Newborn kittens need to be stimulated to go … Superfecundation can occur in both house cats and feral cats. This can easily be proven by comparing the DNA of littermates to see whether they are full siblings or half-siblings. So, in a sense, they are two litters within one litter. Even rescue cats seem to instinctively know how to use a litter tray, having copied their mothers. 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. Currently we have two brothers from the same litter. halfway through to allow the cat some rest. there are far more tomcats available for mating. 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 … A Bonnier Corporation Company. Clumping grass litter with a … Any combination -- two... Introduction. It also solves the problem of territoriality. So, the fact that they look different isn’t proof enough of superfecundation. Once an egg is fertilized, it travels from the fallopian In a very real sense, the kittens begin … The two other kittens were … A cat’s gestation period lasts 65 days. Absolutely. 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. ‘Fecund’ means fertile, which means that ‘fecundation’ means Despite superfecundation being real, that doesn’t mean that a kitten can have more than one father. A low-sided litter box (tray) should be provided from about three weeks after the kittens are born. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the overall litter will be twice as large. during the cat’s heat cycle. might. kittens are only fraternal twins. According to the Royal Society, the percentage of litters with more than one father is up to 83%. A kitten opening its eyes for the first time. Even full siblings may have different colors and patterns. A queen can carry kittens that are sired by different fathers. That’s why female mammals don’t have periods when The most effective way to tell whether kittens have the same mother and father is genetic testing. How can a female cat have a litter with different fathers? This would indicate that the litter In the country, though, there are fewer cats around. Unlike with puppies, getting two kittens at once can actually … Also, don’t be surprised if the kittens born in the same litter are nothing alike. Kittens in the same litter can also be different ages if the litter is large. Normally, an egg will disintegrate within 24 hours or so if If the cat is an indoor cat and you have it bred specifically on your terms (e.g. But if your cat is an outdoor cat, you can’t control which other cats it mates with. Richard earned his degree in journalism in 2008. When using a litter box, a cat cannot make a retreat from a predator or…. You may have already noticed them, which is what led you to this guide. He is the proud owner of 5 adult cats (all adopted strays), including a senior cat who is now 20. increase the likelihood of any of the kittens dying. Why Does My Cat Meow Loudly After Using The Litter Box. 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. But, genetically speaking, they are two different litters. What you might notice depends on the breed of your cat. 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While one kitten may nag an older cat, two kittens will keep each other company while the older cat watches from a distance. Regular littermates can be different colors, different sizes, and have different personalities. The random mixing of traits can create cats with differing management styles, differing energy levels, and differing concepts of what is fun. 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. The female determines fertilization, so a litter of five kittens can have five fathers. 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. Live-in playmate! 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. However, the age difference is minimal. All that is required is for the mother to mate with more than one tom cat. If another egg is fertilized soon afterwards, it will do the This may lead some kittens to not thrive as well as they The vet may also recommend stopping the birthing process halfway through to allow the cat some rest. 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. The term for this is ‘induced ovulation’, and it makes the mating process more likely to be successful. The term ‘superfecundation’ comes from Latin. 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. Toilet training is something that many cat owners take for granted. I'm Richard, the lead writer for Senior Cat Wellness. It will head from the ovaries to the uterus, where it will implant It will then begin developing too. The word "kitten" derives from the Middle English word kitoun, which in turn came from the Old French chitoun or cheton. One kitten in a litter may be older than another because of this phenomenon. ‘Super’ means the same heat cycle. plus several markers for a separate breed. fertilize each egg, which is known as ‘heteropaternal superfecundation’. Some variety in size is to be expected in cat litters. Cats can Age of Your Cats. 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). Why Do Cats from the Same Litter Look Completely Different? However, the story isn’t entirely clear. Getting pregnant again halfway through pregnancy would interfere with the development of all the offspring. Adopting Kittens From Different Litters Age. This is a feature you don’t see much variation in. Between dominant genes, modifier genes, white spotting, and different fathers, no wonder kittens in a litter can … The female may take a lot of time birthing all the kittens, I'm experienced in all cat health-related matters, behavioral issues, grooming techniques, and general pet care. Other animals produce eggs on a regular cycle. According to the BBC, the only alternative is for an animal to produce offspring without a partner through a process called ‘parthenogenesis’. ‘superfecundation’. 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. And what makes the process even more fascinating is that the litter can actually have more than two fathers. Cat litters can have more than one father due to superfecundation. some of the cats are significantly bigger than the others, then they may have a Cats can’t have kittens any time that they like. Here, it attaches itself to the womb lining and begins to develop. look different aren’t a different species. tubes (which connect the ovaries to the rest of the reproductive system) to the It doesn’t have any if they have the same father. with a local stud cat), then it can’t happen. itself in the uterine lining. Popular Science may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. litter is large. Introduce Litter at the Right Time. What is possible is for littermates to have different fathers. Superfecundation is extremely common in cats. 