Age of pregnancy in cats

One of the most interesting features of the reproductive process of cats is a phenomenon known as induced ovulation. A few days before she is due to give birth the pregnant female will become restless and will look for the best nest.
Females take just 6 to 9 months to reach sexual maturity; but it is not unheard of for female kittens as young as 4 months to become pregnant. Because pregnancy will not take place without this stimulus, quite often the first cat to mate with a queen with not father any kittens.
Although female can become pregnant at any time of the year, there are specific mating seasons when cats become sexually active.

However, the super-fertility of cats means that once she gets started, the female is capable of having a number of partners, and bearing kittens from several fathers in the same litter.
In northern Europe it is usual for domestic female cats to come into heat (oestrus cycle) in January and then again in June.The oestrus cycle is the period in the female reproduction cycle when mating is most likely to occur.
Nuetered cats are much better pets and studies have also shown that females spayed before they are six months have a significantly reduced risk of mammary (breast) cancer.
Cats do not go about the process quietly, and to the unpractised ear the process sounds remarkably like a prolonged and very vocal cat-fight. It is also the case that if male cats are spayed later, they may continue aggressive scent-marking (spraying with urine), out of sheer force of habit.

Female cats indicate their readiness to mate by calling for male company with a special type of yowl, which like the (highly vocal) mating itself has often disturbed the sleep of humans who live in the vicinity.

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