Part 4 of “So you want to be a cat breeder” – getting into the club30 June, 2010
“Hello, I want to be a cat breeder. Can you sell me a girl kitten for breeding?”
So how can you become accepted by other cat breeders as someone who can eventually be sold a breeding cat?
One way is to start by owning a cat (or several cats) of the same breed that you want to eventually breed, bought from reputable breeders. Maintain a good relationship with the breeder.
Another way to start is by visiting cat shows. Talk to the breeders at these cat shows. Ask questions. Make friends with them. Visit many shows so you become a familiar and trusted face. By showing dedication you will earn the trust of breeders.
If you can show your cat, even better. Breeders love owners who show their kittens because cats that win awards enhance the reputation of their catteries. So they will be very happy if any owners show an interest in showing their kittens. Chances are the same breeder will be more open to selling you a breeding cat, once you’ve proven that you know what breeding is all about.
Cat showing is not for the fainthearted though. It is a beauty contest so the cat will have to be bathed and groomed. Cat shows are usually in some remote part of the country, so it will entail early morning starts to get to the show by 8am for vetting-in. The show usually goes on until about 5pm. And then you will have a long drive back. It can be a very long day.
What showing does is it demonstrates dedication to the breed and the ability to withstand hardship – important traits that prove you have what it takes to become a cat breeder.
You must also join a breeders’ forum linked to a breed club. There are quite a few on Yahoo Groups. These will enable you to find out more about who are the breeders of repute, what are the issues involved in breeding, and simply to make your presence known.
When joining a forum, don’t introduce yourself with “hello, I want to become a cat breeder”. That kind of naive confidence and presumption will put most breeders off. You have to prove yourself before you are accepted into the club.
The best policy is to listen and learn and ask questions. Read the breeders’ posts about whose cat has won what at which show. And better still … go to those cat shows and find out who those breeders are!