The coat and eye colour in kittens are decided by genetics, however how is that this attainable when a mom cat has produced a litter of kittens with completely 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 acquired their seems to be by genetics? In the event you’ve ever questioned about this, I’ve the reply for you!
Properly, 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 completely different fathers and completely different genetic contributors. So the brief (and engaging!) reply is that sure, a feminine cat’s litter can come from completely different male cats! Let’s study extra about this:
What’s Superfecundation and How Does It Work?
Superfecundation is when greater than two ova are fertilized by completely different males throughout the similar warmth cycle of a cat or different animal, which ends up in conception.
An unspayed cat goes into warmth each two to a few weeks and is fertile between 1 to 10 days. There might be many indicators to point that your cat is in warmth as they’ll grow to be extra affectionate, demanding, and vocal. She’ll additionally grow to be stressed, groom excessively, and need to roam.
Simply as clear because the indicators might 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’s going to – and with a number of male cats. Nevertheless, 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 might be made up of kittens that will look utterly completely different from each other as a result of they’ve completely different fathers.
Superfecundation also can happen in canine, sheep, rodents, and cows. Though extraordinarily uncommon, it does generally happen in people.
Does Superfecundation Produce A number of Litters?
As an egg is fertilized, it’ll comply with the pure path from the ovaries to the uterus, the place it’ll connect to the liner. If a queen mates once more, and completely different sperm fertilizes one other egg throughout her fertile window, that egg may also comply with the pure path into the uterus. The extra a cat mates, the extra eggs that might be launched.
These completely different fertilized and implanted eggs will develop on the similar time over the subsequent 65 days or so – regardless that they’re separate litters. Though from separate litters and separate fathers, they’ll be born collectively on the similar time.
Though not quite common, it’s attainable 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 completely different personalities, coat colours, eye colours, and hair lengths, they most likely have completely different fathers.
Nevertheless, even kittens from the identical litter will fluctuate 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 completely different genes from every mother or father.
If you might want to know whether or not a number of fathers are accountable for your cat’s litter of kittens, you’ll be able to 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 completely different genetic make-up to their littermates.
To forestall your cat from turning into pregnant, you’ll must get her spayed. Indoor home cats are much less more likely to expertise superfecundation than out of doors cats as a result of you’ll be able to monitor their actions and stop them from mating with a number of tomcats.
In case your cat has the liberty to roam about outdoor, there’s a a lot increased probability 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 increased one – particularly once you’ve obtained 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 can extend their life. Additionally they received’t show all of the signs of a cat in warmth, which may be disruptive and aggressive. It’ll additionally cease their must roam to discover a mate, which can 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 frequent for a feminine cat’s litter to have completely different fathers. Isn’t that fascinating? This phenomenon is named superfecundation. It may be fairly noticeable if the kittens look very completely different from one another, with completely different coat colours and hair lengths. Nevertheless, you received’t have the ability to know for sure if the kittens come from completely different fathers except you do DNA testing on them.
To forestall superfecundation or any being pregnant from occurring, you’ll must spay your cat or hold them indoors. Nevertheless, spaying your cat comes with many well being and behavioral advantages. All of us need to hold our cats protected and wholesome, and spaying or neutering them is a vital 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 little one. 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 another. With a ardour to teach the general public about all the pieces, there’s to find out about felines, their habits, and their distinctive personalities, Crystal is devoted to creating certain that every one cats and their homeowners know the significance of aware residing – and loving!