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Part 9 of “So you want to be a cat breeder” – breeding the queen

3 January, 2011

This post assumes that as a first-time breeder, you only have one queen.  It could be that you have more than one queen. 

However, chances are you won’t have a stud cat because breeders do not sell stud cats to first-time breeders.  They know that owning breeding queens is complicated enough without having to cope with the added headache and expense of having a stud cat.

So this post also assumes that you will need to use the services of a stud cat.

I have written elsewhere about the breeding cycle of a queen. 

When she calls, a queen will spray to attract a male cat.  “Spray” sounds very delicate and fragrant.  It is not.  It should really be called “Hose” for its volume and ability to reach long distances.   The smell is not for the faint-hearted.

The point of mentioning this is that even before you breed her, unless you want your house smelling like a zoo, you will probably have to spend a lot of money either (1) buying specialist cat urine enzyme cleaners or (2) house your queen in an outdoor purpose-built cat house.  I chose option (1) and wish I’d chosen (2) instead but that would have set me back by anything from £500 upwards.

Next you will need to find a stud cat.  If the breeder of your queen has a suitable stud cat then that’s very useful.  If not, you will have to phone around for a stud cat.  If you’ve been showing your cat then you may already have met some suitable owners who are impressed by your willingness to show and therefore more ready to let you use their stud cat.

Some stud cats are advertised as at closed or private  stud.  This means that their services are used exclusively by the breeder for her queens.  Not for outside queens. 

There are a number of reasons for this, usually to do with wanting to maintain the quality of the kittens and the bloodline.  Remember – the reputation of the stud and the breeder is at stake so they have every right to be fussy.

It could be that the stud cat is new and the breeder wants to see what sort of kittens he produces before allowing outside queens to breed with him.  Or maybe the breeder wants to keep that particular bloodline to her cattery. 

Also, the more outside queens a stud breeds with, the chances of introducing outside germs is high.  So an owner of a stud cat has to balance out this risk with the need to ensure that the stud gets plenty of action to satisfy him.

In order to minimise the chances of the queen passing on any diseases,  all stud cat owners wil insist that queens are tested for FIV and FeLV, 24 hours before mating.  The vet will issue a certificate for the blood test which must be presented to the stud cat’s owner as proof of health. I paid approximately £40 for a blood test in 2009.

It goes without saying that the queen should also be in good health, and have a clean coat and no fleas.

Stud fees range from £300 upwards (2009 prices).  You will also have to provide food and litter for your queen for her Club 18-30 holiday.  A nice bunch of flowers or bottle of wine is a nice gesture when you pick up your queen.  Not for the stud cat – for the stud cat’s owner.

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