Before you go on reading this content – piece, I would like you to know that although I think of myself as a cat whisperer … I am not a trained veterinary doctor. Therefore, if you have any doubt to what you read – do confirm with your vet as well. Now, you must be thinking that how do I deem myself an expert in catology if I am not a vet. Truth be told, I have 5 adult cats and 4 kittens at the moment & I have helped my cats deliver almost 20 kittens throughout – almost 6 litter deliveries roughly speaking. So yeah, here, in this article you’d find everything you need to know from when your cat is ready to mate to getting pregnant.
Optimal Age for Mating
Most cats – both male & female – get their first heat cycle as soon as they are 8 months old. Persian cats take a bit longer and wait until their 10th month to go on a heat cycle. Think of it as their puberty – we all went through it or are going through it, right? Just because you, as a teen, had your first sign of adulthood – you don’t really go about trying to conceive a child asap, right?
Similarly, when a cat goes on its first heat cycle – it doesn’t mean that it’s ready to bear children. It only means that they are at the threshold to enter the kingdom of adulthood. The best thing to do, since you cat’s stomach is surely to swell up, is to caress and pay attention to it. Unlike humans, in animals – having intercourse isn’t about pleasure … instead it’s solely need based. If it was dependent on their desire – they might never do it, thus, when they go on heat they experience a pain that is only subsided by mating.
Anyhow, to make a long story short, the best age for your cat baby to mate is 2 yrs or so. If you want you can give it a go once your baby is 1.5 yrs old as well but the chances of a successful pregnancy aren’t that well. Moreover, the age of your tomcat determines its potency. The older it is – the stronger the kittens would be. If your cat is mates with a tom who is 1.5 yrs old or less … she is likely to have weak af X and Y chromosomes trying to make a baby inside her. What does that do? It enhances the chances of stillborn kittens as well as miscarriages.
How long does it take for a female cat to get pregnant?
There is no definitive answer to this question because all cats are different. Sometimes a cat can get pregnant after just a single mating session and other times it takes many sessions for the tomcat to actually be able to fertilise any eggs in the feline. However, once your cat is pregnant it will not let the tomcat come nearby. It would hiss at it and try to protect itself. Observe when your cat does this as female cats recognize themselves entering into motherhood before anyone else can.
Moreover, if you think that bringing a tomcat for a week would do the job for you – you’re mistaken. My first long-term cat, a female – Owlie, rejected 3 tomcats before letting one come near it. Sometimes, they just don’t like the tomcat and other times they just don’t vibe well enough. Owlie took a month to get familiar with Ben’s existence in my household and after 3 months of togetherness she finally conceived her first baby, Missy. Moral of the story being that you can’t force your cats to mate just like you can’t force humans to do so.
Gestation Period of a Cat
A domestic cat has a gestation period of about 60 – 63 days before going into labour (also known as queening, thus, once a cat become a mother she is also termed as a queen). If you don’t know the exact date when she conceived – it’s totally okay. You can observe the following signs to see if your cat baby is actually pregnant;
- She eats and drinks more than her regular routine.
- She starts gaining weight (1-2 kg) in a manner that when she sits on her fours – you can see her tummy bulging out the sides and not front.
- She gets a bit distant in a way that she doesn’t like being held in your arms, she will hiss and fight with any tomcat who might try to approach her.
- She gets sleepy and lazy.
- Within 20 days of her pregnancy, her nipples are visible to you. They are enlarged and red. Her body starts getting ready for the newborns.
- Just like humans, female cats also experience something similar to a morning sickness. They are likely to vomit every now and then – however, if it is too frequent – contact your vet.
- In time, your Queen gets very maternal and seeks your attention. It would want to be by your side all the time and would act fussy if you try to leave.
- She tries to sit somewhere soft and warm, nor too cold neither too hot.
Moreover, if you touch her tummy she will be pissed at you (probably) for that. If you touch her side while she’s resting – you may be able to feel the babies move as well. However, it isn’t advisable as it’s a sensitive area and the people who try to check a cat’s pregnancy by pushing their fingers into her tummy are only sabotaging the kitten’s health and pushing your cat towards a miscarriage.