Is back to back breeding normal for animals?
Updated: Jun 14
As a result of adopt don't shop's attempts to steal business from breeders in order to line their own pockets, a number of the myths about back-to-back breeding has been circulated.
First of all, back-to-back breeding is when an animal is bred again without a pause in between litters. However, most people are unaware that this is frequently not possible, therefore should it even be referred to as back-to-back breeding? Animals typically take a natural pause after having a litter and cannot become pregnant again right away. It is a natural break for cats in particular to wait until the kittens are weaned, which can happen between 4 and 8 weeks of age, this is when kittens become independent of their mother. This natural break has exceptions as it would for all ethical breeders. Most breeders opt to skip a couple of the cats heats to allow the cat to fully recover from having to nurse a litter of kittens. The issue with cats is that they will continue to go into heat multiple times a month which can put the cats life at risk. Unlike dogs who have a longer break between heats allowing a longer period of time between litters.
The most serious risk of allowing cats to have multiple heats without becoming pregnant is pyometra, a serious life-threatening infection in the uterus that can occur at any time a cat is in heat without becoming pregnant and will usually result in the cat having to be spayed; this isn't always the case, but many vets refuse to treat the infection and will require a spay. Progesterone levels stay increased for several weeks after a heat, prompting the uterine lining to thicken in preparation for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur during one or more heat cycles, the lining will continue to thicken until cysts form, secreting fluids and providing an excellent habitat for bacteria to flourish. Also, excessive progesterone levels impair the uterine wall muscles' ability to contract and evacuate fluid or bacteria. If animals were designed to have longer intervals between litters than they would not go into heat as much as they do and pyometra would not appear to be a risk factor, yet it is. For some reason, those spreading breeding disinformation are oblivious to the fact that they are advocating for something that has the potential to kill an animal.
Another common misunderstanding is the link between backyard breeding or puppy mills and back-to-back breeding. While unethical breeders, like puppy mills, keep animals in appalling conditions and in poor health, ethical breeders place a high focus on a female's health and ability to carry a litter before deciding whether or not to skip a heat. The key takeaway is that the animal needs to be healthy before carrying another litter. If healthy what is the benefit of a break that lasts longer than the natural break they already have?What people aren't considering is that animals in the wild as well as farm animals like chickens, ducks, cows, horses, rabbits are all bred back to back with or without human intervention, the majority of animals will go back into heat when they are done or close to being done caring for their offspring and it just so happens that pets like dogs and cats take care of their offspring for less time so they go back into heat sooner. Even when intentionally produced by humans, these animals require no human involvement to reproduce. Who am I to questions Gods creations in when they can breed if the animal is healthy and able to carry a litter? It does not make sense to go against an animals natural reproduction in order to accommodate human emotions.
If we want to function in reality, we have to stop projecting human emotions onto animals. People can't understand "back to back" litters because they are projecting their own emotions and feelings about childbirth and raising a child for 18 years onto animals, then claiming that because they can't imagine giving birth back to back (even though it happens frequently in humans), an animal must feel the same way. An animal in heat would never wake up one day and decide not to reproduce, as a human can, since an animal is driven by instincts, and their instincts tell them to reproduce. Animal instincts do not care about your human emotions. In the wild in a lion pride, if a new male takes over the pride he will kill all of the cubs to make all the females go back into heat to produce his own offspring and the females will happily reproduce again without being sad for years about it. Another example is with my own female on my first litter, because her kittens were unlikely to survive, she abandoned them to die while never shedding a tear about it. There was even a point where a kitten was born dead and she left the baby outside of the birthing box all of these things are no fault of her own but natural instincts that prove the distinct difference between humans and animals.
I am aware that some people want to portray ethical breeders as the villain while supporting backyard breeders who dump their animals in shelters, but we are not puppy mills. It is in our best interest to ensure their health because these animals have a lot of money invested in them. Despite what people may say, these animals live with us and become a part of our family as pets, and we care for them in the greatest way possible. Without healthy, happy animals, my breeding business would die rapidly.