Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Double Trouble

Despite the current economic crisis, the credit crunch and the downturn in the economy, there are an increasing number of people who think that they can make a fast buck by getting a pedigree cat and breeding from her.

Nothing could be further from the truth. To a breeder, the money earned from this will rarely cover the costs incurred.

Let's look at some of the expenses:

  • the cost of the cat - this could be anything from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand, depending on the breed
  • medical costs - most owners of stud cats will not allow their cats to mate with other cats who do not have a clean bill of health, verified by a vet.
  • stud fees - again these will depend on the breed and on the pedigree ancestry
  • light, heat and food for the cats and her kittens
  • vaccinations for the kittens
  • advertising costs
  • registration costs with the GCCF (to get their pedigree paperwork)
  • emergency vet bills - few litters get to a rehomeable age without having needed veterinary care, and they should be medically checked too
  • costs of keeping the queen in between litters - she should not be allowed to breed every year, and she should be kept indoors, or in an enclosed run, so that she doesn't pick up any viruses etc from other cats or worse, become pregnant by a passing tomcat!

And what if she only has two kittens in her litter? Or maybe only one, or she miscarries, or doesn't conceive? The income you might get for this situation is very low, or nil!

And of course, as people tighten their belts in the current crisis, there are going to be fewer willing to pay large sums of money for a pet that might cost them a lot of money.

Bianca and Carly, pictured above, are the result of someone getting a siamese cat to breed from. Instead of taking the necessary precautions to ensure that she could not get out, they allowed her free range and of course when she came into season she mated with a stray tom.

To add to the list of errors, her owner then left her and the kits in a quiet bedroom, well fed no doubt, but not handled, so that the kittens became wary of being handled and are now very timid.

When unable to sell them for £50 each, they were passed to us for rehoming. Sadly he has not heeded our advice to have her spayed and will no doubt let her breed again, although we very much doubt that he will find anyone willing to allow their stud cat to mate with her.

Carly and Bianca have both been rehomed. Luckly, Bianca wasn't too scared and once she'd gone Carly realised that she actually quite liked being stroked and gained confidence quickly, but this amateurish and irresponsible approach to breeding is one of the reasons that there are so many unwanted cats - even pedigrees and part-pedigrees - out there.