So you want to breed cats?
What you need to know first
Ask yourself why do you want to breed cats, before you do anything else. If your seeing dollar signs you had better sit down and re-think. You aren't going to make any money breeding purebred cats. Any money you make in selling kittens will go right back into things like food and litter, vet appointments, any medications you need, emergency vet money and the list goes on.
Buying your cats for breeding will take a large chunk of money out of your pocket, and if your purchasing young cats or kittens you will have no idea if they will even be able to breed or if they will have problems breeding, or if they will be passing down genetic faults. If you must insist on breeding, but for the right reasons, it would be easier to purchase a proven male or female so you know that they've already produced, and it went well.
Male cats tend to spray, but not all breeds do. But you should always watch out for that when getting an intact male. Do you know what that smell smells like?? Wow. You do NOT want that in your home.
Other things to think about are what can go wrong during labor and delivery for your females. And yes, something is always bound to go wrong. Will you be able to handle it? Financially and emotionally? There can and will be stillborns, or kittens that only make it a few days. Kittens with defects if you havn't bought good proven breeding stock. How about if the mother cat has been in labor for hours and nothing has happened yet. There may be a kitten stuck in the birth canal and once that kitten does make its way out it will most likely be dead. If the mommy kitty can't even push one kitten out, you would need to rush her into an emergency vet for a C-Section. Very costly! Plus, many kittens will come out breach, and that makes it extra hard for the mom to push them out that way. Are you ready to assist in the delivery? It might be up to you and only you to get that kitten out.
There are so many problems..I can't even put them all down here. But you will get a hint of what can happen by reading this.
One of my cats having a hard delivery
Sure kittens are adorable...
But it's a lot of work raising that litter, getting them on great foods as they get older, getting them litter box trained and giving them the socialization they need. Then of course, finding them GOOD homes.
What do you want to breed?
You will have to find a breed that you are familiar with, as all the breeds will have their own specific health problems and such. Research is the key, spend days and night online finding out as much information as possible on the breed you would like to use, before even making up your mind that yes, you are sure you want to breed this type of cat.
When I was breeding I was breeding persians/himalayans and Exotic Shorthair. I familiarized myself with the breed as much as I possibly could. I learned until I felt there was nothing else to learn, but there's always something else! But those breeds were what interested me the most.
Canadian Cat Association.Canada's Only Purebred Feline Registry
- The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA)
An informative insight into the world of pedigreed cats - with breeder search, breed profiles, top cat photos, cat show schedule, health articles
Chose proven cats/kittens and learn about pedigrees and registering
Definitelyby purchasing proven 'stock' you are going to have better luck. You already know they have produced, be it a male or female, and you will be able to get all the information you can by asking the breeder as many questions as you can think up - How did she do during labor and delivery? Were there any problems? Did all of the kittens survive? Did she take to breastfeeding them immediately? You should be able to get all your questions answered, and if the breeder is not answering all of them, move on to someone else who will be more upfront and open with you.
Are you going to only breed registered cats? I'll make it very clear here that if your not going to be registered, you will be considered a back yard breeder, no matter what and you'll be looked down upon.
I would say only purchase cats that are registered and get yourself a registered cattery name as well! Register your kittens and sell them along with their registration papers. That way your doing it by the book, and you will stay on these breeders 'good sides'.
Once you purchase a kitten or cat, try to get their pedigree. It's an amazing tool and will have that cat's family history which is very useful. It will tell you what kind of colors are lingering in the background, what cats have done amazing in shows etc. It's very useful.
I was never one for showing my own cats, although I could have done very well with it, but I am not the competitive type and you NEED to be if your going to show. The breeders of the cat world can be, well.... not so nice. You will run into a lot of umm.. craziness if I may. You do not have to show, BUT if your looking into breeding and being AMAZING at it, and you want to improve the breed, then yes!! SHOW SHOW SHOW! Breeding is,of course, only meant to improve and work on the breed. It is never meant to just make kittens and sell them and try to make money from doing that.
I do not breed any longer
I have bred purebreds off and on through my life, right now I am taking a break and don't think I will venture into it again. It's a lot of time, and money! And now that I have children I just cannot concentrate enough on it. I really did enjoy it though and I was able to find a way to be stronger through the stillbirths and such. I was able to cope but still, there is quite a lot of pain involved and you really do need to put your own emotions aside while doing this. Or you just won't be able to do labor and delivery after labor and delivery.
Hope this helps anyone who's interested in breeding cats!