Final Up to date on: October 31, 2022 by Crystal Uys
The coat and eye colour in kittens are decided by genetics, however how is that this potential 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 may they’ve acquired their seems via 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 quick (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 identical 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 can be many indicators to point that your cat is in warmth as they’ll turn into more affectionate, demanding, and vocal. She’ll additionally turn into stressed, groom excessively, and wish to roam.
Simply as clear because the indicators can 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. 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 may 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 can be made up of kittens that will look fully completely different from each other as a result of they’ve completely different fathers.
Superfecundation can even 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 completely different sperm fertilizes one other egg throughout her fertile window, that egg will even observe the pure path into the uterus. The extra a cat mates, the extra eggs that can be launched.
These completely different fertilized and implanted eggs will develop on the identical time over the following 65 days or so – regardless 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 various fathers as there are kittens when the mom cat offers beginning.
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 colors, and hair lengths, they in all probability have completely different fathers.
Nonetheless, 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 father or mother.
If it’s essential know whether or not a number of fathers are chargeable 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 dad and mom.
Is Superfecundation Widespread?
Though superfecundation is extraordinarily uncommon in individuals, the other 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 stop your cat from changing into pregnant, you’ll have to get her spayed. Indoor home cats are much less more likely to expertise superfecundation than outside cats as a result of you’ll be able to monitor their actions and forestall them from mating with a number of tomcats.
In case your cat has the liberty to roam about outside, there’s a a lot increased 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 Vital
Getting your cat spayed is an expense however paying out for being pregnant and nursing care is a a lot increased one – particularly if you’ve obtained a litter of kittens to feed and take care of too.
Getting your cat spayed earlier than they go into warmth for the primary time will decrease their danger for sure cancers and infections, which can 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 have to roam to discover a mate, which can stop accidents from cat fights and automotive 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 dad and mom. Getting them spayed will stop this from occurring.
It’s fairly widespread for a feminine cat’s litter to have completely different fathers. Isn’t that fascinating? This phenomenon is known as superfecundation. It may be fairly noticeable if the kittens look very completely different from one another, with completely different coat colors and hair lengths. Nonetheless, you gained’t be capable to know for sure if the kittens come from completely different fathers until you do DNA testing on them.
To stop superfecundation or any being pregnant from occurring, you’ll have to spay your cat or preserve them indoors. Nonetheless, spaying your cat comes with many well being and behavioral advantages. All of us wish to preserve our cats secure 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 some other. With a ardour to teach the general public about every part, there may be to find out about felines, their conduct, and their distinctive personalities, Crystal is devoted to creating positive that each one cats and their homeowners know the significance of acutely aware residing – and loving!