SO !! YA" WANNA' BE A BREEDER?
If you think that cat breeding begins, by buying a pet quality kitty and letting her have a litter..
GIVE YOURSELF A SHAKE!!!
First, you have placed your beloved pet into jeopardy. Second, a pet quality kitten, will only produce more pet quality kittens..
This is not the prime directive of Cat Breeding!!
Each litter you propagate, should move you, as close as, you possibly can go, towards the development of a cat, which may be judged by the...
STANDARDS OF PERFECTION,
AS WRITTEN BY ALL OF
PERSIAN BREED CAT COUNCILS,
WHO ARE RECOGNIZED MEMBERS OF
EACH OF THE REGISTERING BODIES OF
PUREBRED & PEDIGREED CATS.
If you choose to show against FIFE,CFA, TICA, GCCF cats, be prepared to breed a cat which adheres to, the Persian Cat, Standard.
IF YOU ARE BREEDING JUST FOR PETS, YOU ARE UNDERMINING THE INTENT OF PUREBRED CAT BREEDERS EVERYWHERE!
IF YOU ARE BREEDING CATS BECAUSE YOU THINK IT MIGHT BE LUCRATIVE...
SHAME ON YOU!!!!
So... Ya' Wanna' Breed Cats???
If I could get one thing across to a new breeder,
1)PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE
This is still very current, even today!
Patience... when you are building a great pedigree and you know it might take 6 years, to see any results!!
Patience... when a little baby boy doesn’t want to become a Stud Cat, just when you think he should!!
Patience... when there appears to be only one, where there should be two!!! OH MY GOSH!!
Patience... when a 5 month old kitty gets badly beaten at its first cat show, and you know that the best is yet to come’!
Patience... when you have a kitty who blows his coat in the middle of a run for his Grand!
Patience... when the entire litter is Black, when you wanted Chocolate!!!
Patience... when a client calls you at three in the morning because Cedric has a tummy ache!
Patience... when another breeder has decided that your best Kitty is ‘less than perfect’, and they have just posted their opinion on the Internet!!
DO YOU GET THE IDEA???!
2) TAKE YOUR TIME!!
Kittens and pedigrees do not happen over night. Start out, very slowly. Catteries are built, one kitty at a time! Cherish your Pedigrees. They are all 'Art Forms'!They are your ‘game plan’. They develop very slowly.
You need to learn to read them, with same Passion that you would read a romance novel.You need to understand them. "Why did a breeder do that?"
"Why did that work?.. Why did that fail?"
"Where are the brothers & sisters?"
A good pedigree is like a great book. You cannot put it down!
Study everything you can about structure and design of Persians and other CATS.
"Why are they different?"
"Why are they the same?"
“You need to develop and EYE for a great cat.” N. Newton, circa 1984
Get your hands on, as many kitties as you can.
Touch them, feel their bodies, observe their temperaments. Look at them, at all ages.
Study them at all ages!
Study kitty health and genetics.
Know what you will come up against.
Observe them, when they are ill.
Observe them, when they are healthy
Take notes.. lots of notes!
Keep accurate records.
Don’t be frightened by ‘The Science of The Beast’!
There are brilliant cat breeders, and animal scientists, who love to share their observations about cats with you.
Study Cat Shows. You should be able to go to the show well prepared.
Study your peers. Look at just how they may have succeeded or failed.
Study your Club!! Not many people have a good understanding of just how The CFA, TICA or FIFe actually function. This is where the Internet actually will help you!
4) ASK QUESTIONS...ANY QUESTIONS..
They all equally important.
Be prepared to hear some answers, which you may not like!
Don't ask another breeder for, affirmations.
Don't ask another breeder to tell you, 'just how wonderful you are'!! LOL!
STOP AND LISTEN..
Listen to yourself..then listen to the 'other guy'!
REMEMBER..cat breeding is not just 'ALL ABOUT YOU'!
Don't become defensive, if you hear an answer, which you might not agree with!
I try to absorb ALL the answers that I receive (even if I may think that they are slightly 'off base'!). You never know when you might need the information!
5) READ & LISTEN.
Don't accept any ideas that people give you, with 'cart blanche'.
They may be right, BUT, they may be wrong!!!
Find a REAL HUMAN MENTOR!!!
The various organizations has fabulous mentorship programs, take advantage of it.
Your breeder, who may have sold you your breeding stock, should be your first source of information. Hopefully you have had a good first introduction to cats, via their input. Try to get as much information as you can, from them. If they are a respectable breeder, they will be willing to help you along, in your journey.
