Deciding when to mate your Queens is a decision that we’re all faced with. Both for the first time mating as well as after she has delivered a litter of kittens. There isn’t a scientifically “correct” answer to this question. It’s a decision that has to be made using many factors.
This Episode talks about scenarios that can help you make those decisions, and weighs some of the pros and cons.
Resource Mentioned in this Episode: Suppressing Estrus Cycles in your Queens with Melatonin. Here is the link to the Melatonin Implants for Cats. This website has a lot of useful information about using Melatonin.
When should I mate my Queen for the first time?
It’s very exciting to mate your Queens for the first time. You get to see how she behaves as a mother to her kittens. You also get to see the “type” of kittens that she will produce for your cattery. If you need to learn how to tell if your cat is pregnant, check out this episode.
A female cat can start cycling as early as 4 months old. Common sense would tell us that is too young to mate this kitten. So when is the right time? There are many different opinions about this. Some breeders start mating at 10 months old. Other breeders wait until the cat is closer to 2 years old.
A female cat reaches puberty when she has reached 85% of her optimal adult body weight. That isn’t an opinion. If you want to wait until she has reached puberty then you can use a more scientific approach. Mating a cat younger than that may result in issues.
A young Queen will have a very narrow pelvis, which could result in dystocia. In addition, a young Queen may not produce as many eggs as an older female, resulting in a small first litter. With a small litter, the kittens get bigger in utero and are harder for the Queen to deliver.
If you want to learn more about introducing cats for mating, listen to this episode.
How long after my Queen has kittens should I wait to mate her again?
Your Queen will need tome to recover after a delivering and raising a litter of kittens. How long does she need? What if she starts cycling again right away? When is the right time to mate her?
Another controversial topic, there’s SOME regulations that are set by TICA (The International Cat Association)> You’re not allowed to register a litter to a Queen sooner than 90 days after her last litter. That would mean that she was mated approximately 4 weeks after delivering a litter of kittens.
Most likely, that is too soon for most reputable breeders to feel comfortable with. Sometimes accidents happen, and the Queen may find her way to the male when she is in heat. It’s important to design your cattery with adequate spaces for males and females to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
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