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Looking to become a Maine Coon Breeder

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Me and my husband want to open a cattery for this beautiful cat, Maine Coon.
There are so few Maine Coon cats in my country...
Maybe you could help us with some tips on how to get started, direct us to a catery who would sell us a breeding pair Any advice is usefull
post #2 of 34
The best way to get started is to get a neuter and show it first. You'll learn all about the breed and get to meet and talk to other breeders.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
i was thinking of getting a pair of cubs, 4-5 months, raise them thill they're 1 year or so, learn all about them and then be able to start breeding them
post #4 of 34
Most breeders will not sell whole cats to a person unless that person has experience showing that breed in the alter class. The reason for this is because you need to learn the standard of the breed and the only way of doing this is by showing. When you show in the alter class you meet other breeders, see different lines of your breed, learn the standard, learn what lines you like and don't like, and learn lots about feline health, nutrition, genetics, and husbandry.
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
I've read at a cattery site that they do sell for breeding purposes also, but there were no details
post #6 of 34
In Europe there's probably not a problem buying a breeding pair as a "rookie". However that might not be the way you wanna start up your cattery. The time between 4-5 months to 1 year is fr to short time to actuarally get to know a breed.

You'll need to visit cat shows, preferably showing cats on your own, talking to breeders, reading about breeding and genetics and of course you'll need to know about possible breeding problems within you specific breed. Before you even buy your future breeding cats you'll wanna know something about "the clones" and the different foundation lines in the Maine Coon. This in order to be able to pick cats suitable for your specific breeding program. You'll need to know a little something about HCM and HD since tht's something many Maine Coon breeders screen for. This in order to be able to pick healthy blood lines to start your cattery with.

Also a breeding pair probably isn't the wisest thing to start with. A stud is demanding to keep and one female probably won't keep him satisfied so unless you're able to co-operate with other breeders and let him breed outside your cattery you'll probably have your hands full with just the stud.

Buying kittens as a future breedig pair is also very hard because you have no way of knowing it they'll actuarally complement each other as adults.
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
I've been told on another forum about the heart problem Maine Coons have, and i've already noted it as a priority of check on the cat. the test is made with ultrasound.
I haven't bred a pedigreed cat before, i'm going to have my first litter soon (my youngest one will be the joy of 2 baby kittens), but that's why i am here, i wish to learn all about it
i know it takes quite a big amount of money, specialy for maine coon about 800 - 1400 dolars is the price from what i've seen, plus shiping and other stuff.
There is a maine coon breeder in my country, but doesn't exactly seem that trustworthy, they just started also and only has a pair. I would rather start out with cats that I know are top quality, and i would prefer a pair because of the lack of maine coon cats in my country.
My thought was to start out with a pair indoors, with a special bedroom for the male, then delevope this at the country side, where we have a big house, and my husband's boyfriend is very very good with cats.
By the time i am able to get my desired pair, my little fluffynes will have her cubs ready for adoption, and the other two sweeties will be neutered already.
post #8 of 34
IMO novice breeders should NEVER start out with a breeding pair of cats. You have a lot of research and planning to do. Do you know the inside and outsides of the Maine Coons? Do you know how to research pedigrees? What exactly are you looking for? WHY do you want to go into breeding?

A good breeder starts out with a neutered cat and shows it and learns all about the breed (good and bad points) and makes friends with other breeders. IMO any breeder that hands over breeding cats to an "unknown" person is NOT a good breeder. And your first breeding cat should be a female that you take to a stud.

Owing an entire male is not a fun thing. They need special rooms/cages to live in cause they will spray. Owning one female for breeding is not enough for one male. He may or may not breed and usually breeders have at least 3-4 other females to breed him to.

You cannot let your female go in and out of heat a lot without breeding. You should only have one litter about every 9-12 months. You should have homes lined up with people waiting for kittens instead of just breeding them and trying to then find homes.

