Skip to content

6 Causes Why Your Cat Had Solely One Kitten


    Orange cat nursing a lone kitten

    Having kittens could be an thrilling time for everybody! You’re excited to see a couple of small little bundles of pleasure nursing and taking part in with one another as they develop and develop. However typically, the day comes and the queen doesn’t have a couple of kitten. If that is so, what does it imply, why did it occur, and is it one thing you must fear about?

    We’ve highlighted six of the most typical the reason why your cat solely had one kitten for you under. We’ll additionally enable you perceive every purpose and what you must do.

    The 6 Causes Why Your Cat Had Solely One Kitten

    1. Sudden Conceiving

    If the mom rapidly conceived after her final litter, there’s a good likelihood for this reason she solely had one kitten on this litter. A considerably smaller litter dimension is the mom’s manner of defending herself from repeat litters in such a short while.

    It’s within the mom’s finest curiosity to provide them satisfactory time to get better between every litter. It is best to give them no less than 6 months to get better, however many breeders suggest ready a full yr so the queen can absolutely get better.

    Probability Excessive
    Seriousness Low
    cat and kitten playing outdoors
    Picture Credit score: Volodymyr Plysiuk, Shutterstock

    2. Genetics

    Generally it’s nothing you probably did or didn’t do, and it’s all concerning the cat’s genetics! Whether or not it’s a chromosome situation or one thing else totally, some cats merely don’t have a ton of kittens in every litter.

    That is very true if the queen has had smaller litter sizes up to now. Some cats have plenty of kittens in every litter and others don’t.

    Probability Excessive
    Seriousness Low
    mother cat gave birth to kitten
    Picture Credit score: Azami Adiputera, Shutterstock

    3. Their Breed

    Whereas most cat breeds don’t have only one kitten per litter, loads of breeds have smaller litter sizes. For example, Persian cats sometimes have between one and three kittens per litter, whereas Abyssinian cats sometimes common six kittens per litter. As a basic rule, the bigger the cat breed, the smaller the typical litter dimension.

    Probability Average
    Seriousness Low
    Mother cat carrying her kitten
    Picture Credit score: Lucie-Bartikova, Shutterstock

    4. First-Time Mom

    The primary time a queen breeds it’s completely regular for them to have a smaller litter dimension. Consider it as nature’s manner of easing a queen into motherhood. Whereas it doesn’t matter an excessive amount of for queens within the care of a human, for a wild cat, having fewer kittens to look after would make issues simpler the primary time round.

    Probability Excessive
    Seriousness Low
    Orange cat and kitten lying on pillows on a sofa
    Picture Credit score: Fablegros, Pixabay

    5. Older Mom

    As cats age, their reproductive organs begin to decelerate a bit. They don’t drop as many eggs for every warmth cycle, resulting in smaller litter sizes. So, in case your cat is on the older aspect of issues once they’re pregnant and having kittens, the litter dimension will doubtless be smaller.

    Probability Excessive
    Seriousness Low
    mother and kitten
    Picture Credit score: Cherry-Merry, Shutterstock

    6. Unsuccessful Fetus Growth

    This isn’t the most definitely purpose, however if you happen to’re seeking to breed the queen once more, it’s essentially the most severe. That’s as a result of if there’s an underlying difficulty behind why the opposite fetuses didn’t develop, you would possibly battle to breed the queen once more efficiently.

    In case you suspect unsuccessful fetus growth as the rationale your cat solely had one kitten and also you wish to proceed breeding them, we suggest taking them to a vet to see if there’s something they’ll do to assist.

    Probability Average
    Seriousness Excessive
    cat smelling kitten
    Picture Credit score: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

    Regular Supply Interval

    In case your cat simply delivered her kitten, you wish to wait just a little bit earlier than you identify if she’s solely having one. Regular start intervals between kittens vary from 10 minutes to 1 hour, but it surely’s completely potential for them to go 3 hours between births.

    From begin to end, the queen ought to ship the complete litter in 1–12 hours, however typically it may well take as much as 24 hours. Give it just a little time and also you would possibly discover the queen is having a couple of kitten!

    Interrupted or Troublesome Beginning

    Two circumstances you’ll wish to preserve an eye fixed out for when the queen is delivering are interrupted and troublesome births. Interrupted births are sometimes a situation the human proprietor causes. This will make it so the mom stops straining, and due to this, they gained’t ship the remaining kittens immediately.

    Throughout this time, the queen will nurse, eat, and use the litter field like regular. Nevertheless, they need to resume delivering kittens inside 24–36 hours. In the event that they don’t resume delivering throughout this time, you should take them to a vet immediately.

    A troublesome start happens when the queen struggles to ship a kitten. This will occur if the kitten is just too massive or is positioned improperly within the start canal. Indicators to look out for are if the queen is actively straining for greater than 20 minutes with out producing a kitten, or if you happen to actively see a kitten caught and solely partially delivered.

    If the queen is having a troublesome start, you must discover apparent indicators of misery and exhaustion. Moreover, throughout a troublesome start, you should take the queen to a vet immediately or it may well rapidly grow to be a life-threatening situation for each the queen and the remaining kittens.


    More often than not, in case your queen solely had one kitten in a litter, it’s nothing to fret about. Generally cats have bigger litters and typically they’ve smaller ones. However if you happen to suspect that something is out of the odd, belief your intestine and take them to the vet.

    Featured Picture Credit score: Anikin Dmitrii, Shutterstock