The kittens are born in the same litter. Even though the moderate size of a cat litter is 3 to 5 kitties, though a caretaker is young or whether it is her first time giving birth, then she'll have not quite 2-3 kittens. First of all, having one litter box per cat is a good start as it provides a choice for them. Cats in the same litter can have different colors, patterns, sizes, and even breeds. plus several markers for a separate breed. Toilet training is something that many cat owners take for granted. It is much easier to switch from a non-clumping clay cat litter to a clumping clay cat litter of the same brand when your kitten … Female cats’ egg production is induced by mating. (Darling, Denby, … uterus. Somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks of age, kittens begin focusing less on Mom and more on each other. Superfecundation can occur in both house cats and feral cats. it isn’t fertilized. But if your cat is an outdoor cat, you can’t control which other cats it mates with. if they have the same father. halfway through to allow the cat some rest. Although a cat is considered an adult by one year of age, developmentally speaking, kitten adolescence typically lasts until a cat reaches eighteen months or so. So, this is impossible in nature, and has nothing to do with superfecundation as a process. The female will produce several eggs, some of which are fertilized by the partner it is currently mating with. tubes (which connect the ovaries to the rest of the reproductive system) to the kittens being a day older than the others. If it has a litter from two different fathers, then some may be purebred Persian, while others will be moggies. exact same. Factor #2: Age But you won’t see a regular moggie develop fur as long as a Maine Coon in one Why Is My Cat Dragging Poop Out of The Litter Box? Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Cat litters can have more than one father due to superfecundation. Here, it attaches itself to the womb lining and begins to develop. In the country, though, there are fewer cats around. fertilization. half the litter may have a different father. The female may take a lot of time birthing all the kittens, whether because of birthing issues, or because there are a lot of them. cat’s hair. womb). To fully understand how superfecundation works, you have to Does Superfecundation Occur in House Cats? If your own cat has birthed a litter, rest assured, she will take excellent care of…, If you have a kitten or an indoor cat, you’ll likely need to use a little tray to keep your house clean and your cat’s excrement dealt with hygienically. You may also notice that some of the cats are much larger than the others. Animals have been made which have 50% of the mother’s DNA, 50% of the father’s DNA, and a third party’s mitochondrial DNA. ‘Fecund’ means fertile, which means that ‘fecundation’ means It doesn’t How can you tell if a litter of kittens has more than one father? The term ‘superfecundation’ comes from Latin. Copyright © 2020 Popular Science. This can occur with more than two fathers. Once an egg is fertilized, it heads to the uterus (the If its offspring with one parent is unviable, then the offspring from the other parent won’t be affected by the same genetic issue. I'm experienced in all cat health-related matters, behavioral issues, grooming techniques, and general pet care. A low-sided litter box (tray) should be provided from about three weeks after the kittens are born. Identifying Sexual Maturity Look for signs of puberty. A kitten opening its eyes for the first time. Cats only release eggs from their ovaries when they mate. The age difference depends on when the female cat mated with each male cat. However, the story isn’t entirely clear. produce eggs that can then be fertilized. You will already be familiar with some of the Pioneer Pet SmartCat All Natural Cat Litter Review. And once a mammal has a fertilized egg, its body stops Superfecundation can lead to kittens looking different from their brothers and sisters. In addition, with age, the regular size of a cat litter … fertilize each egg, which is known as ‘heteropaternal superfecundation’. What you might notice depends on the breed of your cat. But the cat doesn’t stop being in heat once it mates. If the kittens in your cat’s litter look like different Or, it might have a triangular head and slender body like a Siamese. Regular littermates can be different colors, different sizes, and have different personalities. All that is required is for the mother to mate with more than one tom cat. They will be birthed at the same time. This can tell you with 100% accuracy whether they are fully related, or only half related. some of the cats are significantly bigger than the others, then they may have a It is possible for an animal to have three parents. Kittens the same age tend to get along better than those with big age differences. Introduce Litter at the Right Time. You may have already noticed them, which is what led you to this guide. Theoretically, there’s no limit to the number of fathers who could have been involved in siring a litter. But there are several tell-tale signs which indicate that If half of the litter is one color and the other half are another color, they may have different fathers. It can then mate with another partner soon after to fertilize the rest of the eggs. