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

can kittens in the same litter be different ages

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