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~ Breeding Cats ~

This page gives advice and a few guidelines for those of you wishing to breed pedigree cats. I cover the facts, planning a litter and pregnancy and pre-natal care here. What often starts as just one litter often ends up as a lifetime passion or hobby.

The Facts

A health litter of Turkish Van Kittens breed by Tansdale cattery is the UK.

It is important to note that breeding any type of pedigree cat is a commitment that should not be taken lightly. Breeding and showing cats can be very rewarding, but it can also be very time consuming and expensive. Breeding from your cat is an important decision that must be given careful consideration.

Before starting a breeding program, it is important to become familiar with the relevant pedigree breed. Visiting cat shows and meeting other breeders is one way to start. Cat shows are a perfect place to meet other breeders and form valuable contacts for the future. It is also a place to see and assess your own cats against others of the same breed. Breeders learn from the comparison of their own cats with others and gain valuable insights into the potential strengths and weaknesses of various lines and are thus able to make informed decisions when attempting to improve their own lines.

By breeding pedigree cats, you are making a commitment to care for the welfare of every cat you breed and sell. Reputable breeders will be concerned where their cats are placed and continue to show an interest in the welfare of their kittens after they have gone to their new homes.

Planning a Litter

You should only breed from top quality cats. Breeders are continuously striving to improve the breeds and by breeding from the best cats, they are able to meet the breed standard and improve their future litters. Before visiting a breeder for a breeding queen, always check that they have suitable breeding quality kittens for you to view.

A female cat is mature from about six months and a male cat from about ten months. A female cat comes into heat in two-week cycles for two to four days. It is not advisable to breed a queen before she is at least one year old.

If you are planning to breed from your pedigree queen, you will need to find a suitable stud cat. A relevant breed club can supply you with a list of reputable breeders. You can also meet breeders at cat shows.

Pregnancy and Pre-Natal Care

Snow Bengal kittens with their mother bred by Tansdale cattery in the UK.

A queen's pregnancy can be confirmed at around three to four weeks. She will become noticeably fatter after six weeks of pregnancy. The average length of pregnancy is 65 days or about nine weeks from the date of the mating.

A pregnant queen should be fed a nourishing well-balanced diet. The number of meals can be gradually increased from about the fifth week of pregnancy. Always consult your vet is you are in any doubt about anything concerning your cat.

In the later stages of pregnancy, provide your queen with a warm and comfortable place to give birth. During the last week of pregnancy, keep a watchful eye on your queen and make sure she is accustomed to the kittening box. Most cats do not need any help with kittening. A mother cat knows instinctively what to do. Make sure your vet is available when the kittens are due just in case.