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How Many Kittens Do Cats Have

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How Many Kittens Can A Cat Give Birth To

One of the aspects that most concerns us when we have a pet at home is procreation, because if our cat has kittens we must have ample space and resources to maintain the babies at home with the mother for at least two months.

If your cat is pregnant and you do not know how many kittens it might have, or if you’re just wondering and pondering about the biology of it all, in this OneHowTo article we’ll answer your question and reveal how many kittens a cat can give birth to.

  • Why neuter your cat
  • How To Cope With So Many Adorable Kittens

    Unless you want to purposefully breed your pet, chances are you wont get to have so many kittens. The healthcare can be extremely pricy not to mention other non-health-related annual feline expenses.

    On top of that, taking care of a pregnant female and her newborn kittens is challenging on many other levels.

    What you can do is make sure your precious furball wont become a breeding machine. This means trying to limit her access to any males, unless youre willing and capable of fully devoting yourself to dozens of kittens each year. Spaying the kitty is another option, although many pet parents are against it. Feline overpopulation is a serious issue, though, and contributing to it isnt the best idea.

    In reality, spaying is a humane decision. Not only does it prevent the mood swings, anxiety and stress that come with each heat cycle, but it also reduces the chances of having your pet run away from home. Moreover, this way you also wont have to worry if you cant find proper homes for each kitten she bears. After all, each kitty on the planet deserves to have a good life with responsible pet parents who surround it with care, love and devotion.

    How Many Kittens Are In A Litter

    Witnessing another creature come into the world is a pretty amazing experience, whether human or animal. The first birth I witnessed was that of our calico cat, Fluffy, delivering her first litter of kittens when I was about 6 years old.

    Most cats, or queens , have a litter of three to five kittens, but feline litters can vary in size from one to more than 10. Thats a big range. So what kinds of factors can affect the size of a litter?

    When Can Cats Start Having Kittens

    Cats are extremely prolific breeders. Incredibly enough, one female cat can give birth to more than 100 kittens during her lifetime.

    There are usually between 1-8 kittens per litter, and cats are already fertile when they are about 5-9 months old. Once they reach maturity, female cats can continue having kittens for many years, often until they are 10 or 12!

    Can Cats Give Birth To Kittens Of The Same Litter On Separate Days

    How Many Kittens Do Cats Have?

    Yes, that is possible to happen in the giving birth process. Timing plays a major role in this process. If your cat goes into labor and then starts to enter the birthing phase at 7 p.m., for example, this would allow it to give birth to kittens on two different days because the process can continue overnight, onto the next day.

    Labor can take a short period of time when the cat starts licking her abdomen and vaginal area, or it can take up to 12 hours sometimes, as for the birthing process, it can last about 6 hours or more. Each kitten will come 30 to 40 minutes after the other.

    How Many Kittens Can A Cat Have Over A Lifetime

    Unlike human females, cats dont exactly go through menopause. What does this mean? It means that if you want to , your cat will give you a lifetime of babies literally! Senior cats keep getting pregnant too, so basically cats can give birth to new kittens throughout their entire lifetime.

    But how many kittens will your cat have over a lifetime?

    Most domestic cats tend to live around 12-15 years. If you do simple math with the average statistics of kittens per litter, youll get the following result: 4 kittens per litter, 3 times per year for 15 years makes a total of 180 kittens over a lifetime. However, females reach reproductive maturity only around the end of their first year and they probably wont be able to bear kittens in their last couple of years. Besides, you wouldnt be able to keep up with new kittens every few months!

    In other words, these numbers are probably going to be lower than the average. On the other hand, feral cats residing outdoors mate with numerous stray males each time they go into heat. If theyre lucky enough to have good health, proper shelter and lots of nutrition, they can have more than 180 kittens throughout their lifetime.

    How Do Feral Cats Care For Their Kittens

    Feral cats care for their kittens much as house cats do.

    • They find a secure place to give birth.
    • They create a warm nest for their babies.
    • They give birth, cleaning off their litter as they come.
    • They nurse the blind and deaf babies for two weeks.
    • They continue to nurse for the following two to three weeks.
    • They start to wean the kittens off.
    • They encourage their babies to explore and build strength.

    Of course, if a domestic cat is having kittens, she might stay with her babies for longer until they are adopted out of the home. The kittens of a feral cat will begin to wander farther and farther as they gain autonomy and eventually stop returning to the last den they shared with their brothers and sisters.

    How Can You Tell How Many Kittens A Cat Is Having

    First of all, the number of nipples on a cat does not determine the number of kittens that will be born. There could be more than enough to go around or not enough for a larger litter. Instead, you need to rely on physical examinations. A vet can press on the stomach area to feel the embryos, but an x-ray gives a much more accurate picture as you can see all the skeletal forms.

