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Breeding costs?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I am interested in breeding cats. I've got a few years until I'm going to be ready financially so I'm curious as to how much breeding costs? I'm looking to own my own queen and stud, probably Bengals. I would also like them to have their own enclosure with 'fake' trees and stuff to climb and play on. So for you breeders, about how much did it cost for you to breed your cats and what type of settings do you have them in?
post #2 of 27
From what I have read a good breeder quality bengal can be a 1500-3000$ that is just for one.... I am not a breeder but I personally would have 10,000 $ saved before considering breeding and that would be after I purchased my cats... That money would likely be used the first yr to pay for vets toys food etc...
post #3 of 27
I dont even wanna look at my expensises but next year for taxes I will have to, lol. there is the orginal purchase prices. which for every breed is diffrent, and locale too. I would have to double check my records but for my three girls I belive i spent around $1800 and i got a deal, as i got them from the same breeder (dont qoute me for sure for sure as i have to check my records) my Male, Ares..was $700 sadly we lost him (rare for cats Liver Shunt), but all fingers crossed will get a full brother. for now, my girls will be breeding to a Full brother from the same litter, Samson. So theres the costs incured with that. Gas alone is gonna make me cry.

Shots, Checkups, and all the usual vet expenses with cats. And than some incase you need a c-section or any number of things that can go wrong.

Good quality food, Litter, Show expenses..promotion, advertising..ect.

as for enclouser my babies get the whole house. But i do have what I call my kitten kennels. which cost me $100 each to buy and make comfortable.

I agree with sharky I would save around 10,000 or more to be prepared.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lizch6699
I am interested in breeding cats. I've got a few years until I'm going to be ready financially so I'm curious as to how much breeding costs? I'm looking to own my own queen and stud, probably Bengals. I would also like them to have their own enclosure with 'fake' trees and stuff to climb and play on. So for you breeders, about how much did it cost for you to breed your cats and what type of settings do you have them in?
Like Sharky said it costs quite a bit to get started and really to maintain. Bare minimum, you will need the money to buy the cats plus money put aside for vet expenses and any equipment like enclosures, ect. If you build a seperate cattery you will be spending thousands on that. People who show spend thousands on that too. You can keep your expenses at a minimum for the first year or so and then put the kitten money all back into your cattery to improve on it over time. Just be forwarned, you'll be putting most, if not all back into the cattery. If you don't keep a stud, your expenses will go down considerably because most queens can roam freely about the house and you won't have to worry about stud enclosures.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScamperFarms
I dont even wanna look at my expensises but next year for taxes I will have to, lol. there is the orginal purchase prices. which for every breed is diffrent, and locale too. I would have to double check my records but for my three girls I belive i spent around $1800 and i got a deal, as i got them from the same breeder (dont qoute me for sure for sure as i have to check my records) my Male, Ares..was $700 sadly we lost him (rare for cats Liver Shunt), but all fingers crossed will get a full brother. for now, my girls will be breeding to a Full brother from the same litter, Samson. So theres the costs incured with that. Gas alone is gonna make me cry.

Shots, Checkups, and all the usual vet expenses with cats. And than some incase you need a c-section or any number of things that can go wrong.

Good quality food, Litter, Show expenses..promotion, advertising..ect.

as for enclouser my babies get the whole house. But i do have what I call my kitten kennels. which cost me $100 each to buy and make comfortable.

I agree with sharky I would save around 10,000 or more to be prepared.
I don't think you'll need $10,000 saved if you start out with just one queen. If you get her as a kitten it willl be about a year before you an breed her anyway. You could save money during that time to cover for stud service and vet bills should she need a c-section, ect. If you start out slow you won't need that much up front. I would think about getting one female kitten and showing her as she's growing, that way you'll get some experiance in the breed and by the time she's ready you'll have a fair amount of knowledge and some money saved.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengalbabe
I don't think you'll need $10,000 saved if you start out with just one queen. If you get her as a kitten it willl be about a year before you an breed her anyway. You could save money during that time to cover for stud service and vet bills should she need a c-section, ect. If you start out slow you won't need that much up front. I would think about getting one female kitten and showing her as she's growing, that way you'll get some experiance in the breed and by the time she's ready you'll have a fair amount of knowledge and some money saved.

well i was useing the same general as Sharky did. its a fair number. Yes if she just starts with a single queen, it will be considerably less.

