Cat reproduction is a topic that cannot be left aside by guardians. To protect kittens from problems that can arise at this stage, such as escapes and fights, it is essential to understand how long cat heat lasts, how many months a cat can cross and other details about cat mating. Read on!
Cat heat: how females behave when they want to mate
Cat heat is very discreet physically. There is no bleeding or swelling, as there is with dogs. But there is a very characteristic body language: the pussy starts to rub herself more against objects, people and other cats, showing more affection than usual. Appetite may decrease and the gait becomes more graceful, almost like a roll. The kitten can leave the tail aside and thecurved spine, in copulation position.
Estral cycle: the reproductive cycle of cats is influenced by the temperature and brightness of the environment.
The first heat usually occurs until the 9th month of the cat's life, but can vary according to the environment, the presence of other cats and even the breed of the cat (cats with longer hair take longer to come into heat). Thereafter, new heat cycles are repeated throughout life. The frequency will depend on the outcome of the heat: whether or not there will be mating and fertilization. Each cycle is divided into fourphases:See_also: How does the dog nail clipper work? Is it good to have one at home?
Proestrus: the female begins to show interest in the opposite sex, changing her personality and meowing, but does not yet allow mounting. This period lasts from 1 to 3 days.
Estrus: In estrus itself, the manifestations of desire for the cross become more intense and the cat allows mating to take place if she finds a male. This phase takes approximately one week.
Interestro: a 7-day period that occurs when there is no fertilization and the cat goes through a kind of sexual rest. It is normal for her to reject males at this time.
Anestrus: the absence of a cycle usually occurs in colder seasons with shorter days, such as winter.
Diestrus: when the cat ovulates and does not become pregnant, a kind of asymptomatic false pregnancy can occur. This is because cats only ovulate when they mate. But if for some reason there is no fertilisation (a neutered cat can also cross!), the cycle starts again, from proestrus.
Cat estrus follows the signals emitted by females
The male cat does not have a specific period of heat, as it happens with the females. When the little animal enters puberty, which happens between 8 or 10 months of life, it becomes capable of copulating whenever it detects the signs of heat from a female. There may be a drop in libido during autumn and winter, when the days are longer and colder, but the cat is still able to respond to the signs of heat.He remains of childbearing age until he is 7 years old.
Cat breeding: how to identify signs that show your feline wants to breed
The male cat responds to the female's "calls" to mate by showing restlessness and even some aggression. This is because, in a natural environment, the female usually instinctively chooses to mate with the most powerful cat in the pack. And then, even in a domestic environment, it is expected that the kitten will start urinating in different places, to mark territory. A more aggressive behavior with otherscats - their competitors - can also be observed, as well as a greater propensity to flee.
Adult cat penis has spicules and is almost never exposed
The cat's genital organ is usually well hidden inside the foreskin, at the base of the belly. The cat only exposes the penis completely - under normal health conditions - in two situations: to do its own hygiene or to mate. Therefore, if your kitten has been walking around with its penis visible, it is best to take it to the vet to find out why, ok?
A particularity of the cat's penis are the spicules, small thorns that appear when the animal reaches reproductive age. Also common in other mammals and in primates, these thorns cause pain in the cat during mating - one of the reasons for the noises emitted by females during copulation. The female's natural reaction at that moment is to flee the discomfort. The male's response is practicaland unfriendly: they bite the backs of female cats until intercourse is over, ensuring fertilisation. Experts believe that these spikes have the function of stimulating ovulation in females. That's why cat mating is so noisy!
Cat meowing in heat gets more frequent! Learn how to calm down male and female cats
Cats use meowing as a form of communication in a variety of situations, and when looking for mating it could be no different. Female cats in heat meow to attract males, vocalising loudly and constantly until they find their mate. Cats often reciprocate by showing changes in their meowing as soon as they notice a female in heat around them. The "symphony of meows" has a reason for existing, butcan be a real nuisance to guardians and their neighbors.
The most effective and safest way to prevent these behavioral changes is to neuter cats before their first heat or between heatings. But to control the felines' natural reaction, options such as homemade calming teas, such as chamomile, can work. Feline pheromone sprays are also quite effective, giving the kittens a sense of well-being. Catnip, on the other hand, in this situation,is an unknown: cat grass can both tranquilize and stimulate felines. If in doubt, talk to a veterinarian you trust!
Mating cats and their kittens: how to avoid a new litter
Cat reproduction is natural, but it can become a problem when the guardian has no intention of raising all the kittens and cannot find willing adopters. The average cat's gestation lasts 9-10 weeks. Many people ask themselves "After giving birth, how long does the cat go into heat?" and the answer is: only 1 month! So if you want to know how many litters a cat has per year, know that3 to 4 pregnancies are possible.
As for how many kittens are born in the first litter, it is not possible to say with certainty. Just as there are pregnancies of only one kitten, in some cases it is possible that up to ten kittens are born in the same birth. There is no way to predict, but once the cat is pregnant, it is important to do imaging tests to have the correct information and to know when the birth is over.
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The safest solution to avoid litters is neutering, both in females and males. But if the heat has arrived without warning, a good solution is to try to isolate the cats in different environments. Even sibling cats can cross, which is not genetically recommended, but is quite common. It's better to be safe!