How Often Should A Cat Be Bred?

by MUNIRA MURREY, Missionhill Silvers Persians & Exotic

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"How often do you breed your your female cats?"

This must be one of the questions I am asked most frequently.

My answer is . . . I breed each girl as often as I think it is healthy FOR THAT PARTICULAR FEMALE.

Consider Condition

If a queen loses a lot of weight when she finishes raising her litter and then goes back into heat, I would definitely not breed her again until she was back in condition.

On the other hand if a female is in good condition after raising her litter and then goes into heat every few weeks and starts losing condition because she is cycling, I would re-breed her right away.

So I may have 1 litter a year with one female and 3 litters a year with another.

Singleton Litters

Then there is the female who delivers one kitten and comes back into heat when the kitten is about a month old - and then every two weeks after that. By the time this female has had 3 heats, I will breed her again.

If a female delivers one kitten and loses it, and comes back into heat within a few weeks, I will re-breed her if she has not lost any condition during her pregnancy.

Common Sense

I think cat breeders have to use their common sense when making a decision about when to breed their females. There is no black and white answer. No cat breeder should pass judgment on another breeder without knowing the full facts.

I don't know who is qualified or justified to discipline a breeder for breeding a particular cat too frequently, or how "too frequently" could be defined. If more than once a year is defined as "too frequently" then I would be guilty of this with most of my females!

The answer to how often to breed your cat is . . .

. . . it all depends on the individual cat

The Stud Cat

While we most often focus on how often to breed a female cat I think we should also consider the health and feelings of a breeding male.

If a male is given only one or two breedings a year I think this would be very depressing for him. It might be fine for humans who have taken a vow of celibacy, but not for an unneutered cat!

When I have a female in season and I carry her into the area where my boys have their accommodation they all prick their ears and get very excited. "Me, me, me - is she for me?" they seem to say. It really bothers me when I have to disappoint them. I think a male should be given a certain number of wives a year to keep him happy.

Final Thoughts

Since only I know what is best for my cats I would not take kindly to somebody criticizing me for my breeding practices. This is definitely a decision best left to me and my veterinarian.

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