Becoming a cat breeder is not something you should do casually. First, make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. Are you interested only in the money you can make from selling kittens? If so, don’t become a cat breeder. The costs of breeding, including purchasing cats, vet bills, registration fees, food, and supplies often outweighs the income from selling the kittens. Instead, do it because you love the breed and are interested in producing quality pedigreed cats. Are you doing it for the right reasons? If so, here’s how to become a cat breeder:
- Join organizations. If you are interested in becoming a cat breeder, join organizations like the Cat Fanciers Organizations where you can learn about the world of cat breeding.
- Do your research. Unless you already have a breed in mind, do your research. There are many more breeds out there than most people realize. Once you’ve settled on a breed, learn about their particular health issues, and how to avoid them through informed breeding practices. Read up on genetics and other important facts for cat breeding.
- Purchase breeding stock. You must do your research, not just choose two cats randomly and start breeding them. Read cat show rules and breed profiles to find out what is considered the best example of the cat breed you have decided upon. You’ll need a breeding-quality cat, not a pet or show quality cat. Make sure that the breeder gives you the rights to breed the cat you have chosen; not all breeders will allow others to breed their offspring. You can buy both a male and a female, or purchase the female and hire a stud (male).
- Enter shows. Showing your cat in competitions will prove the high quality of your cats, making them more desirable. Attend cat shows before you ever breed your animals. This is a great way to network with other breeders and with potential owners of your kittens. You may want to ask another breeder to mentor you as you get started.
- Set up your breeding area. This is known as a “cattery,” and it is a space for your cats to live. This may be a spare room or basement in your home. You’ll need cages for both genders, an area for bathing and grooming your cats, a food and water area, and plenty of room for your cats to play.
- Breeding. Before actually breeding your cats, learn about any local laws with regards to breeding animals. It may be restricted, or you may need a special permit. You should also have your cats genetically tested so that you can be sure they don’t pass any unwanted characteristics to the kittens.
- Sale of the kittens. Once you have a litter of kittens, register them with the appropriate organization. Then, take them to their first vet visit. Only after all of this can you sell the cats. Be sure to check out their new owners and have them sign a contract.
If you decide to become a cat breeder, you must put the health of your cats above anything else. Breeding can be expensive, but it is also very rewarding. There is a lot more that goes into responsible cat breeding than many people realize. You can’t just pick two cats randomly; it takes hours of research to become an ethical cat breeder.