Wondering how many kittens your cat can be expecting?
This blog post is all about that!
However, this is a hard question to answer with “usually,” because so much depends on the individual mother cat and the circumstances around the pregnancy and birth.
When it comes to reproduction, cats are quite prolific breeders.
But, how many kittens do cats have?
In this blog post, we will answer this question in as much detail as we can and go through everything you need to know about it.
How Many Kittens Do Cats Have?
Feral mothers, who have stressful and often malnourished pregnancies, it is unusual for the mother to have more than 3 or 4, and even if she does have 4, they do not all always survive.
There are also some breeds, purebreds with veterinary supervision and good health, non-feral, that routinely have larger litters and 6 to 8 kittens.
One female kitty has the ability to produce an average of about 12 kittens each year if not spayed.
Some rare instances, however, have occurred. Take a look:
- In 1970, a 4-year-old Burmese named Tarawood Antigone gave birth to 19 kittens, 15 of which survived
- One study in Australia found that Burmese have the highest average, at five kittens per litter
- A cat named her 12 kittens into two groups, placing them in separate nests so that the weaker kittens weren’t pushed aside
Summing It Up
Most cats, or queens (unspayed female cats), have a litter of three to five kittens, but feline litters can vary in size from one to more than 10.
As a feral cat begins to age and goes through the stress of multiple litters, it seems that the size of her litters decreases or the number of stillbirths increases or both.
Whether that is something that happens in utero or as a result of the strain of giving birth multiple times with a deteriorating body is something that’s not currently known to us.
Has your kitty ever had kittens? Let us know in the comments…
My 13 year old daughter acquired a Cat (Ruby) when she was pregnant. I am not experienced with Cats and so I was worried how to handle a litter of say, 5, in the house. Luckily, Ruby gave birth to just tow Kittens. They both survived but their young Mother was not really caring for reasons I could not understand. The best she did in the first few days was hide them within the House. I thought she was just learning to be a mother but she became too harsh for example when the Kittens needed milk. She liked outdoors and only came home to feed herself and leave the Kittens crying. It became worse when she started ‘beating’ her babies whenever they moved closer. My daughter was sympathetic and decided we just take the Mother to her original home and remain with the Kittens. The Kittens are now grown and very much part of the family. Their mother’s behaviour has made me develop a strong interest in Cats.
If a cat has six teets does it mean it will have six kittens
I’m floored. I rescued a barn kitten over a year ago who wasn’t completely weaned. She’s been a wonderful cat. She just gave birth and even though I knew by her size, that she would have more than four, she just gave birth to 7! I know she’s not pure bread. I pray that she can manage to care for all 7 being that it’s her first litter. She won’t let me leave the room without following me and that concerns me greatly. Any advice or suggestions would be wonderful to hear.