    Can Cats Have Miscarriages

    Yes, just like in humans, cats can also be subject to unfortunate spontaneous abortions, pregnancy loss, and better known as a miscarriage.

    The most common reason for this unfortunate incident is the death of the fetal. Fetal death is the death of the fetus either due to hormonal imbalance in the mother cat, or it can also be related to the fetuss genetic disorder. This can cause a miscarriage or a stillborn kitten.

    Another possible reason for miscarriage in cats is mycotic abortion, which is a fungus that occurs in cats during the pregnancy period, caused by excessive bleeding in the cats uterus. This uncontrollable bleeding will lead to the abortion of the fetus.

    The third reason which can cause miscarriage in cats is a parasite called Neospora Caninum. This parasite is found in both cats and dogs, but it is most commonly found in dogs. Neospora Caninum can be picked up by cats when they consume food or water that has been contaminated by a dog who has this parasite already.

    Miscarriages in cats can also be caused by several viral feline infections such as feline leukemia virus, panleukopenia, feline herpesvirus, or feline immunodeficiency virus.

    If your cat suffers a miscarriage, you must take care of it because it will go through a very delicate phase. This post-miscarriage period will include a lot of discomforts, vaginal and/or abdominal bleeding, and it could lead to a more serious medical condition if it is not well taken care of.

    If The Cat Is In Good Health

    Indoor cats are usually well cared for and in good health, so their litters are usually on the larger side of average. Outdoor cats, however, if they are still cared for and are in good health, they will still have around four or five healthy kittens. But a cat that is in poor health might have one or two kittens, or if she has more than that, they might not survive.

    Outdoor cats that are not cared for very well might have fewer kittens, of which not all will survive.

    How Many Kittens Do Himalayan Cats Have

    The Himalayan cats are a breed of cats that were born by the union, or crossing of the Persian cat, and the Siamese cat. 

    This breed of cats has won the hearts of so many pet owners owing simply to the fact that it has one of the best color points you could see in any cat, anywhere. These cats also give birth to lovely and cuddly kittens, but how many kittens should you expect?

    Most Himalayan Cats give birth to 2 4 kittens, which are cuddly and each is a litter size for the Himalayan mother. However, depending on the type of food they eat, the breeding environment, and grooming, these cats can give birth to 5 kittens at once.

    The Himalayan cat is also known by a couple of other names, it is known as the Himalayan Persian, it is also known as the color point Himalayan. This name became particularly popular in the main regions of Europe. 

    The primary aim of the breeders of Himalayan cats was to come up with a breed of cats that would retain the color point of a Siamese, and at the same time inherit the long hair of the Persian cat as well. 

    The Himalayan cats were first recognized as a breed in the early 1900s as early as 1957 to be precise. This well deserved recognition was made by the Cat Fanciers Association , this is the organization that has come to be the primary source of information on cat breeds, and information.

    The Himalayan cats also have a habit of becoming overly attached to one member of the family , or the whole family in some cases. 

    What Does A Cat Nipple Feel Like

    Depending on the cat, their nipples may feel like a bug bite or pimple.

    If the nipples are swollen, they will feel much bigger, softer, possibly squishy, and sometimes warmer to the touch.

    I have had many cat owners who bring their pet cat in to get checked out because of a persistent pimple or bump, only to have me inform them that they have discovered a normal nipple.

    But dont feel embarrassed, it happens all the time!

    What About Male Cats

    Adding Up the New Additions: How Many Kittens Do Cats Have ...

    Male cats dont have heats.

    However, if unneutered, they reach sexual maturity around the same age as their female counterparts as early as four months, but usually closer to six months of age. When a male kitten reaches reproductive maturity, you may notice behavior changes such as urine marking, pungent-smelling urine, and attempts to get outside to find a mate.

    At What Age Do Male Cats Stop Reproducing

    Like female cats, male cats dont ever stop reproducing, regardless of their age. Some male cats are infertile, although that has nothing to do with their age; its usually chalked up to genetics.

    Since male cats can continue to reproduce throughout their lives, its even more reason for neutering! Especially if you have a male outdoor cat, hell never outgrow his ability to sire a litter; this is a big part of the feline population problem.


    How Do I Know If My Cat Is Pregnant

    If your cat is pregnant, the signs would usually show after 15 to 18 days of pregnancy. Since a cats pregnancy lasts for about nine weeks, the symptoms of pregnancy do not show during the first week or so. After the first few weeks, your cat will start to display some symptoms, here are some of the most common ones:

    When Do Cats Stop Reproducing

    Female cats can reproduce almost throughout their entire life.  While they dont go through menopause like people do, other physical factors may decrease the likelihood of giving birth to live kittens.  Age related ailments such as arthritis can make it difficult to breed.  Moreover, producing litter after litter of kittens can leave the uterus fatigued and less hospitable.  So even though a 15 year old female cat may still release the eggs necessary to get pregnant, the rest of her body wants a break.

