Cat Mating and Conception

The Spruce / Lisa Fasol

Most female pet cats who are not in a breeding program should be spayed before adolescence. Estrous cycles, also known as heat cycles, will begin after they enter puberty. Heat cycles in domestic cats occur from February to October in the Northern Hemisphere, however, they can continue all year in indoor cats.

Estrus (the time of receptivity to mating) will occur every two or three weeks until she marries or is spayed, causing distress to both the queen and her human companions. Queenie's whole emphasis will be on exiting the house to mate or mate with an intact male housemate during this time. She will be ruthless in her desire to mate, will vocalize (call) loudly, and lurk around doors, hoping to meet up with one of the boisterous feline Romeos that will congregate near your home, contending for the opportunity of impregnating your queen.

Estrus is defined as the phase of sexual receptivity and is associated with the generation of estradiol (a kind of estrogen) by ovarian follicles.1Cats in heat, unlike dogs, rarely have visible vulvar swelling or discharge.

Female cats are induced ovulators, which means that ovulation does not occur in the absence of mating or other forms of stimulation. If the female cat does not mate during estrus, her hormone levels will decline and the estrous cycle will resume itself in two to three weeks.


The queen will announce her willingness to mate by assuming the following posture: chest down, forelegs bent, rear quarters elevated with the tail to the side to show the vulva (this is known as lordosis).1Her back legs may tread rhythmically, almost as if she were walking in place.

The tomcat will mount the female from behind, frequently gripping her neck with his teeth and inserting his penis through her vulva.

Male cats with intact penises have barbed penises, and the female cat frequently screams as the male cat withdraws. The barbed penis is thought to trigger ovulation. In reality, "Teaser Toms" are frequently used by breeders to trigger ovulation and end the estrous cycle in queens that are not yet ready to reproduce. Teaser Toms are neutered through vasectomy, with the barbs on the penis remaining to trigger ovulation.


Ovulation normally occurs between 20 and 50 hours after mating. The eggs are fertilized in the oviduct and then travel to the uterus via the uterine horn, where they embed in the uterine lining within 12 to 13 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible for a litter to have kittens from many sires?

Yes. On the street, a queen may mate with two or more tom cats for the duration of the estrous cycle, which can last up to 21 days on average. Although the queen's genetics may play a role,

Multi-colored kitten litters frequently exhibit multiple mating. Some pedigreed cat breeders keep the queen and have chosen tom together for numerous matings to assure conception.

Is it possible for my cat to become pregnant while nursing?

Regrettably, yes. As a result, it is vital to keep her indoors and away from any men in the house. Once the mother cat begins to wean the kittens, she should be spayed to avoid having more litter. Furthermore, whether the kittens are retained in their original home or put for adoption, they should be spayed/neutered.

Can I get my pregnant cat spayed?

In general, pregnant cats can be spayed safely, however, vets disagree on some of the details.

When Can a Cat Become Pregnant?

Although female cats typically reach sexual maturity at six months, it is not uncommon for a cat to begin the estrous cycle as early as four months. If she is allowed to become pregnant at this age, the consequence will be a kitten giving birth to kittens, which is perilous to both the mother and the babies. To avoid catastrophes like this, many veterinarians are increasingly recommending early spay and neutering.

It is on purpose that this essay appears to be a thinly disguised spay and neuter message. Spaying your female cat will not only help with overpopulation but will also make her a happier and healthier pet in the long run.

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