You have an unspayed pedigree queen, you don’t have a similarly upper-class tom, and you want her to have kittens (but not with any old, scruffy, local tom!). Your first step will be to find a reputable breeder. A good breeder should be able to come up with a suitable tom of the right breed and the right quality for your queen. People often have mixed feelings about sending their pride and joy off to stud, so you must find a breeder whom you can trust.
The exact date when a female comes into season is unpredictable: it is partly influenced by the time of year. Calling tends to be triggered by an increase in daylight hours and the onset of warmer spring weather.
The first mating may not be successful. Ask the breeder what the financial arrangements are in this case – is a second one provided free?
If you’re new to cat breeding, start by seeking advice from someone who has experience, through a local cat club, a breed club, breeders at a cat show, or a vet. If you bought your queen from a breeder, it is advisable to go back to enquire about suitable studs. Exactly what you need to do depends on your reasons for breeding. Do you want to breed champion cats and perfect the strain, in which case you will need to research the project thoroughly and look into the question of bloodlines; or do you just want to let your cat have one litter of beautiful kittens and then call it aday? Either way, the timing will be important, so it is wise to choose the stud well in advance.
A reputable breeder will have spacious, hygienic, escape-proof accommodation for both torn and queen. All the animals in the stud will be free from any feline diseases. The breeder should have up-to-date health and inoculation certificates to prove it.
You will also be asked for similar proof of health for your queen: while these precautions may seem tiresome, they are extremely important. Take along all the health documentation you have. Also, (for pedigree cats) make a note of the stud’s name and pedigree – you will need it when you come to register your kittens.
If the most suitable stud lives a long way away, you may not be able to visit before sending your queen for mating. In this case, you might be able to ask your vet to contact a colleague in the region who could check both the cat and premises on your behalf – you will have to pay the vet a fee. If your queen has to make a long journey to the stud, she may no longer be in season by the time she arrives. Agree plans before she calls in case she has to stay as a boarder until she starts calling again.