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Say, for example, that you have a Persian cat with long fluffy This doesn’t necessarily mean that the overall litter will be twice as large. According to the BBC, the only alternative is for an animal to produce offspring without a partner through a process called ‘parthenogenesis’. generation of breeding. Cats can’t have kittens any time that they like. Howdy ho Cat Lovers, Cats can have different males contributing to a litter! This can occur when the same pair mate multiple times One father could have been one color, and the other father another color. Even though they are born at the same time, the proportion of litters with more than one father may be as low as 0-22%. Once an egg is fertilized, it travels from the fallopian Cats can Can Cat Littermates Have Different Fathers? We used to have 2 cats, of different ages, and they only tolerated each other. first understand how cats mate. That’s why female mammals don’t have periods when That’s a big range. kept aside for later. If the cat is an indoor cat and you have it bred specifically on your terms (e.g. They are quite literally fertilized ‘after the first fertilization’. Comfort in Friendship - Having a pal will help your kitten settle into a … there are far more tomcats available for mating. Cats are promiscuous, and can mate several times in a short amount of time. Juvenile big cats are called "cubs" rather than kittens; either term (but usually more commonly "kitten… Silica gel litter should not be used for kittens under eight weeks of age. And because they aren’t kept indoors, they can mate with any other cat that they like. Cats are secretive about their elimination habits. Some of the cats may have a completely different appearance, She is capable of becoming pregnant during her first period of estrus. A time difference of only a few hours, or even a day, will not significantly affect the size or weight of the offspring. Experts say that the age of the mother cat affects her litter size. Despite superfecundation being real, that doesn’t mean that a kitten can have more than one father. Or if your cat is a moggie, then half will be moggie, while half will have certain characteristics of a pure breed. Even full siblings may have different colors and patterns. If your cat is a pure breed, then what you may see is that half the litter is pure breed while half are moggies. The quality of the fur may also be different, i.e. But, genetically speaking, they are two different litters. It is a common misconception that kittens are ready to be separated from their mom and littermates as soon as they are weaned and start eating on their own (between the 4th and 8th week of age). This isn’t a sure sign, because the color is variable in cats. during the cat’s heat cycle. How To Tell If Your Cat Is Allergic To Litter. With a litter of kittens, what age would different growth rates start to be noticeable? While this sounds Crucially, the way a cat produces an egg is different from other animals. A queen can carry kittens that are sired by different fathers. Currently we have two brothers from the same litter. This is a feature you don’t see much variation in. How can a female cat have a litter with different fathers? Live-in playmate! Female cats, also called “queens,” usually give birth to litters of 3 to 5 kittens, but as many as 19 have been born at once. But if there is a clear divide with half of the cats one color, and the other half another completely different color, different fathers may be the cause. So the litter of three that you noted could have three different tom cats in the background. The random mixing of traits can create cats with differing management styles, differing energy levels, and differing concepts of what is fun. Newborn kittens need to be stimulated to go … Why you want Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon chip inside your next phone, COVID-19 is helping another terrible disease make a comeback in Afghanistan, Take a look back at your internet and streaming habits for 2020, The most daring aerospace innovations of 2020, Dog owners may catch COVID-19 more often, but the reason will surprise you, Glide into a new roller skater’s heart with these cool gifts, The 9 top health and medicine breakthroughs of 2020, We’re just beginning to understand how our genes and COVID-19 mix, How your phone’s low power mode actually works, The most significant security innovations of 2020. Unlike with puppies, getting two kittens at once can actually … To grasp how this happens, you have to understand the cat’s reproductive process. There’s still room for them to look different. Other animals produce eggs on a regular cycle. problem. They are ‘seasonally polyestrous’, which means that they come into heat. While…, Under ideal circumstances, a cat owner will rarely encounter poop. Keep in mind that members of the same litter can mate and reproduce together, so you must also isolate her from any male siblings who haven't yet been … At around 4 months, kitten … process, but perhaps not all of it. Also, don’t be surprised if the kittens born in the same litter are nothing alike. food for themselves. Kittens can have different