You will agree that coming home to a litter of fluffy looking kitties is the best thing ever.
But what if that litter turns into a horde of 10 to 12 kittens? Feeding those many kitties is hard enough let alone finding a deserving cat-lover to adopt them.
You only want enough kittens playing around your home and not a legion that will overwhelm you. If that is you, then you have come to the right place.
You only need to answer one fundamental question. How many kittens can my cat have? Sit tight as we unravel this mystery for you in this blog post.
How many kittens do cats have?
You must understand your cat’s reproductive health to avoid unwanted surprises in the future.
Did you know that a kitten only has to weigh 4.4 pounds to have her first litter of kittens? And in a year, a mature healthy feline can sire up to 12 kittens. Some cats will sire that number in just one heat cycle.
Those numbers can overwhelm you if you are not prepared in advance. But not to worry, you are about to get the right tips that can turn you into a pro kitten breeder.
When is a cat mature enough to have kittens?
It only takes 5 to 9 months for a cat to mature. Other factors can cause your feline pet to mature faster than its time. First, if the kitten hangs around mature cats, it is bound to grow up faster (crazy, we know). Secondly, non-domesticated cats tend to mature faster than domesticated ones.
Does this mean the cat you picked off the streets is very fertile? According to scientific research, a cat that lives free and unconstrained will produce more kittens. But, human interaction or domestication can help manage this prolific reproductive cycle. So there is hope for you!
On her first heat cycle, the feline can produce her first litter of kittens. This could be two to five kittens depending on her health.
Did you know some felines can give birth to 12 kittens in one heat cycle?
Shocking as it sounds, that is normal in the feline world. And your kitty is just getting started.
‘A cat’s heat cycle lasts up to 7 weeks. Your cat will be in heat every three weeks and this frequency can be higher during hot months. Cats that live in warm or tropical climates can go into heat for the whole year.
Won’t that wear down the cat?
Not exactly. Your tabby will continue giving birth until her senior years. There is no such word as menopause in the feline vocabulary. Let us do the math.
A cat that lives on a healthy diet can give birth three to five times a year. If your cat births 4 kittens in a litter, that is 12 to 20 kittens in a year. Now say your cat’s lifespan is 20 years. This means she will birth close to 400 kittens before she clocks out.
Whoa! And this is the female cat. A male feline can impregnate as many females as he wants. As if that is not enough, a female cat will only ovulate when she mates with a male. So birth control doesn’t work in the feline world either!
Fun fact: Rome currently has 300,000 cats!
You have an idea what you are up against when living with a sexually healthy cat. Unless you plan on becoming the next ‘Ultimate Cat Lady’, it is about time you did something.
Should I neuter or spay my cat?
If you want to control how many cats live in your home, you should consider spaying or neutering your cat. But if you are planning to start a cat breeding business, then you just need to learn how a cat’s reproductive cycle works.
Some cats will only have two to three kittens per cycle. This number is manageable for anyone who is not keen on cat breeding. If you are planning to live with only one cat, book on orchiectomy right away.
What if my cat is birthing fewer kittens?
While it is expected for cats to have as many as three kittens in a litter, it is not always so. It is possible for your cat to only birth a single kitten in her cycle. And this can be worrying especially if you were looking forward to more cats in your home.
There are several reasons why a cat is not giving birth to more kittens. Factors like age, health, diet, and environment affect a cat’s ability to reproduce. The best way to know what is affecting your cat is to have him or her checked by a professional doctor.
If you have always wondered how many kittens a cat can have, it could always be 4 to 12 kittens in a row. Remember cats go into heat for the rest of lives, so you have to determine early how many kittens you can comfortably take care of. Allow a trained vet to check your cat if you suspect a problem in its reproductive health.