Mating is a term used for the sexual reproduction of animals. As a fur parent, you might think of when you will have little kittens at the house. So, how do cats mate? It is not as simple as you think. There are factors to let you know if your cat is ready. Let us tackle this topic more. 

When do Cats mate?

As your feline reaches puberty, you might observe some odd behavior from them. Knowing will keep you away from worrying. They may be in the time looking for a partner for intimacy.

1. Season

The preferred mating time for cats is daylight. In general, cats have their breeding season nearly year-round. For the eastern hemisphere, mating season is between February and December. A slightly shorter March for the September season. 

2. Age

A sexual maturity age of a cat is between 5 months to 12 months. However, there are instances that a cat can be a mom as early as four months. To prevent any danger of a kitten becoming a young mom, vets practice early neuter and spaying. 

3. Estrus or cat mating period

The period when a female cat begins to heat is estrus. Their estrogen hormones rise and fall, creating their heating cycle. One heat cycle is about 3 to 14 days. Once they reach this period, it will happen again unless they mate or spay.

4. Tom and the Queen Sexual Maturity

Before thoroughly discussing how do cats mate? Let us meet the cats in their sexual maturity known as Tom and the Queen.

A male cat called Tom starts puberty at about 6 to 8 months. It can produce a kitten with a female cat at that age. We refer to the female cat as a queen. Their fertility period is usually 7 to 9 months, the same number of 7 to 9 years for their reproductive life. Make sure that the soon-to-be parents are healthy. A visit to the veterinarian is advisable, so we can prevent any health issue from being passed on to their offspring. 

How do cats mate?

cat mating

So, how do cats mate? Cats have a unique calling when they are ready to mate known as caterwauling. It is a loud meow which sounds like they are in pain. Or maybe they are? Since they are hoping for a female cat’s yes to mate. It is like a courtship process for a feline. Tom will woo the queen by continuously asking her while encircling her. A hiss from the queen is a no. It might take some time if the queen is not yet ready, a male cat will lay close to her to change her mind. Listed below is the indication of the queen’s yes.

  • Giving back the call with her meow
  • Lying with her chest down
  • Rubbing up with the male cat 
  • Rubbing her head or rolling on the floor

You will be able to tell if the cats are about to begin. The female cat will be in a position where their forelegs are bent, exposing the vulva through her raised rear legs and tail. It signals the male cat to begin. Tom will approach her, grab her at the back of her neck, and mount her. The behavior is believed to excite the female for ovulation or make sure she will cooperate. A male feline has a barbed penis which can be compared to a fishhook. The female cat screams because of pain when the penis was withdrawn from the vulva. However, despite the pain, the queen might try for another round after a few minutes. 

How long do cats mate?

Mating between cats is quick. The first mating activates the ovulation of a female cat. A female cat will be in heat for several days. She may mate with other male cats to ensure she has been fertilized. A queen can mate with more male cats for 21 days. This is also the reason why litters have kittens that look different from each other as they have different fathers. Within 20 to 50 hours, ovulation happens after mating. Eggs will be fertilized for a day in the oviduct. It will make its way into the uterus through the uterine horn. About 10 to 12 days after the eggs are implemented in the uterine lining, the mother cat will give birth. You might check ways to find out if a cat still has kittens inside

image of cat mating


Mate them at the right time.

Cats might be able to reproduce at an early age however it is best to reach their full size at 18 months before doing so. It is to help them grow without any issues. Early pregnancy may also endanger a female cat.

Have them physically examined.

Being a fur parent, taking a visit to a vet before mating is advisable. A physical examination is a must so the vet can advise if the cat is ready for mating. They will also be able to tell if there might be possible problems during mating or with the kittens. 

Know when they’re in heat.

A feline’s behavior may change when they’re in heat. You might observe that your cat has been having loud meows or a lack of appetite. A female cat will roll on her back or get clingier through rubbing. Another sign is a stroke in the back of a female cat, which gets her into a sexual position. Artificial light also affects their heat, indoor cats are in heat during all times of the year. She might also find ways to mate so be careful to let her go outside if you’re not yet ready to be a fur grandparent. 


Just like other living creatures, cats mate to reproduce. But how do cats mate? They experience being in heat, indicating a period where they’ll be looking for a cat to mate with. Mating is an essential process for cats’ reproduction. Knowing the factors of when they’ll be in puberty will prepare a fur parent to understand their cat more. 

A bunch of kittens that look different from each other might create a variety of fun in the household. There is an important thing to consider once your cat is in heat. A check-up in their health through a physical examination is a must to ensure a soon-to-be mother cat and kittens’ safety. Once your cat is in heat, be more caring and consider if you would like your feline to give you kittens or have them neutered or spayed.

At The Lovable Cat, we believe that every cat deserves to be loved and cared about.

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