on their natural instincts for hunting, self preservation and elimination. Many of the behaviors cat owners deem undesirable are simply manifestations of natural behaviors.........

 

Is my cat sick?

Cats cannot tell us how they feel, so it is important to have some understanding of the signs that a cat is sick. Cats are generally stoic animals, and often they do not let us know .........

 
         
 

Bath time

There is no set schedule for bathing a cat, and some cats may never need a bath. Factors to consider when deciding about a bath are:.........

Best nutrition for your cat

Food has a high ranking on a cat’s top 10 list. It ranks higher than affection from you, cravings for catnip and clawing the furniture! Food is a treat some ...........

Annual Health Care

Although cats are said to have nine lives, they only have one, and you can help that one along. In the wild cats do a good job of taking care of themselves .................

 

 
 

Vaccines

As a cat owner, it is useful to have some basic knowledge about the diseases you protect your cat from with vaccines. You may be surprised to find out that vaccines are not as .......

 

Pregnancy and Queening

Cats are very efficient at reproducing and are able to have several litters a year with multiple kittens in each. Most cats go through puberty at an early age somewhere .......

 

Care for a Senior Cat

Cats do not live forever, although we’d like them to. When you have shared your home with a cat for many years, he becomes an integral member of the family, and you develop strong ........

         
 

Skin and Dermatology

The skin is the largest organ of any animal’s body; it comprises 12 to 24 percent of a cat’s body weight. It protects the cat and is responsible for much of her external appearance ......

The Nervous System

The central nervous system is composed of the brain and spinal cord. The brain is the computer that commands the other parts of the body. Cerebral spinal fluid surrounds the brain ........

What Can You Catch From Your Cat?

Humans have successfully lived with cats for thousands of years. Overall, cats are extremely safe pets to own, and they rarely transmit diseases to humans ......