After my “letting of steam” of the other day, I wondered if many people knew much about cats and their breeding habits. We often use the idiom “breeding like rabbits” to describe something that escalates, but we could just as well say “breeding like cats”.
This cartoon says more than words.
Obviously, that’s a “worse case scenario”. When living and breeding in the wild, there are all sorts of dangers that will prevent many kittens actually making it to sexual maturity but it’s definitely food for thought.
Something some people may not know about cats is that they don’t breed like dogs, which explains why there are fewer unwanted litters of puppies than kittens.
A bitch comes on heat twice a year and, rather like us humans, there is only a short time-frame (during ovulation) when she is likely to conceive.
With the cat, it’s different. A queen begins her estrus cycle early Spring (depending on the weather it can be as early as February). During this time, her hormones tell her to go off in search of a mate, and she can travel miles. Ovulation is stimulated by copulation . . . which means that if she doesn’t find a Tom cat, she’ll just continue searching. She can also mate several times during one cycle, with different mates, so kittens born in the same litter may not be sired by the same Tom.
Bearing in mind that gestation lasts approx 60 days and that it then takes a further 8 – 10 weeks or so to wean her kittens, this means it is possible for a queen to have as many as 3 litters from Spring to late Autumn.
Anyway, just wanted to share that with you ^^