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When are males old enough to breed?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I would like to mate my cats. How old does the male have to be?
post #2 of 18
When they hit Puberty...

post #3 of 18
First things first ... Hello and welcome to the Breeder's Forum here at The Cat Site. I am glad you posted!

I would like to answer your question with something short and sweet, but unfortunately, there is a lot more to it than that.

I have several questions for you:

Are your cats pedigreed? Why do you want to mate your cats? Do they possess some unique or otherwise desirable trait that would enhance the breed? Are the cats you intend to breed both healthy? What about their parents - did either have any health issues? How long did they live? Would you know what to do in the event of an emergency during the birth? What about potential health issues; are there other animals that would have access to the queen and kittens? Are they indoor/outdoor animals? Are they all healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations? What about shots, spay/neutering or other veterinary issues? Do you have a plan/budget for those? What happens if you place a kitten and the owner changes their mind? What would you advise the owner to do? What arrangements have you made for any kittens you cannot place?

It is not my intention to tell you not to mate your cats, but in order to breed responsibly you must be able to answer all of those things and much, much more without hesitation and you must continue to provide ethical, responsible and realistic provisions for your cats, their kittens, and for the people with whom you place the kittens for as long as those cats live - your responsibility doesn't end when you place the kittens.

The sheer fact that you do not know when a male feline reaches sexual maturity tells me you are not ready to mate your cats. My suggestion and advice to you ~is~ short and sweet: Please reconsider.

Yours in peace,

post #4 of 18
I really didn't mean to be flippant about it..

I probably should have went on to say that puberty varies with cats.. some as early as 5 months some as late a year... the only thing you could do is watch .. when they start mounting females, seriously, not in play, that are in heat, then he should be getting close..


post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you Ken for your response. It was very helpful.

As for the reply from Gaye, I also appreciate your concern, but would like to say that there are some people who are quite happy with cats that aren't "pedigreed". I have had cats my entire life, had several litters of kittens, had emergencies (which I was able to handle) and have had every one go to a good home. There happens to be a shortage of good kittens in the area I live. People want kittens bred in good homes, free of disease. In the few litters that I have had, I have bred them for temperament, not pedigree. Which is why I posted my question, I have a male that has an amazing temperament which is set to be neutered in the next few weeks. I was hoping to mate it with a female that I have.

Your comments, although probably well-meaning, came across as elitist and I hope that you will reconsider your position in the future.

post #6 of 18
Dear Kathryn,

Thank you for having the good sense to realize that my response was to a person who posted simply, I want to breed my cats - how old does the male have to be? If a person posts a question that makes them appear to be an idiot, then they should be prepared for responses that treat them like one. *smile*

That now being said, I respectfully submit that if my moral standard of ethics paints me with an "elitist" brush, then OK. I know of absolutely no good reason (including the ones you mentioned) to breed non-pedigreed cats when there are so many healthy, well-adjusted, non-pedigreed, owner-throw-aways just waiting for a forever home. However, as this is the Breeder's Forum, I'll refrain from jumping up on my soapbox about it here.

I stand by my original comments, "elitist" as though they may seem to you. While it is not my intention to become embroiled in a big who-shot-John with you about it, I make no apologies for the fact that I disagree with what you are doing. But just as I respect your right to make your own decisions, however bad I might think they are, I ask that you also have respect for my right to have opinions and further ask that you do not sew labels like "elitist" into my summer camp clothes.

Yours, as always,

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Dear Gaye,

Thanks for your response. You mentioned that you respected my opinion regarding the desire to breed my cats but honestly by the tenor and content of your communication I do not feel respected. In addition, I did not appreciate your opinion regarding my initial inquiry into cat breeding readiness. I asked a simple question seeking a simple answer.