Learn as much as you can, WITHOUT the INTERNET!
Try to avoid using the Internet, as a teacher. It tends to be a, confusing, and seriously flawed educator!!
Use it as a contact place. Use is to look at other breeders websites.
You can always tell a real breeder, from a ‘Techie Breeder‘, because the 'techie' tends to know a lot about everything, but have no focus!! They spend a lot of time trying to prove to you, that they know a lot, about everything.
Pick what you see as, a clear and simple interpretation of Persian Standard, and follow it.
Don't let other people try to breed your cats, for you.
Once you have absorbed The Breed Standard and understand the ideas in it, make a list of the ideas valued by you, and follow it.
This is the only way you will develop ‘YOUR OWN CATTERY'S LOOK’.
How do you think such great cattery's as, Madame Nu, Sandypaws, or Foxy, came to be so easily identifiable?
THEIR 'LOOK' !!!
They ‘stuck to their guns’!
Try to balance all of the advice that you are given.
"Would it work for you??"
"Am I comfortable with it???"
There are a lot of people out there willing to tell you what is ‘wrong’ with your kitty, and, sadly, only a few, who will know what is ‘right’ about the kitty.
Listen to as many cat breeders as you can. Then, 'sort out', the information that is useful to you.
I found that some of my best knowledge, was gained in the most unlikely sources.
Listen to other animal breeders.. Dog breeders have a wealth of breeding history, and they love to share it with you.
Strangely, many larger show catteries were less 'giving' of their time and knowledge.
Tiny, unknown breeders, were in many cases, much better places to learn.
I think that 'bigger' is not necessarily better!
FOCUS on your ‘own’ idea of a great kitty.
Don’t get dazzled by the ‘Dream Show Cats’.
Remember, ANYONE WITH ENOUGH MONEY can purchase a great cat.
It takes a SERIOUS BREEDER to birth one!
This is where ‘Patience’ comes in.
7) STAY FOCUSED ON THE REAL PRIZE..
Never focus on, just the ribbons.
The real prize is obvious.
You have been allowed to enter the most private world of the Show Cat!!
THIS IS A PRIVILEGE!!!
8) NOW! STAY EVEN ‘MORE FOCUSED’
BUT… without becoming Kennel Blind!!
Kennel blindness is a very serious issue found with quite a few, newer, and older breeders.
It is the inability, to see anything wrong with, ones own kitties.You become, impervious to criticism, and your cats become 'perfect'! You start to see, 'nothing wrong', in all of your new babies, and you overlook (because..REALLY!.. 'you just don't see it' any serious faults in your breeding stock!
Your cats will always have faults. Be willing to admit these short-comings. There has never been a perfect kitty!
Learn from those faults. Memorize them, then use your ‘breeder sense’, to help to, breed the faults out!
9) NEVER COMPLAIN...
There is world of complainers out there.
You should stand 'apart‘, from this group'.
Take your bumps with dignity!!!!
Writing huge, nasty stories on websites, and complaining to the organizations, has never achieved much, and does little for your reputation as a breeder.
Breeders represent the future of Purebred Cats and Cat Shows.
Have some pride in what you do!
10) NEVER JUDGE THE OTHER GUY..
This is not your right.
This is not your privilege.
Another person's FOCUS, will be different than yours, and that is their choice...not yours!
Everyone does things differently!
Stay out of other people's business, unless you are invited in.
STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR OWN IDEAS
Some people are very uncomfortable, when they discover that another is, ’digging’ deeper into their private lives.
Cat breeders have private lives. Respect this.
10B)NEVER JUDGE THE OTHER GUYS CAT!
If another breeder wants a serious opinion about a kitty, they will do it privately, and with very little fanfare.
THEY WILL ASK!
Never 'offer up' an evaluation of another persons animal!
IF YOU ARE ASKED...
You should be honest, but gentle, with your evaluation.
You will know it, if they don’t want to hear what you have to say, within the first, two or three minutes of the conversation.
Their language will let you know, that they are just not quite ready, to hear an opinion.
"But, he is just a baby.."
"But, his eyes will get darker later on..."
"But, his father took a lot longer to..."
"But, his coat is going to change.. isn't it?"
"But. maybe he sucks his tail..."
"But these kitties sometimes drop their nuts, much later than others.... don't they???"
At that point in the conversation, you should ’bow-out’ very graciously.
Always try to remain on good terms.
Always try to find something good to say about another person’s kitty..
"OH!!!! WHAT A LOVELY TAIL"!!