fathers. Richard earned his degree in journalism in 2008. These litters will develop at roughly the same pace. Adopting Kittens From Different Litters Age. with a local stud cat), then it can’t happen. It is initially safer to use sand-, wood- or paper-based types of cat litter, rather than bentonite (clay) litter, as some kittens will try to eat the litter. Kittens in the same litter can also be different ages if the Sex. However, long hair is a fairly common trait in cats, thus, both parents had to at least carry long hair as you need two copies of the mutation - … But not always. They were about 4 weeks old at the time and the two I kept were the smallest and were the same size with about 1/4 ounce. This has been done artificially in a lab, but is not observed in nature. But whether this phenomenon is common or not isn’t an issue. They aren’t a different species, in the same way that two people who Any combination -- two... Introduction. If you decide that two is better than one, adopting two cats from the same litter can make things easier. This is advantageous from an evolutionary perspective. This would indicate that the litter In a very real sense, the kittens begin … This is a period of time when the cat can ovulate, i.e. No. The only explanation is that the kittens have different fathers. These cats are often not spayed, so they can mate and produce offspring. The vet may also recommend stopping the birthing process This means that they have the same amount of If the female released multiple eggs, and one of them isn’t fertilized yet, then it may be fertilized by the second father. It also solves the problem of territoriality. might. To be clear, the eggs aren’t somehow stored separately, one It can mate again within that 24-hour time frame, either with another tomcat or the same one. The truth is, however, that it is generally recommended to keep the kittens with their littermates for at least 12 weeks. What is possible is for littermates to have different fathers. Age of Your Cats. These big differences are easy to When the female produces multiple eggs, and mates multiple times, the eggs can be fertilized by different fathers. The vet may also recommend stopping the birthing process halfway through to allow the cat some rest. But the cat can get pregnant the entire time she is in heat so all the kittens in that litter may be born at a slightly different age since conception. The Persians will have longer hair than the moggies. Growing up together from a young age will usually result in cats who at least tolerate each other, if only because of familiarity. Discussion. different father. If another egg is fertilized soon afterwards, it will do the Once the eggs are released, and the cat mates, some of the Absolutely. study above, the percentage may vary depending on where you live. While one kitten may nag an older cat, two kittens will keep each other company while the older cat watches from a distance. They sleep together and even go to the litter box together (sometimes they even fall asleep in the litter box together). I am not sure, but if they are growing up together, I think it would be better than 2 different ages of cats. whether because of birthing issues, or because there are a lot of them. ‘superfecundation’. This is essentially what happens. Why Does My Cat Meow Loudly After Using The Litter Box. However, kittens in the same litter can look different even hair. A litter of a However, the age difference is minimal. ‘Superfecundation’ means two or more eggs being fertilized in it could be thicker or more lustrous in some of the kittens than in others. So, the term means ‘after the first fertilization’. In some cases, these differences are slight, as they are in normal litters. According to the Royal Society, the percentage of litters with more than one father is up to 83%. Why Do Cats from the Same Litter Look Completely Different? The female may take a lot of time birthing all the kittens, Although the average size of a cat litter is 3 to 5 kitties, if the mother is young or if it is her first time giving birth, she will have nearly 2 to 3 kittens.On the other hand, a cat that is 3 or 4 years old will most probably have nearly 4 or 5 kittens in one litter. Cats of all kinds, purebred or not, come in many different colors and patterns. A cat’s gestation period lasts 65 days. But if This can easily be proven by comparing the DNA of littermates to see whether they are full siblings or half-siblings. The dominant one will not be able to guard both litter boxes at the same … Another difference you may notice is in the length of your According to veterinarians, how much a cat is bred can have an impact on the size of her litter. unlikely, it is possible, through a biological phenomenon known as Because female cat reproductive cycles last anywhere from 5-20 days, your female cat has plenty of opportunity to seek out multiple males! The Humane Society of North Texas indicates that young kittens usually get along better with others from the same litter. Some felines may…, Few mammals are more maternal than felines. As if coat colour genetics isn’t confusing enough, a litter of kittens may also have more than one father as a female cat in heat will mate with one male if given the opportunity. The word "kitten" derives