Sorry if you don't like labels but start sewing; summer camp is just around the corner.

post #8 of 18
Although, this is a wonderful cat site for people to come and get answers to general cat questions, you will find that not many people are going to be enthusiastic about breeding domestic cats. Most of us are in rescue and devote many hours to animals in shelters and such.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Clearly I went to the wrong place to seek help. Sorry that I wasted your time.

post #10 of 18
Dear Kathryn,

Again, I thank you for conducting this discussion in a meaningful, intelligent way. Please know that I sincerely do not wish to offend, nor do I want you to think you've come to the wrong place for information. You haven't.

If you take a chance on us here and stick around, you'll find that most of the people on The Cat Site are very knowledgable, friendly people. Most of them share the site-wide goal of educating cat care-givers and to provide help whenever we can - but the slant here is that ~my~ advice normally almost always leans toward what is in the best interest of the cat, not the cat's care-giver. It is for this reason alone that I chose to respond the way I did, not because I feel some personal animosity towards you - I don't at all.

If you would go back and read my response to you again, you'll find that I said I respected your right to make this decision, no matter how bad I thought it was. I never said I respected your desire to breed your cats. Just to clarify, I ~totally disagree~ with your desire to breed your cats.

I am quite certain you must be a fine, upstanding individual in your community, and I am in no way attempting to tarnish what I am sure is your sterling character. I simply disagree with your reasons for breeding non-pedigreed cats when the number of such cats currently awaiting euthanization in shelters and rescue facilites is truly staggering.

It was never my intention to allow you to feel disrespected nor was my response intended to offend. You mentioned that you "asked a simple question" - but as simple as you may think it was, the answer remains very complex. As Sandie commented, there are a lot of us who put forth much effort and many long, heart-wrenching hours in the feline rescue and relief effort. And your original post didn't exactly allow anyone to think you had an abundance of breeding experience under your belt!

*grin* Once again, if my opinions render me an elitist, then I'll wear that label proudly. I would much rather be considered an elitist than ignorant.

If you are dead-set on breeding your cats, then there is nothing more to say ... you have obviously justified your reasons for this decision, I don't happen to think your decision is in the best interest of cats, and you do not seem open to seeing any other view at the moment. Should any of that change, I can and will make myself available for further discussion.

My continued best to you,

post #11 of 18
I think Letcetera had a good question. I wish the kitty experts would give a short and to the point answer, along with what can go wrong with a breeding male.
Such as what is the youngest male that has been able to breed? I want to know this, as I need to know when to keep cats separated that I don't want breeding. I'm assumeing about 7 mo. but someone mentioned 5. What is the average age that a male is mature enough to breed ? If a breed is not fully mature until ages 2-4, (there are several breeds in that catagory)is it going to hurt anything to breed them at age 1?
What percentage of male cats never figure it out??? At what age would you give up trying to use a male as a breeder, and pet him out. Are experienced females at all helpful to an inexperienced male? If a male can not figure it out, does it help for him to watch other cats breeding?
If a male has started spraying, would it be safe to assume they would make an attemp to breed if given the opportunity? Will mature males constantly chase females, and attemp to mount, even if the female is not calling, and has no interest?
post #12 of 18
Wow, complicated post, but I'll do myu best tro help with answers..

Males can breed as young as 5 months, more than likely not, but it is possible and has happenned. You assumption are fairly close I would say more like 9 or 10 as an average, but again this really depends on the cat himself. As maturity, im not really the expert here on all the breeds but, I think you would be able to ask about a specific breed form a breeder, if you don't get a response then I could finds out for you. I've heard both sides on this issue, that you should wait, that you don't have to, generally speaking, I think it is best tiwatuntil about a year and a half, although with with specific breeds it probably matters. Most male cats will figure it out without any help, it's an instinct without the aid of instruction.
Just because a male sprays doesn't mean alot, there are fixed males who spray, as well as females. It's just marking territory. Your last question really depends on the Male. Ussually a whole male will mount if he senses that the female is in season, and then even if she is, for whatever reason, the male may notr mount. Nature is a great instructor, the can sense when it is the right time. Hope this helps!
post #13 of 18
Thanks for the info,
Nature may be a great instructor, but Walter chased Alice all over, and she sure wasn't calling. Then the bugger commenced spraying. His house privledges ended. If I ever said I didn't like enclosures, I've since changed my mind.
He will get his honey back when she is old enough. I was a bit worried as many years ago, a barn tom, chased and literally made holes in the sides of the outside girls, calling or not. Needless to say, he had a short life span. I've never seen another tom do that. I'm hoping it's not common.
post #14 of 18
There is a message by Anne for those who intend to post replies. This message, which explains the guidelines for posting, specifically asks that we do not answer people in an insulting manner. Gaye, how would you feel about someone considering you an "idiot," instead of an elitist? You may have great concern for letcetera's kittens, but your remark certainly shows a lack of respect for human beings who disagree with you. The first rule for philosophical argument is mutual respect. Your reasoning should speak for itself.
post #15 of 18
Jeanie G.,

