Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
My daughter’s cat had kittens by my boyfriend’s daughter’s cat, and we kept the one male kitten since the kittens’ father sadly died shortly afterwards. I wasn’t financially able to spay the mom cat at that stage, and now I think she might be pregnant with her son’s kittens. Is it dangerous? Should I have the kittens aborted if she is indeed pregnant? I feel terrible that I didn’t make a plan sooner, but I don’t want her to bring sick and suffering kittens into the world.
Thomas: Oh, Heidi, you’ve just come across one of the most unfortunate realities of cat care: cats have no incest taboo.
Bella: Mother cats and their kittens can and do mate. It certainly increases the risk for birth defects and other problems because kittens created through a mother-child mating can get double copies of bad genes.
Tara: That said, however, breeders have been known to mate kittens back to parents in order to develop “desired traits” of the breed. We have a few choice words about that, but we’ll save them for another time.
Thomas: The first thing you’re going to have to do is to determine whether or not mom-cat is pregnant. The average gestation period for a cat is 63 to 65 days, or about two months, and you may not see any outward signs of pregnancy until the last couple of weeks.
Bella: A veterinarian will be able to tell you if your cat is pregnant, because they’ll be able to feel the kittens when they’re still tiny.
Tara: If your mom cat is pregnant, your vet can still spay her. It will be more risky because pregnancy brings extra blood flow to the uterus and increases the risk of bleeding. But plenty of vets have spayed pregnant cats with no problems.
Thomas: We’d actually recommend that you have both mom and son “fixed” as soon as you can. If she’s not pregnant, this will prevent future problems, and if she is, it will mean that one more litter of “oops” kittens won’t need to find homes.
Bella: And getting the boy cat neutered will mean he won’t spray nasty-smelling boy-cat urine all over the place!
Tara: We know spaying and neutering can be expensive, but fortunately, there’s a lot of help available.
Thomas: First, we’d recommend you check with the shelters in your area to see if they do low-cost spay/neuter. If they don’t, maybe they know a clinic in your area that does, or that can provide vouchers to use with local vets. We’ve listed some of the nationwide resources in this post.
Bella: So, Heidi, long story short: If you’ve seen the cats mate, mama cat is definitely pregnant. If you haven’t, she still may be pregnant if she was in heat for any amount of time. You’ll have to take her to the vet to find out for sure.
Tara: Once you’ve found out, you have two choices. If she’s not pregnant, get her spayed asap so that doesn’t happen. If she is pregnant, talk with the vet and let them know that the kittens are from a mother-child mating. They may have recommendations about whether or not to abort the kittens.
Thomas: Spaying a pregnant cat is slightly riskier than spaying a non-pregnant one, but it’s done regularly enough that most vets know how to deal with it.
Bella: It’s not a certain thing that mother-child mating kittens will suffer and be sick, but it definitely helps to concentrate harmful genes.
Tara: Ultimately it’s up to you to decide what you want to do if your mama cat is pregnant. Mama says that if it were her, she’d go with the veterinarian’s advice about whether or not to spay if she’s pregnant.
Thomas: We hope this helps. We also hope your mama cat isn’t pregnant because this will make your decisions a lot easier.
Bella: What about you other readers? Have you ever had a mother-child cat mating? How did the kittens turn out?
Tara: Have you had a pregnant cat spayed? Did it turn out okay?
Thomas: And if it were you in Heidi’s situation, what would you do? Please share your answers in the comments!
Hello I just went through the exact same thing my female cat got pregnant by her almost one-year-old son cat she had 5 kittens all of them died I could tell they had something wrong with their breathing every time I went to check on him when would be dead and then tonight there was one left a little calico girl I held her even trying to give her CPR and she just couldn’t make it I didn’t know this kind of thing happens I was devastated I still am I will be sure to get both of them fixed as soon as possible this is also her 5th pregnancy I feel so bad I love my cats with all my heart I just didn’t know this sort of thing can happen so please do not let your mama cat get pregnant by her son it was very very sad I still have to bury all five of them!
This just happened to me as well. I had a mother cat that gave birth to 4 kittens that were all fathered by her one year old son. Same deal, I couldn’t get him fixed fast enough. One was still born, one she killed, one died slowly from breathing complications and the last one I tried so hard to keep alive. Bottle fed her every 2 hrs., made sure she was warm, made her go to the bathroom, cuddled her, bonded with her. But sadly, at only 2 weeks old, I found her dead this morning when I was going to give her the next feeding. During her last feeding, I found it strange that she wasn’t responding as before. She wasn’t waking right away. I thought maybe she was just tired, because once she did wake, she had a bowl movement and ate a little. She purred when I cuddled her, and went to sleep. I watched her sleep for a while, not seeing any distress, but sadly, she’s gone too. I think mother cats mating with sons, or any litter mates mating is dangerous, not to mention heartbreaking. I’ve raised and had to bottle feed lots of kittens in my day, some just days after birth, but I’ve never seen such a loss like this. And I’m very sure it’s because of the mating pair being related. She’s the only one I had a chance to name. I’ll be burying Kisses next to her siblings later. And yes, the male is fixed now, but the damage is already done. My heart is hurting.
