Cat mating is anything but an act of romance, despite how affectionate cats can be with their owners and even with each other!
When your female cat has entered her heat cycle, she will attract toms (male cats) from all over the neighborhood to try to mate with her.
She does this by calling loudly and howling, and also by releasing pheromones that male cats can sense from very far away.
Male cats have what is called a Jacobson’s Organ which can detect the presence of a female’s (or other male’s) pheromones in their urine, which is what leads him to the female for cat mating.
This organ is near the roof of the mouth and at the base of the nasal cavity.
He is using this organ when you see him open his mouth slightly after smelling something.
Oftentimes, several males will fight for the privilege of mating with the female cat in heat, and only the winner will be granted mating rights.
However, the “losers” will often wait around for their turn over the next day or two.
You know the importance of spaying female cats to prevent the birth of unwanted kittens, but this isn’t just a concern for owners of female cats.
Plus, he will wander very far in response to the cries of a
female cat in heat, which can lead to being hit by a car or attacked by other animals.
Of course, even after he has won out over the other males, he still has his work cut out for him–the female will resist his advances unless or until she is ready to accept him.
The Cat Mating Act
Before mating, the female will assume a position where her rump is raised in the air to expose her vulva and allow for penetration by the tomcat.
Cat mating begins with the tom mounting her and biting her on the back of the neck, which is thought to help stimulate ovulation.
This stimulates the female’s ovulation, and also helps to clear other males’ sperm away from her cervix, in the case that she has already mated with a rival tom.
When cat mating is finished, the female will cleanse her genitals and will not tolerate being “bothered” by a male cat for the next 20 to 30 minutes.
A female can have multiple sexual partners during her heat cycle (unless it is a controlled breeding), and cat mating with more than one tom can result in a litter of kittens having more than one father.
In feral communities where cat mating is not controlled by selective breeding, a female in heat can have as many as 20 partners a day during her heat cycle.
If successfully bred, a litter of 4 to 8 kittens (on average) will arrive in about 63 days.
If you are the caregiver for mama cat, that means you have just over 2 months to learn how to help take care of newborn kittens!