Going in Search for a Stud
Your female should be adult and well grown at the time of her first litter, and many stud owners are reluctant to take a queen on her first call and suggest that you wait until the second or third oestrus. You must ensure that she is transferred into your ownership when a kitten as the stud owner will want to see the slip to ensure that she is on the active register and is also in your name.
The breeder of your Queen should be able to help you find a suitable boy to use as a stud. They quite often suggest that you return to use one of their other boys or may put you in touch with someone they know and recommend. Many breeders believe the extra price you pay for a breeding cat is for the extra help and advice that you, as a novice breeder will need.
If this help is not made available to you, contact your breed club, or other breeders in the district who should be able to assist you. You should contact the stud owner to see if he/she will accept your queen to stud. Ask for confirmation that the stud cat has a GCCF Certificate of Entirety and ascertain the requirements on FELV testing – some require a test on the queen taken within the last 24 hours, others, certification that the whole household has a negative status. Do not be afraid to ask to see the documents relating to such information about the stud. It is important to choose a stud not too far away, if possible, so that you can inspect the queen’s accommodation, chat about contracts and mating restrictions if applicable in advance.
If the stud owner doesn’t require you to have the blood test, then do not use the stud! The chances are that they didn’t asked for tests from Queens who have came in before you, so think twice before risking your girl.
As soon as your queen starts to call (signs of being on call vary between breeds, so it would be sensible to discuss what to expect with your breeder) contact the stud owner and check that the stud is available and, if he is, when to take your queen in. It is sensible to have a reserve in mind in case the stud already has another queen with him. Most stud owners will recommend that you leave your girl there between 3-5 day depending if they have seen any matings.
When you collect your queen she may still be calling. Make sure she has no opportunity to escape and be mated again by the local tom who will be waiting. A litter can be sired by more than one male and you can give no pedigree if the parentage is uncertain and all the kittens would have to be registered with ‘sire unknown’.
The stud owner will require the stud fee to be paid before the queen leaves and will provide a copy of the stud’s pedigree and details of the terms of any repeat mating. Do not offer a kitten in payment. ‘Breeding terms’ almost always lead to problems.
Make sure that you obtain a Mating Certificate from the stud owner. If you do not get this mating certificate the kittens cannot be registered.
Whilst you wait for the pregnancy of aprrox 65 days to pass, read as many books as possible on cat breeding. Several will be obtainable at your local library. Keep in contact with your breeder, Breed Club and, if you have any worries, your vet. It’s a good idea to inform him/her when your kittens are due. This is because all the problems that beset human pregnancies can happen with cats, including the need for a caesarean.
Make sure you know exactly what to expect at the birth, and that you have everything ready. If anything happens that worries or concerns you don’t hesitate to seek advice as quickly as possible. The care you have taken of your queen during her pregnancy by careful feeding, worming at the correct time (taking veterinary advice if necessary), choosing the stud cat carefully and making all the correct preparations will now prove their worth and greatly increase the chances of a healthy litter.