Do you fall in love each time you see a purring ball of fluff?
Reproduction is one of the most natural and awe-inspiring phenomena. It’s consistent among animals of different kinds yet varying in highly distinctive characters.
For instance, larger mammals like humans, elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, etc mostly deliver only one offspring at once, but in the case of mammals like dogs, cats, rabbits, one pregnancy generally gives birth to over 2 or 3 babies at a time.
If you are fond of cats and kitten, you have most likely been wondering how many kittens can a cat give birth to at a time. Know the answer to this question and much more about cats and kittens in this blog post!
How Many Kittens Are There In A Litter?
Did you know that a group of kittens is denoted as “litter”?
Talking about the size of the litter, an average female cat (queen) can deliver babies well within the range of one to nine kittens, nine being the maximum size. However, few cats are recorded delivering towards the maximum end and the average the size of litter ranges from four to six depending on two factors:
- The number of pregnancies previously conceived: For first-timers, the size of the litter is less than average and is generally below five kittens.
- The number of male partners that were involved.
Additionally, the very same litter could have kittens of different skin tones and eyes depending on the characteristics and features of the male cats that bred with the female.
Depending on the size of the litter total time taken for delivery can range from ten minutes to one hour for each kitten. That means if there are 6 little balls of fluff with big doe eyes to be delivered, then the cat will have to bear the pain and discomfort of labor for one to about six hours.
The Science Behind A Cat’s Litter of Kittens
On careful consideration of the reproduction process of female cats, we find one unique factor that contributes to an increase in the population of stray cats — the process of fertilization of the ovum of a cat.
Unlike in humans, wherein an ovum is released irrespective of whether mating is expected in near future, in case of cats an egg is released at the very moment of the mating call which increases the chances of conception of the pregnancy.
Furthermore, despite being pregnant already, the more number of intercourses a cat has, the more chances of conceiving a greater number of fetuses. One female cat can contribute about 20000 kittens in 5 years alone (therefore, the rightfully associated term, queens).
It is because of this reason that we can see more stray cats than stray dogs.
To encounter the problem of multiplication of stray cats or to avoid having your pet cat pregnant with more kittens than you might be able to manage, you can opt for two plausible measures :
- Keeping females separate from males and supervising them.
- Neutering is a common and routine operation that involves the removal of your cat’s sexual reproduction organs. When neutering is performed on female cats, it is termed as “Spaying”.
It’s not as painful as it sounds and can save you and your beloved furry friend from a lot of pain and trouble.
How many balls of fluff would you like to have? Talk about your kitty wishes in the comments section below!