Should I have my own stud cat, or should I go out to stud?
Entire male cats are called stud cats, or stud boys. Some people also call their stud cat the King. Because they are entire, which means that they have not been neutered, they are full of testosterone and this leads to several behaviours which can be very difficult to manage. However, if you are able to have your own stud boy, it can be a very rewarding experience. It also means that your own girls health will be much safer, as will their kittens’ health.
Stud Cat behaviours
Stud cats often exhibit one or more of the following behaviours:
Most of these behaviours can be managed, provided you start managing them from when your stud boy is quite young. The key to managing a stud cat is suitable accommodation, lots of socialisation and environmental enrichment. Keeping a stud boy is time consuming and a serious commitment, but if you do it right it does have huge benefits.
Stud boys can be very big cats...look at Sylvester's yawn! Not a cat to get on the wrong side of! Luckily he is a big soft marshmallow of a cat!
Should I have a stud boy, or go out to stud?
In the breeding world, ‘going out to stud’ is the term used when a female queen is taken to another breeder’s home to be mated with the other breeder’s boy. If you are breeding you will either need to have your own boy, or to go out to stud. It can be dangerous to leave an un-spayed queen for too long, because she can develop life threatening conditions.
To decide what is the right option for you and your cats, the first thing to consider is whether you are able to keep a stud boy. A stud cat will need:
Suitable accommodation: an exterior run, or a room all to themselves that is relatively ‘stud proof’ (i.e. there is nothing in there that would be hard to clean!)
Time and patience: if you do not socialise your boy every single day, he will get more and more aggressive. Once a stud cat starts to get aggressive, people tend to spend less time with them, and handle them much less. This is a dangerous cycle because this will make the stud cat even more aggressive and hard to handle. Some pedigree cats, British Shorthairs included, have very large boys. A large British Shorthair with an aggression issue is a serious problem. So make sure you have time for your boy before you commit.
3-4 girls: to stop a stud cat from becoming extremely frustrated (which can lead to aggression), he will need about 3-4 girls to make sure he gets enough ‘work’ to satisfy him! You can have a boy at ‘open stud’, which means you allow other breeders to use him, we would not recommend this because it will expose your boy to a very high risk of infectious conditions.
Benefits of having a stud cat
The single biggest benefit of having a stud cat is that you do not have to send your girls out to stud. Sending your girls out to stud is a high risk activity and the primary source of transmission of feline infections (and cat shows are probably the second biggest cause of transmission of infections). If you have your own boy, then, once you have all of your girls settled in, you are essentially a closed community. This makes it much harder for any of your cats to pick up anything infectious.
It is less stressful for your girls: taking a calling queen to stud is a huge disturbance for them. Cats like routine. The journey and change of environment cause them a lot of stress, and it often stops them calling.
It gives you control of the matings, because you are not relying on anyone else, and you are available to monitor the them. This means you can do it exactly as you want to, over as many days as you want to, and can do supervised matings only.
It is very rewarding: stud cats have incredible personalities, all very unique, and they form excellent bonds. It is also lovely to see your stud boys’ kittens!
So think very carefully about having a stud boy. If you are able to do it, then it is a huge benefit in many ways. Look for the absolute best boy you can find - find a breeder whose approach you like, contact them and be prepared to make a reservation and wait a while to get a suitable stud boy.
- If you have found this article useful, look at some of our other articles on cat breeding
- learn about British Shorthair genetics
Discover if we have any British Shorthair kittens available on our kitten page