Cat breeding is not that easy. There are several processes involved and some can be costly. There are many things to be considered before you embark on breeding cats. You need to determine what breed you want to propagate, its pedigree, get to know all the characteristics about the breed as well as the standards for the propagation of a particular breed. You need to get the female or the male a thorough check-up, vaccinated and all other tests and examinations just like a human having a pre-natal examination. You should also have a plan on what to do with the kittens once they are born. Are you breeding for profit, or just interested in propagating a breed that you took a fancy to? You have to identify the homes that will take in the kittens.
Here are the steps in a cat’s breeding cycle. A cat goes through three stages in a breeding cycle – heat cycle, gestation and delivery.
1. Stage 1 – Heat Cycle and Mating
- A female cat or queen usually gets ready to breed at the age of 6 months. Unless a mating happens at once, this will be repeated every two weeks. There are visible signs that indicate if the queen is ready to mate. She will suddenly display more affection towards you, scream and shriek which is an equivalent of a mating call. She will also raise her rump when you stroke her back or when patted. With her rump raised, she may also twitch her tail so be sure to read and interpret this visual signs.
- Take her to the vet to get her physical check up. She should be a full adult before she will be allowed to mate. A female cat should be at least 18 to 24 months old while a male should be at least 18 months old.
- Find the right mate for your queen. Once you find the right stud leave them alone to take care of the mating process. If you do not own the male, make arrangements with the stud’s owner and bring the female over. You will have better chances of a mating happening if you allow the male to breed in his own surroundings. Arrange for them to be together for a minimum of two weeks. There should also be a contract between you and the stud owner, especially if the cat has a pedigree. There are standard conditions to be followed in these contracts.
2. Stage 2 – Gestation Cycle
You will know if your cat has conceived after 3 to 4 weeks. The gestation period will last for about 65 days. During this period your cat will be more aloof. Provide her with a warm, dark and cozy corner where she can take plenty of rest. Ensure that she gets plenty of water and food.
3. Stage 3 – Delivery
- On the 60th day, you should start preparing for the eminent delivery. It can be as early as 5 days before the end of her gestation period or 10 days after the end of the gestation period. Provide her with a delivery corner away from intrusion.
- The queen’s labor may last for as short as 20 minutes and at times can last for several hours. She may deliver one or two right away, go about her usual business and suddenly pop out one or two more kittens after several hours. If she shows any sign of distress, then bring her to the vet, otherwise leave her alone. Keep a notebook handy. As the kittens pop out, you can start recording the basic statistics of the kittens, but only if your cat will allow you to handle the kittens at this early stage. You can mark your kittens with nail polish.
- Your cat will lick her kittens clean. Or you may to do this yourself. Clean the place thoroughly to avoid infections that may occur later. Count the placentas to ensure that they are equivalent to the number of kittens. The new mother will eat the placentas because these will provide her with plenty of nutrition.
After several days you will suddenly see them coming out, playing and bumping into things and making cute little meows. Now is the time for you to go about your plan on how to find them a new home.