Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Ethical breeding

Discussion in 'Cat Breeding' started by Melissa3236, Sep 25, 2019.


  1. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    1,496
    @gskinner123 i started off with one then got a second girl after about 3 years of showing neuters but am aware I am in the minority now.

    I personally prefer not to have my own stud as it means I have access to a wider range of cats who can compliment my own cats type plus a huge wealth of experience in the stud owners. I hope we may have a boy kitten join us later in the year but he is really coming as a show cat. He will have to have the superlorin implant as he would not have anywhere enough girls to keep him satisfied. Having seen how mad they can go being able to smell girls and not be able to mate them when my mentor was ill and couldn’t breed.
     
  2. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    4,149
    Likes Received:
    7,271
    I do agree with you, I also feel that new breeders should start off with one girl, show, get to understand the breed particularly type which no book will ever teach you. However, sadly times have changed and not for the better.

    When I got into breeding it was very much easier. Breeders were willing to help and suitable studs were easy to find at public stud. Jump to Fifteen years later when I decided to add a second breed having already owned and showed one as a pet for over a year, it was impossible!! It was very hard to buy a breeding queen and no breeders have their stud at public stud now (this goes for both my breeds). Despite really not wanting to buy a stud so soon my hands were tied and I was forced to. I was very luckily offered one by a friend.

    Things are hard for new breeders starting out now.
     
    lymorelynn likes this.
  3. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    12,736
    Likes Received:
    8,009
    I agree on all points. Was lucky to get Basil, though having breed and shown a GrCh girl was a big help. Think you can research all you like but nothing compares to the experience of raising a litter, though it is possible to get that by fostering for a rescue. I did that, several times, but when it was my own girl that I had chosen to get pregnant it was much more stressful.

    I'd say in part the Internet is responsible. It makes it much easier for BYBs to sell kittens, and of course that's not the future we want for our kittens.
     
    Tigermoon likes this.
  4. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    34,740
    Likes Received:
    31,491
    I wonder how many new breeders, looking for an active registered girl, are turned away these days. I think that may, inadvertently, contribute to backyard breeding too.
    As for breeders looking for an active registered stud, many seem to be turning to Eastern Europe having been turned down in the UK. Not bad for the gene pool I don't suppose but so many seem to come to this country with issues with health.
     
    gskinner123 and Tigermoon like this.
  5. Melissa3236

    Melissa3236 PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2019
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    Wow!

    What a can of worms well and truly opened.

    I've decided to wait. To buy a non active girl and neuter her to get to know the breed. I have no interest in going to cat shows though. I can't see this as being a suitable environment for my daughter or indeed for cats. Surely they would find being around so many strange cats in a strange place incredibly stressful.

    I do wonder if breeders are more concerned with the breed standards than they are the individual cats.....maybe that's a whole other can of worms though?
     
  6. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    12,736
    Likes Received:
    8,009
    Glad you have decided to wait, and since you are going to neuter what about a boy? In my experience they are more loving and easier to get on with than girls.

    However some cats are definitely show cats. They adore the attention and love being handled. Basil is one - he adores a show, and people adore meeting him. These are the personalities we should be breeding from, confident outgoing cats. This is the personality people want as pets. Two of Basil's kittens were the devil to catch when their new owners came to collect, but they sent me a photo a few hours later of them cuddled up on the sofa with the woman and her daughter. The other two didn't take long to settle in either.

    A decent breeder of course is concerned with breed standards, but not sure what you mean by 'the individual cats'.
     
    Tigermoon and spotty cats like this.
  7. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,496
    Likes Received:
    6,698
    I have taken all of my children to cat shows, they are all under 6 and really enjoy the day. Entertainment and snacks are key.

    How do you propose to learn the breed standard without hearing judge feed back on how your neuter meets the standard? You can't get an eye for a breed without understanding what to look for.

    Many cats enjoy shows, one of my own is an attention tart and loves nothing more than being up on my shoulder nosing about. Cats that find showing stressful do not get (or should not be) shown. To imply that breeders do it regardless of the cats' stress levels is pretty ignorant and offensive, and will not serve you well when looking for active lines.
     
    spotty cats likes this.
  8. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    12,999
    Likes Received:
    10,042
    Yeah, that one interests me too. Which of my 'individual' cats do you suppose isn't taking to joining me in bed now the nights are cooling? Which preferences where food is concerned do you think I might be ignoring? Does the way my cats live with me not count now I'm only an 'ex' breeder? Nothing has changed - other than I nowadays don't have a queen bringing her two day old kittens in to my bed, one by one, at two in the morning so she can also be under the duvet curled up with me as is her rightful place.

    I'm reminded of the great answer a breeder gave to a buyer who asked for a discount if they bought two kittens - 'of course I can give you a discount, which kitten would you like me to stop feeding?'. It isn't breeders who don't value every individual :)
     
  9. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    1,496
    Well my cats will tell you they are all neglected ;)
     
    havoc and lymorelynn like this.
  10. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    1,496
    @havoc the difference between breeds, yours brings them under the duvet. Blue would bring them over to the cool mat when they were a few days old. I was terrified they were going to get too cold, I took her cool mat away and she stopped feeding them as she was too hot.
     
  11. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    1,496
    To add one more point, ethical breeders ensure they have the funds to pay their animals vet bills rather than balk at the cost and take them home when they should be in the vets undergoing treatment. Then open a go fund me account and ask charities to help with the vet bill.
     
  12. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,496
    Likes Received:
    6,698
    Absolutely agree
     
  13. moomoowawa

    moomoowawa PetForums Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2019
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    485
    I've read this thread with interest, I have nothing to do with breeding! But I was really curious about the comment of having three studs to five queens, someone said that ratio was "unfair" and others agreed. That's interesting, how does it work, what makes it unfair?

