Breeding thoroughbred animals is a responsible and costly business. To become a breeder, it is important to understand the physiology of animals, understand what age is suitable for the first mating, and know the basic rules of mating.
Without this knowledge, the birth of strong and healthy offspring will not work.
Age of first mating
Maine Coons reach sexual maturity by 7–8 months. During this period, cats have their first estrus, cats begin to mark their territory. From this moment, the animals are ready for mating and are able to bear offspring. However, one should not rush to the start of breeding work: you need to let the Maine Coon’s body mature and get stronger.
Important! Mating at a young age will not guarantee a full litter and will weaken the health of young parents.
At a year and a half, the Maine Coon cat is ready for breeding work and is at a hormonal peak. It is during this favorable period that the first mating should be carried out: this way the owner will receive a strong and experienced manufacturer.
By the age of one and a half, Maine Coon females reach full maturity, by which time their third estrus passes. The cat’s body is strong and ready to carry a pregnancy. At this age, the peak of sexual heat falls, and the first mating should take place without complications.
Important! After two years of age, mating animals for the first time is not easy: lack of experience and behavioral problems can become serious obstacles to productive mating.
The owner must choose a partner for the cat in advance. The owners of the couple must conclude an agreement, which will reflect all the nuances:
- the rights and obligations of the owners;
- pedigree data;
- mating payment options;
- controversial points;
- vaccination data;
- health certificates of animals.
Important! The mating date is mandatory.
Owners should pay special attention to the appearance of Maine Coons. Partners must be well-groomed and meet breed standards The cat should be moderately well-fed, calm, and clean because it has to raise elite offspring.
Signs of heat in cats
Estrus takes place in 4 main stages:
- Proestrus. The duration is 1–4 days. This is the preparatory phase. It is characterized by increased appetite. The cat becomes more affectionate, begins to meow long drawn out. The vulva is swollen, transparent discharge appears. During this period, the cat is not yet ready for mating.
- Estrus. Actually, estrus lasts from 7 to 14 days. The cat’s behavior changes: it constantly fins, rubs against corners, rolls on the floor, wriggles, meows loudly and lingeringly. If you stroke her on the bottom of the back, it assumes a characteristic position for mating – it takes her tail to the side. This is the most favorable period for mating.
- Metestrus. Lasts 3-10 days. The gradual extinction of attraction.
- Anestrus. Completion of the cycle. The hormonal background returns to normal, the cat is completely calm.
Not everyone has the opportunity to closely observe the nuances of a cat’s behavior and physiological changes. Therefore, listing the most striking and characteristic signs of estrus will not be superfluous:
- a noticeable increase in the size of the vulva, the presence of discharge;
- frequent visits to the litter box and attempts to “mark territory”;
- the cat becomes too affectionate;
- decreased appetite, sometimes even refusal to eat;
- increased attention to an intimate toilet;
- constant lingering meow;
- an indomitable desire to run away from home;
- “Obscene behavior”: the cat wriggles, arches its back, fiddles with its hind legs, lifts and moves its tail to the side.
Mating Maine Coons in order to get pedigree offspring is a big responsibility, so you need to take a serious approach to choosing a partner.
There are two reliable ways to find a good match:
- contact the felinology club: they will pick up a suitable cat, give out a referral for mating;
- find an applicant at the exhibition and negotiate with the owners.
Parents must have good pedigrees for future offspring to be certified. Participation in exhibitions, the presence of a high divorce rating is an indispensable condition. Titles and marks must be confirmed by appropriate sheets.
The risk of genetic abnormalities will be minimal if the prospective partners are not closely related to each other. Inbreeding (inbreeding) is the sphere of competence of qualified felinologists. It is carried out in exceptional cases to consolidate any high achievements in breed standards.
It is important to understand what breed characteristics should be passed on to the offspring, and what defects may appear. You can predict the coat color of future kittens if you choose partners correctly. If you knit Maine Coons with one type of color, there will be a better chance of fixing any bright coat pattern or color.
Important! White parents are more likely to have deaf kittens, so mating a pure white Maine Coon cat is not recommended.
Felinologists do not advise creating a pair of young and inexperienced Maine Coons. The risk is too great that the mating will not take place. For a cat for the first mating, an experienced cat is selected, who will have the patience and strength to overcome her resistance. To untie the young sire in a pair, it’s offered an experienced cat.
Preparing animals for mating
Breeding Maine Coons must undergo strict veterinary control before mating. Vaccinations against:
Two weeks before mating, anthelmintic activities are required. It is necessary to trim the claws of the pets so that they do not hurt each other in the heat of mating games. You shouldn’t bathe your cat before a date. Otherwise, the owner runs the risk of neutralizing the natural pheromones that stimulate the cat’s sex drive.
Location and setting for a date
Usually, Maine Coon mating is organized on the territory of the male cat. In an unfamiliar environment, it may become confused. The cat is brought to visit the cat and left for 2-4 days. It is necessary to take care of her comfort: bring bowls for water and food, food that it is used to, a tray with filler.
The ideal place for mating is a separate small room in which there should not be places where the cat could hide for a long time.
It is advisable to leave the pets alone. However, at first, it is worth observing the behavior of the Maine Coons. If the cat shows interest in the female and has begun the courtship ritual, you do not need to worry: it will achieve its goal.
The dating period lasts up to 2 days. It may happen that the cat will not be interested in the partner or will not be able to achieve reciprocity. In this case, do not waste time: there are still a couple of days left to introduce the cat to another candidate.
How to understand that Maine Coon mating has taken place
For the first mating, the cat is brought on the second day of estrus – a little in advance, so that she has time to get used to the situation and get to know her partner. A cat that has given birth can be taken for 3-4 days. It doesn’t take much time to get to know each other, the partners will get down to business right away.
Quite often, contact occurs at night, when the animals are not disturbed by anything, so the “host” is not always sure of the success of the mating. The fact that the act took place is evidenced by the behavior of the Maine Coons. The cat favorably accepts the caresses of the partner, she fondles him herself, purrs rather.
Interesting! Maine Coons are able to mate up to 15 times a day.
With repeated attempts to mate, the cat does not meet with resistance, but it is impractical to leave the animals together for a long time. A week after the first mating, the cat may ovulate again, and re-conception will occur.
All kittens will be born in due time, but the litter will be weakened, and the newly conceived ones will probably be unviable.
Do not separate animals immediately after contact. It is better to give them the opportunity to be together – during this time, the cat’s hormonal background will change. After 2-4 days after the completed mating, you can take her home.
The mating is considered complete if pregnancy has occurred. The sure signs of an “interesting situation” will appear in 3 weeks.
In order to preserve the health of the Maine Coon cat and its reproductive abilities for a long time, it should be knitted no more than 3 times in 2 years. The breeding cat needs to mate 2-3 times a month.
The reproductive period in Maine Coons lasts up to 8 years. Heat in cats and interest in the opposite sex in cats may not fade away to a ripe old age, but you should not knit “elderly” Maines.
Cats have an increased risk of complications during childbirth. In older cats, the seed material may be defective – the possibility of giving birth to offspring with genetic abnormalities increases.
Breeding purebred cats is not only profitable but also a very responsible business. Owners of Maine Coons and cats of other breeds should understand that the health of the pet and its comfort are important aspects that need to be paid special attention to. To a greater extent, this applies to females.
Too early and late mating, frequent childbirth, and illnesses not detected in time can significantly shorten the life of the animal.