The female cat can begin mating at around 5 to 10 months and the male cat between 9 and 12 months. Kittens can be born at any time of the year.
A female cat gestation period is around 9 weeks or between 62 and 65 days from conception to delivery.
The average cat litter is between 3 and 7 kittens. A group of kittens is called a ‘Kindle’. A group of adult cats is called a ‘clowder’.
If left to her own devices, a female cat may have 3 to 7 kittens every 4 months. This is why it is very important to have your cat spayed or neutered to control cat population.
Kittens are usually born head first and about half an hour apart (if more than one). Kittens are born contained in a thin, transparent sac which the mother breaks immediately with her teeth and tongue. Newborn kittens usually weigh between 3 and 5 ounces and are about 3 inches long.
A newborn kitten cannot hear because it is born with closed ear canals. These do not begin to open until the kitten is about 9 days old. Kittens are also born with their eyes closed. All cats are born with blue eyes and it can take a few months for them to develop into their final eye colour.
How you treat your newborn kitten will have an effect on its traits and personality as it grows. You must never pick the kitten up by the scruff of its neck, only the mother cat can do this safely.
If buying a kitten, they should be acquired in pairs as cat families interact best when they have the same kind of company.
Siamese kittens are born completely white, this is because of the heat inside their mother. When they adjust to the outer climate, they develop the dark patches, these patches are ‘cool’ patches.