Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cat Breeding

I've just been thinking about cat breeding again and asking if it can be a business. I think the answer is that it can't be a business that you rely on as a living. You may be able to make some money but not for a number of years from start up.

There is a lot to know. The most important of which is genetics. This is a complicated subject but a reasonable knowledge is essential.

Then you've got to know about the breed of cat and what happens in terms of coat color and patterns etc. when they mate.

Can you cope with the constant level of care? It will be like caring for a new family. Then there are the vets bills and the unavoidable deaths of kittens that you became attached to.

Perhaps some people think that breeding cats could be a nice little earner on the side. I don't think so.

Above all the above, there is the huge responsibility in bringing into the world a new a delicate creative that wouldn't have been there but for you. Can you ensure that the cat's welfare is taken care of up to and beyond the moment he/she has been re-homed with a purchaser?

Some breeders pursue prizes it seems at any price almost. And the price can be the health of the cats produced. I am talking particularly about the extreme cats which get noticed and win prizes but I cannot see how they can be as healthy as a normal looking cat. How would you deal with this aspect of cat breeding?

The classic example of over-breeding for me is the Ultra Persian (read about this here). There are many others (Modern Siamese being one). Breeders would disagree of course. You can always find an argument to justify creating a cat that needs to have his eyes washed daily because the tears won't drain away because of his facial structure (Ultra Persian).

I am not against cat breeders; just against ones that forget that the most important thing is the cat's welfare and that there are wider issues such as the rising cat population and how to deal with it.

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