So you want to become a cat breeder… now what?

by Carissa Altschul

Disclaimer: Any medical advice given in this article should be referenced with your vet before beginning treatment. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect any official policy or position of the Cat Fanciers' Association or the Persian Breed Council.

Breeders often receive emails from people who are interested in breeding cats. More often than not, these people just want to have “one litter,” because they want their children to experience the “miracle of life” and they have all sorts of friends who would want a kitten. So they believe they will not have any problems placing the kittens. Additionally, they often believe they will be able to easily obtain stud service for their female cat.

Every breeder has a litany they go through when it comes to talking to these “I just want to have one litter or two” would-be breeders. Sometimes, it comes off a bit terse due to previous bad experiences, or breeders who are just tired of people who think they can make some money breeding cats. Some breeders just delete/ignore the would-be breeders out of exasperation.

It is a tough position for a reputable breeder to find themselves in. As a whole, many do want to encourage and help new breeders in the process in order to help continue and preserve the breed. Additionally, showing breeders are all too aware of the downturn in registration numbers and would like to reverse that trend and grow the number of people (and cats) in our hobby. However, any breeder that has been breeding for more than a few years has probably had at least one bad experience with a new breeder. Bad experiences include lack of communication (the new breeder just disappears after getting a cat), poor care of the cat (resulting in severe illness or death of the sold cat), or just generally disappointing (the new breeder doesn’t show, or resells the cat, or perhaps even over-breeds the cat.)

This article is meant to be a guide for future, would-be breeders. It’s also meant to help existing breeders when faced with an inquiry from a new breeder (it can be used as a response rather than having to take the time to write it out or talk it out for each inquiry.) It will be geared specifically toward the Persian breed, but will still be applicable to other breeds.

This article cannot possible cover every issue that a cat breeder will encounter during their time raising cats. It only scratches the surface on so many topics. It is my hope, however, that it provides a glimpse into the world of raising and showing cats, and perhaps will provide a important starting point for people looking to join this wonderful, rewarding hobby.

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