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Old 06-29-2013, 01:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
Mar
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Default breeding mentor

hopefully i don't get flamed for this...

i am extremely interested in genetics and cats in particular. i would love if someone could teach me about cat breeding, cat genetics, and such, as my life's aspiration is to open my own cattery someday (meaning YEARS FROM NOW). i have been doing lots of research on the pros and cons. i know we have a severe overpopulation of kittens and homeless cat. my own kitten was adopted, so i completely support rescues and humane societies. however, i would love to get into this profession and learn the particular and acceptable ethics involved.

if anyone can give me any advice or mentoring, i would greatly appreciate it.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mar View Post
i would love to get into this profession
It's a hobby... an expensive one, according to many breeders. To be a really good breeder you're spending tons on trips to show your cats, you're health testing kittens and routinely testing the parents, and you aren't breeding the cats very much every year, you also only have a few cats in order to maintain the home and give them adequate attention/care.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Agreed, this isn't a "profession" you're never going to make a living or even make money breeding cats (unless of course you're just a backyard breeder pushing out craptons of badly bred kittens and selling them for more than they are worth).

First you need to pick a breed. Then find a GOOD reputable breeder (that is affiliated with one of the national organizations) that is willing to sell you a show quality kitten that they will insist you spay/neuter. You'll show that kitten while you spend time with your mentor/breeder and learn the breed and they'll introduce you to other breeders.

Eventually you'll buy a queen that your mentor will help you pick out. You'll pay ungodly amounts of money for health tests and preparing her for breeding and if she passes your mentor will help you find a complimentary male for your breeding(If she fails parts of her health tests you'll be spaying her and starting all over). You'll breed your queen about 3-5 times in her lifetime and then retire/spay her so you can start all over with another queen (or keep one of her offspring).

Of course, this is all if you plan on being an ethical breeder with the intent of bettering the breed. If you plan on just popping out litter after litter to sell for cash you can disregard everything I said.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ah, yeah... the price of getting a queen/a few of them! That's no light commitment. Then there's needing emergency funds for complications like c-sections and the insane time commitments, there's the up-keeping of litter boxes, and giving the cats attention and the kittens socialization, especially if a kitten is failing to thrive and needs you to feed it -- every few hours. Food costs, vet exams, things cropping up in the cattery like worms or ringworm would be horrible to deal with, some good breeders also get the kittens spayed/neutered before they leave and they aren't much more money than from any other breeder so I can only imagine those breeders eat that cost at the expense of ensuring the cats will never be bred.

It's such a serious commitment that I couldn't see it being something to get into unless you're a homemaker or retired (with a great pension!).
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Last edited by Carmel; 06-29-2013 at 02:28 AM.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I know this is dogs, but seeing the breakdown of everything a reputable breeder is doing and how much they're spending really drills home why there's no money in breeding the right way.


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Last edited by marie73; 06-29-2013 at 05:02 PM. Reason: links to breeders not allowed
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ditto what all the other posters have said. Cat breeding is not a profession, it's an expensive hobby, albeit a mostly enjoyable one. As a longtime breeder, now retired after many years, most breeders are happy if they can cover their vet and show expenses, and that's not always the case.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Mar, I would agree with the other comments. but I also want to mention that TICA and CFA both have mentorship programs, and that may be one option you could choose.

Ideally, after deciding on a breed you should spend at least a year or two showing an alter (spayed/ neutered cat) , and being involved in a breed club , get to know people in your breed , get to know health issues, breed standard etc.
With the contacts you make that way you may then find a really good breeder to entrust you with your first breeding queen.
There are also some books you could get, such as The Cat Breeders Handbook which is a compendium of articles from many different breeders, vets, cat judges etc.
or there is a classic textbook available free online, Dr Pedersens Feline Husbandry book is on the website of the UC Davis vet school.
Another book that I found had some useful info is the Practical Guide : Cat Breeding, published by Royal Canin. ( I won it at a cat show and it turned out to have some very useful info.)
Of course you are right to ask about mentors because no book will take the place of knowledgeable and experienced mentors in your breed.
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