How Do I Care For Newborn Kittens
The female encourages the kittens to suck and keeps them warm by lying on her side and encircling them. The kittens are guided by scent and warmth to her nipples where they find colostrum, the first type of milk to be produced which is rich in antibodies to help protect the kittens from disease in their early weeks of life.
The mother cat purrs while the kittens are sucking the kittens are not able to hear when they are first born, but they can follow vibrations to move towards her. They have a built-in rooting or nuzzling behaviour which helps them to find the nipple, latch on and stimulate the milk to flow. The sucking reflex then takes over and they feed. Kittens tend to return to the same nipple to feed, perhaps to stop them squabbling and to ensure that milk continues to be produced there because there is a demand.
So if all goes to plan, then you dont have to do much for the first few weeks except make sure that the mother cat is well fed and has the facilities she needs. As soon as you are aware of the pregnancy it would benefit the kittens and their mother to feed a growth type diet. This can continue to be fed after the birth of the kittens and until they are weaned.
Frequently Asked Questions About Estrus In Cats
Do siblings mate?
Yes, brothers and sisters will mate, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons. Cats do not discriminate when it comes to mating.
Is it painful for a cat to be in heat?
A cat in heat who is crying can sound like she is in pain, but it is not considered to be painful.
How do you stop a cat in heat meowing?
Unfortunately, there is not much we can do to stop a cat in heat from calling. Once the cycle has finished, spaying the cat will stop her from coming into heat again.
Meanwhile, a Feliway diffuser that contains synthetic pheromones may be of help in relaxing the cat while in heat.
Is it possible for a litter of kittens to have different fathers?
Yes, cats are induced ovulators, their eggs are released after they have mated and can survive for up to 24 hours. If your cat mates with multiple male cats, then the kittens born can potentially have different fathers.
What should I do if my cat comes into heat?
Keep her indoors and away from any entire male cats and book an appointment withyour veterinarian as soon as possible.
If she does get out and mate, it is not too late. She can still be desexed. Speak to your veterinarian about this. He may also wish to test for FIV and FeLV if she has mated with an unknown/untested tom.
Should I let my cat mate when she is in season?
Unless you are a registered breeder, and this is a planned mating then no, you should not allow your cat to mate for several reasons.
Do female cats have periods?
For Pet Parents Of Male Cats
If you have a male cat, you may not be facing a litter of kittens in your home, but your kitty can still contribute to pet overpopulation if he manages to impregnate another cat. Even if your cat stays indoors, unneutered cats will try and occasionally succeed at escaping their home to find a mate.
So, even as a male cat owner, you have an important responsibility to consider when it comes to neutering your pet.
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Q: Do Cats Stay In Heat After Mating
A: No. If a female cat breeds during her heat cycle, she almost always becomes pregnant. This is because cats are induced ovulators and the act of breeding stimulates their body to ovulate .
Ovulation generally will occur if a female cat mates three or four times in a 24-hour period. The symptoms of the estrous cycle will subside within a day or so.
How Did My Cat Get Pregnant
The fecundity of the cat has been acknowledged throughout its history with man it has in consequence been worshipped by some and persecuted as wanton by others. What it does mean, is that if you fail to neuter your female cat before she becomes sexually mature and you let her outside, an unneutered male cat is likely to find her and before you realise what has happened she will be pregnant! You are probably unlikely to notice this until she starts to get rather plump and wonder what you have to do. Heres how it happens
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When Do Cats Come On Heat
Oestrus cycles begin when female cats reach puberty, which can be as early as 4 months right through to 10 months of age.
Exactly when a cat starts coming on heat is determined by a number of factors including: the days becoming longer , the cats weight, age, general health and their breed. Although, it should be noted that cats can come on heat and produce kittens at any time of the year if the situation is right.
Dark Patches Of Fur In Siamese And Related Breeds
The skin temperature is important in determining the hair colour of some cats . This means that when a patch of hair is shaved the new hair may grow back a darker colour. However, this is only temporary and, as further hair growth occurs, the dark hairs are replaced by normal lighter coloured hairs.
