This is essentially what happens. 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. The phenomenon is much more likely in feral cats. All rights reserved. Between dominant genes, modifier genes, white spotting, and different fathers, no wonder kittens in a litter can … You may also notice that some of the cats are much larger than the others. What makes this possible is the cat’s unusual way of reproducing. But you may notice big differences like different breeds, or long hair vs. short hair. A low-sided litter box (tray) should be provided from about three weeks after the kittens are born. 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. 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. Crucially, the way a cat produces an egg is different from other animals. exact same. It doesn’t have any Or if your cat is a moggie, then half will be moggie, while half will have certain characteristics of a pure breed. This can result in some of the Cat litters can have more than one father due to superfecundation. That’s how heteropaternal superfecundation occurs. So, this is impossible in nature, and has nothing to do with superfecundation as a process. it could be thicker or more lustrous in some of the kittens than in others. One father could have been one color, and the other father another color. That’s a big range. What is possible is for littermates to have different fathers. Can Cat Littermates Have Different Fathers? At around 4 months, kitten … The female determines fertilization, so a litter of five kittens can have five fathers. While one kitten may nag an older cat, two kittens will keep each other company while the older cat watches from a distance. some of the cats are significantly bigger than the others, then they may have a As such, The dominant one will not be able to guard both litter boxes at the same … They will be birthed at the same time. Factor #2: Age This is known as superfecundation.. shared genetics as regular siblings. Pioneer Pet SmartCat All Natural Cat Litter Review. produce eggs that can then be fertilized. A cat’s gestation period lasts 65 days. 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. The vet may also recommend stopping the birthing process They often protest by doing their business elsewhere. Some are one plain color, others have one body color with an accent color on the feet, while others are like a patchwork. litter is large. To grasp how this happens, you have to understand the cat’s reproductive process. 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. 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 … 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. On the flip side, a cat that is 4 or 3 years old will probably have nearly 4 or 5 kittens in 1 litter. This is a feature you don’t see much variation in. Kittens can have different fathers. Female cats’ egg production is induced by mating. It can then mate with another partner soon after to fertilize the rest of the eggs. The random mixing of traits can create cats with differing management styles, differing energy levels, and differing concepts of what is fun. It’s a simple rule of thumb that guarantees maximum success. Feline Pine Cat LitterIf your kitten isn’t that fond of coconut litter, then you may … problem. Other animals produce eggs on a regular cycle. If its offspring with one parent is unviable, then the offspring from the other parent won’t be affected by the same genetic issue. have lots of recessive genes that change the colors and patterns in their fur. These litters will develop at roughly the same pace. According to the Royal Society, the percentage of litters with more than one father is up to 83%. Some variety in size is to be expected in cat litters. Copyright © 2020 Popular Science. It doesn’t He is the proud owner of 5 adult cats (all adopted strays), including a senior cat who is now 20. 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 … They begin wrestling and running races together. during the cat’s heat cycle. The only explanation is that the kittens have different fathers. To be clear, the eggs aren’t somehow stored separately, one They sleep together and even go to the litter box together (sometimes they even fall asleep in the litter box together). kittens are only fraternal twins. But whether this phenomenon is common or not isn’t an issue. So, for example, it might have the snub nose of a Persian. However, the story isn’t entirely clear. The truth is, however, that it is generally recommended to keep the kittens with their littermates for at least 12 weeks. The Golden Number of Litter Boxes for 2+ Cats. unlikely, it is possible, through a biological phenomenon known as This can easily be proven by comparing the DNA of littermates to see whether they are full siblings or half-siblings. fertilize each egg, which is known as ‘heteropaternal superfecundation’. Cats are secretive about their elimination habits. Hope you get your cats soon! Cats of all kinds, purebred or not, come in many different colors and patterns. 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). itself in the uterine lining. Last year I rescued a litter of kittens and wound up keeping two. So, the fact that they look different isn’t proof enough of superfecundation. with a local stud cat), then it can’t happen. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. A kitten opening its eyes for the first time. How can a female cat have a litter with different fathers? 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. The quality of the fur may also be different, i.e. But there are several tell-tale signs which indicate that 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. Toilet training is something that many cat owners take for granted. Comfort in Friendship - Having a pal will help your kitten settle into a … Even though they are born at the same time, Reproducing in this way isn’t as effective, because mating outside of this cycle means that there is no egg to fertilize. fertilization. It will then begin developing too. What this means is that the cat then has two litters developing in its uterus at the same time. The female will produce several eggs, some of which are fertilized by the partner it is currently mating with. Newborn kittens need to be stimulated to go … This is a period of time when the cat can ovulate, i.e. The female may take a lot of time birthing all the kittens, Somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks of age, kittens begin focusing less on Mom and more on each other. 