I had this happen as well. Fortunately, the kittens didn’t have any issues at birth. She had two boys. One of them does seem to be a bit off mentally, but he is the sweetest boy ever. The other one is pretty normal, healthy and strong. They will be 2 in late November.
Hello, I have a mother cat that will be 1 year in june. We have 1 son of hers also that is about 9 or 10 weeks old, because of the covid 19 virus I cant get either of them into a vet to be spayed or neutered but want to make sure the son doesnt impregnate the mother. How much longer can I wait before this can happen? Any advice on what to do to prevent a unwanted mother and son to mate would be helpful. Thanks.
Male cats are usually sexually mature by about 5 months of age, so you’ve probably got another couple of months before you really have to be concerned about the possibility of your boy cat impregnating his mother.
Really? No vets wit do it? My vet is still seeing patients. No people are allowed in the office, only pets. They take your card inside and run the payment, then co e back outside for you to sign. Or you can do it over the phone. You just drop off your pet and co e back to get them when they’re done. It’s perfectly safe. You must wear a mask of course and stay outside. They come out briefly just to talk and give back your pet. I’d check around again and make sure that no vets are using precautions and still seeing just pets.
I’m in a situation where mum cat is currently in heat and we still have 2 of her sons from her first litter. I dont have a big house so separation is hard and because of Covid I can’t get the boys neutered either!! I’m worried that she will get pregnant again and with lockdown I dont know when I can get them all done! It’s a pain!!
Yes, COVID-19 is definitely causing a lot of backups for more routine veterinary procedures like spays and neuters! You can only do the best you can with what you have, so please don’t feel guilty if she does end up getting pregnant no matter how hard you try to stop it from happening.
I recently adopted a mama cat and her blind son that the shelter kept with her due to his disability. I was under the assumption that mom was spayed and the son was neutered. Not so–only the son has been neutered. He is about 8 months old and was only neutered last month. When we got them last month, momma was pretty chunky and we thought that it was because she was in a crate for so long but now we are thinking she is pregnant as she is just getting bigger. So two questions please—one, is there a good way to tell if she is (getting to the vet is pretty hard right now) and two, we made an appointment to have her spayed and the earliest we could get her in was June 4. If she does give birth and is still nursing, do we have to postpone her surgery? Thank you!
And yes, we do believe that her son was probably the one to get her pregnant . . .
Hi. One year ago to the day my 2 mama cats had a litter of two and a litter of 6. I kept 2 of the kittens (both boys) because I loved them. However, I am disabled from injuries sustained in the Army and because of this COVID 19 thing my vet unfortunately rang me three months ago informing me that he had to cancel the surgery to have the two boys neutered. Now I am almost certain that both mamas are pregnant by their own sons (not nephews) because each mama is being incredibly hostile with their nephews and not their sons and all 4 cats prior to this have been completely loving and tender and beautiful with each other. I am almost 100% certain both mamas are knocked up. What am I to do please? If it could be possible the offspring would be fine I’d keep them all and not pawn them off on unsuspecting people as I have plenty of space and am totally against euthanising any animal for any reason except if it stops suffering. It is also why I kept the two boys in the first place because I didn’t want to take them to a shelter or the pound or any place like that if there was any chance whatsoever they’d be put to sleep. I love all animals too much for that but especially my two boys and their mamas (who are twin sisters by the way) as they literally saved my life. I was ready to commit suicide myself because of my injuries and disabilities until my own mother gave me the gift of 2 twin 8 week old sister kittens whom were 2 years old before they had their first litter to a breeders stud named Oscar who lived 4 blocks down the road. But now my girls are almost certainly knocked up either by their own sons or their nephews either or I can’t be positive but what do I do if it were by their own suns or what do I do if it were by their nephews? Also sorry for rambling on I have been on self isolation for 13 weeks at home so maybe just also a little lonely lol. Thank you for your time if you read all of this and I thank you for any advice you may have. Graham.
Don’t use Covid as an eccuse. Money…now that’s easy to understand.
My vet can’t possibly be the only vet seeing patients. They just do it safely. Humans are no allowed inside and you only come in contact briefly with the tech when you hand the pet in their carrier over to them and when you pick your pet up. You can pay and get any instructions over the phone to make your interaction with the vet tech even shorter. That’s what I do because I’m high risk for Covid. I basically stay at home 24/7 except for when I take my cats to the vet. You stay outside and wear a mask, and you keep your interaction with the tech very brief. It’s very safe. You just call when you arrive and answer questions over the phone. Then you wait in the parking lot in your car until they call you to let you know that they’re ready for you. Then you go back later and do the same thing to pick them up. They’re been doing this since March. It’s not unusual.
Come on now…You all just need to do more research and make the effort to find a vet that sees pet patients safely. They’re out there. Mine is not the only one!
Don’t be rediculus.
I mean, not everyone lives in a first world country, the covid-19 situation is horrendous in the 3rd world countries, from where I am. Human beings are unable to get proper treatment, much less animals. Some of us have no choice but to wait.
I just had my pregnant mom cat spayed and son cat neutered. I found a not for profit veterinary. Being retired I couldn’t afford for profit vet. They spay fero cats for 15.00. PetLuv was a God send for me.