|i made a comitment when i picked them up from the SPCA.
If you picked them up from SPCA, you made a commitment to have them spayed and neutered to avoid another litter. In most areas, that agreement is a binding contract and you would be breaking the law if you allow your cats to breed.
I am only posting this because you do not already have a pregnant animal, if that happens, it's a whole other story. But, since they are not yet pregnant, I feel responsibility to share some of the knowledge I have in effort to avoid another litter being born.
If you really are in the position to raise and love 20 cats in your home, I beg you to spay/neuter the cats you have and then go directly to the nearest shelter to adopt 17 already born kittens/cats who may be euthanized soon or never find a forever home. You won't have any trouble finding that many, shelters are overflowing with unwanted cats, unfortunately. Or, as others mentioned, become a foster mother...that is a really loving, selfless thing to do.
The bottom line is that you are not doing any non-pedigree cat a favor by allowing it to breed. They do not have better lives because they had a litter or have mated.
* Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
* Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat.
* Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle.
* Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.
I know you said you were not looking for a lecture and really, that is not my intent. It is to educate you because I feel that if you really look at the facts, you will find that you would not be helping but hurting your pets by allowing them 'just one litter'.
The thing is, you do not need to 'make your bed and lie in it'. You can make choices NOW that are in the best interests of your cats and will help them avoid potential problems associated with not being spayed/neutered.
Your male kitten may be able to mate in less than 2 months from now. Your female kittens will NOT be adults yet, they will still be well under a year.
Please consider their health and lives before making a decision that could bring them to an early death. Please do not just 'see how it goes', because that could result in death for one or more of the mothers or kittens.
It really sounds like you love your cats, I hope you love them enough to protect them from pregnancy. It's really a matter of life and death. As others have pointed out, maybe you will just ignore the advice here and go ahead and breed your cats. That may be so, but I would feel irresponsible for not at least giving you the facts before you make that decision.
Don't just take it from me...search the internet and you will find TONS of info about why it is so important to spay/neuter.