    Similarly, male cats are capable of breeding until a ripe old age.  Again, physical factors such as arthritis may make it more difficult.  Also, spermatic defects can increase with age decreasing the likelihood of conception. 

    Potential Problems In Cats’ Pregnancy

    In general, any unusual symptoms during gestation should be followed through with a call or visit to your veterinarian. This is an important part of the care of a pregnant cat.

    Although many pregnant cats go through gestation trouble-free, there are potential problems that can occur. Being forewarned is being forearmed.

    Keep The Area Private And Quiet

    The mother and her kittens should be kept in a quiet, low-traffic area of the house. If there is too much commotion around her, she may become stressed and neglect her kittens.

    As the kittens get older and more rambunctious, your cat will want more and more time to get away and sleep, groom, or socialize with members of the household. Give your cat space to get away from the kittens, but make sure that she is returning often to check on them. 

    Labor And Delivery Breed Differences

    While the process of labor and delivery is similar in all cats, there can be some variation in how long it takes for different breeds of cats to have their kittens. Breeds with narrow and tapered heads such as Siamese are usually delivered more quickly while snub-nosed breeds like Persians have wider heads that can lead to a more difficult birth. Some of these breeds may even require a cesarean section if the kittens are too large.

    How Often Does A Female Cat Come Into Heat

    The female cat or queen comes into ‘heat’ or estrus many times each year. Each heat generally lasts several days. If she is not bred, she will return to heat in one to three weeks. Cats are seasonally polyestrus, which means that they have multiple estrus or heat cycles during the breeding season.

    “In the Northern Hemisphere, female cats usually cycle from January or February until the late fall.”

    The breeding season for cats varies according to geographic and environmental factors such as the number of daylight hours and temperature. In the Northern Hemisphere, female cats usually cycle from January or February until the late fall. Cats living in more tropical regions closer to the equator or that live mainly indoors may cycle all year round.

    The Number Of Kittens Depends On Several Factors

    How Many Kittens Do Cats Have? (And How to Estimate it ...

    The number of kittens that mama cats have depends on whether it is her first litter, if she is in good health and how many litters she has had in the past. Feral cats dont always have the same number of kittens that survive due to her health and access to fresh food and water.

    Most cats have between three and five kittens in their first litter, but some turn out to be stillborn and could make her labor difficult.

    When Do Feral Cats Leave Their Kittens

    Feral cats are different in a lot of ways from domestic cats. They are not cuddly, loving animals that spend their days snuggled up on the couch. Instead, they are wild animals that need to live on defense, so they can survive, but why do they leave their kittens?

    Feral cats leave their kittens at about five weeks old with the weaning process, though they dont leave them outright. The mother restricts nursing, encouraging them to go out on their own and hunt. Eventually, the kittens become older and independent enough that they stop returning to the nest.

    Read on to learn more about the relationship between feral cats and their kittens, including the mother and the father. Find out whether you can adopt a feral kitten and what you should do if you find a litter of street cats.

    Table of Contents

    So Your Cat Is Pregnant

    So you were a little slow in having her spayed and your cat turned up pregnant, or perhaps a pregnant stray adopted you. Maybe you are working with a rescue group and this is your first fostering experience with a pregnant cat. Where do you go from here? Your first major decision is whether or not to allow the condition to continue.

    Yes, pregnant cats can be spayed, but the earlier in the pregnancy, the better. However, this is a decision you’ll want to discuss with your family and your veterinarian. 

    Your Cats Nipples Get Darker

    This symptom starts to show after three weeks of pregnancy. After approximately 21 to 25, your cats nipples would start to get darker, in addition to being enlarged, this sign is known as pinking up. Another sign related to pinking up is small milky discharges. You might notice that your cat is discharging some milk from its nipples, even though the cat does not start to produce milk until after birth.

    Explained:how Many Kittens Can A Cat Have

    Pregnancy is a nervous time for any animal or pet parent. If you are a cat owner and this is the first time that your cat has become pregnant, you may not know what to expect. You may have seen friends litter with as many as eight gorgeous healthy kittens but been told that your young cat will only have a couple.

    How many kittens can a cat have? Your cat will have a small number to begin with around 2-3 and then more in later life, usually around 4-6 kittens. You can get a better idea of numbers via examinations and x-rays, but dont be concerned if there are just 1-2 kittens on the first pregnancy, this number will increase once the cat matures. 

