Have you decided to let your kitty give birth to little bundles of joy?
Firstly, If your cat is under a year old it may pay to seek advice from your veterinarian as cat mothers of a young age increases the possibility of giving birth to deformed kittens.
Female cats have many heat periods over a year, and each heat period can last around 6 days if a male mates with her, but if she is not mated, then the period of heat will last longer and will recur regularly (This is known as 'polyestrous'). She can give birth to an average 3 kittens 3 times a year and being 'superfecund' meaning that each of the kittens in her litter can belong to a different father each!
So make sure you book an appointment for after the birth to neuter your kitty to prevent future pregnancies. The world's cat population is vastly increasing with over 100 different breeds recorded, and so many inhumane people out there you will find feral cats come in abundance in most big cities. Spaying her before the first or second heat will vastly reduce threats like uterine disease and mammary cancer, so get onto it straight away! Your kitty will not miss the joy of motherhood, or she does not have to have at least one litter to be healthy either.
Female cats can start mating around 6 months old, but male cats can start around 8 months of age. Pregnancy usually can last for around 58 to 65 days (9 weeks approximately). If you are not looking to raise a litter of kittens or turn your male kitty into a roaming tom is it advisable to neuter her and him around 5 months. Neutering him can mean a lot of time saving on the spraying (marking his teritory) which he will do around your house and stop him fighting with other males over females or otherwise. It also make him live longer as a calmer and nicer kitty for you to enjoy!
You will need to make sure mother is warm and safe at all times. Feed her small meals throughout the day, as she is can carry around a few kitties in her belly, her stomach will be crampt for space! Make sure you change her to a special diet full of vitamins and minerals to put her in top condition for pregnancy and always have plenty of water available.
Find an out of the way place, such as a warm cupboard for mother to be able to escape away before and after birth with the kittens. This will make her feel safe and not have the need to transfer her litter to another quieter spot, which can put the kittens in danger at this very young age!
Kittens at birth will weigh about 85 grams. It can take around two weeks before they are able to hear well so it is important that they are safe. You will find their eyes will usually open around eight days.
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