Thanks for your message. I've read the post by Anne and agree with what it says. In fact, when Anne felt forced to write such a post due to problems and issues in other forums here, I believe all the moderators, including myself, contributed our thoughts to her.

During my exchange with Katherine, I made plenty certain that I said it WAS NOT my intention to offend, and that I respected her right to make such a decision, even though I thought it was a bad one based on the reasons she gave for it. I also mentioned that I normally "find in favor" of decisions that are based on the health, welfare and happiness of the cat, NOT on what the cat's owner wants. I never called her (or anyone else for that matter) an idiot, I simply said that if someone came into the forum here and posted a question that made them ~appear~ to be an idiot, then they should be prepared for responses that treated them like one. Katherine's original and subsequent posts lead me (and others) to believe she was intent on becoming what I refer to as a "backyard" breeder, and I believe we already have enough of those. I do not feel that I was rude to her, nor was I inconsiderate of her feelings, I simply disagreed with her and more importantly in this circumstance, I did not say what Katherine wanted to hear.

post #16 of 18
Gaye, I think it's important to discuss the real cause of wandered cats and feral colonies, the ads that read: FREE TO A GOOD HOME

The local Pennysaver( a small free paper full of local ads) and the Pittsburgh Papers warn people that many animals offered as free are sold for animal research. Also, no matter how nice the people seem who come to see your free kittens (and puppies), circumstances change, people move to apartments, etc., and the animal is left to find its own new home.

I have had many domestic shorthairs; however, many people do not value what costs them nothing. I have not seen any colonies of feral Himalayans or Persians. I think that is the best reason for breeding only purebred cats. It's sad to think that money is more important than precious little creatures of God, but it is often true. I'm sure I'm not the first to warn people of this problem, but it's too important to forget: NEVER OFFER YOUR ANIMALS AS FREE TO A GOOD HOME. The home might be a garbage can or a drug research facility.
post #17 of 18
So I've got a cat in heat(pedigreed for those who worry about that)and the male (same breed, also pedigreed) is a complete dummy. Well, maybe not completely a dummy. He does know he doesn't want her to get away. A good bite hold on the neck that looks normal, drags her around with him, suppose that is OK. BUT he gets ahold of her ear, and wants to drag her by the ear. I'm not happy with that at all. He also has no idea what to do with his other end.
Do I dare leave them together? Does anyone have a male cat, who ever removed part of the females ear? Is it possible he could ware her out, for no reason? Doesn't really look like either one will eat anything if I leave them together.
How long is this heat going to last? She was fine yesterday, and ready for everything today.
post #18 of 18
We had the situation last year with a male who had never had the pleasure if you know what I mean. He would mount, bite the neck and then look around as if to ask "is this all there is?" Occasionaly, he would want to drag her but, when she got tired of it, she let him know and got away. We left them together and it took a second heat cycle for him to finally get it, and even at that, the first couple of times he missed the mark...
I would think that he will get into the groove, it just sounds as if he hasn't got it yet... so leave them together, but watch them. If she starts putting up a big fight and he won't let her go then I would intervene.

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