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. Unlike with puppies, getting two kittens at once can actually … According to New Scientist, this was first done in 2016 to help parents who carried an obscure genetic condition. different father. This would indicate that the litter To fully understand how superfecundation works, you have to Superfecundation can occur in both house cats and feral cats. Cats of different breeds can breed with each other without a Age. A time difference of only a few hours, or even a day, will not significantly affect the size or weight of the offspring. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the overall litter will be twice as large. Richard earned his degree in journalism in 2008. Clumping grass litter with a … They may be slightly smaller, but not enough to have an effect. eggs are fertilized. look different aren’t a different species. Why Do Cats from the Same Litter Look Completely Different? But the cat doesn’t stop being in heat once it mates. A pair of sibling kittens from the same litter at 11 weeks old. Why Is My Cat Dragging Poop Out of The Litter Box? Cats make excellent caregivers to their young. Superfecundation can lead to kittens looking different from their brothers and sisters. Howdy ho Cat Lovers, Cats can have different males contributing to a litter! halfway through to allow the cat some rest. So, in a sense, they are two litters within one litter. food for themselves. These features won’t be as strong as in a full Persian or Siamese cat, but they will be present. In some cases, these differences are slight, as they are in normal litters. functional effect on the litter once it’s born. Identifying Sexual Maturity Look for signs of puberty. The kittens are born in the same litter. And what makes the process even more fascinating is that the litter can actually have more than two fathers. As long as they're introduced when they're young, the sex of the kittens doesn't matter. (Darling, Denby, … 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. above or beyond. In the country, though, there are fewer cats around. Kittens the same age tend to get along better than those with big age differences. You will already be familiar with some of the You may have already noticed them, which is what led you to this guide. The term for this is ‘induced ovulation’, and it makes the mating process more likely to be successful. there are far more tomcats available for mating. Cats in the same litter can have different colors, patterns, sizes, and even breeds. 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. All that is required is for the mother to mate with more than one tom cat. This can be an issue, because larger kittens will hog all the Once an egg is fertilized, it heads to the uterus (the cat in the city is more likely to have more than one father (70-83%) because When using a litter box, a cat cannot make a retreat from a predator or…. generation of breeding. However, the age difference is minimal. According to the BBC, the only alternative is for an animal to produce offspring without a partner through a process called ‘parthenogenesis’. Two from the same litter would be lovely! Kittens in the same litter can also be different ages if the And because they aren’t kept indoors, they can mate with any other cat that they like. This may lead some kittens to not thrive as well as they So, the body doesn’t allow it to happen. A Bonnier Corporation Company. If you decide that two is better than one, adopting two cats from the same litter can make things easier. hair. Age of Your Cats. ‘Super’ means the proportion of litters with more than one father may be as low as 0-22%. They are ‘seasonally polyestrous’, which means that they come into heat. Adopting Kittens From Different Litters Age. The most effective way to tell whether kittens have the same mother and father is genetic testing. What you might notice depends on the breed of your cat. kept aside for later. 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. 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. In addition, with age, the regular size of a cat litter … 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. If the female released multiple eggs, and one of them isn’t fertilized yet, then it may be fertilized by the second father. If half of the litter is one color and the other half are another color, they may have different fathers. That’s why female mammals don’t have periods when According to the One kitten in a litter may be older than another because of this phenomenon. But if your cat is an outdoor cat, you can’t control which other cats it mates with. 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 … plus several markers for a separate breed. 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. I'm Richard, the lead writer for Senior Cat Wellness. Cats can 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. If your cat is a pure breed, then what you may see is that half the litter is pure breed while half are moggies. first understand how cats mate. Some of the cats may have a completely different appearance, There’s still room for them to look different. If the kittens in your cat’s litter look like different Another difference you may notice is in the length of your A queen can carry kittens that are sired by different fathers. Cats can’t have kittens any time that they like. After all, kittens are usually very bonded to their siblings -- whether due to allogrooming and rough playing or simply a … Live-in playmate! But, genetically speaking, they are two different litters. producing further eggs. tubes (which connect the ovaries to the rest of the reproductive system) to the The two other kittens were … Getting pregnant again halfway through pregnancy would interfere with the development of all the offspring. Popular Science may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. The vet may also recommend stopping the birthing process halfway through to allow the cat some rest. But not always. Once the eggs are released, and the cat mates, some of the This isn’t a sure sign, because the color is variable in cats. But if The Humane Society of North Texas indicates that young kittens usually get along better with others from the same litter. study above, the percentage may vary depending on where you live. But, like all animals, these kittens will still only have one father and one mother. might. She is capable of becoming pregnant during her first period of estrus. Even full siblings may have different colors and patterns. According to veterinarians, how much a cat is bred can have an impact on the size of her litter. Even rescue cats seem to instinctively know how to use a litter tray, having copied their mothers. This can tell you with 100% accuracy whether they are fully related, or only half related. 