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Managing the Breeding Stud:

We often get questions asking to explain the way we manage our breeding studs.  The first step is to realistically assess the space you have available. 

Enclosures Toms will need an area where their spraying and calling to females will not be a problem.  Some breeders have a basement that is converted.  Others use a garage that is temperature controlled.  Others use outside pens with accommodations for weather.  VERY VERY few actually are lucky enough to have a male that does not spray.  We have not been so lucky.  We have had some males that spray when let out to roam the house, but not a significant amount when confined.  For these boys, a large stud pen works fine in one of our patio rooms.  We have large outdoor pens that they can visit during the day.  However, our neighbors did not appreciate his calling to available females, so we bring him in at night. 

Enclosures can be successfully made out of many materials.  Dog runs with a top, wood with metal fencing attached, plastic coated metal closet shelving and PVC as a frame with fencing attached are but a few of the options.  The most important thing is to give the cat as much area as you possibly can.  Also, make areas they can climb.  Either shelves or ramps or cat trees.  Give them something like logs with bark to scratch and anything you can think of to occupy their minds.  Bottom line, MAKE IT ESCAPE PROOF!  Because they will use all of their time to try to get out.  This is especially important when you are entering or exiting the enclosure. 

 

        

Cleaning  - cleaning up male spray is a constant job.  The male cat can spray a minor amount or some can be "hosers" spraying everything in sight.  Outside pens are best served by use of pine pelleted litter.  This absorbs the smell well and discourages flies.  Use of Bleach and an enzymatic cleaner is required.  Everything in the pen must be deodorized frequently or the ammonia will be overpowering and unhealthy for both you and your cat.  Cats use their urine to attract mates.  Males can smell in season females from incredible distances away.  So, it may not be just your queens influencing him to mark his territory.  It can also be caused by other males in the neighborhood.  We use a cleaner called "Bio-Matic" which works well for us.  We clean litter boxes regularly with bleach water and replace the litter.  Cleanliness is critical to maintain the health of your cats.  Failure to clean the litter box appropriately is not only cause for odor, but can cause and spread bacteria and protozoans from cat to cat. 

Breeding -  When your Queen comes into season, chances are, she will call loudly and become very affectionate.  Some queens will roll and call for a male.  One Savannah Queen we had, actually did not call, but rolled continuously and wanted us to be with her.  An experienced stud cat will know if and when a female is breed able.  If you place a queen in with a tom that are acquainted, he will usually attempt to breed her right away.  If she resists, he will usually back off briefly, but keep trying again and again until he has success.  When he as successfully penetrated her, you will hear a loud scream on her part.  His penis is barbed and the process is actually painful for the queen.  After he pulls out, she will roll vigorously and lick her vaginal area.  This is your sign that an actual breeding has occurred.  Mark your calendar for this day and 63 days afterward would be a new queens projected due date. 

Some breeders put their breeding cats on Clavamox during breeding to avoid problems with bacteria entering the uterus during breeding.  We try to avoid the over use of antibiotics and only this method when we have a queen with reproductive problems or going to an outside stud.

Management -  The biggest job other than cleaning (which is constant) is to keep your stud happy.  Some cats will do well with a spayed or pregnant female for company.  However, some very determined studs, will breed ANYTHING near them.  In these cases, it is not practical to keep a female with them.  In these cases, it is up to you to try to provide stimulation with toys, trees, whatever you can think of to entertain your cat.  Spending lots of time with them is the best alternative.  Chances are you will be spending time with them daily, cleaning their area.  We have found that the old fashioned toilet brush with the u shaped top works EXCELLENT as a grooming and petting tool.  It removes loose hair and the same time, cats LOVE it.  It also can help you to catch a cat that has jumped out of your arms or run out the door of their enclosure. Check out this site for ideas on Enriching your stud's environment.   Cat Housing Enrichment 

Neutering -In some cases, no matter how hard you try or how much you want to have your own stud, it is just incompatible with either your schedule or where you live.  In these situations, it is best for you and your cat to neuter him.  Some neutered males, given a month or two, will stop spraying and can become wonderful pets.  Others, can take much longer and still others, never stop.  For those cats that never give up the habit, an inside existence becomes difficult.  If this is the case in your cat, seek out veterinary assistance.  Sometimes hormones can assist with this problem.      

The choice to add a stud cat to your life should not be made lightly.  As you can see, stud cat management takes lots of effort and a real commitment.  It is just not for everyone.  Seek out the options for stud service in your region of the country.  You may or may not be able to secure adequate stud service in your area.  If you find someone willing to allow you to use their stud, chances are they will require you to perform health checks on your female.  These would include FIP titer, Feliv, Fel Aids and a fecal check.  Some breeders require you put your female on an antibiotic prior to mating to insure you do not bring in a bug to their cattery.  Again, if you wish to use someones stud, you will need to honor their wishes in this respect. 

The following are just a few examples of stud housing.  As you can see, you just need some money, imagination and space.

   

 

   

Cattery Construction and Maintenance Ideas

 
There are as many options for designing, building and maintaining a cattery as there are cat breeders.  You must consider your available space, the number of cats you will ultimately house and your time available for maintenance.  Also, of course, cost and access to materials and skilled labor is a prime factor.

We will be gathering and presenting photos, links and pictures of many options in the management, care and enjoyment of your feline friends.

Details of Cattery Construction and Maintenance

BENGAL HOME CATTERY MANAGEMENT

 

 
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