When do domestic cats become sexually active?

Domestic cats become sexually active when they are nearly 12-months-of-age. However, it varies. For males the youngest sexually mature age is, unusually, six months. Some are sexually mature at 8 months but typically it is between 11-12 months. It may be longer for stray cats at 15-18 months because they are given less chance in a more competitive environment to mate as older males win. For females the time to sexual maturity is shorter at 6-8 months normally but sometimes 3-5 months. The early start may be due to domestication as wild cats are sexually mature at about 10 months.

6-month-old tabby female on Pets4Homes

6-month-old tabby female on Pets4Homes

The breeding sequences of the domestic are less rigid than those of the wild cat such as the European wildcat. This is because the wild sequence is dictated by the seasons and prey availability whereas the domestic cat has food on tap and a perpetually pleasant home environment if they are in good homes.

The widcat’s season starts in March and the kittens appear in May after a 63-68 pregnancy. The unsterilised domestic cat may start in late January with a litter appearing in early April. After the kittens are weaned and homed she may start again producing a second litter by late summer.

Some additional information

A breeding female is called a queen. Before making the decision to breed a female, serious thought needs to be given to the effort and responsibilities involved and the ethics of it when there are millions of unwanted cats in the world including America. Genetic screening for any known health problems should be carried out before breeding. If your queen is not of the desired quality in terms of health and appearance (if she is a purebred) she should be spayed. Ideally, good quality home should be organised before breeding. Female cats do not need to have a litter to be fulfilled and in the right frame of mind as some people believe. Spaying her before her first heat reduces her chances of developing mammary and uterine cancers.

Sources: Myself, Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook and Cat World.


Sibling suckling

Sibling suckling. Why do adult domestic cats do it?

"Sibling suckling" is when domestic cats beyond the age of weaning suckle on each other for reassurance and comfort ...
Read More
Viral video of mom reacting to call of her kitten

Kitten cries for mother and she runs in from 200 meters

This is a cute video which has gone somewhat viral on TikTok which is illustrative of the kitten-mother relationship. Personally, ...
Read More
Stunning young Bengal curls up around owner's head and suckles on her cheek

Stunning young Bengal curls up around owner’s head and suckles on her cheek

RELATED: Wean Cats at Fourteen Weeks of Age This video is cute which is what it is meant to be ...
Read More
Sphynx mum and kittens

Kitten development – comprehensive discussion

In this article on kitten development, I refer to the development of the domestic cat after birth. About 70% of ...
Read More
Wean cats at 14-weeks-of-age

My cat suckles on my arm. Advice please.

What is Happening. A Visitor's Question. I adopted a somewhat shy, 6-month-old kitten 4 years ago. From the time I ...
Read More

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *