Owning and keeping a Stud Cat
This is a decision which should not be undertaken without considerable thought. Have you sufficient time and finances to devote to the keeping of a stud cat
A stud either requires separate accommodation – in view of the usual antisocial urine spraying behaviour of the majority of stud cats, or he will need hormonal implants in order to induce temporary infertility so that he can live as a pet if only need for occasional breeding. These need to be inserted and removed by your vet. Their use is not without risk and requires careful planning.
You will need to consider where he lives if he is to remain fertile throughout the year A stud house may be built to your individual requirements or bought ready for assembly. It should be well insulated, well ventilated, have plenty of window space and be easy to clean. There should be a run of adequate size for exercise, made of stout timber and Twilweld netting and a safety run to provide security against escape. Always remember you are responsible not only for your own cat but also for the safety of any visiting queen. Her value to her owner will be beyond price.
A female will require separate quarters within the stud accommodation. The queen’s apartment should be large enough to accommodate her, her bed, her litter tray and her food and water. It should provide her with seclusion but enable her to see, hear and smell the stud.
Safe heating and lighting will be required for the stud house and electricity bills in winter can be high.
Be aware that some cats are inclined to be noisy. Studs may call for queens and visiting queens may continue to call whilst they are with your stud. How close are neighbouring houses? Make sure the cats do not have access to the run at night but are inside a well- insulated house or you could become extremely unpopular with your neighbours.
In addition to the time spent keeping your stud cat happy and contented there is also the time to be spent in keeping the stud quarters clean and the considerable time involved with visiting queens (and their owners). If you have no experience of what is entailed have a chat with other stud owners and this should convince you that it is not just the case of ‘popping her in with him’. Far from it! Do your homework in advance by talking to and visiting other stud owners. The breeder of the male you buy should provide mentorship.
The Special Responsibilities of GCCF Stud Ownership
- You will need a male kitten of excellent type when measured against the standard of points for his breed, of good temperament and with a pedigree free from hereditary faults. If you are unknown in the cat world as a breeder and exhibitor, your stud should be of such quality that you are able to show him to advantage at cat shows, to enable him to make a name for himself.
- He should have a low/fair inbreeding co-efficient, ideally not beyond 20%. For more information on ICs see the Basic Cat Genetics page
- You must understand simple genetics in order to know what colour and/or pattern kittens may be expected from him and the various colours and/or patterns queens that may come to him and you should be aware of any faults arising in that particular breed so that you can advise on the suitability of a mating between your stud and any proposed visiting queen. You should also understand the registration policy for your breed and for any breeds that are likely to use your stud, otherwise there may be problems registering the kittens.
- Are there any mandatory DNA tests required in your breed’s Registration Policy? Are there any additional recommended tests in your breed’s Breeding Policy? If so your boy should have these in advance of siring a litter.
- Your stud will need to be kept in peak condition and will require a high quality diet in order to achieve this.
- Your stud must be fully vaccinated against enteritis and cat flu and the recommendations for booster doses carefully followed. Vaccination against leukaemia will give added protection. He should also be tested for feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and possess a recent negative certificate. Owners of visiting queens will probably want to make certain that this is the case. In return, it is your responsibility to check that all queens are tested by insisting on a certificate. Your stud needs your protection against infection.
- All stud cats require a GCCF Certificate of Entirety before any kittens can be registered. It is now a rule that one must be obtained before any visiting queen is accepted. There is a financial penalty if you do not.(GCCF Rules Section 1:1a.)
- Another NEW RESPONSIBILITY is that before a queen is accepted for mating you must check that she is registered as ACTIVE’ or not overstamped as ‘NOT FOR BREEDING. Also you must not accept any female that is not registered with GCCF or another bona fide registry unless you are involved in a BAC sanctioned outcross programme (GCCF Rules Section 1:3g).
- The penalty for breach of this rule has been set at £250 for a first offence and referral to the Disciplinary Committee thereafter.
- Finally, do not forget that you must provide the queen’s owner with a Certificate of Mating when the female is collected, you may also record the mating online as this can speed up the registration process; there is no reason to delay.