If you have made the decision to breed cats, you should know that it is not something you should take lightly. You have to be very clear about certain ethical and moral standards to raise perfectly healthy kittens with the right temperament. At Petlifey we give you some tips if you have decided on the world of cat breeding.
Ethics in raising cats
Responsible breeders produce healthy, well-adapted cats. Others, on the other hand, call themselves breeders but are “manufacturers” of kittens. That is to say, those people who raise cats to sell them quickly to an unknown buyer, tend to produce very inferior specimens.
Kittens are often so sick that they have to be euthanized, and females are so weakened that they die prematurely while still young.
Breeding cats simply “to see what comes out” shows little sensitivity and a lack of respect for life. It only takes one visit to the local abandoned animal repository to see a host of beautiful kittens waiting to be adopted simply because their owners irresponsibly indulged their curiosity.
Responsible breeders do not allow their animals to mate with cats of unknown quality when it comes to health, temperament and type.
The benefit to be gained from breeding rights may interest and tempt the irresponsible breeder, but many take the phrase “only with approved males or females” very seriously.
The costs associated with breeding even poor quality cats (which are sold cheaply) allow only small profits to be made from the sale of kittens.
Reproduction should not be seen as a way to make money, but unfortunately some people only realize this after having undergone disappointing personal experiences. Since money is the primary goal of high-volume breeders, they often miss out on the joy and excitement associated with responsible breeding.
The goal of every breeder should be to produce cats of the best possible quality in terms of temperament, strength and conformation .
Breeders with a modicum of ethical sense do not allow carriers of serious defects to breed. When mating cats from different breeders, each breeder has to trust that the other’s cats are perfectly healthy.
Since mating arrangements are usually made long before the cats are brought together, each owner has to fulfill their commitment at the right time.
It is not fair that the owner of a female has to look for a male at the last minute or that he has to postpone the mating of your female cat in heat because at the last minute the owner of the male does not comply with the agreement.
Naturally, if the male or female are not in optimal condition before the proposed date for mating, the responsible owner will notify the other owner, and both will reschedule the event.
Have your own breeding male cat
Some breeders prefer to have their own stallion male. On the other hand, there are those who prefer not to have it. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages:
- It is obvious that you will know much more about your own male, his defects and qualities, than what you can know about the animal of another breeder.
- You will also know more about your offspring than about another breeder’s stallion.
- It’s easier to raise your own female when you have the male; you can even choose the exact moment to pair them.
- Test matings will be easier for you, which will increase your knowledge of your cat’s type.
- If you do not plan to mate your female for a while, you will have to keep the two of you apart, which can be difficult if you are both house cats.
- If you have two or more non-neutered males in the house, they will likely fight continuously.
- Finally, you will not have as large a variety of stallions to mate with your female as you could have if you could choose from males from other breeders.
- There are more inferior quality females used for breeding than inferior quality males. This is because while many females are mated, few males are.
- It is difficult to keep a non-neutered male at home. Their desire to mate is constant and very intense. He will always be trying to get out of the house and will continually try to mate with as many females as he can, both inside and outside the house.
- The natural instinct of the male that makes him mark his territory with his strong-smelling urine makes it impossible to let him move freely around the house , unless the annoying smell of his urine is not unpleasant to you.
- Many breeding males live miserably, locked in a small area. They hardly have opportunities to play and socialize with their owners or with other cats.
- If you plan to have a non-neutered male, allow him enough territory of his own and keep him happy, active and well adapted with constant attention. This will produce quality offspring.
- When you no longer use it as a breeder and cast it, it can live as a loving and lovable companion animal.
Tips if you have a breeding male
- The vigorous stallion male needs a high quality diet in sufficient quantity, supplemented with mineral salts and multivitamins. This guarantees its perfect condition and a high emission of sperm.
- You should also be provided with ample space for you to exercise. The attention of human beings will keep your good temperament.
- A stallion should not be allowed to get fat, as this would affect his reproductive qualities.
