Cats Who Are Reluctant To Breed

Yes, despite the so called overpopulation of domestic cats, some cat owners want their cats to breed. This is usually cat breeders but informal cat breeding happens quite a lot. Some owners believe females should have a litter before being spayed – a fallacy. There is a perception by some people that cats breed manically without exercising any discretion. This appears not to be true.

Savannah cats mating
Savannah cats mating. Photo by Michael. Taken at A1 Savannahs. These cats were the opposite to reluctant.
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Sometimes cats are reluctant to breed. One reason might be that the female does not fancy the male to use language that describes human breeding. A pampered female cat brought up as a pet may not have been sufficiently socialised to other cats to want to mate with them. In addition or alternatively she may not wish to mate with a timid tom cat and may even have a preference for a certain colour of coat. I find that very interesting. Alternatively, she may have a preference for a tom of a certain breed. I wonder if Maine Coons don’t like mating with Russian Blues! These are individual preferences of the kind that humans employ when deciding if to mate with the opposite sex.

In addition to the above, the main reason why cats refuse to mate is because it is the wrong time in the oestrus cycle. If mating is tried too early the female will attempt to bite the male and growl. This is not the behaviour of a reluctant female but a female in proestrus.

As for tom cats, sometimes he may be more interested in territorial claims because he is in a new area and feels less confident and wants to establish his territory. Alternatively a tom cat may lack the sexual aggression and dominant attitude to want to mate with a female. Sometimes male cats have a low libido because of impotence or a hormone deficiency. A low libido may be due to obesity from overfeeding.

Another scenario is that the tom is inexperienced and employs poor technique but this is not about a lack of motivation. If the tom cat has poor dental health it may hurt him to have sex because when he bites the nape of the neck of the queen at the beginning of sex, his mouth hurts. This will make him reluctant to mate.

Lastly, on a more delicate matter, a male who is reluctant to mate with a receptive queen may have have difficulty in protruding his penis because a ring of hair has become entangled in the barbs of his manhood. This can be checked by the owner who should have good reason for not neutering her/his cat and letting him breed in the first place.

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