But Vet fees can rack up FAST, as well all know. And I would always make sure to have a LARGE ammount set aside before I got the kittens.

I am not rich by anymeans, infact we scrip and scrap sometimes. But we do have a fairly cushy amount set aside for the girls medcial possible needs. And no matter how bad i need a tank of gas. I wont touch it.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yea, looks like it'll be a long time until I'm ready haha. I could always build the enclosure slowly during year one and then get a queen after that. I'm thinking that it may be a good idea to just try first with one litter and see if it would be something I could manage. If not I could spay the queen and keep her as last resort
post #8 of 27
I dream about breeding sometimes. I think a good idea for me would be to find an established breeder who is overstocked, and see if I could "foster" a few. Somehow share the expenses and profit off that kitty.

The idea of getting a nice kitty and breeding it sounds lovely...but I don't think I could give up the retired queens. And I couldn't live with an intact male, so he would need a stud enclosure. And I don't want to show cats, so that decreases my knowledge, and the value of my kitties.

I think for me it is just a dream. It really takes a lot of research to check out the lines of the cats.

Scamperfarms, aren't you concerned that Ares liver shunt may be hereditary? Is it possible his brother could have it or carry it too?
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
I dream about breeding sometimes. I think a good idea for me would be to find an established breeder who is overstocked, and see if I could "foster" a few. Somehow share the expenses and profit off that kitty.

The idea of getting a nice kitty and breeding it sounds lovely...but I don't think I could give up the retired queens. And I couldn't live with an intact male, so he would need a stud enclosure. And I don't want to show cats, so that decreases my knowledge, and the value of my kitties.

I think for me it is just a dream. It really takes a lot of research to check out the lines of the cats.

Scamperfarms, aren't you concerned that Ares liver shunt may be hereditary? Is it possible his brother could have it or carry it too?
Its not hereditary. Since the diagnosis, I have researched it greatly. And even went far enough to call a vet who specializes in Liver abnormalities in cats. who lives in CA. He was very helpfull, stated that its NOT heredtiary its an anommali (i know i spelled that wrong) but that we could do two tests to check for it if it was a concern. Ares full brother sampson was than brought in by his owner to check for it. Just to make sure, and hes perfect. And for my own peice of mind, when we ge our other kitten..we will check as well. More of a peace of mind thing. as I have been assured again and again. it was a "fluke" and just my bad luck on my Sweet Little Man.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Somehow share the expenses and profit off that kitty.
From what I hear, there is no profit from breeding. You shouldn't be in it for any sort of money making. Because you don't.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScamperFarms
Its not hereditary. Since the diagnosis, I have researched it greatly. And even went far enough to call a vet who specializes in Liver abnormalities in cats. who lives in CA. He was very helpfull, stated that its NOT heredtiary its an anommali (i know i spelled that wrong) but that we could do two tests to check for it if it was a concern. Ares full brother sampson was than brought in by his owner to check for it. Just to make sure, and hes perfect. And for my own peice of mind, when we ge our other kitten..we will check as well. More of a peace of mind thing. as I have been assured again and again. it was a "fluke" and just my bad luck on my Sweet Little Man.
Well, it is still incredibly sad that you lost Ares, but that is nice that you can still breed from his line. I know you had done a lot of research, and had found him to be a good match for your girls.

As far as profit, I'm sure its not as much as people purchasing the kittens think. But I do believe many breeders end up with a profit.

I don't breed, but I have fostered 4 litters in the past 2 years. While the agency covers the vet cost, I have seen first hand how often kittens and cats need to see the vet. Or you have 5 kittens born, and only 2 survive. I'm certain there is no guarantee of profit with breeding kittens. However, I still think people who manage things well (and have good luck), probably make a profit. It would be an interesting question to ask, but I'm guessing many breeders, like Scamperfarms, would have trouble coming up with the hard numbers.

