MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: How many litters of kittens does a cat normally have?

Area: Zoology
Posted By: Rick Huneke, D.V.M./M.P.H. Faculty, Division of Comparative Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine
Date: Tue Jun 17 09:23:51 1997
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 866478750.Zo

Dear Anna-Marie:

When it comes to having kittens, rates can vary in cats. The gestation period for a cat is about 65 days and mother cats wean their babies at about 4 to 6 weeks of age. If a cat was mated after weaning, she could have up to 4 litters per year. Most responsible breeders will not allow their cat to have more than 2 litters per year and responsible pet cat owners should have their cats spayed and neutered to prevent an already severe overpopulation of cats. To learn more about cats, try the Cat Fanciers Web Site and the Electronic Zoo.

It is great that you are interested in becoming a veterinarian. It is a fun career and there is a variety of jobs in addition to caring for people's pets. There are veterinarians in the military. Vets check for food safety and aid in public health, there are vets that help make and test medicines for use in animals and people and vets that teach other vets in schools. The American Veterinary Medical Association and Net Vet offer a wide variety of information about veterinarians and veterinary resources.

I am a laboratory animal veterinarian at Washington University. I take care of the animals that are used in research to find cures for human and animal diseases. I work with an assortment of animals including rats, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, dogs, cats, sheep, chickens, and monkeys. I take care of any sick animals and make sure that the animals do not have any distress in their research project. Additionally, there is a lot of paperwork and regulations that we must follow to make sure that the animals are cared for properly.

Good luck and keep up the good work. I hope you become a veterinarian some day.

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