HomeCat BehaviorHow fast do cats breed?


How fast do cats breed? — 7 Comments

  1. As a student and teacher of mathematics I’ve always thought that 420000 was too high a number for one pair of breeding cats, whether over five or seven years. To me it seemed if other factors were ignored, such as TNR, vetting and adoption, for positives. Negatives include death by disease and malnutrition, prey to other carnivores, cruelty, and other human-related factors such as roadkill.

    Unless we do studies in several populations and sectors of any country without interference or vetting, we will never have any reliable data. However we can guess based upon general observations.

    The following works if you consider it an average for all breeding pair and colonies.

    I use the Fibonacci sequence as can good example. The original has a pair of rabbits mating every month. Each term represents one month. If we let each term represent for months for a pair of cats, it works.

    1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 etc. This sequence has one pair mating every month but the first, and producing one pair each month. Each new pair mates every month also, but not the first.

    If each term stands for four months, it works for cats.

    So if you start with one breeding pair in your yard, by the end of three years you will have 34 breeding pairs.

    No one wants to care and feed 68 cats. And this is a number that most can wrap their brains around.

    • Hey Anne, Thank you for this. There are too many people working for an against TNR that use their hearts rather than their heads. We need to have good studies done on these sorts of things, the very least being a count of feral cats in a specific area. Rarely does a TNR program provide this basic information which only adds to the ruffling of feathers among those opposed to TNR.

    • I need a better explanation of this. How do you come up with 34 pairs after 36 months (3 years)?

      If each number below represents a month you 34 being reached after only 9 months

      1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34

      My math is practically nonexistent but I do try to understand. Can you help!

  2. Litters raised indoors and young mothers surviving pregnancy indoors will lead to a higher birth and survival rate. Outdoors and untended cats and kittens will have a lower survival rate.

    So our success is also a failure in another respect.

  3. The breeding rate is what I’ve heard has left fosters overwhelmed this year with a longer kitten season. Instead of a cat having 2 litters, some are having 3 and possibly 4 in warmer parts of the country. I don’t have any scientific data to back this up but it makes sense. With a mother cat giving birth to as many as 8 plus kittens this year things really got out of control.

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