Archive for the ‘You know you’re a Cat Breeder when …’ Category


You know you’re a Cat Breeder when …

6 May, 2010

… you receive a photo of a kitten in a litter tray and his owner tells you it’s the first time he’s used it properly, and instead of going “ack!” you and his owner both glow with pride and make happy noises.

This adorable little fella is Mittens who was last seen in a previous post (his mother had been waking his owner up at 4am in the morning). 

Naomi, his owner, had been informed that the mother cat would teach the kitten to use the tray.  So when accidents started happening, she asked me for tips on litter training. 

I told her that contrary to what she’d been told, some mother cats don’t consciously teach the kittens how to use the tray.   Instead, they teach by example, by using the litter tray when the kitten is around.  I, myself have observed my mother cat squat in a kitten tray that’s way too small for her and do a wee, just to show her kittens what to do.

Anyway, here’s the standard advice I sent Naomi:

  • no bedding in the box
  • don’t use bleach to clean up mistakes (because bleach contains ammonia which smells like pee)
  • confine kitten to a small space
  • don’t let kitten wander far away from a litter tray
  • encourage kitten to use tray after meals
  • praise kitten if he’s used the tray successfully.

For a few days, it looked as though nothing was working.  And I didn’t dare tell Naomi that I’d had kittens who took weeks to master the art of using a litter tray.

And then … oh, the relief of it all!  As you can see from the photo above – one clever kitten and from Naomi and myself, sighs of relief!

(fyi – this is one very smart, very clever kitten – and he was about 5 weeks’ old when this photo was taken.  It took him less than a week to figure out what the scratchy stuff was and why mom made such a fuss when he peed outside the tray.)


2010 and a huge thank-you to everyone who’s read my blog

10 January, 2010

Time flies.  My last blog post was in August 2009.  That’s a whole 5 months’ ago. 

When I first started the blog in 2006 I never thought I’d still be writing in 2010.

In 2006 when I started cat breeding, I wanted a way to distinguish myself from the other cat breeder websites.  My web-designer (Denise Laurent of  The Painted Cat cannily advised me to start not only a blog, but also a flickr photo album. 

The idea of a blog doesn’t seem very innovative now, but back in 2006, while waiting for my website to get up-and-running, I pleaded to be able to use the link to my flickr album in lieu of the website’s and was told in no uncertain terms by the cat association that it wasn’t allowed because a flickr album wasn’t like a website!

How times have changed!  Everyone has online photo albums, blogs and even facebook sites.

The benefits of the blog were brought to me last year when I had a litter of 7 kittens and was worried about being able to find good homes for them in this current economic climate.

For the first time ever I didn’t have to advertise on the cat association sites.  Potential cat owners e-mailed me for kittens.  I was overwhelmed by the number of responses – in the end I was placed in the novel and very flattering position of having more owners than kittens.  A first, but hopefully a trend that will continue.

It turns out that potential kitten owners like to find out about the breeder they are buying the kitten from.  I’ve tried to be honest about how I bring up my kittens, but it was unnerving at times when kitten owners visited and asked whether hubby minded not having as expensive a chicken as the cats got!  I was most impressed that they’d taken the time and effort to plough through years of cat musings.  I hope they weren’t disappointed:  I’m not sure whether I lived up to my persona of crazy cat lady up to her elbows in raw chicken mince and litter trays … .

The blog has been an ice-breaker and made it possible for me to get to know some wonderful cat lovers and kitten owners who have now become friends.

So to all those who’ve followed my blog all these years, a huge THANK YOU for your support, comments and encouragement.

(especial thanks to Den and Rob, Sonya, Fiona, Francesca and Andy)


You know you’re a cat breeder when …

29 March, 2009

… you receive a flyer through the door from “The Bengal Bicycle Club” and you don’t think of a region in India, but the spotted cat.  Fancy that, you wonder … how on earth did they teach a cat to pedal a bicycle … .



You know you’re a cat breeder when …

11 July, 2007

… you talk about kittens leaving wet patches on the bed, and your esteemed colleague at work flinches and goes “urggh” and looks at you like you’re some sort of barbarian living in sordid conditions [possibly true] with poor hygiene standards [not where the cats are concerned].

But when you mention it on a breeder’s forum, there are understanding nods all round and copious replies offering solutions and sympathy.


You know you’re a Cat Breeder (4) when …

5 April, 2007

… the first person you buy an Easter Egg for, is the vet … .

Milk Chocolate Easter Egg with Mini EggsDark Chocolate Easter Egg with Mini Eggs



You know you’re a Cat Breeder (3) when …

31 August, 2006


You know you’re a cat breeder when you buy a chicken costing £6.93 for the cats and then agonise over splurging out £4.95 for a Marks & Spencer’s shepherds pie for yours and hubby’s dinner.

Doubtless, said chicken was a happy free-range chicken. But still. Feeding raw costs a fortune especially when you’re feeding 3 adult cats and 7 ravenous kittens. They are going through about 5 chickens a week. I leave you to work out my food bill (sans hubby’s feed).

I don’t know … maybe I’ll have to switch to commercial because I could be spending time with the kittens rather than sweating over a meat grinder. I can understand why cat breeders feed commercial – it’s just so much more economical and convenient: just open the box/tin/packet … and pour.

And surely commercial can’t be that bad … I do wonder sometimes when I see Grand Champions in the show ring, with luxuriant coats and huge boning, the result of years of Royal Canin Maine Coon.

But I’ve seen the results of raw feeding in my queen, Ananda – she fully-converted to raw about 3 weeks ago and her coat is amazing – her tail is bushier and her energy levels have gone up. This is a queen who’s still nursing. A breeder I know in the US says her queens never lose condition during or after pregnancy because she feeds raw.

I don’t know. It’s 9pm now on a Thursday evening and I’ve got 1.5 hours of chunking and grinding a chicken because if I don’t they won’t have any food tomorrow. Ah … the joys of raw feeding!

Thank goodness hubby likes M&S Shepherds Pie (and Cumberland Pie and anything with mash, actually).


You know you’re a Cat Breeder (2) when …

30 August, 2006

You know you’re a Cat Breeder when you refer to your female breeding cat as “my girl” and your stud cat as “my boy”.

Even if your stud cat swaggers in at 25 lbs, reeks to high-heaven of cat pee and testosterone, can pin hapless queens to the floor with one twitch of a whisker, and has a name like Imperial Grand Champion Schwarzenegger Freddy Kruger III, he’s still your “boy”.

Never mind that your breeding queen is a screaming harlot who will scratch doors down when callling, she’s still a simpering little “girl”.

Knowing this will help you understand the mindset of breeders when you next encounter them in a cat show.

I think there’s something about breeders that make them want to reduce their cats to family, and make you think of these cats as little fluff balls of purrdom even when the purpose of their cats is to breed and make kittens. It somehow throws a whimsical veil over what is basically sexual acts between two cats.

And just in case you didn’t know … you know you’re a breeder when queen doesn’t refer to Elizabeth … .