Before even purchasing one single cat for breeding, you should sit down, and ask yourself, WHY do I want to breed, WHY do I want to become a breeder?
To my mind breeding is:
- an intense labor of love
- a rather expensive hobby
- at times, a very frustrating activity
- a rewarding occupation, but not in monetary terms
If you are not certain what your reasons are, then you should not purchase any cats, until you do know.
Some questions, you need to ask yourself:
Why do I want to breed:
The main reason you should want to breed, is 'to improve your chosen breed'. If your reason for breeding cats is for financal gain, then think again.
Very few breeders make money, and if they do on one or two litters, sooner or later, a large vet bill, will take care of any profits. Cats need vaccinating, sometimes caesars and spaying, when birthing goes wrong.
Show fees are not cheap, and along with showing, comes the costs of a show kit, carriers, petrol etc.
If you are thinking of keeping a stud cat, and your choice of breed is at champion status, then your stud should be of good enough quality to achieve the title of Champion or Grand Champion.
Initally, you will have to decide which breed to work with. If you approach a breeder, of a breed that interest you, by attending cat shows, you can learn more about the breed. Also by talking to exhibitioners, and getting to know each other, one of them might let you have a breed/show quality kitten. Also ask people in the know to recommend a breeder.
When you have your first kitten, it is advisable to talk to your vet, and see if they will give discount of vaccinations, neutering/spaying.
A lot of breeders are now having their kittens neutered, before going to their new owners. If this is something you are considering, it might be best to talk to your vet, to see if they will do early neutering/spaying, some vets will not. Many vets will offer a discount, if they believe you are serious, about breeding.
In a multi cat househould, the frequentcy of illnesses and problems are greater than in a single cat one. Hygiene is a priority, especially with litter trays. One tray to 3 cats, is a good ratio. Be vigilant in watching your cats, for any illness or problems, caught straight away, hopefully they can be simple enough to deal with.
A warm, draft free place to stay other than (or as well as) curled up in bed with you.
You must have a pen, or a room to isolate a sick cat. Keeping them in the same room as healthy cats, gives baterial and viurses such as flu, the chance to spread. Many viruses are contagious.
Types of food:
A varied diet, of commercial tinned food, homemade cooked food, and dried biscuit, seems to be the norm. Dried biscuit should be fed as a treat, and always a dish of fresh water should be provided. Dried biscuit containing wheat should be avoided, as this can cause food allergies in cats.
There are loads of commerical cat litter available, but initially it is best to provide your new cat, with the same type of litter, used by its breeder. Later on, if you wish to change to a brand of your choice, it is best to gradually add some of the new litter, over time, until the cat has excepted it.