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What COE or breeding practices do cat breeders have?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
This is a completely honest question from someone who didn't even know there were cat shows until about two years ago.

I know about finding a fantastic dog breeder, their COE, proper puppy rearing, showing, titles, etc.

I was wondering what is involved in cat breeding and showing, is there a COE, health screening? I actually have no idea what goes into cat breeding and would love to hear about it! (no, I'm not interested in doing it myself).

The only cat breeders I've known have disgusting practices that I'm sure can't be the norm. I was a dog groomer for 9 years, and the business owner bred Scottish Folds on the side for extra money. Her practices were so terrible you couldn't give me one of her cats, let alone expect me to pay money for it.

I would like to learn how it SHOULD be done, if anyone can spare the time.
post #2 of 12
As an ex breeder this is what I did:

1. Before ANY breeding was done I had a list of names of prespectives owners lined up for the kittens. I showed my alter and would take names, etc. at the shows anytime we were going.

2. Had a written contract - spelled out when (age) to neuter/spay. Had a pet or show contract. Had what the kittens were tested for (FELV) and their shot records. Contract also included with me taking back the kitten if any problem or could not keep (only had to do that once). And cats had to be inside only and not declawed. I only sold one breeding female - the rest were spayed/neutered whether a pet or for showing.

3. Kittens were never placed in new homes until 4 months old and properly trained and ready emotionally/physically to leave me.

4. Had a fixed number of adult cats that I stuck to (no more then 6 adult cats - spayed/neutered or breeding).

5. Queens were bred once a year, sometimes twice depending on a few things.

At the time, I only had one breeding male and he never sprayed, so was allowed a lot more freedom then most stud males get

6. Fed quality food and kept litter pans scooped at least once a day.

7. Studied pedigrees very carefully before doing any breeding. In doing so, I can say I only produced 2 "pet" quality kittens in the 6 or 7 litters I produced with my females. The rest were able to be shown and do well; however the majority were sitting in pet homes to be loved and spoiled.

BTW every cat (but one) were shown and got Grand Champion titles The one never made it - he was a neutered Turkish Angora and didn't like showing. Ended up placing him with a friend who loved longhair cats before I moved.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply!

So a neutered pet can still be shown? That's really interesting!

What is an 'alter'? Like a bench-style dog show?

How are cat shows run? Do the cats stack on a table for the judge to look over like the toy dog breeds? Does the judging go by breed, then group and then best in show like dogs? Is it a point system? How does a cat become a grand champion?

I'm full of questions.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomer View Post
Thanks for the reply!

So a neutered pet can still be shown? That's really interesting!

What is an 'alter'? Like a bench-style dog show?

How are cat shows run? Do the cats stack on a table for the judge to look over like the toy dog breeds? Does the judging go by breed, then group and then best in show like dogs? Is it a point system? How does a cat become a grand champion?

I'm full of questions.
This is USA shows - not Europeon/Australian:


Yes in all associations you have 4 classes: Kittens (purebred, 4-8 months old), Championship (breeding purebreds over 8 months old), Altered or Premiership (depending on association) (purebreds over 8 months old), and the Household Pet class - for mixed breeds or non-registered purebreds - if over 8 months HAS to be neutered/spayed.

Alter is a spayed/neutered cat.

The cats are benched in cages (your own or club-provided) in rows according to owner (you can have different breeds together). The judges rings are in the same show hall and you have 4-8 judges per day. Each cat is brought (by schedule) to the judge's ring and has a number assigned that corresponds to the catalog/judge's sheets. Then the judge takes each cat out and evaluates it against the standard.

After judging the class (say Kitten class) the judge will award the top 10 Kittens he/she feels meets the standard the closest. The first part of judge is by breed - you'll have a Best and 2nd Best of Breed picked. The top 10 is overall.

Unlike dogs, each judge has their own set of finals, so if you don't make a final in Ring 1, you may in Ring 2, etc.

Each association has their criteria for Grand Championship (some by points, some by finals, some by both). Its pretty easy to get a championship, harder to get the Grand.

The major associations in the USA are CFA (Cat Fanciers Association - biggest and oldest); ACFA (American Cat Fanciers Assoc), and TICA (The International Cat Assoc.). I show my cats in CFA and ACFA only. They are granded in both associations. Charlie is my only show cat right now and we are working on Grand in both CFA and ACFA this year.
post #5 of 12
I'm not a breeder either and have learned a lot about it by following this forum and asking questions about it. I think the alter class is a separate class for cats that have been neutered or spayed.
post #6 of 12
A little about Aussie shows

Cats are put into 4 groups with GCCF (5 with FASA)
- Group 1 - Longhairs
- Group 2 - Siamese/Oriental
- Group 3 - Foreign Shorthair
- Group 4 - British/Scottish Shorthair/Manx/Selkirk (in GCCF this group are in group 3)
- Group 5 Domestic or Part Ped. Pet quality purebreds cannot be shown.

Each group is then broken into kittens (3-9 months), entires and neuters.

Cats are benched in their groups section, judges come around to those groups, stewards bring the cats to judge bench then return to cage.

Awards are given for best in class (eg. best choc-silver Ocicat under 9 months), best of breed and top 5 cats. Then an award for best of entire group and a supreme in show.
post #7 of 12
I will comment on the breeding practices. I agree with everything that Goldenkitty stated above.

