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