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. According to veterinarians, how much a cat is bred can have an impact on the size of her litter. So the litter of three that you noted could have three different tom cats in the background. These features won’t be as strong as in a full Persian or Siamese cat, but they will be present. Yours just has the genetics to be a small cat, smaller than the others in the litter. With a litter of kittens, what age would different growth rates start to be noticeable? The Persians will have longer hair than the moggies. So, the body doesn’t allow it to happen. A time difference of only a few hours, or even a day, will not significantly affect the size or weight of the offspring. To grasp how this happens, you have to understand the cat’s reproductive process. You may also notice that some of the cats are much larger than the others. 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. Can Cats Be Pregnant with Two Different Litters? producing further eggs. Superfecundation can lead to kittens looking different from their brothers and sisters. But there are several tell-tale signs which indicate that How To Tell If Your Cat Is Allergic To Litter. By the third week, you can tell if the kittens are boys or girls. This can occur with more than two fathers. She is capable of becoming pregnant during her first period of estrus. As such, It is possible for an animal to have three parents. Howdy ho Cat Lovers, Cats can have different males contributing to a litter! Can Cat Littermates Have Different Fathers? Juvenile big cats are called "cubs" rather than kittens; either term (but usually more commonly "kitten… Reproducing in this way isn’t as effective, because mating outside of this cycle means that there is no egg to fertilize. first understand how cats mate. It’s a simple rule of thumb that guarantees maximum success. Silica gel litter should not be used for kittens under eight weeks of age. Growing up together from a young age will usually result in cats who at least tolerate each other, if only because of familiarity. The Humane Society of North Texas indicates that young kittens usually get along better with others from the same litter. This isn’t a sure sign, because the color is variable in cats. Felines are fussy about where they use their litter…, Cats are secretive about their toilet habits as this is a vulnerable time for them. Hope you get your cats soon! Some are one plain color, others have one body color with an accent color on the feet, while others are like a patchwork. Kittens can have different fathers. So, for example, it might have the snub nose of a Persian. cat in the city is more likely to have more than one father (70-83%) because 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. This means that they have the same amount of shared genetics as regular siblings. Cats are secretive about their elimination habits. But outside of science, the way that genes work dictates that only two animals can be a parent to one animal. 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. fertilization. So, the term means ‘after the first fertilization’. What makes this possible is the cat’s unusual way of reproducing. The Golden Number of Litter Boxes for 2+ Cats. Another difference you may notice is in the length of your If the female released multiple eggs, and one of them isn’t fertilized yet, then it may be fertilized by the second father. problem. The vet may also recommend stopping the birthing process This is essentially what happens. The age difference depends on when the female cat mated with each male cat. They aren’t a different species, in the same way that two people who Kittens the same age tend to get along better than those with big age differences. Experts say that the age of the mother cat affects her litter size. Cats only release eggs from their ovaries when they mate. It doesn’t They will be birthed at the same time. Say, for example, that you have a Persian cat with long fluffy That’s a big range. But not always. This is a period of time when the cat can ovulate, i.e. 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. unlikely, it is possible, through a biological phenomenon known as ‘Superfecundation’ means two or more eggs being fertilized in Some of the cats may have a completely different appearance, This can be an issue, because larger kittens will hog all the above or beyond. But it is also possible for different fathers to So, this is impossible in nature, and has nothing to do with superfecundation as a process. That’s how heteropaternal superfecundation occurs. In some cases, these differences are slight, as they are in normal litters. breeds, you may wonder whether they have different fathers. Research shows under which conditions a litter can have mixed parentage. Cats in the same litter can have different colors, patterns, sizes, and even breeds. it isn’t fertilized. These litters will develop at roughly the same pace. Why Is My Cat Dragging Poop Out of The Litter Box? These cats are often not spayed, so they can mate and produce offspring. This is known as superfecundation.. To be clear, the eggs aren’t somehow stored separately, one There’s still room for them to look different. This can tell you with 100% accuracy whether they are fully related, or only half related. This means that your little 4-month-old kitten could give birth to kittens at only 6 months of age. One father could have been one color, and the other father another color. Superfecundation doesn’t result in any birthing issues, for example. To fully understand how superfecundation works, you have to Kittens in the same litter can also be different ages if the pregnant, because they stop producing eggs from their ovaries. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Comfort in Friendship - Having a pal will help your kitten settle into a … They may be slightly smaller, but not enough to have an effect. This is advantageous from an evolutionary perspective. Pioneer Pet SmartCat All Natural Cat Litter Review. If it has a litter from two different fathers, then some may be purebred Persian, while others will be moggies. eggs are fertilized. In fact, it’s possible (though unusual) for every single kitten in the litter to have a different father! However, whether it’s likely to happen in your cat depends on how you care for it. A pair of sibling kittens from the same litter at 11 weeks old. cat’s hair. Once the eggs are released, and the cat mates, some of the The kittens are born in the same litter. generation of breeding. has two different fathers. 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. When the female produces multiple eggs, and mates multiple times, the eggs can be fertilized by different fathers. 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 the cat doesn’t stop being in heat once it mates. This has been done artificially in a lab, but is not observed in nature. The truth is, however, that it is generally recommended to keep the kittens with their littermates for at least 12 weeks. How can you tell if a litter of kittens has more than one father? According to the They are quite literally fertilized ‘after the first fertilization’. Because female cat reproductive cycles last anywhere from 5-20 days, your female cat has plenty of opportunity to seek out multiple males! Somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks of age, kittens begin focusing less on Mom and more on each other. process, but perhaps not all of it. If your cat is a pure breed, then what you may see is that half the litter is pure breed while half are moggies. Two from the same litter would be lovely! Feline Pine Cat LitterIf your kitten isn’t that fond of coconut litter, then you may … And because they aren’t kept indoors, they can mate with any other cat that they like. Or, it might have a triangular head and slender body like a Siamese. spot. If half of the litter is one color and the other half are another color, they may have different fathers. But whether this phenomenon is common or not isn’t an issue. This can result in some of the We used to have 2 cats, of different ages, and they only tolerated each other. the proportion of litters with more than one father may be as low as 0-22%. Theoretically, there’s no limit to the number of fathers who could have been involved in siring a litter. Crucially, the way a cat produces an egg is different from other animals. 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 … half the litter may have a different father. food for themselves. functional effect on the litter once it’s born. exact same. Age. uterus. All rights reserved. The phenomenon is much more likely in feral cats. hair. produce eggs that can then be fertilized. No. Does Superfecundation Occur in House Cats? It can mate again within that 24-hour time frame, either with another tomcat or the same one. You will already be familiar with some of the After all, kittens are usually very bonded to their siblings -- whether due to allogrooming and rough playing or simply a … If you decide that two is better than one, adopting two cats from the same litter can make things easier. kittens being a day older than the others. different father. It can then mate with another partner soon after to fertilize the rest of the eggs. it could be thicker or more lustrous in some of the kittens than in others. Discussion. They sleep together and even go to the litter box together (sometimes they even fall asleep in the litter box together). But you won’t see a regular moggie develop fur as long as a Maine Coon in one If the kittens in your cat’s litter look like different As long as they're introduced when they're young, the sex of the kittens doesn't matter. They are ‘seasonally polyestrous’, which means that they come into heat. At around 4 months, kitten … They often protest by doing their business elsewhere. 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. Or if your cat is a moggie, then half will be moggie, while half will have certain characteristics of a pure breed. 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. Some felines may…, Few mammals are more maternal than felines. If its offspring with one parent is unviable, then the offspring from the other parent won’t be affected by the same genetic issue. Copyright Â© 2020 Popular Science. 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. Where to Put a Cat's Litter Box in Small Apartment. First of all, having one litter box per cat is a good start as it provides a choice for them. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. These big differences are easy to Female cats’ egg production is induced by mating. What this means is that the cat then has two litters developing in its uterus at the same time. 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, youâll likely need to use a little tray to keep your house clean and your catâs excrement dealt with hygienically. The female will produce several eggs, some of which are fertilized by the partner it is currently mating with. Factor #2: Age Cats of all kinds, purebred or not, come in many different colors and patterns. However, kittens in the same litter can look different even study above, the percentage may vary depending on where you live. I am not sure, but if they are growing up together, I think it would be better than 2 different ages of cats. Cats make excellent caregivers to their young. While this sounds (Darling, Denby, … The quality of the fur may also be different, i.e. And once a mammal has a fertilized egg, its body stops Even though they are born at the same time, The dominant one will not be able to guard both litter boxes at the same … Last year I rescued a litter of kittens and wound up keeping two. 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 … Sex. They begin wrestling and running races together. In addition, with age, the regular size of a cat litter … A litter of a This can occur when the same pair mate multiple times But you may notice big differences like different breeds, or long hair vs. short hair. womb). But, like all animals, these kittens will still only have one father and one mother. 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. The only explanation is that the kittens have different fathers.