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How do you choose?!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
How do you breeders choose what kitten you keep from a litter to use later on your breeding program? Do you listen to your heart or your mind?

I'm having very hard time choosing between two boys..
I just looove the other one because he reminds me of his father, acts and looks the same (except for the folded ears), fur color is very good, unfortunately he is quite small, has been since the start.. But the other one would propably be the wiser choise, he is the biggest of the litter and strongly build, pattern isn't particularly good but otherwise he looks very good and has a lot better body structure than the other one. I know this would be the better choise, but the smaller is just like my Kuura..

To make my choise even harder, I have to take in to consideration that it's propably going to affect very much for the whole future of this breed in our country where there are only very few cats of this breed, and the chosen kitten is going to be one of the main ancestors for the coming generations.. "Slight" feeling of pressure weighing down on me..
post #2 of 13
Most breeders are very critical - and they pick the one that has the most qualities that will be passed on (by the standards). Some things you know you can improve, so you may count them as minor issues.

If you can't make up your mind and can keep both, you can try breeding them and then see if they give you what you want.

I'm sure Jack's breeder would love to have kept Jack as she is looking to neuter his father soon - but she will let me have him as promised and try the dad with two other girls for a "keeper". She did keep Jack's sister for breeding.
post #3 of 13
I personally spent a long time determining who I would keep and who I would alter and place in a pet home.

First, I made sure I was aware of my girls’ worst faults and bred them to males who I felt would help to correct those faults. I classified certain traits as “non-negotiable†and I refused to keep a kitten unless they had those traits (for me, profile, coat, chin, and eyes) As I watched the kittens mature, I took many pictures of the kittens, solicited the advice of other breeders, and compared what I had to images of my “ideal†cats.

While I feel confident in who I will be keeping, I am also taking my kittens to show. I want to see how judges respond to their good and bad qualities and further refine my eye so that I can continue to breed out their faults.

It’s hard letting your favorites go. I had to let my two favorites go as pets because they simply did not meet the demands of my program. I have to constantly remind myself that I am not breeding to create pets—I am breeding to improve the breed.

They say to build your house, then paint it. I personally would choose the kitten with the better build and work on color later. Remember, there will always be more kittens when you are a breeder
post #4 of 13
Oh my gosh - it's never easy.

I only have 1-2 litters a year and from just this one litter of 5 babies I wanted to keep 3 babies!

I ended up selling possibly the better of the 2 but I'm keeping Tales because she's the first Exotic female of her colour in the country so that's sort of the defining factor for me - colour in this case because they both had good type.

Good luck choosing.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats View Post
I'm keeping Tales because she's the first Exotic female of her colour in the country so that's sort of the defining factor for me - colour in this case because they both had good type.
Well, these both are also the first Scottish Folds of this colour in this country. The other is black shaded silver and the other is possibly a silver mackerel (or spotted) tabby or very patterned shaded.. This is actually the second 'official' Fold litter in this country, all of the kittens from the first litter were neutered years ago so these two boys are the only ones left.
It's their size that mostly confuses me. The other one was very small when he was born so obviously he still is smaller than the biggest kitten, but I hope that few weeks will even up their size.

This is the first time I have to choose a kitten for breeding purpose and I hate this already, it's too hard..
post #6 of 13
Any reason you cannot hang on to both boys for awhile and neuter one later?
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Any reason you cannot hang on to both boys for awhile and neuter one later?
I'm the owner of their father and I'm getting one of the kittens as a payment for letting the breeder use my male.
I would take them both if I had bigger apartment and more money..(I just bought a third BSH male and the Scottish Fold kitten is going to me my fourth cat). *one lottery win for me, please!*

The other one is going to be sold for someone else. I'm hoping that who ever gets him would be able to keep him intact for a while just in case and neuter him later.. The breeder can't keep him herself because it's a boy. (In Finland breeding is very small, people don't do it as their main business and the cats used for breeding are living as normal pets with their owners, we don't build any separate place to keep the cats in and that's why you can't have both males and females living with you unless you happen to own a huge house ).
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernGlow View Post
(In Finland breeding is very small, people don't do it as their main business and the cats used for breeding are living as normal pets with their owners, we don't build any separate place to keep the cats in and that's why you can't have both males and females living with you unless you happen to own a huge house ).
It's that way here for a lot of people, too. I remember reading somewhere that 80% of CFA breeders register 5 or fewer litters per year.

All of my cats are my pets as well
post #9 of 13
As there are not many breeders where you are, and the breed depends on you, you have an obligation to do what your sensible mind says, every time. You're breeding for a rational purpose - to improve your lines, to improve the breed, and to provide families with good pets. Therefore the decision must be a rational one. (I am not saying that it isn't hard, I know it must be!)

If you have one who particularly tugs at your heartstrings but who may not be the best for your breeding programme, just make sure s/he goes to someone special who will keep in contact. Don't forget that one of the main purposes of breeding, other than improving the breed, is to provide good families with special companions! I am the lucky recipient of a breeder's 'special' cat, a baby that was the sole survivor of a devastating c-section - and just as he was special to her, he is special to me - I send her photos of him regularly and we meet up from time to time. My only complaint (if you can call it that LOL!) is that he is one cat who is used to getting his own way, he knows he's special and unique and doesn't let us forget it!

To summarise my opinion, there are a few, or 5, or maybe even 10, 20 families waiting out there to give a lovely kitten a great home, just as good a home as you will give, that will love that cat just as much as you would and give him/her as good a life. But you are the 1 person who is breeding, and therefore you have to pick the 1 cat that is best for your breeding programme, that will take the breed forward, and that will ensure that your cats are sought after and make sure the breed has a future.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FerrisCat View Post
It's that way here for a lot of people, too. I remember reading somewhere that 80% of CFA breeders register 5 or fewer litters per year.

All of my cats are my pets as well
Here we have more like 1-3 litters per year.

I have asked opinions from two breeders: The other has bred European Shorthairs and one Scottish Fold litter (doesn't breed anymore), and the other one is a bit more experienced, British Shorthair and Selkirk Rex breeder, who I'm possibly going to work with in the future (she is very interested in Scottish Folds). They both would choose different kittens.. Yargh! That's not helping at all..
I'm still waiting for a reply from a third breeder who I'm hoping will come to see the kittens with me (she is the breeder of their father, Kuura). And I'll propably ask from a fourth breeder too because we'll be in touch anyway..

I don't think I should make this decision without asking opinions from more experienced breeders. (I'm afraid that I'm letting the small size of the other kitten fool me and it's affecting my ability to see his real potential..) I can't take the kittens to a show to see what judges think because we have very few Tica-shows here (only had one this far) and the next will be in August..
post #11 of 13
Why don't you look for a Scottish Fold group, and post pictures and specs for each of the kitten for feedback from the breeders?
This is the link for the yahoo group, for example.
Good Luck!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Why don't you look for a Scottish Fold group, and post pictures and specs for each of the kitten for feedback from the breeders?
This is the link for the yahoo group, for example.
Good Luck!
Thanks for the tip! *runs off to join the group*
I don't have good pictures yet, but hopefully I'll get some next week. Kuura's breeder is coming to see the kittens with me next thursday.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
I made my choise tonight, I'm getting the 'better' one. My heart will never forgive me..(until the new kitten arrives..).
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