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Signs Of Estrus Or Cats In Heat:
Even if youve never been around cats in heat before, youre very likely to know something is going on with your pet the behaviors she uses to get the attention of a potential mate will no doubt get your attention as well. The signs of cats in heat or cats experiencing estrus can mimic signs of pain or distress in your cat, and include the following:
Male Cat Behavior Toward Kittens
Cats are hunters and this behavior is almost impossible to eliminate. Young kittens can draw a tom’s interest, and that initial curiosity often brings hunting instincts to the surface. After a few moments, that squirming little kitten begins to look remarkably similar to other prey animals like mice and chipmunks. Keep in mind that this does not describe all male cats and some can tolerate kittens and may even bond with them and assist the mother cat with raising them.
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What Happens When Cats Go Into Heat
Heat cycles occur when a cat’s body is hormonally ready and receptive to becoming pregnant. During the cycle, your cat may be more vocal in the evening if she smells potential mates outside and wants to go out to them. Vahrenwald says she might also be more willing to have her rear end petted and may even rub it on her owners.
Some cats who are in heat will urinate more often or spray it onto vertical obstacles. This is because their pee contains hormones and pheromones that actually help attract male cats. Feline dating habits are weird, but effective. You might even see unfamiliar male cats start appearing in your yard.
Outside of the strange bathroom habits and the presence of tomcats, Vahrenwald says it might be hard to tell if your cat is in heat.
“It’s not super obvious,” Vahrenwald says.
How Can You Prevent A Cat From Going Into Heat
The only way to prevent the heat cycle from repeating over and over again, along with the distress it causes both you and your pet, is to have your female cat spayed. It is a myth that cats should be allowed to go through one heat cycle or even to have one litter before spaying. Early spaying is widely regarded as the most ethical course for pet owners to take, in light of the millions of animals who are euthanized at pet shelters each year. Its simply irresponsible to bring another litter of kittens into the world when there are already too few homes for existing animals.
Spaying is considered major surgery because it involves entering the abdomen to remove both ovaries and the uterus, yet the procedure is safe and routine when performed by a qualified vet. And although its possible to perform the surgery at any time of the estrous cycle, most veterinarians decline to spay cats in heat because the engorged blood vessels in the reproductive organs create an increased risk of heavy bleeding.
Thumbnail: Photography by karamysh / Shutterstock.
This piece was originally published in 2012.
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Q: How Often Do Cats Go Into Heat
A: Cats are seasonally polyestrous, which means they can go into heat many times throughout the breeding season. Since feline pregnancy is so short, cats can have more than one litter of kittens in a breeding season.
Typically, a cat may go through two or three heat cycles in one season. In some geographic regions, the feline breeding season may be year-round.
How Do You Stop A Cat In Heat From Meowing
You dont. The only way to prevent a cat in heat from meowing is to get her out of heat and that takes patience. It is relatively normal for cats to yowl during the night and periods of the day while in heat. They are trying to call males to their location.
This behavior is normal, and there isnt anything you can do to stop it.
If you dont want to deal with the yowling, your best option is to spay your feline so she wont go into heat again!
If you have a male, he will probably yowl and pace as well. Some males even stop eating when they smell a female nearby that is in heat. While you can separate your cats to prevent pregnancy, both will continue their often loud behaviors until the female goes out of heat.
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When Is A Cats First Heat Cycle
A cats heat is the period in which a cat is fertile and can therefore, become pregnant. A cats first heat sometimes varies, but in general, cats experience their first heat cycle at around 6 months of age. This, however, depends on the time of the year, as it is also influenced by sunlight. One must be aware that a cats heat can span over a period of months, from the end of winter to the beginning of autumn. A cats heat can continue throughout the year, specifically in cats that live indoors and are affected by artificial light or in cats that live in tropical climates with more than 12 hours of light a day.
This does not mean that a cat will be in heat for the entirety of this period. It simply means that a cat living in such an environment may show symptoms of heat during those months, where it can go into heat at any time.
