Cats are tactile creatures who love to be stroked and to rub their whiskers and butt their heads against objects, people and other animals. When a female cat comes into heat she becomes even more physical and persistently rubs against things and rolls on the floor. If stroked, she will raise her hindquarters and tread with her back feet. After mating, she will roll around frantically for several minutes in an instinctive reaction that may be related to ovulation.
A female in heat makes a special yowling sound and produces pheromones and hormones that will attract tomcats. Although she is indicating her readiness to mate, the tom will approach with caution and follow her around keeping out of paws reach until she adopts a crouching position with a raised rear end. At this point he will grab her by the scruff of the neck and mount her and thrust his pelvis against her until he penetrates her with his penis for 3 to 20 seconds.
As the male ejaculates the female will let out one or more loud screams. The male's barbed penis scratches her insides and induces ovulation. The scratching is painful and makes her scream. Pregnancy will not occur without this stimulation so the first mating will often not produce kittens. Cats usually are bred three to four times in a 24-hour period. As the male releases her neck, the female often will swat and hiss at him.
Females After Mating
Immediately after mating, the queen furiously will roll around on the floor. She will move position and will lick at her genital area and at her back where the male cat touched her. She will be quite frenzied and move from one action to another for several minutes. This may be due to the hormones altering in her body in response to ovulation and also to clean the scent of the tom off her before she accepts another mating, which could be just 30 minutes later.
Tomcats After Mating
After mating, the tom is normally eager to move away from the female. He frequently will leave the scene. The female has made it clear that she wants him to keep away from her, and if the mating results in kittens he will have no part in raising them. Once she is receptive again, after half an hour or so, he will return to mate again.