Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
We all love having fun watching those cute adorable kittens rolling around our homes like little balls of fur, but at the same time they can be such a nuisance, especially when there’s too many of them around, turning your home upside down and making even the most calm owner go mad. So now the question arises: how often can cats give birth?
Sometimes, that’s the biggest issue. You’ve got a bunch of kittens, and before you know it, their next brothers and sisters are born. What do you do? First you’ve got to feed them all until you find a new home for them, maybe spay your cat, but it also seems important to know the fertility cycles of a cat before it happens again.
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How Often Can Cats Give Birth
A mature cat’s gestation period is much shorter than that of humans, and the litter is large enough to quickly overpopulate a house or area of a town. On a broader global scale, that seems to become a bigger and bigger problem, especially since more and more cats linger next to human communities because it’s easier for them to get food.
Cats reach puberty in less than year, more precisely at around 4 to 10 months, depending on various factors such as breed and environment. After that, they enter the reproductive maturity phase, when their ‘heat cycles’ occur and their behavior changes. That’s when they try to get more attention and find a male cat to mate with.
These cycles occur every two to three weeks non stop from spring until fall, but cats can become pregnant all time of year.
Birth Frequency and Gestation Period
Once in heat, a cat can mate with one or more male cats and become pregnant. The gestation period last two and a half months in general. A female cat can go into heat and become pregnant again right after she has given birth to her new kittens, making it possible for her to have up to five litters a year.
The size of the litter depends on factors such as the cat’s age and experience, but it’s usually between one and six little kittens. If you do the math, you’ll quickly understand why not spaying your cat on time can become a problem for you or your neighbors. The final number seems like a daunting challenge to overcome no matter how much the respective owner loves cats.
The solution for most cat owners is neutering their female cat before the number of funny little fur balls running around the house rises too high. Keeping the cat indoors at all times is as well a possibility, but it’s a much riskier one, as you might still end up with unwanted kittens in you home and dumping them should never be an option.