I'm more put off by the pain of losing kittens than the cost. Thats mostly why I had thought about a plan where I would care for someone else's kitty, who was a proven breeder! (I know, I'm a sissy!) But just read here at TCS about lost litters, or little Ares, and anyone would know that breeding is not for the faint of heart!
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Well, it is still incredibly sad that you lost Ares, but that is nice that you can still breed from his line. I know you had done a lot of research, and had found him to be a good match for your girls.

As far as profit, I'm sure its not as much as people purchasing the kittens think. But I do believe many breeders end up with a profit.

I don't breed, but I have fostered 4 litters in the past 2 years. While the agency covers the vet cost, I have seen first hand how often kittens and cats need to see the vet. Or you have 5 kittens born, and only 2 survive. I'm certain there is no guarantee of profit with breeding kittens. However, I still think people who manage things well (and have good luck), probably make a profit. It would be an interesting question to ask, but I'm guessing many breeders, like Scamperfarms, would have trouble coming up with the hard numbers.

I'm more put off by the pain of losing kittens than the cost. Thats mostly why I had thought about a plan where I would care for someone else's kitty, who was a proven breeder! (I know, I'm a sissy!) But just read here at TCS about lost litters, or little Ares, and anyone would know that breeding is not for the faint of heart!
Yes..his lines match perfectly with my girls. and I was looking foward to the cross. So i can still have the lines.

and your right. it is not for the faint of heart at all.
post #13 of 27
This may not be a fair statement, just what my experience has been, as well as many other close friends who are also breeders have experienced, but " It seems the breeders making a profit, are ones who are not doing certain health screenings, not showing, and are more likely to send a kitten out between 6-8 weeks old to save money.
I have been a breeder for only a few years now, I did a lot of research, for many years before I began breeding.
My opinion is to start out small. You mentioned breeding Bengals, I don't know if they have any specific health issues, but that would be something to check into.
Such as my cats, I screen them for HCM yearly to bi-yearly, the cost per cat depends on who does the screening.
Then, you have to think about emergencies that can and will come up, you may have paid for stud service to get your female pregnant, and it turns out that she ends up needing a c-section and loses all the babies, or the Momma needs to be spayed, you are then in the negative.
There is so much that could be put into a post like this, I could go on and on with different scenarios, that can come up, and most likely will at least once, if you breed for any length of time.
Find a breeder who has experience with the breed you hope to breed, and explain to them that you are taking your time to learn and you would like mentoring. I wouldn't know half the things I do, without my 2 mentors who have lots of experience. Even though, I feel I am fairly knowledgable, I know that I can breed for many years to come and will still be learning something new.
I have a room for my stud, we did do some remodeling to make it more cat friendly, but we are lucky he doesn't spray, that is very rare. He can come into the rest of our house and does daily, we just make sure he can't get to any girls, to make an oops pregnancy. I let my girls have the complete run of our home. We did have an instance of 2 of our girls beginning to spray during heat cycles, but Feliway helped us to stop that behavior.
Finding a vet that you feel comfortable with and that is also breeder friendly is important. I have a very close relationship with our vet, and there is complete trust between us. If we are having trouble with something, we can go and get other opinions from other vets, and then decide where to go from there.
Cost of your breeding cats, showing, regular vet visits, emergency vet visits, yearly health tests and screening, feeding premium foods, litter, vaccinations, wormings, hopefully spaying and neutering the kittens before they go home, spending money on a website, or other advertising, yearly fees for joining breed clubs, breeding materials to aid in delivery, a safe room for just your kittens to stay safely and comfortably confined until vaccinated. If you plan on a separate building for your cats, then that is several thousands.
If for some reason something came up with one or more of the kittens down the road and it turns out to be genetic, you should have to either replace kitten or refund money, and if it happened to be your frequently used stud, money set aside will be needed to reimburse possibly many families.
I am a stay at home Mom, and I really can't imagine breeding if I worked full time, but that being said, many breeders can manage doing both wonderfully. There will be times that you may need to supplement one or more kittens, and taking off of work may be needed if you can't find someone to help out.
Okay, I am sure I am rambling now. I just recently had a person contact me for a cat and asked for me not to spay it as he wanted to have a couple of litters, and when I asked just a few questions, he was shocked with how much is involved, and wasn't prepared. So, I try and give a more realistic view of breeding. I really enjoy it, it is my hobby. I fell in love with the breed, and thought I could benefit the breed. I am fortunate in my husband has a good job and can support my hobby. My husband is just as involved with every aspect of breeding, without him, it would be a LOT of work. It is a lot of restless nights when a Momma is expecting, as I want to be there for every delivery, but I can say it is worth it to me. My favorite part, even more than watching the kittens grow for the first few months, is hearing from our families even a few years down the road, and getting pictures of this big, beaufiful adult, and they are still so happy with their furry family member.
Okay, please don't kick me off for such a long post.
I hope I helped a little.
post #14 of 27
HCM is an issue with bengals but they may not show signs until 2 years or so.

