All matings amongst the clans are informal. There are no formal announcements, and there is no expectation (or tolerance for claims of the right to) exclusivity.
The leadership of a clan will not generally tolerate claims of “my mate” or conflicts originating based on any rights assumed because a cat mated with you due to the conflicts it causes within the clan.
- Love Without Bounds: Love and Loving Amongst the Clan Cats – An Essay by Kitsufox
- Crushes & Attraction – An explanation of why the Crush fails to work in clan society.
It is rare for a tom to approach a she-cat seeking her to bear his kits. As the act of bearing offspring comes with a great deal of personal risk, it is always left to the female in question to decide when it is appropriate for them to bear a litter. It is far more common for the she-cat to approach the tom she feels is the best choice.
For Mate Selection
A male is free to mate with any female who finds him suitable, and a female is free to mate with any male (or males) she feels is suited to fathering her offspring.
Should a mate be selected from a group considered ‘Unacceptable’, the players involved are considered to have consented (by simply choosing to undertake the act ICly) to the resulting situations which might include very dramatics Role Play, such as forced abortion of any litter conceived or loss of IC Status.
Should a mate be selected from a group considered ‘Inappropriate’, the players involved are considered to have consented (by simply choosing to undertake the act ICly) to the resulting situations which is likely to include loss of IC Status.
For Queen’s Privacy
It is the express right of each Queen to choose not to disclose the name of the male who fathered her offspring. The Tom is expected the only acknowledge kittens if the queen has chosen to acknowledge him.
For Under-aged Parents
A cat is deemed ‘Underaged’ if they have not yet received their warrior ceremony. Cats who are not adults are not considered suitable to become parents.
Under-aged Toms who become parents are not deeply punished, but if the she-cat who mated with him is of age she would be subject to a social black cloud (and possibly pressure, needling and negative reception) at the paws of her clan-mates for distracting an apprentice from his training with something he was not yet mature enough for.
Under-aged She-cats who mate suffer more than their male counterparts. The she-cat would likely to be forced to terminate the pregnancy for her own well-being by her clanmates. She would also be subjected to an almost constant guard to prevent a recurrence of the situation until she received her name.
Mates who are…
Apprentices: A cat who is still an apprentice is not yet considered an adult and is thus not suitable as a mate for any cat (even one who is also an apprentice).
Parents: Mating with ones own parents is not considered acceptable. It is unacceptable to the point that a Leader and/or Medicine Cat who become aware of such a situation are likely to force the litter to be aborted to protect the clan from the potential of deformed or otherwise deficient kits.
Mating with Siblings: As mating with Parents. Siblings would include any cat who shares at least one parent, so half-siblings would be included in this group.
Mating with an Adopted Siblings: The acceptance of a pair of adopted siblings will always be rocky. The level of negativity associated with the act is more intense the younger the age of the adoption. Cats adopted later in their kithood are not as firmly entrenched in the mind of the clan as a part of that litter in the way a kit adopted into a like-aged litter during the first few days of life.
Mating by a Mentor with their Former Apprentice: The inappropriateness of this act is proportional to the amount of time that the apprentice has been out of apprenticeship, with the longer the apprentice being out of apprenticeship the less inappropriate the act becomes. This does not mean that, should it happen between an older pair, their will be universal acceptance, but rather the reaction will be less strong.