“GOSH .. WHAT PRETTY EYES”
Be gracious when you lose, and when you win!!!!
Always respect your public.
They keep cat shows and cat breeding, alive and vibrant,
11) GET LOTS OF REST AND STAY HEALTHY!!!
YOU WILL NEED TO!
Cat Shows ..3 days grooming prior to show
Cat Shows .. 4am Leave Time, Drive 200 miles and arrive fresh!!
Cat Shows .. Carry a hundred pounds of stuff and arrive on time!!
Having Kittens .. ALWAYS at 3 am !!
Having kittens.. Maybe having to wake up a grumpy Vet at 3 am, to have him/her do a c-section.
Having Kittens ..Feeding all night and day, for 16 weeks.
KITTY LITTER!!! LITTER PANS!!! BOWLS!!!
BATHS!!! BATHS!!! BATHS!!!!
NEED I SAY MORE!!!
Never, GIVE UP, on a cat without exhausting all possible, avenues!
The day that this cat, came into your home, you formed a solemn bond of trust. The cat certainly did not 'ask you' to, become its owner! If one of your cats is to be, re-homed, your commitment should be even stronger!
You will now be committed, into making the easy transition, and stabilization of that cat, to its new home, the most important priority, in your life!
NEVER, LET A CAT DOWN!
I see this one far too frequently.
“Cedric” looses his first and second, and maybe even his third show. But, he still LOVES you!
Time to re-home him.
“Phoebe” has a few cycles. You try to breed her.. no results. But, she still LOVES you!
Time to re-home her.
Ten month old “George” can't seem to make the desired progeny. But, he still LOVES you!
Time to re-home him!
The replacement for “George”, is not working quite the way that you expected. But, he still LOVES you!
Time to re-home him.
I guess this one crosses over with
PATIENCE- PATIENCE- PATIENCE.
I realize that most breeders are very limited in their space, money and time, when it comes to running a Cattery. These are valid issues, BUT you should never compromise your love and commitment, for your animal's welfare.. at any cost!!!
I have seen SO MANY great cats, ruined by impatience.
I have also felt the grief that many breeders have endured, as they discovered that their beautiful baby, has been passed around like a stray kitten!
Think long and hard, before you set into motion, this cycle of madness! Cats deserve better!
Better yet..When you are finished using a kitty in a breeding program..HAVE THEM NEUTERED BEFORE YOU RE-HOME THEM...
PUT THE 'FEAR OF THE CAT GODS' into all, perspective new owners!! LOL!!
IT SURE DOES WORK FOR US!!!
Finally.. I also believe that, the issue of show/breeder cats who are constantly being re-homed, is a reflection upon societies need, for instant gratification!
SLOW DOWN AND THINK!
Did you really need a new cat?
What will I do with my existing cat??
If I re-home this cat.. HOW WILL THIS AFFECT THE CAT, AND THE OTHER CATS IN MY HOME?
Will they be heartbroken at the loss of a buddy?
Is there another alternative?
Remember, a cat parents commitment is, FOR LIFE!!!
13) LEARN TO DO YOUR PAPER WORK CORRECTLY & KEEP YOUR PAPER WORK CURRANT
Nothing is more frustrating than paper chasing!
I doesn't take long for things to spiral out of control, when you have two or three litters to register. Get a system in place that works with you, to keep your papers flowing smoothly!
Fill your paper work out in their, entirety. Don't just 'sign on the dotted line', and hand them over! Fill the new owners names in correctly, and have the new owners, confirm that, this is the way that they want the papers to appear.
14) GET EVERYTHING IN WRITTING
Find a contract that will work for you, and stick to it!
Most new (and many older) cat breeders mess this up!
If a potential cat owner will not sign your contract..walk away!
Your contract is written to protect you, the cat, and your future owners.
A contract should accompany every cat in your care. Sometimes, even the best of friends, need reminders that they have obligations to you.
GET IT IN WRITING!!!!
15) UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
REAL cat breeders don't just LOVE the great ones!
A great cat breeder, will see all kitties as equals.
We do have to spend, huge amounts of time on our show kitties.
We should be prepared to spend the rest of our time, loving and coddling the kids, who may have helped to earn us our wins!!
These are the 'Tools' that we, USED in our Breeding Programs!!
Sounds pretty clinical doesn't it???
They should have the very same 'commitment' from you, which you give to, your 'Stars Of The Day'!
Always remember those who helped you, along the road.
They NEVER forget you...
And of course.. They will all still LOVE you!!
With permission of