This page serves as a guide form my personal experiences on starting a program. I believe on educating and empowering the community to end back yard breeders. Best wishes!
New to Breeding?
When looking to breed or raise a well bred cat, these are things to keep in mind:
1. Look at the Market: Is the market flooded with this breed & how are sales for competitors? Your job is to research. (This means discovering the specific difficulties, ideal temperament, ect). Do market research. What are others in your area for the breed pricing their dogs at, are there a lot of older puppies on the market? Are adult dogs very inexpensive? What are the breeders offering in their program? Low or high quality? How will you match that?
2. What is the goal? What is your niche that you are providing for your adopters? I.e well bred with temperament, looks or specialize in a line of…? I have found out over the years of breeding cats and dogs, less variables makes producing reliable litters easier. Such as less color variations, less size variations, less temperament variations. Find a breed that you LOVE and specialize in it.
Breeding is just as much about bettering the breed as it is about business. I wouldn’t want to breed a cat that costs me time and money to raise only to have the kittens not sell well. I would invest, but invest in the best according to your specialty.
3. You need proper accommodations for your house. You can’t let a male and female run together without accidental pregnancies which can affect the health of the female. Ideally your cats can reside in your home with free access with a to isolate males and females when they are in heat so they don’t pee all over your house. Breeder commonly have a catio as well. Do not breed if you plan on housing them in a shed, barn, detached unit or cages!
When buying breeding stock you must see proof of genetic testing and pedigrees. Mom and dad should bee genetically tested through basepaws, wisdom panels, animal genetics for example. Do not breed carriers of HCM or PG ( to find out if the cat carries PG check each ancestor in their pedigree at Pawpeds.com). Your goal should be to improve the line quality so avoid breeding carriers if possible. Make sure you buy from a transparent reputable breeder. Want to know what to look for in a trusted breeder? Keep scrolling. Breeding stock needs to be registered with proof of testing and pedigree along with a breeding & health guarantee. If they do not have these tests, by today’s term they are backyard breeders and proceed at your own risk. That means testing all yourself and acknowledging if the cat does not pass, you must alter and retire.
2. How many kittens are on average in the litter/sisters or grandmothers litter? Female determines the size of the litter so it’s always better to go with a strong female line (able to nurse and produce healthy puppies)
3 You need to understand temperament is the highest value in your breeding stock. ITS ALL IN THE GENES. If a mom or father is scared, aggressive or just unsocialized, this WILL be passed to the kittens whether by genes or just early learning.
4. The best breeder’s sell their program. What makes you stand out, what have you done to best prepare your babies for their families. This includes show casing extensive socializing, attending competitions, enrolling in SEO services for your website and be prevalent on social media.
5. You need to have the proper housing accommodations.
1. The stud is the most important factor. Majority of litter take on the attributes of the father. If your mother doesn’t have the best coat, or isn’t as well built, get a male that has those attributes. Expect to invest more in a male.
Make sure the future king you pick is outgoing, strong, best boy in the litter, brave. Not shy, skrawny, ect.
Special tip: the male determines the sex of the baby. If you purchase from a father who throws mainly boys, highly likely you will get that in your boy too. Choose a male that throws 50/50 or mainly girl’s (unless the boys are more desired in your breed)
Best wishes to you!
Follow the groups of your breed on Facebook, CFA, TICA & FIFE websites to find registered reputable breeders, venture to hoobly and gokitty and just search for the best examples of what you’re trying to accomplish.
What to look for in a Trusted Breeder
Follow these steps when looking for a kitten! My husband always ask me how can you trust this person?! Because I mentally follow this checklist:
- Cat needs to be appropriate price for the market, not super low, and not super high (unless they show proof they show.) That is the only reason you should be paying 4-5k for a cat. Not for its colors. Facebook & Craigslist are full of pet quality cats. You need to see proof of showing on their profile!!
- Breeder’s response needs to be continuous. They should be forth coming and WILLING to answer a multitude of questions. Before I buy I always ask a bunch of questions. It’s okay to be **annoying**. A true, honest breeder will be more than happy to provide you with answers. If language is broken, or doesn’t provide you with your requests, move on. Even if it’s a real breeder, ask yourself; what happens when there’s a problem & you already don’t have solid communication?
- A breeder might be offended by your multiple questions, showing your mistrust in them as a breeder. However, remember it’s ‘buyers beware’. There are kittens with breeders you can have a continuous connection with. Go with your gut. If it feels off, then that’s because it is! Anyways, be careful. BE PATIENT. Ask lots of questions.
- You need to ask for updated photos or videos & if possible-FaceTime
- I have had a higher experiences with breeders who VET CHECK before going home as well as ones who have some sort of Sales Contract & Health Guarantee.
- If your breeder promises you papers because they have not arrived, you need ONE OR ALL OF THESE THINGS. Picture of parents pedigree, registration of parents (with numbers blurred for privacy), OR litter registration certificate. Does breeder’s name on registration match? If they cannot provide you with these essential details that identify your cat & its asking price, then how can you be sure they will have everything else for the cat in order? Some may not allow registration, that is fine for pet homes! Ask for pedigree instead.
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A No prescription website for animals: Vetserv