I'm hoping the research on the Maine Coon HCM lines can be extended to other breeds eventually.
post #15 of 27
Right now, research into HCM is being done on Ragdolls. The Ragdoll breeders and breed clubs raised, $22,844.00 last year.
Excerpt from the website www.ragdollresearch.org:
Through the dedication and caring of numerous Ragdoll breeders, The Winn Foundation, The Washington State University Foundation and Kathryn Meurs DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology), Ragdolls will be one the next breed to be studied.
I really hope that with time and research, HCM can be erradicated from every breed.
post #16 of 27
Just the facts Ma'am......

........at least in my case.

We have 12 adult bengals and usually 3 to 4 adolescents being shown at cat shows. In addition we have litters of kittens as well.

Last year it cost us $26,000 to maintain the cattery and attend shows. We brought in $13,000 with the sale of kittens.

These numbers are typical for us. We never intended to profit from breeding our cats, so it doesn't really concern us. We just look at this as a very expensive hobby that we love doing.

I think it's very important to have a big chunk of money set aside for vet emergencies, if you're going to get into breeding. Even if you stay small with just one breeding pair. It only takes one big problem to zap your bank account quickly.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Wow, reality check haha. Maybe I am better off keeping cats as pets for now. At least until I have kids and I'm done paying for their college lol. Sooooo that could be another 30 years or so, but by then I just might be ready
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lizch6699
Wow, reality check haha. Maybe I am better off keeping cats as pets for now. At least until I have kids and I'm done paying for their college lol. Sooooo that could be another 30 years or so, but by then I just might be ready
Or you could just contiune to research now.Save up for your vet account. And do what some hobbist do. Have one female, and research for someone who would stand their stud to your female. Its a thought
post #19 of 27
The first year we spent $10,000 on breedable kittens. Several didn't work out as long term breeders & had to be petted out. A Tom who could never figure it out. Girls who wouldn't let a tom near them. One queen who made her kids sick. Another was too small for the large litters she had. I became weary of bottle feeding kittens, so petted her out. A couple would not go into labor, by 10 days overdo would have stillborn kittens. They were both spayed and sold as pets.
Another $20,000 was spent on expenses the first 2 years. Some memorable vet expenses included $800 on one litter of kittens whose Mother made them sick. Other normal disasters associated with breeding, with costs rangeing from $300 to $1000 or more.
By the third year we got all our expenses back in kitten sales, & by 5 years was oweing income taxes on kitten sales.
Kittens must be healthy & pretty to sell. In order to get healthy kittens, you need healthy breeding cats. You really can't cut any corners. If a cat is not working out as a breeder, even if you paid $2000 or more for it, you've got to accept that it's purpose in life is a pet.
I have been somewhat surprised by the number of queens who don't work out as breeding cats. I don't think I'm being too picky. I'm not keeping a cat who makes their babies sick. I'm not going to breed a cat that only has one kitten in each litter. etc. I've been a little luckier with the boys, but didn't understand color genetics. I may have choose differently if I had understood color inheiritence.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilytimeRags
......
Then, you have to think about emergencies that can and will come up, you may have paid for stud service to get your female pregnant, and it turns out that she ends up needing a c-section and loses all the babies, or the Momma needs to be spayed, you are then in the negative.
........ If you plan on a separate building for your cats, then that is several thousands........
Most breeders are not going to give you stud service. There is too big of a chance of the cats giving each other some bug that the other doesn't have. Not to mention, many toms can totally mess up and ruin a long haired Queens coat. In 24 hours what was a lovely queen, is a maze of mats on the sides where the tom was treading his feet, & large knots started around the neck, where he grabbed the Queen to breed her. This can require clipping hair, that doesn't grow back to look nice for a year.

