Article reproduced with
permission from Eden-Lea Ragdoll Cats
So, you want to breed cats?
I often get enquiries from people wanting to breed Ragdolls, so have put up this page to give some insight as to what it actually involves. Most people are of the idea that breeding cats is an easy way to make money, however this is simply not the case, as any quality breeder can tell you. There are many factors to consider BEFORE purchasing breeding cats.
The cat breeding community is one of considerable ethics, maintaining awareness that we are bringing into the world live little souls, and also being aware of the massive problem of unwanted cats in pounds. The ultimate reason for becoming a breeder should only be for the betterment of the chosen breed. Anyone doing the wrong thing by their cats or the breed in general, comes quickly to the notice of registered breeders and they are swiftly denounced through internet chat groups. The internet provides a wonderful highway for this sort of thing and chat rooms are full of conversations naming back-yard breeders who are doing the wrong thing by their animals and their breed. And there are always moves to get these back-yard breeders shut down.
Anyone thinking of breeding needs to do thorough research BEFORE they purchase cats - because they will get burnt and may lose a lot of money into the bargain! Most reputable breeders will not sell their animals to new unknown breeders, to protect the integrity and standard of their breed. However, there are unethical people who will - to make a buck - sell you cats of pedigree but of dubious quality and health status, which may cause heartache down the track. These animals should never be bred from. Only top quality cats should be bred from, and then only by a breeder with a basic understanding of genetics and their breed standard.
My main piece of advice if you go ahead, is please be very, very careful about what cats you buy, and I can't stress this enough. I have been burnt badly as have many other new breeders, and breeding cat prices are certainly not cheap. Buy only from a registered breeder who shows their cats and does well, and has been breeding for a good length of time. There are backyard breeders out there who will sell you animals for thousands of dollars, assuring you they are show quality, and in perfect health etc etc etc, and down the track you may get people who bought kittens off you two years ago and their much loved kittens have died from a genetic disease, with huge vet expenses. This has ruined breeders before, can you imagine what that must be like? Get any new cats health screened before you bring them onto your property. And make sure they are of excellent quality.
There are many thing to consider, as breeding cats absolutely takes over your life. Cattery visits are wanted by people thinking of kittens and the kitten buyers don't just appear, buy a kitten and walk out the door never to be seen again; they call with problems, wanting advice and giving updates all the time too. Some want to come and visit the kitten they have purchased at two weeks old - every week until they pick it up at 12 weeks. They may even want you to take their kitten or cat back for some reason and you are ethically bound to do so. There are kitten buyer enquiries and visits at all hours, emergency vet trips, litter trays all over the house, the simply daily maintenance of a cattery.
Kittening requires the breeders presence, even if it starts at 2.00am and even if you had a dinner out or a school performance to attend. And you need to remember that any kittens you sell are being purchased for good money by people relying on you to provide them with a healthy family member for up to 20 years. What will you do if you cannot sell your excess kittens?
Here are some insightful links which give information on some of what breeding entails.
Links regarding breeding cats
After a discussion on an internet group about new breeders expecting to make money. I have saved some current breeders thoughts and advice for you to read. Please do look through them.
Borealis Norwegian Forest Cats