Part 10 of “So you want to be a cat breeder” – the mating11 January, 2011
When it all works …
So your queen has got the green light from the vet and she’s now in her basket, about to be introduced to Mr Stud Cat.
Depending on the temperament of the stud cat and the queen, the owner may introduce the queen into the stud cat’s quarters immediately.
However, if the queen is nervous or has a reputation for being difficult, some stud cat owners prefer a softly-softly approach. They may have enclosures in which the queen and stud can make their acquaintance separated by netting, just in case it isn’t a case of lust at first sight.
My queen, Ananda’s, first encounter was with an experienced stud cat, Mullycoonz Romulas. A beautiful red silver tabby with rippling muscles straight out of a bodybuilding magazine. His owners assured me he was a gentleman and wouldn’t take advantage of her inexperience, and so chose to release her into his cage. She dashed into the enclosed part of his quarters and hid there. He sat outside patiently, letting his potent pheremones and studliness do their work for him.
His owners told me that they had a previous stud cat who wasn’t so gentlemanly – this chap wasn’t used to waiting and used to reach into the quarters and get the queen out.
Please note that all this is usually done under supervision because:
(1) Stud cat owners are well aware of the risks of putting two strange cats together.
(2) In the case of an inexperienced queen, she is likely to beat up the stud. Or in the case of a feisty and inexperienced queen, it may be necessary to hold her down gently [with gardening gloves] in order for the stud to sidle up and have his way with her without losing an eye in the act.
(3) The end of the mating act is actually quite painful for the queen and she oftens turns on the stud with copious use of claws and fangs. An experienced stud will anticipate this and know how to levitate 3 feet vertically in the air onto a platform in the enclosure. Think of it as Matrix for Cats.
(4) It is important to record the date of the first mating in order to work out when the kittens are due. What if the mating takes place in the dead of the night? Well, canny stud cat owners have baby alarms hooked up to their bedrooms. And you thought that cat breeding was easy … .
At the end of the stay, a mating certificate is issued by the stud cat owner. This is an important piece of paper because it must be sent to the cat registry as proof of pedigree. It contains the following information:
(1) details and cat association registration numbers of the stud cat
(2) the approximate days of mating (and due date of kittens)
(3) any restrictions on the kittens born from the mating. For e.g. “one female may be kept for your own breeding. All other kittens to be registered on the non-active register. No kittens can be sold/given away on the active register.”
(3) What the stud cat owner will do in case the mating is unsuccessful, e.g. “a free mating will be offered if one or less kittens result from the mating”.
Romulas’ owners told me how they opened the door to his enclosure one morning during Ananda’s visit and everything was topsy-turvy – his basket, her basket, the litter trays etc. But they were curled together on the bench. Romulas and Ananda went on to have six kittens together.