Females in Season
usually come into heat about every 6 months, but this can vary with
individuals and breeds. Since felines are induced ovulators (ovulation
does not occur normally without breeding) their heat periods can be
quite variable. If a female feline is not bred, her heat period can
continue on for quite some time. Stress, change in the weather, etc.
can induce ovulation, as can mechanical stimulation (needs to be done
by a veterinarian). This is why some cats (especially Siamese, with
their very vocal expression of being in season) can be difficult to be
the female is successfully bred, she will have a gestation period of
from 62-65 days, during which fetal development will take place.
Usually, within 24 hours of giving birth, the female will start what is
called nesting behavior, where she looks for the best place to deliver
her litter. Also during this time, her temperature usually drops at
least a full degree from normal. (Normal body temperature is 100.5 and
labor begins the kittens are usually delivered pretty quickly; however
problems can occur. If the female is in labor and more than two hours
of active labor passes without a kitten, she should be seen. If she has
had one or more kittens and is in active labor longer than two hours
without delivering another kitten, she needs to be seen. Once you are
sure she has delivered all her kittens, she should be examined to make
sure she has delivered all her kittens and receive a clean out
injection to make sure all the placentas are passed. During delivery,
try to avoid letting the mother eat all the placentas. While eating one
or two can be good for her, eating all of them might cause GI upsets.
or false pregnancy can occur. Since it can take about two months for
some females to completely end the hormones involved with the heat
period, some non-pregnant females may show signs of being pregnant. I
have even seen some go into labor. This can be confusing and may
require x-rays to make sure a pregnancy actually exists.