I have a few more cats (13), but have built a great addition to my home to accomodate them. I have 4 main cattery rooms - Nursery room, Isolation bay room (for isolating a new cat that comes in from another cattery), a main cattery room, and access to a huge outside cattery room (latticed and screened). The outside room is their play room with climbing things and LOTS of toys.

While the males (3 max) have to be kept separate, this is due to avoiding unwanted pregnancies. The females are allowed free roam of the house, except for the nursery and isolation room. All my cats are part of my family. The males get a chance to have free roam of the home, when the females are put up - one day a week.

I used to keep my numbers down to 6 before the renovations and expansion of my home.

I have an open door policy. Some catteries do not have this, but I think it is important for visitors to be able to see and pet my cats.

Regular cleaning is everyday, but BIG cleaning is once a week. Boxes are scooped daily.

Kittens can leave at 3 months old, unless I feel that they are not mature enough - this is individual to the kitten for me.

My kittens are placed in show homes and pet homes. The PRIMARY importance to me is that they are placed in a loving environment.

One has to apply to be approved for a kitten and have references. A contract with full health guarantee is made with the new owner. This contract stipulates that the kitten will not be sold to anyone else and will be returned to me, if anything causes the new owner to have to give him/her up for any reason.

All kittens that are sold as pets are spayed/neutered.

All kittens are played with daily and cuddled with as much as possible.

The nursery is, also, my office. I work at home 3 days a week, so am in the room with them a lot.

Local law enforcement was invited to my home years ago, so that they know what is here. I live in a small town (suburb of a larger one), so the police watch my home when I am away. That seems like a small thing, but it has been SO helpful. All cats are seen annually, at least, by my Vet. His office is just down my road, so he makes home visits here.

Records on each are kept in perfect order.

Oh, and they are ALL spoiled rotten.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
That is so great the way your cats are kept! I could tell you horror stories of how this scottish fold 'breeder' looked after hers. As well as her dog breeding. It's all for profit of course. Spend as little as possible to make as much as possible, lying if necessary.

Are most cats bred naturally or do you do some AI like in dogs? Are certain studs in high enough depend to ship semen?

At what age do studs and queens usually retire from breeding?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomer View Post
That is so great the way your cats are kept! I could tell you horror stories of how this scottish fold 'breeder' looked after hers. As well as her dog breeding. It's all for profit of course. Spend as little as possible to make as much as possible, lying if necessary.

Are most cats bred naturally or do you do some AI like in dogs? Are certain studs in high enough depend to ship semen?

At what age do studs and queens usually retire from breeding?
There are certainly stud cats out there that are outstanding in each breed. I have not, personally, used AI with the cats. It is expensive and not as sure of a thing as natural breeding. When I see an outstanding cat that I would like to use in my breeding program, I wait for a kitten. That is just my preference. I have been asked to ship semen from one of my stud cats and have done that once. The procedure did not take, however.

I can only speak for myself on retirement age of my studs and queens. I retire them at around 4 years old. Sometimes 5, but that depends on the cat. Studs can go longer.

I get VERY attached to every single cat that I have. I breed and show, but my cats are first and foremost a part of my family.

There is no money in this. My top show Peterbald kittens can go for as much as $2000, but keeping a cattery healthy, nice, and spacious takes money. Shows, also, cost money. It is a hobby. I love breeding and producing wonderful loving kittens. If I ever have one of those homes that stinks when you enter or so many cats that I can't keep things clean, I am out. The cats have to come first.

I hope you don't let the bad breeders influence your opinion on all breeders. Some of us are out there working hard. A good cat breeder will, usually, be involved in rescue, as well. I do that for my community. Since my little town has no shelter, except for the county one (a good distance from here), the local law enforcement will bring them to me. In return, I help place them and stay in good standing in my community. I, also, have put on two seminars on how to take care of your cat at the local elementary school, plus write an article for the local paper from time to time. My Vet backs me up and consults, as necessary.

It is all about doing the "right" thing.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnoliachat View Post
I hope you don't let the bad breeders influence your opinion on all breeders. Some of us are out there working hard. A good cat breeder will, usually, be involved in rescue, as well. I do that for my community. Since my little town has no shelter, except for the county one (a good distance from here), the local law enforcement will bring them to me. In return, I help place them and stay in good standing in my community. I, also, have put on two seminars on how to take care of your cat at the local elementary school, plus write an article for the local paper from time to time. My Vet backs me up and consults, as necessary.

Oh not at all. Just in dogs there are those who breed for profit, and those who breed to better the breed. The woman I used to work for actually made me look for good breeders, as I knew that the way she was breeding was not the way it should be done. Some people are stellar parents, others should never have had kids. Such is true in animal breeding and pet ownership.

I love hearing about the clean conditions well run cattery's are kept in, as well as the health and temperaments of the cats in it. Such a contrast to the way this woman breeds.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions!
post #11 of 12
Personally I've never heard of any cat people using AI, but I'm sure its been done. Most will ship the queen to the stud if necessary.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Personally I've never heard of any cat people using AI, but I'm sure its been done. Most will ship the queen to the stud if necessary.
I know of one breeder who tried AI. It ended up with loss of fertility in the queen and two kittens (non of breeding quality). AI is very difficult in cats. Getting the sperm is hard enough but it's the whole getting the queen pregnant that is really tricky. Personally I wouldn't even consider it (for many reasons). I'd rather take the queen abroad for breeding.
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