You need to keep the kittens for a good 12-16 weeks before you let them go. Its not enough to just have kittens eating solid food and using the pan - then need important social and mental lessons those first 12 weeks of life.

You should have a written contract guarenteeing the health of the kitten, the shots given, and spayed/neutered before they leave. I know its hard to find a vet that will do spay/neuter before 6 months old, but if you can't have it done, then the person has to sign they will get it done and YOU have to follow up on it.

You should be willing to take back any kitten you produce if the owner cannot keep it.

You need to register the kittens and get papers for them. You need to test the parents for genetic diseases/clearances. And its really better if the parents have titles (champion), so you have the expense of showing them too.

Breeding should be serious work - not just a way to make a few cute kittens or some pocket money. You breed to IMPROVE the breed (which means you'd better know the written standard and can evaluate your cats and kittens to that standard). If you cannot do that above, get some MC as pets if you like the breed, and leave the breeding to those that really want to improve the cats.
post #9 of 34
I thought that baby cats were called kittens (except for the BIG cats who have cubs).
post #10 of 34
They are
post #11 of 34
Depends on which registry you intend to register your cattery with...FIFe Maine Coons are slightly different in type to CFA Maine Coons.

I would suggest a ton and more research into what you really want in a Maine Coon before even starting to contact breeders.

You've been given some good advsie so I have nothing more to add!
post #12 of 34
What is the cat fancy like in Romania? I tried looking at the felisromania.org website, but it seems like it is down. If you can make it to a cat show, even if you have to travel a bit, you'll be able to see some Maine Coons in person and decide what breeders you'd like to work with in the future.

If you're not able to see Maine Coons in person, I'd start looking at as many breeders websites as possible in order to develop an eye for what different lines look like. You'll want to decide what you like and don't like about each line. Some lines look sweet, while others look more wild. You'll need to decide what looks you prefer.

I would suggest not getting your cats from the same cattery; you don't want to be limited in who you can breed to whom.

As stated before, you want to get a neutered Maine Coon before getting breeding cats. You will establish trust with other breeders, and once you have shown them that you are serious about the breed, they will be much more willing to sell you a really great cat for breeding. Breeders often keep their nicest cats for themselves, so you want to prove to them that you wouldn't let it go to waste. Actions speak louder than words, afterall
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
thank you all for the good advice, it's really helpful.
I wish to go into breeding because i really fell in love with this cat, and there are so little of them in my country... Maine Coon are such beautiful cats, they deserve to be admired all around the world!
I want to learn all i can about them, i just adore those furlings.
There will be a cat show here in september (we don't have many cat shows here unfortunately ) and i am planing to take Fluffynes and Dorel there, at the home cat section (as she does not have a pedigree and he is just a common race cat). i've started bookmarking all the catterys i could find, to see the standards and diference in lines and everything and searching all the articles about them. I know breeding is not an easy task, but everyone was a beginner at first, and i am very willing to learn it all
post #14 of 34

It sounds like we started similar. I was in AK where I was learning from other breeders about showing and so forth. I didn't have any Siberians to look at and I wanted to show and breed. I ended up getting a breeding pair to start with as there were no studs for me to get from. I was the ONLY breeder of Siberians in the state.
I did do a lot of research, show and title my 2 HHPs and have a close mentor relationship with 3 other breeders who helped get me started.
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
i'm hoping to be as lucky as you Daisy
post #16 of 34
Originally Posted by EuropeanFluffy View Post
There are so few Maine Coon cats in my country...
With the rare breeds you have to be willing to import, which can be costly and challenging. Otherwise you will breed yourself into a corner, you need the new lines to continue improving the breed.
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
i was thinking about getting my pair from 2 different catteries.
the male from one cattery and the female from another
post #18 of 34
Talk to the breeders but please don't start out with just one male and one female. Get a show quality female and start with her. Then build up to getting your own male. Like I said before, one male will NOT be satisfied with one female. And what happens if he doesn't like the female you have (it happens - some males can be picky).?
post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
well, from all i've heard so far, i was planing on getting a young female, take her to shows , and when she turns the proper age, get a male for her
post #20 of 34
Originally Posted by EuropeanFluffy View Post
well, from all i've heard so far, i was planing on getting a young female, take her to shows , and when she turns the proper age, get a male for her
It might be better to use someone elses stud. If you buy a stud for your female you'll probably end up neutering him after he's sired her kittens. IF they get kittens together.

