Why does my female cat refuse to mate?

Female cat
Female cat. Photo in public domain. Framed by MikeB.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Why does my female cat refuse to mate? The most common reason why a female cat refuses to mate is that the proposed mating is taking place at the wrong time in her oestrus cycle and usually during proestrus. If she is at the correct stage of her breeding cycle but still refuses to mate the problem may be that she doesn’t fancy the male i.e. it’s a question of preference.

Also, a female who has been pampered while being raised at home may be reluctant to breed because of inadequate ‘prior social contact with members of her own species’ according to my reference book. And a third possibility may be that she finds the male cat too timid or the male is not of a breed that suits her and apparently even the coat colour or type can affect preferences. This is interesting as it very positively leads me to believe that cats can ‘fancy’ the opposite sex on appearance in line with human behaviour.

If a queen (breeding female) is sent by a breeder to a breeding male (tomcat) too soon she may become stressed and be put off her heat. She will probably come back into heat again in one or two days but for some it will take longer.


As for males, sometimes they may be less interested in sex and more interested in establishing territory if they are unfamiliar with their surroundings and feel less dominant. Sometimes a tomcat may have a gentle personality and lack sexual aggressiveness to the point where he does not want to mate with a dominant queen. Sometimes males have low libido and may be impotent or have a hormone deficiency. Sex drive can be caused by obesity and obesity can be caused by overfeeding or by a hormone disease. Obesity may also interfere with the mechanics of mating.

Note: These feline behaviors aren’t that far from human behaviors, are they?

P.S. The question in the title should not be asked unless the person is a breeder of purebred cats as a commercial hobby. There is no place in the world for informal breeding of moggies.

Reference: Cat Onwer’s Home Veterinary Handbook.

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