If you want to know more details about the different phases of a cats heat cycle, take a look at Everything You Need To Know About A Cat In Heat.
Q: Can You Spay A Cat In Heat
A: Yes, you can spay a cat that is in heat, but its not preferable to do so. Many veterinarians will ask you to wait until your female is out of heat, then bring her back to be spayed.
When a cat is in heat, theres a lot more blood flow in her reproductive organs. This can make it harder for the veterinarian to perform the surgery. There is also a higher risk of bleeding issues when spaying a cat during a heat cycle.
Its best to wait for a week or two after signs of heat subside before spaying your cat. But dont wait too long or the cat may go into heat again before she can be spayed.
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Q: Do Female Cats Spray When In Heat
A: Yes. Its common for female cats to spray or mark things with urine when they are in heat. Often, they spray outside of the litter box or spray vertical objects like walls, furniture, and trees.
Spraying is a way for the cat to communicate to nearby male cats that she is available for mating. The urine contains pheromones and hormones that male cats can smell from miles away.
Entire Tomcat Behavior Vs Desexed Males
Typical behavior in the entire cat is driven by high testosterone levels. Neutering a male cat reduces his testosterone without taking away his character. As a pet parent, this means you can expect a general improvement in most behaviors. However, and it’s a big BUT, this also depends on how much his actions are down to ingrained habit. For example, a male kitten neutered at six months of age has not learned bad habits such as spraying. However, a mature tomcat used to territory marking by spraying may do so out of habit and late neutering may have a disappointing effect.
As VCA Hospitals explains, neutered male cats are better behaved than their entire cousins, and their character is down to individual personality, genetics, and socialization rather than hormones. The behaviors described below are typical of an entire adult male cat.
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Signs Of Heat In Bengals
Watching for signs of heat in Bengals is important for both breeders and non-breeders alike. When you can tell your cat is in heat, then you can take appropriate action.
Here are the signs of heat that you should be looking for:
- Increased vocalizations that are typically louder that normal and may sound like your cat is in pain or scared.
- Increased displays of affection towards people, other cats, and even inanimate objects.
- Assuming a mating position by lowering her front end, walking in place with her back legs which are crouched, and swinging her tail from side to side.
- Licking her genitals more frequently.
Reasons For Neutering Male Cats
- Control of nuisance. Unneutered male cats are likely to stray over a large area, will mark their territory with a very pungent spray and are much more likely to fight with attendant noise nuisance.
- Health issues. Fighting males are much more likely to spread diseases such as FIV and FeLV to other cats. They are also likely to suffer from fight injuries such as abscesses. Because they wander over a large area they are also at greater risk of suffering road traffic accidents.
- Pet issues. Unneutered male cats will wander from home and may not return. They may also spray inside the home and may be aggressive to their owners. Therefore it is desirable to neuter kittens early enough to ensure that the above problems are prevented. Most people do not want to live with an unneutered male cat.
- Population control. Obviously, male cats do not have kittens themselves and it only takes one male in an area to make lots of female cats pregnant, so neutering a female cat makes a great deal more difference to limiting numbers, but it all helps!
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When Will My Cat Go Into Heat
Unspayed female cats may have their first heat cycle as young as four months of age, though the average age is five to nine months for most cats. If you have a kitten and wish to prevent her from going into heat, it’s best to have her spayed as early as your vet thinks is safe. This is generally no later than four to six months of age, but it may be as early as six to twelve weeks of age.
Male Cats Engage In Fighting
Fighting is not strictly a male behavior, but males do seem to receive the most attention for getting into scrapes with other toms they encounter. This is mainly due to a desire to defend or gain territory, but breeding behavior also drives males to spar with each other. Sometimes these fights are more about posturing, but on many occasions, these boys will do some significant damage to each other. Keep your cat at home is the best way to eliminate fighting with other cats.
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Typical Male Kitten And Cat Behavior
When you examine both genders closely, there really isn’t a great deal of difference between the way the sexes behave, especially in neutered cats. However, an entire tomcat has strong natural urges to protect his territory and find a mate, which can result in behaviors considered anti-social by some.