    I'm surprised to hear people also own male cats to breed from, always assumed one person would have a male, one would have a female, not that you'd have both. Isn't that highly stressful, having unneutered/spayed animals of the same sex in the same location?!

    Also how do people with "studs" keep them? To me a Tom cat is all about the prowling and gallivanting off and about to get laid and have adventures But if it's a stud, I'm assuming the cat is too precious to lose. Does that mean people who own studs have to keep these high energy 'whole' Male cats on lockdown? Along with 'whole' female cats in heat in the room next door?! Sounds like a nightmare to me.
     
  14. moomoowawa

    moomoowawa PetForums Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2019
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    485
    Of a DIFFERENT sex, not same sorry!
     
  15. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,496
    Likes Received:
    6,698
    The general rule of thumb is one boy needs 3-4 girls a year to keep him happy and occupied. Some need more, some need less, but generally a good ratio is 3-4 girls to one boy. Offering a boy that needs more girls less than what he needs leads to frustration, anxiety, aggression, and often depression.

    Breeders will keep their own male as they it's often easier for difficult girls than going out to stud, and it's more convenient. Many breeds also have restrictions on active cats now, and many studs, particularly those imported from Europe, cannot be mated with any cats outside of the breeders own cattery.

    There are different ways to keep males depending on the male himself. Some are able to live indoors, with appropriate separation from females when needed, some live in stud runs outside.

    Not all males spray, so those that don't tend to be more successful indoors. Some breeds also struggle with life out in a stud run, and some breeders feel stud runs are unfair. An ethical breeder will, of course, do what suits the cat in the first instance.
     
    lymorelynn and moomoowawa like this.
  16. moomoowawa

    moomoowawa PetForums Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2019
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    485
    Thanks for replying Rufus! Why are stud runs seen as unfair/difficult for some breeds? Are they just basically outdoor pens?
     
  17. Rufus15

    Rufus15 Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,496
    Likes Received:
    6,698
    Yes they are. Some feels it's unfair because the boy is outside in a run and not getting as much attention. It can be difficult to give a stud the time they need, which is then unfair on the breeds that are more human-focused.
     
    moomoowawa likes this.
  18. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    12,736
    Likes Received:
    8,009
    My boy is out in a stud house in the garden with his neutered male friend. It's 10' x 6'. It has a smaller inside area (4' x 6') which is insulated & heated with a waterproof floor covering, and their bed is on a shelf (also with a waterproof surface) along with food, water & a cat flap to the outside. The litter tray is under the shelf, stood on a large bit of plastic floor protector as the neutered friend sometimes stands up to pee. I was using huge hooded trays but the boys now have a Brit-Pet tray and I didn't originally order a hood. I should have and I have one on it's way. The plastic will stay, but the hood will mean I won't sometimes find a bit puddle of pee on it, just a tiny trickle. :)

    Outside (6' x 6') has wire mesh so it really is fresh air, and there is a chair for me to sit on. I'm about to add a folding shelf so I can put my cuppa within reach when I'm sitting out there. It also faces SSE so gets lots of sun except in the dead of winter. It has lights and an outside light switch as well, and a web cam though the connection from that to the wifi is not good, I imagine because the insulation has a foil layer so the inside bit is a Faraday cage. I'm sorting out an extender to help with that - I have it but need to experiment with positioning it so it can pick up the Wi-Fi in the house and extend it enough outside.

    It also has another cat flap into my garden. I sit with them for an hour or more a day (newly retired!) while they are in the garden. They will get free range in it during the day once I'm absolutely sure my cat-proofing is cat-proof. Right now I'm not, the flap is locked and partly hidden behind the plastic box with the spare litter in.

    Going in the garden is new and I notice far less poo in the litter tray since then. It also means Basil is far less aware of Tia which is kinder to him. He sprays but mostly in the run & garden. Some studs pee on their bedding! The stud house & run is on small blocks on concrete slabs so it's easy to hose the run to clean it.

    I couldn't bear Basil in the house as firstly it took a lot of pain with doors to make sure he couldn't mate a girl when I didn't want him to, secondly as you suggest if one was in call he'd get wound up, and thirdly he sprays and leaves the odd puddle. Stud cat pee is awful stuff, both very stinky and corrosive. It's not hard to remove the stink (at least Basil's stink - some are much smellier than others) from stuff that can go in the washing machine, but I think it's impossible to completely remove the smell from upholstery & carpets, and all cat pee can go through carpets into the flooring underneath. It can reach the stage where the only solution is to replace not only the carpet & underlay (if any) but the floor boards as well.

    Total cost of the pen (including delivery & erection), getting slabs laid & connected to the electricity was well over £1,000, though the bill for the slabbing included work on the garden walls which needed doing regardless.

    However there are different practices in different countries, and between big breeders and small ones like me. What is utterly awful are the breeders who keep both males & females in cages. My girls have the run of most of the house, kittens are raised in the living room, and the boys will have day-time freedom to go in the garden. I live in a bungalow, I want bedroom windows open at night for most of the year and I don't want him spraying in my bedroom - or having a quickie with one of the girls!
     
    #58 OrientalSlave, Oct 30, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
    Tigermoon, lymorelynn and moomoowawa like this.
  19. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    12,736
    Likes Received:
    8,009
    moomoowawa likes this.
  20. SbanR

    SbanR PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Messages:
    8,704
    Likes Received:
    21,492
    Out of interest, how did they cope during the heatwave this year and last? Even with shading, it must have been boiling in the pen.
     
    moomoowawa likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice