choosing a stud you should consider why you wish to mate your
queen. Remember that you are planning a litter of kittens
for your sake, not for hers; there may be birth complications
and she may even need a caesarean section, so if you planned
to have a litter of kittens for her sake, have her spayed
must consider if the queen is suitable; she should be:
good example of her breed, conforming well to the Standard
of points, with no physical abnormalities ('veterinary
defects'). It does not help a breed if poor quality cats
are bred from.
bred, according to the Registration Policy for her breed.
on the 'Active Register' with GCCF or, in the case of
FIFe , not endorsed 'not for breeding'. Kittens born to
cats on the Non-Active Register, or who are endorsed 'not
for breeding' cannot be registered.
healthy as possible: do not be tempted to keep the smallest
kitten for breeding just because she is of good 'type'.
from hereditary defects: if there is a known hereditary
breed problem for which it is possible to test, your cat
should be tested as early as possible and certainly before
she has a litter. At present there are relatively few
such tests available, but Korats should be tested for
GM1/GM2 gangliosidosis, white cats of any breed should
be tested for deafness and a cat of any breed in which
Polycystic Kidney Disease is found should be scanned under
the FAB/PKD scheme. Learn as much as possible about the
other cats in the pedigree and their litter-mates. If,
for instance, the sire has sired monorchid kittens there
is a risk that your kitten will pass on this defect.
consider the implications of producing a litter of kittens:
you will be responsible for supervising the birth, rearing
the litter, having them vaccinated and finding them suitable
homes. You will need to be present at the birth, no matter
what time of day or night, and you may need to be with the
queen for most of the time during the first week or so to
ensure that she looks after the kittens properly. When the
kittens are first weaned you will need to feed them several
times a day. You will need to plan the mating so that the
kittens are born at a time when you can be at home with the
queen and when you will not be going on holiday before the
kittens leave home, unless there is someone reliable to babysit
the kittens are fully vaccinated and ready to leave home you
will have to check out the potential purchasers to make sure
that they are suitable owners of your particular breed of
cat. Even the best owners can have problems, so you should
always be prepared to take a kitten back if it does not settle;
if the problems arise later you should always be prepared
to take the cat back, or at least help to find a suitable
new home. Sometimes there are fewer good homes than kittens,
so you must be prepared to keep the remaining kittens until
suitable owners materialise, remembering that the older the
kitten, the less chance there is of covering its food bills.
If you are not prepared to do this, do not mate your queen:
there are increasing numbers of pedigree cats in rescue shelters
and it is irresponsible to increase this burden.
should study the Standard of Points and Registration Policy
for your breed before deciding to mate your queen. You should
also have sufficient knowledge of colour genetics to know
what colour kittens you can expect from various matings. You
should also be aware of any hereditary diseases which may
be present in your particular breed so that you can try to
avoid producing affected kittens.
you are sure you wish to mate your queen, take great care
choosing a stud. Not all show winners are necessarily suitable,
the bloodlines must be studied and the advice of experienced
breeders is invaluable. The breeder of your queen will probably
know which bloodlines are suitable and which are not. Some
breed clubs also keep lists of cats at stud. If you are not
sure what breed or colour to mate to, ask the appropriate
breed club for a copy of the registration policy for your
particular breed: some matings may produce very pretty healthy
kittens but, because the two breeds or colours are not considered
compatible, the kittens will not be suitable for showing or
visiting the stud ask for a copy of the pedigree and certificate
of entirety, and the terms and conditions of the stud service
- many stud owners use a standard printed form - and the fee
to be paid. This last is as variable as the price of a brood
queen. Make sure that the stud is registered on the Active
Register, or in the case of FIFe registered cats is not endorsed
'not for breeding', and that the pedigree contains full details
for at least three generations back. (This copy may not include
the registration numbers since some stud owners will only
supply these after the mating has taken place).
there are any hereditary diseases in your breed which can
be tested for, you should ensure that the stud has been tested
clear. (see above)
the conditions very carefully. Some stud owners stipulate
that no kittens may be sold on the active register, some that
all male kittens must be placed on the non-active register;
the first would mean that none of the kittens, no matter how
good, could be sold for breeding and the second condition
would mean that you could not even keep one as a stud yourself.
If you do not agree with the conditions, do not use the stud.
what the conditions will be if your queen does not take at
her first visit: some stud owners make a full charge for a
repeat visit, others do not, but most will require repeat
blood tests for your queen. If you do wish to use the stud,
send a copy of your queen's own pedigree but do not be offended
if the stud owner does not approve of the bloodlines of your
particular queen; discuss the reasons amicably and be guided
by their advice. If the mating is suitable, the next step
is to visit the prospective stud to meet the owner and inspect
the premises - as one does when boarding a cat.
a queen to stud
decided on a suitable stud and agreed terms, a provisional
appointment will have to be made. It is never possible to
predict exactly when the queen will come into oestrus, but
knowledge of her past pattern of calling will enable an intelligent
guess to be made and to be confirmed by a telephone call to
the stud owner as soon as the period of oestrus begins. Take
the queen at the arranged time and be prepared to collect
her when the stud owner decides she is ready to go home; always
deliver the queen yourself, confirm the conditions with the
stud owner, preferably in writing, and accompany the queen
to the stud house.
queen should be vaccinated up-to-date against FIE and respiratory
viruses; some stud owners also require vaccinations against
FeLV, but this should not be considered a substitute for testing.
All boosters should have been done at least a week before
the queen goes to stud, to minimise the stress and to ensure
good protection, but some stud owners insist on a longer period.
Most stud owners insists that visiting queens are blood tested
for FeLV and FIV within the 24 hours before visiting the stud
but these requirements vary; some accept tests up to a week
before the visit, especially in areas where tests are more
difficult to obtain. You should ask to inspect the stud's
vaccination and test certificates and show the stud owner
those of your queen.
your queen's registration papers for the stud owner to inspect;
the details will be necessary in order to complete the mating
certificate. Have a copy of her pedigree with you, even if
you have already sent one so you can discuss the expected
colours and patterns of kittens in detail.
stud owners will let you help to install the queen in her
quarters, but be careful: some queens may be quite difficult
to handle when they visit a stud, although they may be very
gentle at home. Some studs do not like strangers in their
premises, in which case the stud owner will ask you to wait
outside while she takes the queen in. If there is more than
one stud, do ensure that your queen is being mated to the
stud of your choice.
the stud owner at an agreed time to check how your queen is
settling down and how matings are proceeding, but do not be
disappointed if nothing has happened. Queens vary in the time
to first mating and some may go off call completely and need
a return visit to the stud at their next call. Do make sure
that you contact the stud owner when requested, particularly
if it is not possible for her to contact you; emergencies
can arise - feline and human - and it may be necessary for
you to collect your cat earlier than expected.
you collect her, the stud owner will often place her in the
container for you, but if you do this yourself remember to
take care - she may still be very difficult to handle and
must be put securely in her box and not cuddled in your arms.
The stud owner will provide a certificate of mating, which
also states when the kittens can be expected, and, if not
already provided, a copy of the stud's pedigree with all the
remember to tell the stud owner what kittens you get, most
owners like to keep a record of the kittens sired by their
stud and many will help you to sell your kittens by referring
potential purchasers to you.