How to Become a Good Cat Breeder
Should I Breed My Cat?
Many cat owners look fondly at their cat and wonder about breeding her. They might wonder what does it take to be a cat breeder or just want to see what cute kittens their cat will have. If you are such a person, considering breeding your cat, I beg you to reconsider and will explain why.
First of all cats have fewer health problems if they are spayed or neutered, for a female cat every heat cycle increases her risk for developing some cancers later in life. Every litter a female cat produces taxes her body, reducing her lifespan, each breeding having risks of complications and problem.
Ultimately the main reason not to breed a cat is because there are a surplus of cats already. In the United States alone more than 4 million pets (mostly cats and kittens) are euthanized every year due to the number of births being considerably high than the number of people looking for pets.
How to Breed Cats
If you still want to continue with breeding your cat; you should start with only a registered purebred cat. Registered cats have far better chances of getting homes (this means you must also breed to a registered cat of the same breed, and must provide registration papers to the buyers of the kittens).
Be sure you have breeders rights to the cat when you buy it. In North America you can register your cat for breeders rights with the Cat Fanciers Association. TICA is The International Cat Association.
The cats (male and female) should go to cat shows to prove their worth as a breeding animals. Only when they have both earned championship titles should you continue. Additionally the female cat should be no younger than 18 months.
The first step is to get a list of potential buyers, people who want kittens. Most breeders meet buyers at cat shows, or you can advertise in a cat magazine.
Note that while most dog breeders might only own the male, or female, dog many cat breeders own both the male and female cat and keep them separate until it is time to breed. Opposite sex cats are never loose in the house to copulate randomly. If a person only has the female cat, she is taken to the males house for usually around 2 weeks, the breeding contract is usually decided by the owner of the male (stud) cat.
At three weeks after mating the female cat (queen) can be taken to the veterinarian to be checked. Two weeks later she should be switched to a good quality kitten food.
Cats usually deliver at 57 – 63 days after breeding, you should have a queening box ready, and the veterinarian's phone number should be handy at all times in case of emergencies. Cats usually deliver quite well on their own but you should have additional funds in case of complications.
At that point all other cats must be kept away, in particular the male as some male cats will kill kittens in order to bring the female back into heat sooner.
Risks of Breeding Cats
When breeding cats there is always a risk of sexually transmitted disease. Also, although most cats deliver kittens without problems there is a risk of complications, especially in breeds such as Persians, which can result in a high vet bill, or a litter of kittens you have to bottle feed. Finally every time a female cat goes through a heat cycle or is bred, she is at risk for more health problems and a shorter life in general.
The kittens pictured in this article were abandoned on my farm this summer, just 3 of the several million extra pets born that may not find homes. Please think long and hard before you breed your cat, every kitten that finds a home may mean another kitten is not so lucky. Cat breeding is serious business, and should not be taken lightly - if you have a cat that is not spayed or neutered - it should be kept indoors only.