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Cat Breeding - Frequently Asked Questions


1. How do I become a responsible breeder of pedigreed cats?

The majority of breeders would recommend that if you are interested in becoming a breeder, take the time to thoroughly acquaint yourself with your desired breed.

One of the best ways to understand your breed standard is to purchase and show a neuter or spay for a season or two in the Premiership Class. Showing in Premiership Class is not only fun, but will allow you to familiarize yourself with the breed standard and serve as a way to get to know other breeders with a similar interest.

There is much to learn prior to starting a breeding program as the majority of breeds have a very complex breed standard. Working within a breed requires knowledge of the cat's lineage as well as understanding the desirable characteristics of each cattery "line" so that you can combine the lines to help you achieve the "ideal" kitten. For example, you would not want to breed kittens with large ears when the standard calls for small ears. Therefore, when looking for a male to breed your female, you would seek out the best male you can find that has small ears. By doing so, you are working to adhere to the breed standard and improve the quality of your breeding "lines."

The test of any breeding program is in the judging ring at the cat shows. In the ring, the judges handle and evaluate your cats based on the standard and in comparison to other cats of the same color and breed. Success in the judging ring results in titles for your cats which increase the value of your breeding program and offspring kittens.

2. Where can I find a stud male to breed my CFA registered female?

When looking for a male to breed your CFA registered female, it is our recommendation that you contact the breeder from whom you purchased the female. Even though they may be out of your area, they should have a network of breeder friends who could advise you. The breeder of your female is the best person to help you find a suitable male that will complement the lineage background and color of your female.

3. How can I tell if my cat is pregnant or not?

There are a number of methods to confirm if a cat is pregnant or not:

  • Pinking: of the nipple area, starts about 15-18 days after mating, most noticeable in first-time queens.
  • Palpation: as early as 14 days, but most easily between 25-30 days (when the fetuses are about 1 inch in size).
  • X-rays: best between days 38-49 when bony development in the fetuses is mature enough to show up.
  • Ultrasound: about 99% accurate at 28 days, and can be used as early as 14 days; also has the advantage of detecting heart beats and so determining if the fetuses are viable.

Note: The average gestation period for a cat is 65 days.

4. Can I breed two related cats and still register the litter?

It is perfectly acceptable to breed related cat and register their offspring.

Inbreeding is the breeding of closely related cats, such as father to daughter or mother to son. Line breeding is the breeding of genetically related cats that are not inbred, such as cats that have related cats in the pedigree, but are not the result of inbreeding. Inbreeding and line breeding are, however, not recommended unless you are extremely familiar with the lines behind the cats and their compatibility within a breeding program. In any endeavor involving genetics, it is advisable to be very careful with line breeding and inbreeding and to not over breed using this method.

Inbreeding has a tendency to set undesirable features as well as desirable features and should only be done by an experienced breeder. Inbreeding could lead to smaller litter sizes, immune deficiencies, increased incidences of congenital abnormalities or cats that fail to grow to a normal, full size.

ONLINE RESOURCES

CFA has a number of books available that thoroughly cover the subject of breeding, and showing, pedigreed cats.

5. What is a Breed Council?

The CFA Breed Councils are comprised of individuals who meet specified eligibility requirements and are experienced in their chosen breed/division section.  Read more...

6. Are there any required inspections for a cattery?

Catteries registered with The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) producing 75 or more kittens per year are required by CFA to undergo an annual veterinary inspection in order to ensure continued compliance with CFA’s minimum cattery standards. We run the numbers every six months and for this period you have reached or surpassed this number of kittens. This figure is based on the number of kittens declared in the litters registered by your cattery in any given year. You may designate any licensed veterinarian to complete your inspection. The veterinarian’s fee for this inspection is your responsibility. Please have the veterinarian mail the completed inspection form to the CFA Central Office along with our check or money order for $20.00 made out to CFA for the cattery inspection program. Your cattery inspection certificate will be issued and mailed to you once the inspection has been accepted and logged.

In those cases involving multiple owners at different locations, or lease agreements requiring litters to be registered under one cattery name, the cattery and the location specified in the address of this letter is to be inspected. It is the policy of the CFA Board of Directors that catteries not complying with the mandatory inspection policy will have CFA services suspended until the cattery inspection has been completed. If the inspection is not completed within the 30 days you will be temporarily suspended and the non compliance policy will apply.

Non-Compliance Policy

1. If the inspection is not completed within the original 30 days but it is completed within 90 days (up to 60 days late) and the results are deemed satisfactory by the Animal Welfare Chairperson, their services may be restored upon payment to CFA of a $100.00 processing fee.

2. If the inspection is not completed within 90 days, but it is completed within 150 days (120 days late) and the results are deemed satisfactory, their services may be restored upon payment to CFA of a $200.00 processing fee.

3. If the inspection is not completed within 150 days of the demand (120 days late) the matter will be presented to the CFA Board at their next meeting and, if confirmed by the Board, published in the Almanac and on the CFA web site. (Board approved policy 10/7/06)

Suspension of Services Explanation
Until services are reinstated to you, you will be disallowed from participating in any C.F.A. activity which is defined as utilizing CFA's registry services, acting in any capacity at a show or entering or presenting cats in a show ring or participating in a clerking school, participating in Breed Council, or as a delegate at the Annual Meeting. We will allow purchases of the Yearbook and Almanac, and other publication type items C.F.A. offers for sale (video, books, etc.). However, you will not be allowed to advertise in any CFA publication. You may remain a member of a member club.