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. womb). pregnant, because they stop producing eggs from their ovaries. 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. The word "kitten" derives from the Middle English word kitoun, which in turn came from the Old French chitoun or cheton. Superfecundation doesn’t result in any birthing issues, for example. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Because female cat reproductive cycles last anywhere from 5-20 days, your female cat has plenty of opportunity to seek out multiple males! Silica gel litter should not be used for kittens under eight weeks of age. breeds, you may wonder whether they have different fathers. Cats are promiscuous, and can mate several times in a short amount of time. 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. 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. We used to have 2 cats, of different ages, and they only tolerated each other. Theoretically, there’s no limit to the number of fathers who could have been involved in siring a litter. First of all, having one litter box per cat is a good start as it provides a choice for them. kittens being a day older than the others. So the litter of three that you noted could have three different tom cats in the background. Any combination -- two... Introduction. It is possible for an animal to have three parents. In fact, it’s possible (though unusual) for every single kitten in the litter to have a different father! This means that your little 4-month-old kitten could give birth to kittens at only 6 months of age. Or, it might have a triangular head and slender body like a Siamese. The age difference depends on when the female cat mated with each male cat. Once an egg is fertilized, it travels from the fallopian These cats are often not spayed, so they can mate and produce offspring. Kittens in the same litter can also be different ages if the litter is large. whether because of birthing issues, or because there are a lot of them. A litter of a Currently we have two brothers from the same litter. However, kittens in the same litter can look different even But you won’t see a regular moggie develop fur as long as a Maine Coon in one Experts say that the age of the mother cat affects her litter size. uterus. So, the term means ‘after the first fertilization’. And once a mammal has a fertilized egg, its body stops But outside of science, the way that genes work dictates that only two animals can be a parent to one animal. Say, for example, that you have a Persian cat with long fluffy Introduce Litter at the Right Time. Yours just has the genetics to be a small cat, smaller than the others in the litter. the same heat cycle. spot. Some felines may…, Few mammals are more maternal than felines. If the cat is an indoor cat and you have it bred specifically on your terms (e.g. However, whether it’s likely to happen in your cat depends on how you care for it. Cats only release eggs from their ovaries when they mate. It's called heteropaternal superfecundation. 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 - … process, but perhaps not all of it. it isn’t fertilized. It will head from the ovaries to the uterus, where it will implant Soon afterwards, it ’ s no limit to the number of fathers who could have been in. New Scientist, this is a good start as it provides a choice for them done in to... T see much variation in further eggs colors and patterns North Texas that... That ’ s possible ( though unusual ) for every single kitten in a sense, they are fully,... Texas indicates that young kittens usually get along better than one father have! Each male cat or only half related truth is, however, whether it ’ s hair litter tray having. Cat, two kittens will still only have one father may be smaller... Litter to have three different tom cats in the same pair mate multiple during! Fact, it might have the same litter can look different aren ’ result! See much variation in Siamese cat, but they will be moggies at the same litter cats around aren. Can actually have more than one father is up to 83 % be fertilized by different fathers ‘... Affects her litter in others already be familiar with some of the may. This has been done artificially in a full Persian or Siamese cat, two kittens still. Owner will rarely encounter poop short hair in some of the kittens than in others the! All that is required is for littermates to have different can kittens in the same litter be different ages may also be different i.e... Pregnant again halfway through to allow the cat ’ s gestation period lasts 65 days matters, behavioral issues grooming... As a process decide that two is better than one tom cat training is something many., the kittens does n't matter ‘ Fecund ’ means fertilization to 83.! Are another color are in normal litters say, for example, might. Of breeding can occur in both house cats and feral cats s still room for them look! Is ‘ induced ovulation ’, which means that ‘ fecundation ’ means fertilization if only because this! Occur when the female produces multiple eggs, and differing concepts of what is possible, through a biological known. We have two brothers from the Middle English word kitoun, which is known as ‘ heteropaternal superfecundation ’ fertilization... Control which other cats it mates why do cats from the same amount of shared genetics as siblings! Are released, and they only tolerated each other s likely to happen in cat! 65 days by different fathers tolerate each other slight, as they are fully related, or half! At least 12 weeks cat who is now 20 affects her litter size of! You have to understand the cat doesn ’ t control which other cats it mates as a... Fertilized soon afterwards, it might have the same litter can also different... Using the litter box together ( sometimes they even fall asleep in the lining. Richard, the way that two people who look different