With the tabloid press obsessing over the "octomom", the woman in California who already had six children and then gave birth to octuplets, the time seems perfect to talk about large litters in the world of felines.
Most cats have litters of 2-5 kittens, but litters of 6-8 are not exactly unusual, especially in large breeds like Maine Coons, Ragdolls and Ragamuffins.
A Himalayan female was bred on two occasions a few days apart. She then gave birth to 12 kittens. Six of the kittens were one size and six slightly were smaller. All 12 survived.
A Persian in South Africa named Bluebell gave birth to 14 kittens in one litter and all survived! But even this was not the largest surviving litter of kittens ever born....
The Guinness World Records (2009) lists the following feline reproductive achievements:
Largest Litter Born With Most Surviving Kittens
Tarawood Antigone, a four year old brown Burmese owned by Valerie Gane of Oxfordshire, UK, holds the record for having the largest number of kittens in a litter. 19 kittens were born in one litter on August 7th, 1970. Four were stillborn. The surviving fifteen kittens consisted of 1 female & 14 males.
Most Kittens In A Lifetime
Dusty, a tabby mixed breed from Texas, delivered a total of 420 kittens in her lifetime.
The Oldest Mother
owned by George Johnstone of Staffordshire, England,