Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
As much as I love kittens, I do believe that we should be spaying and neutering our house pets. The Toronto Pet Daily reported that in 2016 there were about 2 Million Homeless Dogs in Canada and I know there were recent reports of bird populations decreasing due to the number of stray cats.
Although there are so many shelters out there that are trying to get animals adopted, the bigger problem is, we have to make sure strays are not over-populating by themselves. That’s why some organizations catch & release, which is actually what happened with us and Beau. Because of this, I was curious to know how old cats have to be to have kittens.
When Do I Have To Start Calling My Kitten A Cat?
Well, do you really ever have to stop? The technical answer would be at around a year old. Similar to humans, kittens go through puberty, although they start much earlier than we do. Most female cats will reach their sexual maturity at around 5-6 months. It highly depends on the breed of the cat.
So when they hit puberty do they go into heat?
Yes, female cats will begin to go into heat in their teenage years. Cats go into heat every few weeks and will become very restless, or become extremely affectionate. Other traits include pacing, very high and loud meowing, they will begin to position themselves in a “crouching mating stance” and may spray urine around the house. It is pretty much impossible not to tell that your cat is in heat.
Do Boys Spray?
They do! Boy cats or “tomcats” will spray to let all of the “queens” in the area that he is ready to mate. Male cats will also become much more vocal.
Fun Fact: Siamese cats are known to hit puberty quite early, while Himalayans take a much longer time.
So, when should I spay or neuter?
Most people get their pets spayed or neutered between 4-6 months. I would recommend talking to your vet about when the best time for spaying or neutering is for your specific pet. Unfortunately, spaying or neutering can cause problems for your pet if you do it too early. A big reason why male cats have blockages from urinary tract infections is due to their early neutering. I was actually not aware of this until Beau had to go through a double cystotomy and perineal urethrostomy.
How Long Are Cats Pregnant For?
Cats will give birth to their litter between 63 and 65 days, meaning that it is possible for a 6-month-old to already have live offspring. The shortest a cat will gesticulate is for 61 days and for as long as 72 days.
I think my cat is pregnant, what do I do?
If you want to make sure your cat is pregnant your best bet is to take her to the vet. Vets will take a good feel of your cat’s stomach or my run an ultrasound or x-ray, which will also give you an idea of how many kittens you may be expecting.
Do Cats Get Morning Sickness?
They actually can, though it’s fairly rare. Cats will show signs of morning sickness in the earliest stage of pregnancy which results in vomiting or a loss of appetite. If morning sickness continues throughout later stages of pregnancy make sure to take your kitten to the vet. Some cats need extra hormones to make sure that their uterus is strong enough to carry their litter. Note that each stage of pregnancy is only a few weeks long, so even if morning sickness is seen for around a week, think about taking your cat to the vet.
How many Cats On Average are in a Litter?
The average number of kittens in a litter is 4.
What Do I Feed My Pregnant Cat?
It’s recommended that you feed your pregnant cat kitten food and continue feeding her kitten food until she is done nursing her young. This is due to the high amount of fats inside of the food. You’ll notice a number of “Natural Holistic” food doesn’t have kitten specific food and instead provides “all-life-stages” foods. These should still be suitable for a pregnant cat, although I would look at the guaranteed analysis and find a flavour higher in fat.
How Do I know My Cat Is Giving Birth?
Most cats will stop eating about 24-hours before giving birth. If you notice a change in your cat’s attitude or personality, don’t freak out just yet. Grab a thermometer and see if your cat’s temperature has dropped below 100°F. If your cat’s temperature has dropped, be ready to say hello to some adorable kittens!