Feline siblings spend a lot of time together as companions and littermates in their early years. Unfortunately, mating between cats that are closely related will result in genetic issues. As they approach their reproductive stages, siblings cats may mate. Make sure your cats are neutered or spayed before they are 6 months old to avoid this from happening. Unless you are familiar with the lines that your cats come from, line breeding or inbreeding is not advised. Owners are baffled as to why cats mate with their siblings. But once you comprehend the underlying causes, it’s really not that difficult. What transpires when cat siblings do mate is the complicated part.
Do cats mate with their siblings?
Brother and sister cats do mate with each other because mating is a cat’s natural instinct. Male cats will act according to their natural instinct to pass on their genes when a female enters the estrus cycle (is in heat). The cat’s body chemistry will let it know when to mate and when female cats should start having kittens. Cats will therefore mate even if they were born in the same litter.
Inbreeding does not necessarily happen naturally, though. The female control of paternity during copulation was the subject of a Brill study. Overall, female cats avoid inbreeding with their immediate family members during copulation, but not with their distant relatives, according to research. Feral cats that are separated from other colonies must breed with their siblings and other family members in order to maintain the colony. However, the study demonstrates that if other cats are available, feral cats prefer to mate with a cat not related to them directly.
Can brother and sister cats have kittens?
The sexual maturity of kittens can start as early as 4 months. Around this time, female kittens can conceive, while male kittens can impregnate a female who is fertile. If you have two unneutered cats from the same litter, this could be a problem. There is a good chance that a female kitten who becomes pregnant at 4 months old will give birth to her own litter at just 6 months old. Because a cat’s gestation period is only 63 days, experts don’t think it’s appropriate for a cat to be having her first litter at that time.
Because cats are indiscriminate animals, a brother may mate with his sister even though he doesn’t regard her as a member of the family. They are each other’s playmates above all else. Get the sister and brother cats spayed or neutered before they reach puberty to avoid inbreeding between siblings. Choose same-sex cats from the same litter if you’re looking for a couple of cats to keep as pets. By doing so, you lessen the possibility of siblings mating while still giving one another a playmate.
Can you breed half-sibling cats?
Half-sibling inbreeding occurs just as frequently as full-sibling inbreeding, if not more frequently. “Line breeding” is the practice of intentionally mating half-sibling cats. Line breeding entails relationships between half-siblings and other second-degree relatives. When compared to mating first-degree relatives, the process lowers the risk of inherited disorders, but it does not completely eliminate it. Inbreeding can harm one’s health in any way.
Professional breeding organizations prefer inbreeding of cats that are not too closely related to full-blooded mating. Half-sibling matings result in kittens that adhere to the integrity and physical and genetic traits of a particular breed, as stated in the GCCF Breeding Policy.
What Happens If Cats from the Same Litter Mate?
There is a good chance that kittens born from cats from the same litter who do mating will be healthy and free of obvious genetic problems. Hopefully, the resulting litter will be free of significant flaws and have the desired physical and psychological characteristics. Inbreeding poses a serious risk, and until the litter is born, it’s typically impossible to predict whether any health problems will arise.
Similar Physical Traits
Cats born through inbreeding frequently inherit traits that are unique to their breed, including some physically desirable traits. This might be due to similar skull shapes, different amounts of fur, or the size of their legs. This enables cat breeders to sell their cats for the highest possible prices.
An inbred cat will inherit not only its physical traits but also its personality traits. Cat breeders do this in order to control the temperament of the litter by mating cats from the same litter. If the parent cats in a sibling pair have similar personalities, the offspring may be calm or playful. It’s most likely because they are related. Owners looking for a specific cat to fit their lifestyle may find this appealing.
Mate with caution
With some of the more pedigree cat breeds, serious health issues frequently recur if inbreeding occurs too frequently. 64.9% of the Persian cats examined, according to Scientific Reports, had at least one disorder. This high statistic raises the question of whether it is safe for cats from the same litter to mate, as Persians are one of the most inbred breeds.
The morality of the practice must also be taken into account. Since humans do not tolerate inbreeding, many detractors object to nature being changed to produce the desired outcome.
Inbred Cat Symptoms
When closely related cats mate, inbreeding happens. This includes half-siblings, father and daughter, mother and son, and brother and sister. Particularly with pedigree breeds, cat breeders frequently use inbreeding to predict how their kittens will look. Breeders can track the distinguished bloodlines of their cats and improve their undesirable characteristics by inbreeding. Additionally, they can make promises to buyers looking for particular qualities in a feline.
Inbreeding does have drawbacks, though. Inbreeding is not only morally and ethically unacceptable, but it can also have negative health effects on kittens.
Genetic defects are more likely to occur when there is inbreeding. All inbred cats are susceptible, though pedigree cats are more likely to experience it. The abnormal genes that are passed down through the generations are the cause of inherited disorders. Some of them may be obvious from birth, while others might not show up until later in life. Due to the reduced gene pool brought on by ongoing inbreeding, harmful genes spread widely, making the breed sickly and frail.
Buyers aren’t typically willing to buy a cat with obvious health issues, making the pet unsaleable as a natural by-product. Because the animal doesn’t fit the requirements, breeders frequently decide to put it down.
Regular matings between cats from the same bloodline will eventually result in litters with unhealthy kittens. Small litter sizes with only one or two kittens are typical overbreeding symptoms. These kittens could be born with a number of anomalies, such as an unbalanced jaw, an uneven nose, uneven eyes, and teeth and mouth problems. Other problems can also come up. This includes cancers in young cats, low fertility in female cats, and immune system problems that cause a high death rate.
Maintaining breed purity
Purity through line breeding is a less concerning result of inbreeding. They can maintain the breed’s vitality while slowing the rate of genetic decline by mating cats with less direct bloodlines, such as cousins or half-siblings. The advantage for the breeder is that they can foresee the traits and appearance of the litter before the kittens are born. Breeding cats from the same litter or siblings should only be done with care as inbreeding is never a guaranteed outcome.