Confessions of a Cat Breeder
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Hi everyone! Im new to the Maine Coon! I desparately need some major help. I am in the process of starting my own cattery. I have a girl with breeding rights. She is cycling and ready for a male soon. I was in the middle of purchasing a boy, had paid over half on him when the problem arose. The wonderful lady of whom I received my girl from wanted to see his picture and pedigree. Well basically what it boiled down to was the fact that the little guy was my girl's grandpa. Whats worse is he came from a Sire that was from a cattery with bad health lines, and the cattery was closed. The person has over half of the money on him. There are no other kittens right now. The next litter wont be ready til the end of the summer. Not only am I out all that money, I dont have a boy for my girl. This person isnt really working with me. Basically I either had to sell the original boy to get out of the contract, or I have to wait til the end of summer to get a breeder quality kitten. Then IF that doesnt happen, I was verbally told that I would get a refund. I dont know what to do. I have so many mixed feelings. For one I picked the boy because of his colors. However the so called "breeder quality" kit will not be the orginal colors I picked. The contract said that the kitten was healthy and would not be replaced unless it was a breeder, based on certain problems listed. WOuld it void the contract since the kitten came from bad health lines?? But the person was selling for someone else who decided to stop the business. Either way it appears I have to get a kitten from this person, and no refund at this point. I still have to pay for a full breeder price too! But this pushes back everything. I was expecting for the boy to be of age in feb for my girl. I dont need another girl since I already have one. But either kitten will be too young because they arent even born yet. My orginal person I worked with was very upset because I was never asked for pedigrees. I didnt know the right way. So I guess I got taken advantage of. Any ideas or suggestions? Does this happen alot?
Hi S! I'm sorry to see that you are feeling taken advantage of BUT look at this like a lesson learned.
The lesson is this ... RESEARCH ... breeding cats and becoming a 'breeder' do not equate to putting a boy cat together with a girl cat and having kittens to sell.
You need to look into the breed you're thinking of breeding ...specific things like the breed standards for the registering organization, the genetics of the different colors and characteristics, are there any health issues with the breed.
Next you need to research other breeders ...find yourself some online groups to join specifically related to your given breed and for novice breeders (yahoo! is a great place to start) and get yourself a mentor (someone who knows about breeding and showing and can answer all of your questions) ... once you've found a good breeder start looking into the pedigrees of their cats (many breeders actually have the pedigrees on their websites)... pedigrees are REALLY important as they tell you the entire family history of your cats and you'll know ahead of time who is related to whom.
As far as the current situation goes ... I can't help you as I am totally unfamiliar with maine coons ... however if it were me I'd get him anyways. If he's a kitten he can't possibly be your girls grandpa (great uncle maybe) and that's actually not a horribly close/bad relationship as far as cat breeding is concerned (it's not ideal but not going to result in mutant kittens either).
WOW! That was a stark and rude reply to a new breeder!
Dear Maine Coon new breeder, The Maine Coon breed is a closed circle. It is really difficult getting help, unless you know someone OR you have a mentor. Breed standard is key to most breeders and they are very serious about it. It sounds to me like you need help, not critism. Please email me and I can steer you in a direction of help. The CFA has a wonderful mentor progrma.
Your contract with this person should address genetic issues, which should also allow you out of the contract if they arise. I have met some wonderful ethical Maine Coon breeders, and some real duds. Do not lose hope. When was your girls' last cycle and how old is she?