three-month-old female Persian kitten.

Dr KG Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He is working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for South Asia.

Q: I have a three-month-old female Persian kitten. What is the breeding cycle of cats and at what age should one breed them? What is the gestation period of kittens? – Rajiv, Goa

Dr KG Umesh: Female cats have generally their first season during six and nine months of age. Cats do not ovulate unless they are bred. The stages of oestrus cycle (season) in the queen are anoestrus, proestrus, oestrus and interoestrus. Proestrus lasts for 2-3 days without showing any signs and queen won’t want to mate. Oestrus lasts between 2-10 days and show signs such as vocalization, rolling and rubbing against inanimate objects and sticking her back end in the air. This means she is in season and will want to mate. Interoestrus occurs if queen doesn’t mate and may last for 3-14 days. Anoestrus is period when there is no hormonal activity. Pregnancy length for cats is approximately 64 days and may vary from 53-65 days.

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