A stud is more appropriate to buy when you have maybe 3 females to breed him with. I usually only have one queen at a time and yes, I've owned studs but I've co-owned them with other breeders or offered his services to breeders I know so they've had about 3-4 females to breed.
post #21 of 34
Thread Starter 
i would, but there are no other breeders here. Who's stud could i use if there is no other?
post #22 of 34
Where do you plan on getting your MC's from? Whichever breeder you use, then you should go back to them to use their male for her. Even if it means shipping her there for a few weeks.
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
well, i plan to get my female from either greece, hungary, bulgary or russia, somewhere close to my country
post #24 of 34
You're in a really tough spot then. Unless you are close enough to get her back to another breeder. I wish you the best of luck.

Is this the cattery you are looking at in Romania?

post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
yeah, they're the ones, but i really don't like their cats and they don't mention anything about their cats beeing tested or anything...
post #26 of 34
I agree with you - IMO they are more pet quality. The male is not bad (he did get champion) but if you compare them to USA Maine Coons - those would be pet quality against our cats And she only has those two, so you can't breed back to her male. She's pretty limited.

Shame you are not in another country with better selections.
post #27 of 34
You might wanna try to co-operate with this breeder for the simple reason that you'll have a very hard time establishing the breed in your country on your own. You can check if the breeders cat are tested for HCM at Pawpeds.com (they might be tested outside this health program though) and you can check the cats in her cats pedigrees.

Even if you don't like the type it might be smart to co-operate with her. It's easier to establish a new breed if you're many working together.

Would it be possible for you to start up with maybe two females and import a male later? Or maybe breed abroad? In Sweden more and more Devon Rex breeders are travelling to other countries in Europe in order to breed their cats. If you would start up with two unrelated females you could (maybe) breed one of them abroad and then keep a male you can breed with the other female. That's one alternative.
post #28 of 34
True - good point. The OP could use the red boy as long as the females are better then he is. Then you'd have more to work with.
post #29 of 34
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I agree with you - IMO they are more pet quality. The male is not bad (he did get champion) but if you compare them to USA Maine Coons - those would be pet quality against our cats And she only has those two, so you can't breed back to her male. She's pretty limited.

Shame you are not in another country with better selections.
Didn't I say that Fife cats are slightly different in type to CFA cats? Very good example of that in that website! CFA cats would have a squarer muzzle and broader heads. Of the two cats represented there, I actually prefer the female.

If you have the funds, what some people do here in Malaysia for "new" breeds is to buy a complete cattery - ie. buy 3 females and a male at one go. The male and at least one female needs to be a proven breeder, not necessarily Granded but from good lines. The other two females should come from complimentary lines (lines that are known to work well together). However, this means you jump in head first into breeding. Not recommended sure but if there's no choice, there's no choice...

If you do this, your first year as an MC breeder would obviously be not cost effective - the prices for shows alone would kill you!

CFA is getting very big in Europe so one of your main considerations would be - which registry you want to register with. Once you've made that decision, things would be slightly easier because you then know at the very least what type of Maine Coon you should be getting!
post #30 of 34
Wow i learned something new But you are right - it would depend on which association you show in as to the "look" you will need.

Over here its not much difference between CFA, ACFA, TICA. Most breeds (if the cat is good) can grand in all three. CFA is slightly more extreme with some of the breeds, but overall you should be able to switch associations and still champion/grand with little problems.
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