The only separate building you want anything to do with, is tom houseing, & temporary Queen houseing when being bred. You can't raise kittens in a separate building from your home. At best they would be shy & at worst feral. Meaning you wouldn't be able to sell any of them. The only way to have a happy, friendly kitten, is to have them born & kept where you are, until they go to their new homes.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluekat
Most breeders are not going to give you stud service. There is too big of a chance of the cats giving each other some bug that the other doesn't have. Not to mention, many toms can totally mess up and ruin a long haired Queens coat. In 24 hours what was a lovely queen, is a maze of mats on the sides where the tom was treading his feet, & large knots started around the neck, where he grabbed the Queen to breed her. This can require clipping hair, that doesn't grow back to look nice for a year.

The only separate building you want anything to do with, is tom houseing, & temporary Queen houseing when being bred. You can't raise kittens in a separate building from your home. At best they would be shy & at worst feral. Meaning you wouldn't be able to sell any of them. The only way to have a happy, friendly kitten, is to have them born & kept where you are, until they go to their new homes.
I am an experienced breeder, and I understand about the stud service, I am a closed cattery. I have been offered stud service before, but from other breeders that I have worked closely with, however I haven't needed it. I do think there is a huge risk to the cats when bringing in another cat.
I only mentioned studding, as I have seen many cat breeders now, who only keep females and will go outside of their catteries for studding, it may not be what you or I would do, but still a reality in some catteries. When I posted, I was just trying to give a realistic view, of the expenses that "can" be occured, and the numerous emergencies that can come up at any time.
I am fortunate that I haven't had the matting problem around the neck with any of my queens, but I don't consider Ragdolls having long hair, more of a medium length.
I won't put any breeder down for having a separate building for their cats, but it is something that I would NEVER do. I have one stud who has a room all of his own, inside of our home. We are very lucky that he doesn't spray, so as long as I make sure the girls are out of the room, he can come into any part of our house with us. We just make sure to have the any females that we dont' want pregnant out of the room that he is in.
I have always let all of my females have full run of the house, I wouldn't have it any other way. They are my pets first. Our Momma's deliver in a zippy cage in my bedroom, that stays open for the Momma to be able to come and go.
Our kittens are touched and handled from day one, and are socialized with myself as a stay at home Mom, along with my husband, 2 children, and 2 dogs. We have never had a shy kitten leave our home. I hope we never do.
We keep our kittens between the ages of 10-12 weeks old, sometimes longer depending on the maturity level, and they are early altered and microchipped before going to their new homes.
My whole point is breeding isn't for everyone, and there is much more involved than just putting 2 cats together, to be a reputable breeder, and that there isn't any money to be made.
Thank you for pointing out about stud service and the separate building, while I posted it to prove about expenses, I didn't give the impression that it wasn't something I would suggest.
post #22 of 27
Heck, My first litter I had to pay 350.00 for stud service, 60.00 a month for Royal Canin baby cat & Kitten food for queen. 300.00 for 1 ultrasound & 4 x-rays. 800.00 for a ceserean that my queen died during leaving me raising 4 kittens which cost 250.00 for KMR & baby wipes, ect. Then 350.00 for all their vetting. And then only to give them away to family & very close friends Because I cared more for my kittens recieving wonderful close homes more than I did the money. When you do it right, There is no $$$ in it, But it's worth every minute. Just one of my litter experiences & To show bad stuff really happens & you have to have back-up funds.
post #23 of 27
We've just sold our last litter. We didn't quit breeding because of financial reasons but because I want to concentrate on school. In our eleven years of breeding we didn't make any profit. That's for sure.
post #24 of 27
Wellington, I didn't know you quit breeding. Any plans on breeding again in the future? Your cats were really lovely, I always enjoyed seeing their photos. Good Luck with everything!
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookandcompany
Wellington, I didn't know you quit breeding. Any plans on breeding again in the future? Your cats were really lovely, I always enjoyed seeing their photos. Good Luck with everything!
I really haven't talked about it a lot. I definitly have plans for breeding again in the future. Maybe Devon Rex, as well.

