How to know if my cats have mated? You might be asking this question as you might not have spayed your female cat and you are worried that she might get pregnant. At the same time, if you have both male and female cats in your household, you probably want to know if you are expecting kittens.
A clear indication that your cats have mated is the fact that your female cat is showing signs of pregnancy after a while. Also, you can predict when your cats are going to mate based on their “amorous” behavior. Success in mating does not necessarily result in pregnancy.
With that said, we are going to discuss the different behaviors of your cats in order for you to know if they have mated or are preparing to mate. More than that, we are also going to talk about the mating and conception process of cats.
Do you have a female cat that has not been spayed and you want to make sure that she does not get pregnant? Keep on reading to find out what you can do!
Is My Cat Ready To Mate?
A lot of people tend to say that you should wait until your female cat is at least six months old before spaying them. This is actually a misconception since a female cat's first time to be in heat varies for different types of cats.
There are also external factors to look out for such as the region where you reside and the temperature.
But in general, a kitten might experience their first heat as early as four and a half months old. Therefore, if you do not have plans of getting any more cats, you should spay your female cat early.
Moreover, once your female cat experiences her first heat, do not expect that it will go away in time. Once they become in heat, this will happen all over again even if the mating resulted in conception or not. The tricky thing is, your female cat's ability to mate depends on her estrus.
What Is Estrus?
Estrus or as others call it, oestrus, is the receptivity period to mating. This is linked to the production of estradiol which is a type of estrogen that is produced in the follicles of the ovary of your cat. It is good to note that this is different from the menstruation of human females.
It is different in such a way that you will not see so much blood. In some cases, when your cat is undergoing estrus, it will occasionally have a discharge that is mucus-like. It is extremely rare to see any trace of blood in that discharge.
When Does My Cat Ovulate?
In order to know if your female cat is getting ready to mate is to know when she is ovulating. However, unlike humans, the ovulation of female cats are induced. What does that mean?
It simply means that their ovulation does not just come with them being in estrus mode. In fact, ovulation only takes place with manual stimulation which is done through mating.
This manual stimulation is brought about by the barbed penis of male cats. This is also the reason why cat breeders tend to use “Teaser Toms” on female cats which can help in the mating process or it can also help in signaling the estrus cycle to stop.
In such a case that your female cat does not mate during estrus, its hormone levels will eventually go down and it will stop. Eventually, the estrus cycle will repeat in approximately two or three weeks.
How Do I Know If My Cat Is Experiencing Estrus?
Just like what we mentioned earlier, you cannot exactly pinpoint when your female cat will undergo the estrus cycle. However, they have a slight shift in some of their behaviors which you can take as signs that they are preparing or are ready to mate.
You have to remember that this estrus cycle usually occurs every 12 or 22 days. In order to be sure, take a look at the following behaviors.
Before their estrus cycle, female cats tend to display a lot of affection towards their owner or other animals. It may rub its hindquarters against toys, furniture, other cats, and maybe even your arms and legs.
This can easily be differentiated from simple restlessness if while she is rubbing against you, she is lifting her tail. In other cases, she may even assume a mating position while rubbing.
You might notice that your female cat will frequently lick its genital area. This might be the case as it is trying to remove the discharge or it is simply cleaning that area.
At the same time, you have to be wary of this behavior because if this type of behavior is the only sign that is present, your cat might be suffering from urinary tract disorder.
But if it is coupled with some of the other behaviors that we are going to discuss, you do not have anything to worry about.
This is the behavior which we are all familiar with. This is the time when your female cat will mewl in such a quivering and raw manner. This call will last for many days until she finds her mate.
During the mating call, you will also notice that she will occasionally assume the mating position where she will bend her head down, bend her forelegs, expose her perineum by raising her tail.
Your female cat may start spraying vertical surfaces with a fluid that has a strong scent. This fluid is not urine by any means.
What usually happens is that it will back up the surface and raise its quivering tail, and proceed to do rhythmic treading. This is a surefire way of telling that your cat is in its estrus cycle as this behavior is only present during this time.
Shift In Appetite
There is also a decrease in appetite. This is not necessarily brought about by their hormonal levels, rather, they are just concentrating on one thing and that is to reproduce.
In saying this, you should monitor if your cat is losing too much weight. This loss of appetite should just last for a week or two at most. If this still goes on, there might be something wrong with it.
Sudden Need To Escape
This happens when you do not have a male cat around or if you separated your male cat from your unspayed female cat. The sudden need to escape of your female cat is brought about by its instincts to find a mate.
Before, your indoor cat that is so lazy will just stay put in one area for hours on end. During the estrus phase, she will likely try to find exits around your house to find potential suitors.
If you are scared that your female cat will escape, once she shows the other behaviors that we have mentioned, it is time for you to seal all your windows and doors. You can also try distracting your cat by playing with it.
What Happens During Mating?
Let us say that your female cat still manages to escape your house. What happens now? Once she finds a suitable suitor, she will signal her mate with a unique posture. This posture is similar to the one they do to mark their territory which is where they expose their vulva.
This is done in order to accommodate the entry of the male cat's penis. The male cat will then mount the female cat and will hold her by biting the back of her neck.
This biting behavior is done in order to ensure the cooperation of the female cat, and it also helps in stimulating the female's part of the brain that induces the ovulation process.
Once the mating is done, the male cat will withdraw its penis. On the other hand, the female cat usually screams after withdrawal. It is still not sure if this scream is due to ecstasy or pain brought about by the barbed penis of the male cat.
Does Mating Always Result In Conception?
Mating does not always result in conception. However, there is a high probability of conception in cats as their ovulation is induced. Therefore, ovulation will immediately follow after successful mating.
The ovulation usually occurs 20 to 50 hours after successful mating. As for the eggs, they have the capability to be fertilized for just approximately one day. Once fertilized in the oviduct, they will go to the uterus where it will be implanted in the lining of the uterus from 10 to 12 days.
Another indication that your cats have mated is if your female cat abruptly stops its behaviors that are related to the estrus cycle. It will then take on behaviors that are related to pregnancy like nesting, a sudden increase in appetite, and occasional vomiting.
Can my cat become pregnant while nursing? Yes, it can still become pregnant. Therefore, you should always keep your cat indoors or at least separate her from any male cats in your house. Once the mother cat starts to wean the kittens, you should immediately spay her to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
At what age can my cat become pregnant? By default, a cat's sexual maturity is five to 12 months. However, there are cases where a four-month-old kitten can immediately experience the estrus cycle which allows them to get pregnant. This can be unhealthy, so you might consider early spaying.