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Cat for breeding

Super that you’ve decided to start a cattery, well a cattery without a cat is like a cheetah without spots – so it’s time to buy a cat to breed.

Unfortunately, we have to take a bit of a brutal look at breeding, seriously – because little fluffy kitty-cats with shiny eyes can charm us and we can actually purchase a non-breeding cat at the price of a breeding cat, which is a waste of money. And always remember the Animal Welfare law in your country (in Poland its a Animal Welfare Act)! Breeders must comply with current animal protection laws.

kingdom of cats, kot rasowy, koci klub

As a most important point – which I have been saying for some time now from a distance looking at various catteries – There are many breeds! Really – it is not obvious for many people, but very often I meet people convinced that pedigree cats are british, maine coons and “the bald ones”. Meanwhile, there are lots of cat breeds and dozens of colour variants! Most conveniently – in my opinion – they are collected in a table of EMS codes. EMS codes are the “Easy Mind System”, a kind of identification code for cat breeds and colours (mmm… this abbreviation is a bit confusing 😉 ) used by FIFe (it’s that “mother-organisation” XD).

Look at the breeds, read about them, maybe you are in love with the characteristics of a breed that are altogether more beautiful in another.

breeding cats, purebred, felis polonia, FIFe, Feline, Feline intenrational

I have Somalis myself, but if I had to name a breed that I consider to be one of the most majestic and dignified, it would be Turkish Angoras. You’ll find a great many breeds in one place at cat shows – it’s worth visiting them before you decide, especially as you can meet the breeders there directly, tete-a-tete. And let’s say you’ve already chosen a breed, so let’s move on !

  1. Calm down – as always, this is a serious and responsible decision. You don’t have to buy a cat from anyone ” immediately-now”.
  2. Find a cattery – the best breeding cats are those that win cat shows. Since it’s all about improving the breed, it’s better to choose cats judged best in their type. And these score higher at shows. In the cat show catalogues you will find these cats and their cattery names, and by the cattery name (that is the name of the cattery written after or before the cat’s name) you will find the cattery of the winning animal on the Internet. Since you are at the beginning of your breeding journey, you may not know how to read the results… Those cats that are BOB – are the best. BIS – the best or very good. That’s just for starters, but you’ll find out even more about it in the shows section.
  3. Get to know breeders – you don’t have to take the offer of the first breeder who agrees to sell you a cat. And it’s not at all certain that when you start out, someone will trust you and sell you a cat. It’s not enough just to have money. So get to know some breeders, see their cats, talk to them. Ask for sample sales contracts, read them carefully and ask questions.
  4. Check – just check everything. For example, according to the Polish Animal Welfare Act, we buy a cat at the place of breeding. This place is indicated on the cattery’s name certificate and appears on the cat’s pedigree. If the breeder indicates a different place as the place of sale – let’s check it, indeed something exceptional may have happened, a renovation, some accident at home, whatever – which makes it impossible to release the cat exactly at the address of the cattery. However, if you have to pick up the cat e.g. at night in a dark forest from the carrier – this already sounds questionable. In the Polish law, the issue of where the cat is to be sold is clearly defined, and any deviation has to be checked – do not sign a contract in which the sale address is listed as the cattery’s address if you are buying the cat at another location. After all, nothing prevents you from indicating in the contract where the transaction actually took place. Perhaps the breeder is in the process of changing address? You can indicate this in the contract and stipulate the delivery of the pedigree with the corrected address under pain of … Check everything: address, documents, vaccinations, cat, conditions, age of the cat, contract – everything.
  5. Tests – ah, tests… there are some tests that apply to specific breeds and there are some that are universal for all cats. The former are, for example, tests for specific genetic diseases – the FIFe breeding regulations recommend, for example, testing Bengal cats for pyruvate kinase (PK) deficiency. It is perfectly normal, in the case of diseases inherited in a straight recessive manner, to have a carrier who does not get the disease. But we have to choose a breeding partner appropriately so that our kittens do not develop the disease. So it’s not a mistake, but we have to be aware of it. It’s just – otherwise we can make the simple mistake of poor selection of individuals for breeding, which is very easy to avoid. The tests that apply to all cats – are, for example, the determination of the blood type, trichomonas foetus, giardia, infectious diseases, and everything that our vet can recommend to us and that we will want to perform. It makes no sense to buy a cat that will infect the other animals in our house and the kittens born, e.g. with trichomonas foetus. Just check this in advance – it is much healthier for the cats and cheaper than treatment. And the blood type? Yep, any is good, but we need to be aware that by taking a cat with type B and having a male with type A we are pushing ourselves into a serological conflict. It can be dealt with – sure – but we need to be ready for it with our vet. If we reject from the pool of selected catteries cats that don’t suit our breeding plans, e.g. carriers of recessively inherited diseases, cats with blood types that don’t suit us, and of course ill cats – we will narrow down our search only to those animals that will suit our breeding plans. Because why do we need a cat for which we will not be able to find a suitable mating cat? You can go somewhere far away, wait for such a male to appear, or buy one yourself – but at the beginning of the journey, it might just be better… to choose another cat. Remember to take advantage of the testing discount for Kingdom of Cats members. You can read about the details in the Benefits tab!
  6. Quarantine in the new home – when introducing the cat to other animals in the home, already after purchase, have the cat quarantined and tested by your vet. As I wrote at the beginning – it’s a bit brutal, but if it turns out on the spot that something is wrong, the vet finds defects, infections, anything we didn’t find without tests at the moment of receiving the cat – then, firstly, with the quarantine your new cat won’t infect the others, and secondly, thanks to a very early diagnosis, you may have a chance to intervene, i.e. determine with the breeder the conditions for treatment, return of the animal – or whatever you specified in such a situation in the contract or what results from the provisions of the law. It is better to “blow the whistle” – undergo quarantine and perform tests in the new home. You need to take your emotions in check a little. If it is proven that the breeder sold you a sick cat, returning it to the breeder may be the best option for you, although I know perfectly well how much you would like to drop everything and help this cat. Alternatively, it may be that the breeder will offer the solution of treating the cat with you, but at their expense – we won’t go into the terms of the arrangement between breeders, but just be careful and contained.

I have developed the above points based on the knowledge I have handling the cases of many breeders. This list is certainly not complete, it is experience I have gathered, am gathering and will continue to gather. Treat the above recommendations as a certain ‘starting point’ and not as ‘the only requirements’.