South West Rags guidelines to keeping a healthy breeder
*What is involved in having my cat bred?
Once you have decided to breed your cat, try to time her booster vaccinations for a month or two before she is bred. This way, you will be making sure the kittens are well protected from those diseases for the first few weeks of life.
Expect to bring your female to the male. Most male cats breed better when they are in familiar surroundings. It is not critical when during a queen's heat she is bred. Unlike females of most other species, cats are induced ovulators. The act of mating stimulates or induces ovulation; release of the eggs (ova) from the ovaries.
In most queens, it takes 3 or 4 mating's in a 24-hour period to induce ovulation. Once ovulation has occurred, the queen goes out of heat within 1-2 days. Be sure to record the date(s) when the queen was bred so that you can calculate her expected delivery date.
Female cats (or queens) come into heat many times during the year. The heat period usually lasts 3 to 7 days. If the queen is not bred, she will come back into heat typically in 4 to 6 weeks(or less). The cycle continues for several heat cycles, or until the queen is bred. Depending on the geographic location, most queens stop cycling and are sexually inactive for about 3 months in the fall and winter.
*How old should a cat be for breeding?
A female cat should be allowed to attain her adult size before breeding. If bred early, she will put her energy into feeding the unborn/newborn kittens instead of finishing her growth. The female cat should be at her ideal weight at this point. Those too heavy or too thin may have an increased difficulty conceiving, carrying the litter, and queening. Females can come into heat as early as 4 months of ages, but that does not mean they are ready. She should be between 12 and 18 months old before she is used for breeding (dependent on her size and maturity).
A male should be 12 to 18 months of age prior to being allowed to breed. This allows time to determine if he is healthy and suitable for breeding. Temperaments are passed to the offspring as are genetic diseases.
Before the breeding season begins, make an appointment for a physical exam, vaccinations, stool check (for internal parasites). The cats should be tested for genetic conditions such as polycystic kidney and heart diseases. Both parents should be tested for FeLV and FIV before breeding.
*How often and how long can a female be bred?
Cats on average can have three litters a year, but it is recommended they should only have one (two at most per year). Most breeders do 3 litters in 2 years, this overlap gives her recovery time after having kittens. It's not good for them to have multiple litters a year, and it's also not recommended to have them breed past five to six years of age. This is because it will become too much strain on their body. If you notice that your female is not back to her normal weight once the babies are gone (at 12 weeks) and she has come into heat, its defiantly not a good time to breed her again. We recommend that you give her at least 3 heat cycles off to recover (of course this might very depending how far apart her cycles are). This is a long game, and the queen is the most important player. If she is not healthy her offspring will not be either. Keep in mind she could die in childbirth leaving you to care for her young. We typically retire females after they have had 4/5 litters depending on how they are doing (health and mental state are evaluated).
This is what we expect from you as a buyer and you must agree to sign a contract for our health and breeder guarantee-
* I understand that breeding a kitten/cat from South West Rags comes with responsibilities that include good breeder decisions (no excessive breeding), breed purity (selling registered litters only), and health checks.
* I understand that my contract includes replacement of a unbreedable kitten once all has been done to prove it. This means that once the first litter is born seller is no longer responsible for breeders’ replacement.
* I understand that if I make bad decisions on breeding such as the breeder being bred too young, not doing health checks, and not doing proper vaccinations this will make my contract null and void.