- After it has mated several times, it should be allowed to rest for a while so that it can fully recover.
- The coat of a male cat is a good indication of its general condition, so it must be observed continuously.
- The quality of their young also serves as an indication of their status.
- Males can mate several times a month, but they have to rest periodically.
Tips if you have a breeding female
- An unspayed female is easier to keep than a non-neutered male. He may urinate from time to time, but even then his scent is not as strong as that of the male.
- Naturally, when she’s in heat she’ll make calls. Some cat breeds meow very loudly, while others meow at a low volume. Although a female may have several heats during the year, these do not last very long and soon the cat returns to her normal state.
- A fertile female produces a large number of eggs and can give excellent quality milk. Breeding females need a good diet. Calcium supplements are important because they help ensure that the female produces enough quality milk to feed the young .
- It is necessary to avoid the obesity of the female, because this can make it difficult for her to give birth. There is no reason not to let her move freely around the house until delivery. A few days before the expected date of birth, she may be confined in an enclosure to give birth.
- It is a generally accepted opinion that cats of both sexes must reproduce periodically so that they can remain as fertile as possible. For females this means once a year (although some people say twice a year is better).
Breeding agreements between breeders
If you decide to use a male from another breeder, you will have a wide range to choose from. When deciding which male is the right male for your cat, you will have to choose carefully.
In the long term it is cheaper to take your female to another kennel when she has to mate than to own and keep your own male.
You will probably have the opportunity to see the male’s offspring from another breeder, so that you can evaluate him, but keep in mind that only the best kittens will show you and not the lowest quality offspring.
For this reason, it is not always possible to evaluate the success of a male as a breeder. You may have only produced a few premium or even above average quality kittens; perhaps most, those that you will not have a chance to see, have been of average quality or even less than average.
Naturally, if you are only interested in raising kittens as pets , this is not too important, but if you are going to dedicate yourself to breeding you should take care of the cat and improve the quality of your animals than to produce them in quantity.
Unless your chosen male lives near you, you will have to have your female transported. This is sometimes difficult to agree on, if one or both breeders have trouble getting to the airport or if the cat has difficulty traveling.
Although it is a somewhat remote possibility, it could be the case that the female transported to the male’s house does not conceive due to the stress produced by the trip or the strange environment.
There is a tendency, especially among beginning breeders, to choose stallions based on their successes in shows . This is not usually the best way to choose the male, because unshown males are often better breeders, regularly producing superior quality offspring.
If you have decided to cross your cat with that of another breeder, there will be an exchange of pedigrees. An up-to-date photo exchange may also occur at this time. When both parties have agreed on all the preliminary arrangements, they will be able to sign the contract.
A written contract is the only sure guarantee against future disagreements. The contract should cover all the different aspects of the intended reproduction. The stallion fee must be clearly indicated. The price usually depends on the success of the cat in exhibitions, and / or the quality of the offspring it has previously produced.
The most common fee for a stallion is an amount of money. Sometimes one or more kittens are accepted as payment, but this is quite rare. Other times a calf is accepted as partial payment in combination with a smaller amount of money.
It is not often the case that a stallion owner has to pay to mate his male with the female of another breeder. In these cases the owner of the male is invariably seeking to incorporate one of the offspring into his own line.
When a kitten is included as part of the price, the contract should specify the date of delivery to the owner of the male. It is also convenient to specify what types of vaccines the kitten will receive before being delivered, and at what age .
Usually the owner of the male is notified of the birth as soon as the kittens are born, and if one of them is to be delivered as part of the price, he will be regularly informed of its progress.
Previously, it must be well established what will be done in case the litter consists of only one kitten, or in case only one survives after a few days. Generally, it is the owner of the female who has the right to that kitten.
Most reproduction contracts establish a “return service”. This clause covers the situation in which the female is not fertilized during her first stay with the cat. Under this clause, the female is sent back to the male for a new mating at no additional charge.
If the owner of the female keeps her indoors all year, it must be stipulated that she will not mate in an open-air cage, at least during the winter months.