The coat and eye coloration in kittens are decided by genetics, however how is that this potential when a mom cat has produced a litter of kittens with totally different coat colours and lengths? If one kitten is black and the opposite is ginger, however the mom is a Siamese cat, how might they’ve obtained their appears via genetics? Should you’ve ever puzzled about this, I’ve the reply for you!
Nicely, the mom isn’t the one genetic contributor, and feminine cats can mate with a number of tomcats earlier than their eggs are launched and fertilized, leading to totally different fathers and totally different genetic contributors. So the brief (and interesting!) reply is that sure, a feminine cat’s litter can come from totally different male cats! Let’s be taught extra about this:
What’s Superfecundation and How Does It Work?
Superfecundation is when greater than two ova are fertilized by totally different males throughout the identical warmth cycle of a cat or different animal, which ends up in conception.
An unspayed cat goes into warmth each two to 3 weeks and is fertile between 1 to 10 days. There will probably be many indicators to point that your cat is in warmth as they’ll develop into extra affectionate, demanding, and vocal. She’ll additionally develop into stressed, groom excessively, and wish to roam.
Simply as clear because the indicators will probably be for you when your cat has gone into warmth, they’ll be for tomcats as your queen will launch pheromones off their physique and of their urine that instinctively communicates that she’s able to mate.
When a free-roaming unspayed feminine cat is able to mate, she is going to – and with a number of male cats. Nonetheless, cats solely ovulate round 20 to 50 hours after they’ve mated. By this time, a feminine cat will have already got the sperm wanted for fertilization of their reproductive tract, and if she mates with a number of males, they are going to all have an opportunity at fertilizing a number of eggs.
If the fertilization of two or extra eggs from two or extra male cats is profitable, superfecundation has occurred, and the litter will probably be made up of kittens which will look fully totally different from each other as a result of they’ve totally different fathers.
Superfecundation may happen in canine, sheep, rodents, and cows. Though extraordinarily uncommon, it does typically happen in people.
Does Superfecundation Produce A number of Litters?
As an egg is fertilized, it’ll observe the pure path from the ovaries to the uterus, the place it’ll connect to the liner. If a queen mates once more, and totally different sperm fertilizes one other egg throughout her fertile window, that egg can even observe the pure path into the uterus. The extra a cat mates, the extra eggs that will probably be launched.
These totally different fertilized and implanted eggs will develop on the identical time over the subsequent 65 days or so – despite the fact that they’re separate litters. Though from separate litters and separate fathers, they’ll be born collectively on the identical time.
Though not quite common, it’s potential for there to be as many alternative fathers as there are kittens when the mom cat offers start.
How Can I Know If Superfecundation Has Occurred?
As I’ve talked about, if kittens from the identical litter have totally different personalities, coat colours, eye colours, and hair lengths, they in all probability have totally different fathers.
Nonetheless, even kittens from the identical litter will range in look as a result of they obtain half of their genetic make-up from their mom and the opposite half from their father, whereas their littermate could obtain totally different genes from every guardian.
If you have to know whether or not a number of fathers are answerable for your cat’s litter of kittens, you possibly can carry out a DNA take a look at on the kittens to find out their mother and father.
Is Superfecundation Frequent?
Though superfecundation is extraordinarily uncommon in folks, the alternative is true for cats, with greater than half of litters discovered to have a number of fathers and totally different genetic make-up to their littermates.
To stop your cat from changing into pregnant, you’ll must get her spayed. Indoor home cats are much less prone to expertise superfecundation than out of doors cats as a result of you possibly can monitor their actions and stop them from mating with a number of tomcats.
In case your cat has the liberty to roam about outside, there’s a a lot greater likelihood that superfecundation will happen as a result of they’re free to mate with any tomcat roaming about.
Why Getting Your Cat Spayed Is Mandatory
Getting your cat spayed is an expense however paying out for being pregnant and nursing care is a a lot greater one – particularly while you’ve bought a litter of kittens to feed and look after too.
Getting your cat spayed earlier than they go into warmth for the primary time will decrease their threat for sure cancers and infections, which is able to delay their life. In addition they gained’t show all of the signs of a cat in warmth, which might be disruptive and aggressive. It’ll additionally cease their must roam to discover a mate, which is able to forestall accidents from cat fights and automobile accidents. A cat at house is a safer cat.
Cats aren’t conscious of their relationship with one another and can mate with their siblings or mother and father. Getting them spayed will forestall this from occurring.
It’s fairly widespread for a feminine cat’s litter to have totally different fathers. Isn’t that fascinating? This phenomenon is known as superfecundation. It may be fairly noticeable if the kittens look very totally different from one another, with totally different coat colours and hair lengths. Nonetheless, you gained’t be capable of know for sure if the kittens come from totally different fathers until you do DNA testing on them.
To stop superfecundation or any being pregnant from occurring, you’ll must spay your cat or hold them indoors. Nonetheless, spaying your cat comes with many well being and behavioral advantages. All of us wish to hold our cats protected and wholesome, and spaying or neutering them is a crucial a part of that.
Featured Picture Credit score: Guslin al Fikrah, Unsplash
Cat mother to Ivy – a feisty little rescue kitten that’s her one and solely baby. For now! All through her life, she has been launched to the particular love that may be discovered within the bond with a cat. Having owned a number of felines, she is greater than sure that their love is unmatched, unconditional and in contrast to every other. With a ardour to teach the general public about all the things, there may be to learn about felines, their conduct, and their distinctive personalities, Crystal is devoted to creating certain that each one cats and their homeowners know the significance of acutely aware dwelling – and loving!