    You may even have heard that this first litter isnt going to survive. So, what is the truth behind all of this? How many kittens will your cat have? Also, how many are normal in the first litter, and what are the chances of survival?

    Should Your Cat Have Kittens

    Honestly? Probably not. While kittens are wonderful bundles of love, the truth is that there are more than enough kittens in the world already that are looking for homes. According to the Kitten Coalition, there are over 3 million cats waiting for homes in the United States right now.

    No matter how special your cat is, there is really no good reason for intentionally breeding them. There are many beautiful kittens waiting in shelters to be adopted by loving homes, and good cat owners know that its irresponsible to contribute to this number.

    While there are many responsible purebred cat breeders, these individuals spend thousands of dollars and countless hours making sure the kittens they breed are healthy and homes are lined up for each kitten, often before they are even born!

    Breeders of purebred cats produce few litters a year and breed to better the particular breed of cat in question. They do not generally contribute to the homeless kitten epidemic, as many of them have waitlists of available homes that are anxious to bring home a kitten.

    If you are faced with an unexpected litter of kittens, the best thing you can do is find them loving homes after they turn 12 weeks old. You should prepare for a litter as soon as you realize your cat is pregnant.

    Make sure to have on hand, as nutrition is very important for young kittens and they may become ill or die if they arent able to nurse properly. The mother kitten should have nipples for her littles to suckle on.

    Is Your Cat In Heat

    Female cats that are not spayed will eventually come into heat , and the signs are unambiguous, once you know what to look for. A kitten can have her first heat as early as 3 1/2 months, so don’t fall for that old “wait until six months to spay” advice. And remember, that once a female cat has her first heat, it will happen again and again, until she either mates or is spayed. Here are some behavioral symptoms to watch for if you suspect your cat is in heat. For a vivid video description of a young cat in heat, also watch this YouTube video.

    How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Recover After A First Litter

    Many people think that female cats cannot get pregnant if theyre still nursing.

    However, thats not entirely true.

    As long as its still the breeding season, most felines have a heat cycle within four weeks after weaning their kittens.

    For this reason, your pet can already get pregnant while shes still nursing her kittens.

    To explain it further, lets say your pet gave birth to a litter. Within four weeks, the kittens will be feeding on their mother alone. After that period, theyll start eating solid food.

    Four weeks after the kittens started eating solids, and your pet can already get pregnant.

    In short, your pet can already recover and get pregnant every two months.

    Wanna know why your cat brings you her kittens? Learn why.

    Take Your Cat For A Fecal Test

    Cat Facts: Why Do So Many Cats Have Extra Toes?

    Its recommended that you have a fresh stool sample checked by your veterinarian, as intestinal parasites can be spread to the kittens both in utero  , and during nursing.

    Do NOT use over-the-counter dewormers on your pregnant or nursing cat, as some of these could be dangerous. Your veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate medication if her stool sample shows evidence of parasitic infection.  

    Are Siamese Small Cats

    The Siamese is just one of these smaller breeds of cats. Siamese feature a slim, slender figure and also have a very fine coat. Their colors are distinct too, the most famous image of a Siamese cat being the tan body and brown face with beautiful blue eyes. The Siamese is known for being small but having a big voice.

    What To Expect When Your Cat Is In Labor

    • Your cat goes beyond her proposed due date without going into labor
    • You do not see evidence that Stage 1 labor has started 24-36 hours after the drop in rectal temperature mentioned above
    • Stage 1 labor has not progressed to Stage 2 labor after 24 hours
    • The first kitten has not been delivered after 1 hour of active labor
    • It has been more than two hours without the appearance of another kitten1
    • Vaginal discharge is purulent or frankly hemorrhagic
    • Your cat is in apparent distress or pain or seems ill or disoriented1
    • Kittens are stillborn or are alive but seem weak or not normal.
    • You know that there are more kittens on the way but your cat appears to be exhausted and labor seems to have stopped.

    The key is to be as prepared as possible. Know what to expect. Know who to call. Then hopefully everything will go well and youll only have to contact your veterinarian after the fact to take the new family in for a routine, wellness check.

    If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.


    What If My Cat Is Birthing Fewer Kittens

    While it is expected for cats to have as many as three kittens in a litter, it is not always so.

    It is possible for your cat to only birth a single kitten in her cycle.

    And this can be worrying especially if you were looking forward to more cats in your home.


    There are several reasons why a cat is not giving birth to more kittens.

    Factors like age, health, diet, and environment affect a cats ability to reproduce.

    The best way to know what is affecting your cat is to have him or her checked by a professional doctor.


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