Health Concerns When Breeding Cats-Part I

posted in: .. By Gemma | 1

Decision-making Time

While you should never, ever allow your female cat to breed unless you intend to keep the kittens yourself, have people lined up who want the kittens or you are an authorized breeder, if your queen (female) does get pregnant, you should pay special attention to her health needs.

But, before your kitty gets pregnant, you should make sure she’s in the best health, and not too young. Females will go into heat for the first time around 6 months on average, but it could be a bit earlier or later. I have a purebred Sphynx (hairless cat) queen, Sophie, that I acquired specifically for breeding and she didn’t go into heat until she was 8 months old.

I fell in love with the Sphynx breed years ago and decided that I’d love to breed them so I’d always have Sphynxes around me, but before I started, I bought a male and had him altered. I wanted to make sure that I could handle the special requirements of the Sphynx before I became involved in breeding. Since Sphynx cats only have a peach fuzz coat, they need regular bathing, every week or so, and have to have their ears cleaned as well. The reason is that without a thick coat, the natural oils on the skin cannot get dispersed as they normally would, so the oil will stay on their skin and attract dirt. Sphynx are also wrinkled, so dirt will easily collect in their skin folds. Not very attractive and potentially harmful. Therefore, I bought my little Amorius and soon found out that I didn’t mind the extra work and absolutely loved the Sphynx personality.

Amorius
Amorius
Sophia
Sophia

Getting Started

Unfortunately, Amorius suddenly died one day while I was vacationing. I mourned and then a year later found a wonderful breeder and got my little Sophia. Breeding Sphynxes is a very expensive endeavor since Sphynxes are very expensive. And in addition to the price of the cat, you have to pay an extra fee for breeding rights, not to mention the pricey stud fee. But I carefully weighed the advantages and disadvantages and decided to plunge ahead into the Sphynx breeding program.

I tracked Sophie’s heat (estrus) cycles so I could plot approximately how long it was between the cycles and made the decision not to breed her until she was at least a year old, just to make sure she was mature and healthy enough. Sophie turned out to be a slightly small little girl and very slender, but also in tip-top health. The breeder I got her from moved out of state, so I had to find another breeder with a stud male. Luckily I found a wonderful breeder and worked out a time to bring Sophie to her house a few days prior to her next heat cycle so she’d have time to adjust to new surroundings and wouldn’t be stressed when it came time to breed.

Health of the Queen

It’s very important to get a prenatal check up for the queen to make sure she’s well and strong enough to mate and become pregnant. This is another unavoidable expense. So, I took Sophie to the vet and had her heart checked (Sphynx can have heart trouble sometimes), had her booster shots done, a fecal parasite test done and a general exam. She passed with flying colors.

Sophia going home from the vet
Sophia going home from the vet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I checked the calendar and figured the best time to take Sophie to the breeders. She’d have to stay until she’d bred for at least four days. That’s the guarantee from the breeder to assure she would become pregnant. Now, I have to confess, leaving my Sophie for about a week was not an easy decision because I hadn’t been away from Sophie before and felt like she’d think I was abandoning her. But, since I had intended to breed her, I made the arrangements and drove to Arizona from southern California with Sophie.

Stay tuned for Part II

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