Cat Breeding and Birth Guide: Information on breeding your cat and what to expect when a female cat gives birth.
Things to Consider
As most people know, cats can be prolific producers of offspring if left to their own whims and desires. Tom cats (unneutered males) tend to roam far and wide to find females to mate with, and queens (intact females) usually welcome them whenever and wherever they show up. In this day and age, it is much more responsible to spay and neuter our companion cats, to prevent rampant reproduction, rather than leaving them intact. There are plenty of kittens and cats available for everyone who wants to adopt one or more. Responsible breeders of purebred cats manage their breeding programs extremely carefully and find appropriate homes for all of their kittens and older cats. They are rarely the source of cats found in rescues or shelters. The cats that end up in shelters usually come from backyard breeders or barn cats that are fed but are not really well cared for, and obviously that are not spayed or neutered at an appropriate age.
Female cats, appropriately known as “queens,” vary quite a bit in the age at which they first reach reproductive maturity. Some may have their first heat cycle as early as 5 or 6 months of age, especially the Siamese and related short-haired Asian breeds. Other breeds, including the longer-haired varieties such as the Persians and Himalayans, are typically not sexually mature until they reach 10 to 12 months of age, or even older. The full
Any responsible breeding program will require complete medical check-ups for all breeding pairs. These check-ups include blood tests, x-rays, and tests for sexually transmitted diseases. All cats involved in the breeding program should have a well documented medical history, and preferably the medical history of their parents and siblings. The breeding program should also pay particular attention to the cat’s genetic background as well.Programs which breed cats responsibly will not compromise a cat’s health for
Once a cat has kittens, breast feeding the kittens is the best way to ensure that the kittens are receiving all of their nutritional requirements. While there are risks that can occur when a cat breast feeds her litter, the benefits of breast feeding far outweigh the risks.While over the counter kitten formulas are created to provide complete nutrition to a kittens, a kitten’s sensitive digestive system cannot always adjust to formulas. Many kittens that are placed on
At the time of queening, or birth, it is important not to bother the mother cat. Let her settle her new charges in and do her clean up without a lot of interruptions. There is no need to rush her onto clean blankets, etc. By not handling the newborns (except for a brief examination for birth defects) in the first 24-48 hours after a normal birth you provide a calm, peaceful environment that enhances her