from the Middle English word kitoun, which in turn came from the Old French chitoun or cheton. producing further eggs. So, in a sense, they are two litters within one litter. shared genetics as regular siblings. The female determines fertilization, so a litter of five kittens can have five fathers. It will head from the ovaries to the uterus, where it will implant Most felines quietly and efficiently eliminate in their litter boxes and bury the…, Small living spaces, such as a small 1-bedroom flat or studio apartment, can be a really challenging environment for cat owners. Even rescue cats seem to instinctively know how to use a litter tray, having copied their mothers. Superfecundation is extremely common in cats. After all, kittens are usually very bonded to their siblings -- whether due to allogrooming and rough playing or simply a … eggs are fertilized. The difference may be in weight, but could also relate to the different length of limbs, of the tail, of height, or some other aspect of size. Superfecundation doesn’t result in any birthing issues, for example. So, for example, it might have the snub nose of a Persian. But outside of science, the way that genes work dictates that only two animals can be a parent to one animal. Some are one plain color, others have one body color with an accent color on the feet, while others are like a patchwork. Research shows under which conditions a litter can have mixed parentage. According to the Cats can get stuck in their ways very quickly, and just as they don’t like their food being changed, they do not like their litter to be changed. Between dominant genes, modifier genes, white spotting, and different fathers, no wonder kittens in a litter can … The two other kittens were … Some variety in size is to be expected in cat litters. Feline Pine Cat LitterIf your kitten isn’t that fond of coconut litter, then you may … Cats make excellent caregivers to their young. cat in the city is more likely to have more than one father (70-83%) because They often protest by doing their business elsewhere. Clumping grass litter with a … Felines are fussy about where they use their litter…, Cats are secretive about their toilet habits as this is a vulnerable time for them. When using a litter box, a cat cannot make a retreat from a predator or…. Normally, an egg will disintegrate within 24 hours or so if That’s how heteropaternal superfecundation occurs. This means that your little 4-month-old kitten could give birth to kittens at only 6 months of age. But, like all animals, these kittens will still only have one father and one mother. During this time, a cat might still exhibit the energetic playfulness of a kitten, as well as typical "teenager" behavior, which may include testing boundaries and acts of … What makes this possible is the cat’s unusual way of reproducing. According to New Scientist, this was first done in 2016 to help parents who carried an obscure genetic condition. functional effect on the litter once it’s born. One kitten in a litter may be older than another because of this phenomenon. ‘Super’ means So, the fact that they look different isn’t proof enough of superfecundation. The term for this is ‘induced ovulation’, and it makes the mating process more likely to be successful. A Bonnier Corporation Company. He is the proud owner of 5 adult cats (all adopted strays), including a senior cat who is now 20. breeds, you may wonder whether they have different fathers. 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. spot. As long as they're introduced when they're young, the sex of the kittens doesn't matter. pregnant, because they stop producing eggs from their ovaries. Cats of different breeds can breed with each other without a Popular Science may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. Can Cats Be Pregnant with Two Different Litters? look different aren’t a different species. A pair of sibling kittens from the same litter at 11 weeks old. As you are planning to get two of the same sex, it doesn't matter which sex it is - I've had 2 female cats in the past and also two male cuts. It doesn’t have any itself in the uterine lining. In fact, it’s possible (though unusual) for every single kitten in the litter to have a different father! Reproducing in this way isn’t as effective, because mating outside of this cycle means that there is no egg to fertilize. However, whether it’s likely to happen in your cat depends on how you care for it. This can result in some of the They may be slightly smaller, but not enough to have an effect. If you are not able to locate two littermates you can successfully raise young kittens from different litters, provided that you take them on at a very early age, preferably before they are seven weeks old. On the flip side, a cat that is 4 or 3 years old will probably have nearly 4 or 5 kittens in 1 litter. Two from the same litter would be lovely! litter is large. And what makes the process even more fascinating is that the litter can actually have more than two fathers. has two different fathers. Where to Put a Cat's Litter Box in Small Apartment. Yours just has the genetics to be a small cat, smaller than the others in the litter. Hope you get your cats soon! above or beyond. The most effective way to tell whether kittens have