When a cat gives birth, it’s often fascinating to see how they respond to their litter. It can be a heartwarming sight as the mother protects her young and aims to raise them into functional cats. It is those formative years that can often make you wonder about the litter. You may end up asking, can kittens in the same litter be different ages?
Kittens in the same litter can be different ages. This is due to mother cats having an extended ovulation period and getting impregnated twice by different fathers. This can cause one set of kittens to be a few weeks older than the other.
It is not as rare as some may think and can happen when a cat is mating all the time.
Key factors include:
- Number of Fathers
- Time In Heat
When asking “Can kittens in the same litter be different ages?” it’s common to note differences in how the kittens develop. Some are going to be faster, jump higher, and just look bigger than other kittens in the same litter.
The reason for this has to do with them being older than the other kittens and having a more developed physical stature compared to their siblings.
This is something to keep a note of when the kittens continue to develop.
This article will answer “Can kittens in the same litter be different ages?” by illustrating why some kittens are older than their siblings in the same litter.
Best Milk Replacer for Kittens (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
- Provides: Vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients for kittens that have been orphaned or rejected
- Milk Powder: Easy to mix, highly palatable, and easy for kittens to digest
- Kitten Milk Replacer: Ideal for newborn kittens up to 6 weeks old
Last update on 2022-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Reasons For Kittens In The Same LItter Being Different Ages
1. Different Fathers
The main reason for this phenomenon has to do with the kittens having different fathers.
Female cats don’t stop mating once they are pregnant. This means they are going to continue to mate with multiple fathers to increase their chances of getting impregnated.
This is a natural instinct female cats have and it is noticeable when they are in heat. They will sometimes complete multiple mating sessions within the same period.
This is why it’s possible for multiple fathers to be a possibility.
This can lead to differences in how old the kittens are depending on when the different fathers mated with the mother.
This is a key detail to think about when asking “Can kittens in the same litter be different ages?” because it sheds light on what the reason is in most cases.
2. Extended Ovulation Period
This ties in with the previous reason.
The idea has to do with the female cat having an extended ovulation period. Since the female cat is not going to stay monogamous during this phase, it is quite likely for her to get pregnant twice.
This can lead to questions such as “Can kittens in the same litter be different ages?” because even slight differences in when the cat gets pregnant will alter their ages.
This is a detail that will often shed light on what the main issue is.
The initial litter is going to be ahead while the other is going to take a bit of time to catch up. Even if they are born at the same time or close together, they are going to be at different stages in their development.
This is a factor that is often ignored.
When asking “Can kittens in the same litter be different ages?” you have to concentrate on the female cat as she will dictate a lot of things.
In this case, it is her fertility that is going to allow for multiple male cats.
If the female cat is younger, this can lead to situations such as the ones described in this article.
It’s also important to note, there are situations where the female cat might take on other stray kittens. This has to do with having the ability to raise them at the same time.
1. Why Do Kittens From The Same Litter Look So Different?
Kittens from the same litter can look different from each other due to having multiple fathers. A female cat often mates with multiple partners when in heat and this can lead to having an assorted litter.
2. Can Cat Deliver Kitten Days Apart?
Yes, cats can deliver kittens days apart. This is known as interrupted labor where the cat pauses its birth-giving for up to 36 hours. It’s a safety mechanism in case the cat is in danger, which is common in the wild.
“Can kittens in the same litter be different ages?”
Yes, kittens in the same litter can be different ages. It is common for them to be from different fathers despite being in the same litter.
This is why it’s common for certain kittens to look different from their siblings.