Failure to accept male at breeding in Cats (Felis) | Vetlexicon
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Failure to accept male at breeding

ISSN 2398-2950

Contributor(s) :


  • Probably rare in cats when not observed, but a problem when observed closely.
  • Cause: psychological (dominance, poor socialization), physiological (immature, wrong stage of estrus), pathological (pelvic canal abnormalities   →   pain, physical barrier).
  • Signs: fear/aggression in presence of male, refusal to submit to mounting.
  • Treatment: depends on cause - artificial insemination, sedation, surgical correction.

Presenting signs

  • Queen does not allow male to mount at first or subsequent attempts.
  • Aggression towards male.
  • Fear of male.

Age predisposition

  • Young.

Cost considerations

  • Artificial insemination.




  • Sire preference seems to occur occasionally.
  • Traveling to stud may upset timid queens and inhibit estrus.
  • Some males will not mate away from their home territory.


  • Previous trauma to pelvic canal.


  • Immaturity.
  • Not in estrus.

Predisposing factors


  • Poor socialization.
  • Pelvic trauma.


Client history

  • Refusal of male.
  • Signs of pain on first attempt at intromission.

Diagnostic investigation


  • Vaginal cytology: to determine stage of estrous cycle.
    Collection of vaginal cells for cytology may stimulate premature ovulation.
  • Cytology is an excellent tool for determination of follicular development and when to mate.
  • When cytology is cornified  Cytology: vaginal cytology from a queen in estrus , there is substantial follicular development. This is a good time to mate the cats.
  • Vaginal cytology changes shortly after ovulation to mainly non-cornified cells  Cytology: vaginal cytology from diestrus queen .



  • Endoscopy: Need a small endoscope.
  • Difficult in cats.
    Most information is gained during the withdrawal of the endoscope rather than during insertion.

Confirmation of diagnosis

Discriminatory diagnostic features

  • History.
  • Clinical signs.
  • Vaginal cytology.

Definitive diagnostic features

  • Radiography.
  • Endoscopy.


Standard treatment



  • Breed to alternative male.
  • Adequate socialization.
  • Move queen to stud early to allow time for acclimatization.


Further Reading


Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Christiansen I J (1984) Reproduction in the Dog and Cat. London: Baillere Tindall, pp243-245. ISBN 0 7020 0918 0.
  • Chandler E A, Gaskell C J and Gaskell R M (1994) Feline Medicine and Therapeutics. 2nd edn. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications, pp 272-273. ISBN 0 632 03361 4.