Mating between a cat and a female cat can take place several times during the same year and thus give birth to dozens of kittens. This is why the sterilization of cats is strongly recommended in order to avoid their proliferation, to reduce the number of abandonments and to preserve wildlife.
On the other hand, professionals in the breeding of purebred cats have every interest in monitoring the mating process. From the time of heat to gestation through mating, it is important to know each stage of the mating process so that everything runs smoothly.
The phases necessary for reproduction in cats
For cats to reproduce, three parameters must be met: the sexual maturity of the male, the sexual maturity of the female and the mating itself.
Sexual maturity of the male cat
The male enters puberty as soon as he is about 2 months old. This continues until its 6 months on average (a little more for certain breeds of cat). This is the time it takes for the cat’s reproductive system to form and come back down. We will of course see the male’s testicles, but also horny papillae on the penis. Although the cat generally reaches sexual maturity between 6 and 8 months, it is advisable to wait until 12 months before considering reproduction. It is indeed from one year that we consider cats as adults.
Sexual Pussy Maturity
The female enters puberty later than the male, since it does not begin until she is 6 or 7 months old on average. From this age, she is physically able to procreate from her first heat. The latter being seasonal, from spring to autumn, the possible mating age will vary depending on the date of birth of the cat from around 6 to 9 months. Like the male, it is advisable to wait until the cat’s first birthday before thinking about reproduction, in particular so as not to weaken her psychologically.
In females, the estrus cycle lasts 18 to 24 days on average. Dioestrus is the period of inactivity while estrus characterizes the so-called heat period. During this period, there are 3 phases:
- Proestrus: it lasts one to two days depending on the individual and serves to alert males of its availability, meowing and rubbing are to be expected
- Estrus proper: lasts one to two weeks and is similar to proestrus, except that the female is ready to mate
- Interestrus: it pauses between two heat phases and lasts two weeks on average
Only mating can stop the heat of the cat, which is cyclical and returns to the projection.
The mating between cats
It is the female who chooses her partner in the presence of several suitors. The mating usually takes place on the territory of the male. The latter climbs on the female from behind, the latter not hesitating to take an explicit position by raising her rump and raising her tail. The male then holds the cat by the neck with his teeth, both to immobilize it and to stimulate the part of the brain that triggers ovulation.
The coitus itself is very brief and does not last longer than 30 seconds. The male’s spiky penis causes pain in the female cat when the male pulls out. She then utters a shrill cry and adopts an aggressive reaction towards the male, which she hunts. This step is completely normal during a mating and should not be of concern to you.
A single mating is rarely enough to trigger ovulation. This is why the female and the male should be left in contact as much as possible for two to three days. It takes 15 minutes for the male to be ready for a new mating, or 60 minutes for the female. When ovulation takes place, the cat will strongly push the male away to be quiet, then it is time to separate them.
And after mating?
After the mating, the female enters into gestation for a period of 63 to 68 days according to the cats. The breeder then has nothing to do in particular, except to offer him richer food after 40 days in order to promote good physical health and optimal lactation. As for the birth, it is preferable to be by her side without intervening, in order to check that everything is going well, both for the cat and for the kittens.