How Many Kittens Can a Cat Have? Not Everybody Knows!

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

how many kittens can a cat have

Kittens are one of the most adorable creatures on this planet, which is why cat owners are so excited when their cats are about to give birth to these little kittens.

There are numerous questions regarding kittens birthing, but one prevalent question people usually ask is “How many kittens can a cat have?”. Caretakers also pay interest in the size of the average cat litter.

In this article, I will walk you through some aspects related to the number of kittens that mother cats can have at once:

  • Kitten Season: In this section, you’ll learn more about what kitten season is, how long it lasts, and its impact on cats.
  • Number of Kittens A Cat Can Have: Normally, a female cat can have an average of four to eight kittens per litter. However, for indoor cats, the number is up to five per litter.
  • Number of Kittens A Cat Can Have Throughout Her Lifetime: The number of babies a cat can bear in a lifespan can be easily calculated based on the size of the litter.
  • What Affects The Size Of The Cat Litter: There are various reasons that influence the number of newborn kittens, such as the number of fathers, your feline’s health, etc.
  • How To Tell How Many Kittens Your Cat Will Have: It’s important to know the size of your cat’s litter in advance so you can fully prepare for your friend.
  • Help Your Friend During This Difficult Time: You can help your friend during her laboring time by taking good care of her.

Without further ado, let’s get started with the first section: kitten season.

Kitten Season


Kitten season describes the period in which cats usually mate and deliver babies. These periods are warmer months of the year, and the length depends on your living setting.

Kitten season typically falls between March and October, but if your place is warm all year, kitten season can last for a year.

A cat that comes into heat is fertile and ready to mate, and then, it can be pregnant at any time. Normally, kittens will appear in spring and early summer.

Number of Kittens A Cat Can Have

Cats can have a lot of kittens in a litter. In fact, the average number of kittens per litter varies from four to eight, and it’s normal if your cat gives birth to more or fewer kittens. Usually, a healthy household cat can deliver five babies per litter.

When your pet is young, there can be numerous newborn kittens. However, as female cats age, there will be fewer kittens. The feline can deliver babies at least twice per year, but it’s not recommended.

It’s best for cats to deliver babies after she is spayed and when the vet says she’s ready. This can help your friend live longer as well as reduce the number of homeless kittens.

Did you know that the largest number of kittens per litter was 19 in 1970? Four of them couldn’t survive, and fourteen were male.

Furthermore, a feline can give birth with different fathers if she mates with multiple partners. That is one of the reasons why there are so many different appearances of kittens, although they are in the same litter.

After figuring out the number of newborn cats per litter, are you curious about how many cat babies there are in a cat mother’s lifetime? Continue reading the next section.

Number of Kittens A Cat Can Have Throughout Her Lifetime

No matter how you calculate the math, there is a great number of kittens in the life of a cat. A cat can live 13 to 15 years, and it can deliver babies after four months old. Moreover, cats can get pregnant after every three months.

Additionally, there are no risks associated with pregnant elderly cats, so your cat can deliver babies even when she’s old. Consequently, there can be 100 to 200 kittens in a cat’s lifespan. Therefore it’s advised that pet owners have a detailed plan for their cat’s pregnancies, such as sterilization.

What Affects The Size Of The Cat Litter


There are various factors that influence the size of a cat’s litter. First of all, each kitten is from different eggs, so when a female cat mates with its male, its eggs are released. Thus, the more exposed a female cat is to the male, the larger the litter will be.

Secondly, age also plays an important role in determining the size of the cat litter. If your cat is old, the litters are smaller. If your cat is giving birth for the first time, you can expect just one to three kittens at a time.

Thirdly, some breeds tend to have more kittens than others. For example, Siamese cats typically have a larger litter of babies, which are more than five, while Persian cats only give birth to one to three babies per litter.

Next, the health status of your cat can affect how many kittens there are in a litter. If your furry friend is healthy, she can produce larger litters.

If your cat has infections such as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), there can be smaller or stillborn kittens. If your cat is infected during pregnancy, surviving kittens still can have disabilities and poor cognitive improvement.

In addition, stress can negatively influence your cat’s pregnancy, which means she feels insecure or unsafe, the size of litters can be smaller. The fathers are important as well. His health, fertility, and genetics can affect the size of the litters.

The environment is crucial for the cat to give birth. If your cat stays indoors, which is often exposed to artificial lights, it can have year-round cycles.

How to Tell How Many Kittens Your Cat Will Have

You can expect to have small furry balls after 60 to 67 days into pregnancy. Nevertheless, it’s best to ask your vegetarian to predict how many babies there will be. The vet can confirm pregnancy 16 days after pairing and the exact number within a month.

Some common measures to calculate are the number of kittens in the previous litter, palpation, X-ray, and ultrasounds.

Checking the number of kittens is vital. There are many possibilities such as the kittens in the tummy are too big to go through the canal, or some of the kids stay in the mother’s womb and can’t come out. Knowing these things will help you prepare in advance.

Help Your Friend In This Difficult Time

A cat’s pregnancy lasts about 60 to 67 days. Nonetheless, you can tell her labor time is coming by various signs. For example, she is eating less, her appetite decreases, she starts nesting, etc.

Since cats like to sleep more often, you can prepare a nice, cozy bed with quiet surroundings for your friend. Moreover, she likes to hide a lot, so you can consider building her a cat cave to hide. Providing nutritious food is crucial as well.

When a cat is in labor, panting is extremely normal. Your cats will clean up their kids themselves and eat the placenta. Also, newborn kittens need a lot of care and attention until they grow up. Kittens are born with their eyes closed, but they will gradually open between 9 to 14 days.

It’s essential that you research all the problems that may occur during her pregnancy. Contact your vet regularly for more information.


This article has given the answer to the question “how many kittens can a cat have” as well as described the average cat litter size. A cat normally can have four to eight kittens per litter, and she can be pregnant after four months old.

I hope this article has helped you with useful information to look after your cat’s health. Do you find this article helpful? Let me know in the comment. If you find this article interesting, please share it with your friends and family.

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