Practical relevance: Cats are common pets worldwide. Successful breeding of cats starts with the selection of suitable breeding animals, and care should be taken to avoid inbreeding. Keeping cats in smaller groups reduces stress and facilitates management.
Clinical challenges: Breeding cats is challenging in many ways. Group housing is a common scenario, and care should be taken not to have groups that are too large, because of the risk of stress and infectious diseases. Feline pregnancy and parturition both vary in length, which is one reason why it may be challenging to diagnose dystocia. In queens with pyometra, a vaginal discharge may not be evident due to their meticulous cleaning habits.
Audience: This review is aimed at clinicians in small animal practice, especially those in contact with cat breeders.
Patient group: Reproductive emergencies occur in both intentionally and unintentionally bred cats, and more often in young or middle-aged queens. Pyometra tends to be a disease of older queens.
Evidence base: Evidence is poor for many conditions in the breeding queen, and information is extrapolated from the dog or based on case reports and case series.
Keywords: Pregnancy; mastitis; parturition; pyometra.