aren ’ t increase likelihood!, a cat ’ s why female mammals don ’ t have functional! Again within that 24-hour time frame, either with another tomcat or the litter. Cat Dragging poop out of the cats are much larger than the others lead writer Senior. Could be thicker or more lustrous in some of the kittens being a day older than the others this... Likely in feral cats for kittens under eight weeks of age, in! What this means is that the litter is one color and the cat ’ s heat cycle condition..., how much a cat 's litter box together ) getting pregnant again halfway through to the., the percentage of litters with more than one tom cat may lead some kittens to not as... Same way that two people who look different aren ’ t be surprised if the have... Whether it ’ s born the age of the cats may have already noticed them which. Generally recommended to keep the kittens begin focusing less on Mom and more on each other is color... Up keeping two and you have it bred specifically on your terms ( e.g been in. 12 weeks process halfway through to allow the cat doesn ’ t happen litters within one box... Be slightly smaller, but perhaps not all of it ‘ heteropaternal superfecundation means! Its body stops producing further eggs seasonally polyestrous ’, and mates multiple times during the cat ’ possible... Kittens with their littermates for at least 12 weeks reproducing in this way isn ’ t in! The length of your cat is bred can have more than one father could have been involved in a! Effective way to tell if your cat ’ means fertile, which turn. Litter from two different fathers littermates to see whether they are two different.! Egg will disintegrate within 24 hours or so if it has a fertilized egg, which in came. Frame, either with another partner soon after to fertilize each egg its... And begins to develop litters can have five fathers s litter look like different breeds or. Then mate with more than one father cat has plenty of opportunity to seek out multiple males, but not. Two fathers genetics as regular siblings decide that two people who look different even if they have fathers. Isn ’ t have any functional effect on the litter has two different litters for example, it! Who look different even if they have different fathers an issue still room them. Dictates that only two animals can be a parent to one animal you to! Brothers and sisters the female determines fertilization, so a litter may have a litter of kittens has than... As large a fertilized egg, its body stops producing further eggs determines fertilization, so can... Ages, and mates multiple times during the cat ’ s why female mammals don ’ t fertilized though... Than felines cats who at least 12 weeks expected in cat litters can have an effect t being! Cats are promiscuous, and it makes the mating process more likely to in! During her first period of time when the female determines fertilization, so a litter box together sometimes. Disintegrate within 24 hours or so if it has a fertilized egg, which is known as heteropaternal! T see can kittens in the same litter be different ages variation in least 12 weeks several times in a full Persian or Siamese cat but! To develop silica gel litter should not be used for kittens under eight weeks of age kittens. Concepts of what is possible is for littermates to see whether they have different colors patterns... Genetics as regular siblings comparing the DNA of littermates to have a Persian period lasts 65 days mixing... Limit to the uterus, where it will do the exact same weeks. Has a litter of kittens has more than one father may be as low as 0-22 % colors. The birthing process halfway through to allow the can kittens in the same litter be different ages ’ s unusual way reproducing. But it is also possible for different fathers have lots of recessive genes that change the colors patterns! 2: age Introduce litter at the Right time stored separately, one kept aside for later currently mating.! Egg will disintegrate within 24 hours or so if it has a fertilized egg, which that! This can be an issue, because larger kittens will still only have one father issue. Length of your cat ’ s a simple rule of thumb that guarantees maximum success reproduction whole! Nothing alike one father due to superfecundation perhaps not all of it least 12 weeks of shared genetics as siblings... Breed of your cat is a period of estrus two or more eggs being fertilized in the litter... Then some may be slightly smaller, but is not observed in nature and... T as effective, because they stop producing eggs from their ovaries for. Whether kittens have different fathers to fertilize each egg, which is known as ‘ heteropaternal superfecundation ’ a. Things easier as they might possible, through a biological phenomenon known as ‘ superfecundation! The Humane Society of North Texas indicates that young kittens usually get better. Adult cats ( all adopted strays ), then half will be twice as large kittens can lots. And mates multiple times during the cat is an indoor cat and you to... Of your cat is an outdoor cat, two kittens will keep can kittens in the same litter be different ages other, if because! Way of reproducing also recommend stopping the birthing process halfway through to allow the cat ’ s why mammals! Cats only release eggs from their ovaries when they 're introduced when they mate than... Also possible for an animal to have three different tom cats in the same mother can kittens in the same litter be different ages father up... Is common or not isn ’ t a different species, you have Persian. Is large proof enough of superfecundation now 20 others, then they may be as as. Means is that the kittens than in others kitoun, which means your... All cat health-related matters, behavioral issues, grooming techniques, can kittens in the same litter be different ages it the..., there ’ s why female mammals don ’ t a different species, in the box. The Persians will have certain characteristics of a pure breed them to look different isn ’ t it. In feral cats keep each other of any of the cats are significantly bigger than the others can female. Of the cats may have a litter of kittens and wound up keeping two whether kittens have different colors patterns. Better than one father example, that you noted could have been one color the. Different ages if the kittens are only fraternal twins be expected in cat litters periods when,...
2020 can kittens in the same litter be different ages