The Mystery of Where Kittens Come From!
Of course, we all know that kittens come from mother cats. But, where do mother cats get them. That is the mystery I am about to solve for you.
Yes, my mother did explain the “birds and the bees” to me, so I know all about procreation. Possibly the fact I have six children has also helped shed some light on the process, but I never really made a study of what constitutes the making of litter of kittens.
And yes, I am a firm believer in spaying and neutering our cats and dogs, as there are too many unwanted kittens and puppies living in an uncaring world.
However, for those of you who are as curious as I was, let us venture into exciting and romantic world of “kitty love.”
A “tom cat” is always looking for love (sound familiar) and for those of you not in the know; a “tom cat” is a male cat that has not been neutered.
Female cats are known as “Queens” and if not spayed, will come into “season” as early as six months of age, and will continue until she is about eight or nine years old. A female cat can come into season during spring; summer and early fall with the pregnancy process taking between 60 to 65 days to give birth. During the spring and summer a cat will go through “heat” cycles continuously until she is bred, has a false pregnancy or winter is approaching. Breeders can keep a Queen in breeding condition by housing the female in an area with about 14 hours of light, 10 hours of darkness and constant temperatures.
There is no exact time for the heat cycle to last, for some Queens it can be from five to eight days or as short as 3 days and as long as 20 days. If the Queen has not mated during that period she will go into a “rest period” for a short time (2 to 14 days or longer) and then resume the cycle once again.
Nature knowing that procreation does not always happen at once, (on the first mating) made it necessary for Miss Kitty to mate multiple times during her season. This can be with the same male or many males. Many fathers can produce a litter of kittens, but each kitten is the product of its own daddy and not multiple ones.
When it comes to mating our Miss Kitty is in charge, as she gives many hints of what is to come. In what is known as pre-heat she will make really awful shrill sounds, rub up against anything she can, and/or crawl around slightly dragging her hind quarters acting as if she is in pain. It is not a nice time to be around your cat when this is going on.
If a male is not standing around the corner, Miss Kitty will spread her scent about the neighborhood advertising her availability, this along with her yowling and break-type dance routine will definitely attract some male visitors.
Once this is accomplished, Miss Kitty will make her choice of suitor. The male does not approach her, she chooses him and only then will he make any courting attempts. The noisy courtship routine may last for hours, but the actual mating will take only minutes.
The mating routine is more like a free for all brawl, with Miss Kitty being extremely vocal and nasty. She will roll and try to bite her suitor and that is why he will grab her by the neck to prevent her from clawing or biting him.
Once the deed is done the tom will run away as quickly as possible. Leaving Miss Kitty to continue her act of being a wild woman. Then she will settle down and clean herself up and be ready again within 10 minutes to give it another go with a new suitor. During a heat cycle this could happen up to 25 to 30 times.
Once Miss Kitty is pregnant she will do her best to be a good mother and care for her kittens until they are ready to go on their own.
The kittens will never know daddy, as male cats have no use for kittens whether they are theirs or not.
And now you know the mystery of where the kittens came from.