Seeing the live birth of a baby animal is all part of the miracle of life and can be a wonderful learning experience for children, however so much more is involved in breeding than beautiful babies are experiencing the miracle. The reality of breeding is much more involved.
A). Breeding cats are not pets!
Like all unaltered animals breeding animals simply want to do that breed….pass on their genes. Their main purpose is to find a mate so they can achieve this.
What does this mean?
Lots of noise!
Female cats call an ear piecing yowling as they look for a mate. Day in and out they will cry until they are bred. Some females will come into their heat every 2-3 weeks lasting for up to a week, while others females never come out of heat.
Males call just as much as females. This is not a loving meow or gentle purr, this is a very demanding yell for a female.
2. Lots of pee!
If you already dread cleaning the cat litter even a few times a week you won’t appreciate territory marking. Females will spray often and not doing so in a litter box (which you also must still clean)
Males are not different. To attract females, they will pee on the floor, on walls, doors, in corners on cat trees, furniture etc. This must be cleaned on a regular basis and the smell of urine can be hard to remove.
3. Escaping or running away.
Both males and females will CONSTANTLY be in search of a mate. If there are not mates in the house escaping the house can’t be put past them. Not only is a potentially expensive cat now outside, they can be attacked by other animals, stolen or hit by a car.
4. Fights and aggression.
Breeding animals are always in competition to get the best mates. No matter how they are raised, hormones and maternal instinct is priority. Males will go as far as killing each other or offspring of their competition. This can even mean aggression towards people.
B) You must have a male. No male to breed means constantly cycling females which can result in health issues like uterine infections, putting the female’s life at risk and an expensive veterinary bill.
If you do not have a male, you may have to send the female to be bred or pay for a sperm sample. Both are stressful for your female and expensive.
While some catteries are closed to outside cats, some may take in your female for several weeks potentially exposing your female to illness and disease. The same applies if you bring in a male to your home.
You must always be available for when kittens are born. You can only plan ahead so much.
You cannot go on vacation. Kittens can be born at any time and emergencies can quickly arise requiring a veterinarian whether this be 3 pm or 1 am. If you need an emergency veterinary service, this can be extremely expensive.
Kittens can be born with health problem and/or a female may require a c-section
You must have time to keep everything clean to avoid bacteria, viral and other illness/disease among your cats and kittens.
You must have time to socialize kittens and spend time with breeders
5). Care for kittens. This will include
Monitoring their health and development (some kittens may be so ill they may pass away. Can you handle this?)
Making sure they are eating and growing properly (some kittens may require tube feeding or help eliminating waste)
Daily socialization including handling, playing, getting used to various situations such as noises, strangers and other animals.
Do you have the funds to feed multiple cats or kittens that constantly are growing and eating?
To buy lots of cat litter and other cleaning supplies?
To take the kittens to the vet for screenings, vaccinations and health exams or if they become ill?
To get them neutered or spayed before leaving for their new homes?
7. Finding homes for your kittens
Advertising and/or maintaining a website or social media presence can be time consuming and expensive.
Will you be ok with having people know your physical address and phone number. Will you be ok with people coming over to your home to walk around and check out kittens?
Are you ready to deal with difficult customers that may be demanding or are constantly calling and emailing you with questions and concerns?
Still want to breed?
Do you have a great understanding of genetics? How about the breed standard? Can you tell the difference between a breed quality, show quality or pet quality cat? Do you understand breeding is more than a beautiful litter and you should only be breeding to further the breed?
There are new USDA/APHIS regulations that effect hobby breeders, these are highly restrictive and you must inform yourself.
Many communities have ordinances on the number of cats you can have. Be sure to check the ordinances before you begin.
Breeding cats can be a wonderful and fulfilling job, but it is much more involved than just sticking two cats together and seeing what happens. There is a lot of learning, research and other considerations to take into account.
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