How many Queens?
How to start? Be smart and start out way smaller than you think you need to be. But not one queen and one male. You really do need 2 or 3 queens for starting. I think you should be smart to firstly purchase an experienced male and or queen or pair. This way the experienced kitty can teach the inexperience kitty.
What color program are you desiring to breed? If you want a solid program, then purchase solids. If you like bicolor, then purchase bicolor. And tabbies purchase tabbies and so on. You can blend some programs, but not others… and be ware that some blending of programs actually create more work on repairing a program.
Learn all about the color choice and start out simple! Colors like smokes, chocolates, silvers, and even tabbies tend to be a little harder to start out with in a breeding program. Especially when you are trying to determine a dilute coat vs dominate, silver vs blue and or even a blue silver, you also have to determine pattern when working with some of the colors like the tabbies. Sometimes blending color programs will harm the color of the program and even ruin tabby patterns. As a result, you better stick to one program of color until you have it mastered!
What about heat cycles or missed cycles? Silent heat cycles?
Since girls tend to have heat cycles as early as 6 month, please don’t breed a 6 month baby. An advice of experienced breeder is that you may start breeding after the third heat cycle or just wait until your queen reaches as close to a year as possible, so she will be mature enough to birth and raise the babies. Young and inexperienced queens tend to lose their first litter. So please be patient and lots of patient!
Next: Cystic Ovaries- what is that?
When a breeding queen has silent heats or too many un-bred heats, she might develop cystic ovaries and then may either not able to conceive or even develop what is known as a Pyometra which is an uterine infection where the uterus becomes filled with puss. It is not only seen in female cats (queens), but other animals such as rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, rats and guinea pigs. You may find more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyometra
If your queen goes into too many heat cycles unbreed and then is breed and has developed a mild uterine infection, she may reabsorb or abort her kittens and appear to not be getting pregnant. She may also reabsorb some and deliver a few babies. If you start to notice lots of single litters, consider her with an infection. Many times this infection is undetermined, even by the vet. So, you have to go with the symptoms more so, than a culture.
Back to Part 1: Selection of the stud