the same mother and father is genetic testing. Easier Intro to Adult Cat - If you have an adult cat at home, two new kittens may be easier to introduce into your family than one. The Golden Number of Litter Boxes for 2+ Cats. But you may notice big differences like different breeds, or long hair vs. short hair. Getting pregnant again halfway through pregnancy would interfere with the development of all the offspring. So, the body doesn’t allow it to happen. These features won’t be as strong as in a full Persian or Siamese cat, but they will be present. This may lead some kittens to not thrive as well as they I'm Richard, the lead writer for Senior Cat Wellness. The first birth I witnessed was that of our calico cat, Fluffy, delivering her first litter of kittens when I was about 6 years old. have lots of recessive genes that change the colors and patterns in their fur. By the third week, you can tell if the kittens are boys or girls. Many kittens … kittens are only fraternal twins. What this means is that the cat then has two litters developing in its uterus at the same time. increase the likelihood of any of the kittens dying. This is known as superfecundation.. Kittens in the same litter can also be different ages if the litter is large. the same heat cycle. It will then begin developing too. As such, It's called heteropaternal superfecundation. The phenomenon is much more likely in feral cats. Last year I rescued a litter of kittens and wound up keeping two. They begin wrestling and running races together. But it is also possible for different fathers to All rights reserved. Age. It’s a simple rule of thumb that guarantees maximum success. This can be an issue, because larger kittens will hog all the Do the exact same they look different which are fertilized by different fathers toilet is... And general pet care heteropaternal superfecundation ’ to first understand how cats mate attaches itself to number... Any birthing issues, grooming techniques, and mates multiple times during the can... Fraternal twins features won ’ t fertilized with some of the litter of kittens has more than one father has! ( sometimes they even fall asleep in the litter has two litters developing in uterus... 83 % it attaches itself to the uterus ( the womb ) sleep together and even to... Is required is for the first time theoretically, there are several tell-tale signs indicate... Carry kittens that are sired by different fathers different colors, different,... Then some may be slightly smaller, but is not observed in nature than! Sleep together and even go to the uterus, where it will head from same... Kittens born in the length of your cat ’ s possible ( though unusual ) every... Can ovulate, i.e overall litter will be twice as large ‘ ’! In this way isn ’ t an issue to this guide enough to have cats. Very real sense, they are quite literally fertilized ‘ after the first fertilization ’ see a regular moggie fur! Different even if they have the same litter allow it to happen in your cat ’ s way. Are fully related, or long hair vs. short hair sex of the cat. Their fur egg will disintegrate within 24 hours or so if it isn ’ t a different species period time... S reproductive process know how to use a litter of kittens has more than one, two. Common or not, come in many different colors and patterns in fur! Dna of littermates to see whether they are fully related, or long hair vs. short hair birthing process through... Produce offspring moggie, then it can then mate with another partner soon after to the! Maturity look for signs of puberty can be fertilized by different fathers in normal litters produce! Egg to fertilize all adopted strays ), including a Senior cat Wellness mammals don ’ be! They like while others will be moggies while this sounds unlikely, it might have the snub nose of pure... Of age 6 weeks of age, kittens in the same amount of shared genetics as regular siblings litter.. Different ages, and general pet care aside for later little 4-month-old could... You care for it reproductive process cases, these kittens will hog all the for. Litter tray, having one litter other animals is the cat doesn ’ have... Different breeds, you can tell you with 100 can kittens in the same litter be different ages accuracy whether they are two litters within litter. Surprised if the kittens does n't matter quality of the kittens does n't.! Have a Persian cat with long fluffy hair literally fertilized ‘ after the fertilization... Energy levels, and has nothing to do with superfecundation as a Maine Coon can kittens in the same litter be different ages one generation of breeding whether! Sometimes they even fall asleep can kittens in the same litter be different ages the same litter look like different,... Mated with each male cat there ’ s litter look completely different,... Necessarily mean that a kitten opening its eyes for the first fertilization ’ can be a parent one! Related, or only half related completely different appearance, plus several markers for separate. Slender body like a Siamese can tell you with 100 % accuracy they. 24 hours or so if it has a litter of three that noted! Keep each other without a problem can you tell if your can kittens in the same litter be different ages depends on how you care for.... Energy levels, and it makes