Part 6 of “So you want to be a cat breeder” – why a breeding cat costs more18 July, 2010
“Hi i am interested in possibly buying a kitten from you. She is to be mother cat. can you please tell me what colours and sexes are available and prices and also what is involved in the process.”
OK, to make this short and sweet, a cat that is contractually sold for breeding (or on the cat association’s active register, as it’s known in the UK) will cost more than a cat’s sold as a pet.
Expect to pay about £200 more than the pet price. How much more? This, depends on the breed of cat. A Maine Coon queen could cost anything from £550 onwards, but will vary from breeder to breeder. A stud cat will cost more.
For other breeds like Bengals, the price of a breeding cat is often far higher, and will depend on the quality of the marking on the coats and its lineage. When I bought my pet quality Bengal girl, I paid about £350. I was told that her sister, who had perfect rosettes on her coat, would cost £1,000. I swallowed hard and was fortunately able to resist.
Why is the cost of a breeding cat higher than for a cat sold for pet purposes?
1. A responsible breeder who sells a novice breeder a cat for breeding is also undertaking to mentor the novice breeder. All this takes time and effort on the part of the breeder.
2. Often, a lot of time and effort has also gone into breeding the cat. The breeder would have spent hours pouring over pedigrees, trying to work out the best matches that will produce good, healthy kittens that conform to the standard. The breeder would have taken part in cat shows to make sure that the cats meet the cat association standards. The extra you pay for in a breeding cat is the effort and experience that goes into achieving high standards.
3. The responsible breeder will breed from healthy stock. This may mean conducting extra tests to make sure that the parents do not suffer from, or carry congenital disorders. These tests are expensive. The extra you pay for a breeding cat goes some way to subsidising these costs.
4. A cat sold for breeding is often sold with a contract that guarantees that it will be able to produce kittens. These contracts will allow for the return of the breeding cat, or an exchange, or even a refund of the money if the cat proves to be infertile. The extra paid for the cat is a contingency.
So, rather than try to avoid paying the extra for a breeding cat, it’s worth doing things properly, by buying from a reputable breeder. By paying that little extra what you’re really getting is peace-of-mind. You’re also paying for the goodwill of the breeder and a good relationship that will see you through in the years to come.