Why Do Cats Inbreed – Uncovering the Mystery


Cats exhibit peculiar behaviors, particularly in their reproductive habits. It can be challenging to control this issue, especially if your cat is not neutered. Occasionally, you may witness cats engaging in inbreeding, which may appear erroneous. Nevertheless, research indicates that this is a prevalent behavior among cats. Hence, what are the reasons behind cats inbreeding?

Cats inbreed because they don’t know who their parents and relatives are. It’s natural for cats to want to mate, so sometimes they end up mating with their own family members and having kittens.

While humans don’t engage in this type of behavior, it is actually quite common among animals. In this article, we will explore the topic of inbreeding in cats, what you can anticipate, and provide some tips for preventing it as a cat owner.

Reasons Why Cats Inbreed

There are five primary explanations for why cats engage in inbreeding. These primarily revolve around the typical actions of cats and the common situations that lead to inbreeding among them. These situations typically involve a group of cats being confined to a secluded area or the presence of two closely related cats living together in a household. Here are the five reasons why cats engage in inbreeding.

Cats Don’t Recognize Parents and Siblings As Humans Do

Cats don’t perceive their parents and siblings in the same way humans do. Some cats might even try to mate with their littermates. Mating is a natural behavior for intact cats, so they don’t really consider who they’re mating with. Some people even believe that cats can’t understand family connections in that manner.

They Are In An Isolated Area 

Cats in remote locations are more prone to inbreeding compared to cats in areas with a larger cat population. This is because cats in isolated areas have limited choices for potential mates, leading them to mate with cats they are closely related to. It’s important to note that cats are not aware that they are mating with their parents or siblings; they simply follow their natural instincts.

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Cats In The Home Are Not Spayed Or Neutered 

If you don’t want baby cats, it’s important to have your cats fixed. This is especially important if you have multiple cats of different genders living together, and even more so if these cats are related. Even though it’s natural for cats that haven’t been fixed to behave this way, kittens born from inbreeding can still have certain birth defects and health issues.

Cats Do Not Have Social Norms

Cats don’t follow social norms like humans do, so mating is purely instinctual for them. Therefore, it’s not considered strange or taboo for cats to mate with their relatives. That’s why it’s important to have your cats spayed or neutered if they live with siblings or other cat relatives.

Cats Cannot Comprehend The Potential Problems With Inbreeding

Do you remember when we mentioned that cats born from inbreeding can have health issues and disabilities due to genetic conditions? Well, cats are not aware of this fact and cannot understand it. Consequently, many inbred cats are born with health problems.

Do Cats Mate With Their Parents

Indeed, it is possible for cats to engage in mating with their parents. The reason behind this behavior is that cats lack the ability to identify their parents in the same manner as humans do. Nevertheless, cats are more inclined to mate with their parents when there are limited options available for them to mate with.

Do Cats Mate With Their Siblings

Similar to how some cats breed with their parents, there are also cats that breed with their siblings. This is more likely to happen when the cat lives in a secluded place or situation where there are not many other cats available for them to mate with.

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Is Inbreeding Bad For Cats?

Yes, inbreeding can have negative consequences for cats. While the parents may not be affected by inbreeding, their kittens are at a higher risk of being born with serious congenital disabilities or medical issues. These effects can cause significant pain and reduce the kittens’ lifespan. Therefore, intentionally breeding cats with close relatives should always be avoided.

What Are The Signs Of An Inbred Cat 

There are various signs that can indicate inbreeding, although they may not always be very obvious. For instance, cats that are inbred are more prone to having weaker immune systems compared to cats that are not inbred. This makes them more susceptible to getting sick or facing complications related to illnesses. Furthermore, inbred cats usually have a smaller size and stature as adults, which means they are smaller than what is expected for their breed. Inbred kittens also tend to be born small and thin.

Just like other animals that are inbred, cats that are inbred are more likely to have difficulties with breeding. This can include problems with getting pregnant and giving birth to kittens that are stillborn or have abnormalities. Inbreeding in cats can also result in physical deformities such as cleft palates, heart defects, and other physical abnormalities. Furthermore, there have been reports of inbred cats having bad temperaments.

Things to Consider 

When it comes to cats’ inbreeding, there are a few other factors to think about. This includes ways to stop cats from inbreeding and what to do if you suspect your cat has inbred. Here are some important points to keep in mind regarding cats inbreeding.

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How To Prevent Cats From Inbreeding 

The best way to stop cats from inbreeding is by having them spayed or neutered. Cats have a natural instinct to mate, so they will try to do it when the female is in heat, whether they are related or not. There are many inexpensive options for spaying and neutering cats, and you can learn more about them from nearby veterinarians.

What Should You Do If You Think Your Cat May Be Inbred

While it may be quite alarming to discover that your cats have engaged in inbreeding, the majority of inbred cats do not suffer severe consequences from it as long as there is no prior history of inbreeding in their ancestry. If it is an isolated incident, then the kittens are likely to be unaffected. Nevertheless, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian for guidance, and it is recommended to exercise additional caution when looking after inbred kittens.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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[Wikipedia] [Encyclopedia Britannica] [National Geographic] [cdc.gov] [Purina]

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