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Confessions of a Cat Breeder

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Does a calling queen upset other cats?

Our foundation queen is currently going through her first call.

We have an older girl who is now neutered, but who we kept entire until she made up to Champion at 15 months. She is the only other cat we've ever had calling in the house. When she was calling, the rest of our cats barely paid any attention, apart from our neutered Maine Coon boy who wanted to mate her!

However, at the moment, most of our cats are off their food (including the Maine Coon), and have been since Sunday (our girl started calling on Saturday). I'm wondering if it is normal for other pets to go off their food (i.e. were we just lucky with our older girl?), or whether it is likely that they have some sort of 'bug'.

Any suggestions much appreciated.

Re: Does a calling queen upset other cats?

Dear Heather,

Thanks for posting your question on the Feline Forum. Every queen's call, although typically loud and insistent, may be interpreted differently by the breeding felines in a cattery. Within several days females holding a higher cattery status may trigger every queen to begin their call . The 'silent callers' may be overlooked with the exception of the studs if they are kept nearby and able to distinguish the scent from the female.

If the queen is particularly loud or holds a higher status within the cattery she may upset all the breeding cats. I have had situations where cats have ceased eating due to an emotional upset occurring within their homes. This can be as simple as a loud disagreement between family members that quickly passed and has been forgotten.

It is however, rather unusual for many of your cats to be off their food due to a single queen's call. Should this situation not quickly end please seek immediate veterinarian assistance as it is important to determine if you have a virus circulating within your cattery.

I hope I have been of assistance to you. Should you have additional information on this situation would you kindly advise.

Jasmine Kinnear
Feline Behaviour Consultant

Re: Does a calling queen upset other cats?


I had almost forgotten exchanging messages with you back in 2010, but have been sorting emails, and found the notification of your response.

I thought you might be interested to know that the problem with the cats turned out to be Tritrichomonas foetus, brought into our cattery by a kitten that we had been given as a neutered pet in the October. We didn't realise immediately what the problem was, but continued to have bouts of some of the cats being off their food and/or having diarrhoea until we identified the problem and treated them all with Ronidazole. Since getting the all-clear a year past in December, we have had no further problems of this nature.

Thanks for your advice.