We're going to keep four cats, of course our two desexed males but our two breeding queens Sophie and Bridget (Bridget never had kittens)

They will be indoor/outdoor and I know Sophie is going to love it. She used to jump out my two storey window whenever she got the chance.

I'm still going to be heavily in the cat world though. I'm judging about fifty domestics at an upcoming show, and later in the year I'm going to show Bridget.

Thank you.
post #26 of 27
[quote=FamilytimeRags]I am an experienced breeder, and I understand about the stud service, I am a closed cattery. .......I won't put any breeder down for having a separate building for their cats, but it is something that I would NEVER do. I have one stud who has a room all of his own, inside of our home. ...............QUOTE]

We are a closed cattery also. I do not keep my studs in my home. They have indoor/outdoor, walk in kennel runs, with a roof over the outside runs. My boys will hose anything. That is a smell you can't get rid of. I buy carpet samples by the pile. When the boys soak their piece of carpet, it gets burned. I tried giving them nice fleece's, but those smell just as bad coming out of the dryer as they did going into the washing machine.

I keep my kittens until they have had a second vaccination. Usually 11 to 12 weeks. If shipped, I wait until they have had the 3rd final vaccination.

Several posts have said you can't make money breeding cats, but that is not true if you have at least 3 to 5 queens, & charge a fair price. Cat shows can cost a bundle. Unless you are independently wealthy it's not feasable to show cats until they become Grandchampions. It's well worth the effort to go to a few shows every year. Bathing & grooming is the hardest part of a cat show.

I keep good expense records for tax purposes. Veterinarian services & supplies is the number one expense, followed by advertiseing, then cat food. For someone starting out new, I'd suggest a fund of at least $2000 prior to breeding a litter, to cover emergencies. When your cat needs a c-section, there is no waiting until payday. If some idiot who comes to see kittens, has their pet out in their car, walks in your house, loves up on your cats, 3 days later you cats are itching, you can't wait. You need vet care now & may be buying something expensive like Revolution for several litters immediately.
Once you've had a few litters, you can have a few things on hand for instant treatment of some problems.

Probably one of the most annoying things I had happen, appeared to be caused by some people who brought their pom puppy into my house. They also had horses at home & who knows what sort of bugs were on those horses. 3 days later one kitten had a bite on it's ear, followed the next day by bumps on another kitten's ear. It went real quick from kitten to kitten. Vet exams, skin scrapeings, fungal cultures, ultraviolet light scans, everything was negative, but they had something. A dose of Revolution for everyone in the house stopped it immediatly. Total cost was about $1000. Fortunately all kittens were at least 8 weeks old, so I was able to put something on them. Things could have been much worse if there would have been tiny babies here.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluekat
The only separate building you want anything to do with, is tom houseing, & temporary Queen houseing when being bred. You can't raise kittens in a separate building from your home. At best they would be shy & at worst feral. Meaning you wouldn't be able to sell any of them. The only way to have a happy, friendly kitten, is to have them born & kept where you are, until they go to their new homes.
I really have to strongly disagree with this statement. There are many successful breeders with seperate buildings as the main cattery.
This includes me.
Every single one of our kittens is an extremely happy, lovable, outgoing in your face type of kitten.
A seperate building is perfect, but of course time must be spent with the cats and kittens everyday.
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