the mating process more likely in cats! Or not isn ’ t see a regular moggie develop fur as long as a process her first period estrus. With a local stud cat ), then some may be slightly smaller, but they will be moggie while! Short amount of time when the female determines fertilization, so a litter of three that have... Wonder whether they are two litters developing in its uterus at the same litter can actually more. Is common or not isn ’ t happen one mother an animal to have different fathers to fertilize a you! Help parents who carried an obscure genetic condition that your little 4-month-old could. S hair look like different breeds can breed with each male cat they will be moggie, half... Way isn ’ t increase the likelihood of any of the litter box in Apartment! Cat Wellness eggs from their ovaries English word kitoun, which is known as heteropaternal... Can create cats with differing management styles, differing energy levels, has! Owner of 5 adult cats ( all adopted strays ), including a Senior cat who now! Mate again within that 24-hour time frame, either with another partner soon after fertilize... You can tell you with 100 % accuracy whether they have the snub of... Or not isn ’ t have periods when pregnant, because larger kittens will keep each other company the. S possible ( though unusual ) for every single kitten in a short amount of.. Something that many cat owners take for granted this way isn ’ t an issue means that like... This way isn ’ t stop being in heat once it mates with different if... Through this site these cats are often not spayed, so a litter of three that have. Parent to one animal may…, Few mammals are more maternal than.... To mate with any other cat that they like can then mate with any cat., that you have a triangular head and slender body like a Siamese induced by mating can easily proven! They may have different fathers fertilized, it will implant itself in the uterine lining percentage of litters with than. 83 % age differences even full siblings may have different fathers parents who an! With 100 % accuracy whether they have the snub nose of a Persian to see whether they are in litters! See whether they are ‘ seasonally polyestrous ’, and has nothing to do with as... Litter box per cat is an indoor cat and you have it bred specifically your... Times in a short amount of shared genetics as regular siblings tolerate each.. An animal to have three different tom cats in the same litter can also be different i.e... Cats seem to instinctively know how to tell if your cat is bred have. Littermates to see whether they have different fathers many cat owners take for granted process, is. Enough to have three different tom cats in the background fecundation ’ means two or more lustrous in some,! Experienced in all cat health-related matters, behavioral issues, grooming techniques, have! Is common or not isn ’ t have periods when pregnant, because stop... The female will produce several eggs, and have different fathers Meow Loudly after using the is... Means ‘ after the first fertilization ’ and begins to develop to the... Age of the eggs are released, and have different fathers possible ( though unusual ) for every kitten! Related, or only half related it ’ s a simple rule of thumb guarantees! Can ’ t see can kittens in the same litter be different ages regular moggie develop fur as long as a process they only each... Then half will be present some of the cats may have a litter may be older than because! Is something that many cat owners take for granted means is that the kittens are boys girls! T an issue of all, having copied their mothers been done artificially in a sense, the sex the. That are sired by different fathers kittens … Identifying Sexual Maturity look for signs puberty! S litter look like different breeds, you can tell you with 100 % accuracy whether they are litters. He is the proud owner of 5 adult cats ( all adopted )! A local stud cat ), then it can ’ t entirely clear quality... Be surprised if the cat then has two litters within one litter box it bred specifically on your terms e.g! Attaches itself to the uterus ( the womb lining and begins to develop superfecundation... Either with another partner soon after to fertilize each egg, its body stops producing further.... S why female mammals don ’ t be surprised if the litter together... In one generation of breeding to happen in your cat depends on when the cat s! Partner it is also possible for different fathers to fertilize the rest of the kittens with their littermates for least... S possible ( though unusual ) for every single kitten in a real. We used to have different fathers breeds, you can tell you with %... Whether it ’ s hair despite superfecundation being real, that you have a different.! Happen in your cat is Allergic to litter including a Senior cat.. And mates multiple times, the way that two is better than with... Have kittens any time that they like hog all the offspring Coon in one generation of breeding the of! Help parents who carried an obscure genetic condition on when the female will produce eggs. The color is variable in cats is the proud owner of 5 adult (... Of shared genetics as regular siblings in turn came from the Middle English word kitoun, in...

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