Two perfectly marked Mitted kittens
|Before deciding to breed from your female (queen) ask yourself the following questions :
If you answer NO to any of these questions then make an appointment with your vet and have her spayed.
If you think you will only need just a little more food and a cardboard box with newspaper for her to kitten in and then all will be simple – forget it again.
You only get out of breeding what you put in. Your first requirement is a healthy female with no outstanding faults and typical of the breed, with a good temperament. Try to ensure that her sire and dam are healthy with a problem free breeding history. Next you will need a suitable stud cat within a reasonable travelling distance.
Please do not be tempted to buy a stud cat before you have sufficient queens and have ideally bred two or three litters.
This page is taken from the GCCF web site
It is important to visit the stud owner and Stud boy himself, if possible, BEFORE taking your Queen into stud for the first time. This way you will be able to see the boy, see the environment in which he lives and ensure that you will be happy to leave your girl there. This is also the time when you will be able to discuss Mating procedures and if Contracts and Restrictions will be placed on resulting offspring.
Please be aware that during the Spring and Summer months, Ragdoll boys can look decidedly unkempt! Their coats can be short and look quite greasy and they can be up to half the size they are in the Winter months. This is because most boys only eat enough to keep themsleves alive throughout the breeding season with their minds set on only one thing…… SEX! So please do not be surprised or disappointed if he looks nothing like the photos that you may have seen of him before hand!
Seal Colourpointed Stud in the Winter months The same boy at the end of the Summer months!
Taking a queen to a stud will entail two visits – one to take your queen and the other to collect her. A maiden queen may possibly require a repeat visit as she may not settle and mate, or conceive after mating, the first time. Your queen will need special feeding, not only throughout her pregnancy, but indeed every day of the year, in order to produce good quality kittens.
When your queen is due to produce her kittens she will need 24 hour surveillance from a day or so before their expected arrival until the kittens are born, which may be several days after the expected date. The normal gestation period is approx 65 days. Many queens do not know how to cope with their first or subsequent litters, so that your absence at this crucial time could cost you the litter and possibly the life of your queen. Local breeders with experience are usually on hand to give advice, as are many stud owners.
It is important that the kittens are kept warm – winter litters may mean vastly increased heating bills. Good food for your weaned litter is essential fresh chicken, fish, special kitten food, raw good quality minced beef (all of which have to be paid for at the time of purchase).
Your household will revolve around kittens’ feeding times, changing litter trays, providing litter etc. Food cannot be left down at breakfast time to be renewed when you return from work in the evening – the mother may eat it all or in the summer flies may lay eggs on it, which means the kittens get nothing, or infected food.
Sit down beforehand and work out your expenses. You will need to think of special bedding, FELV & FIV blood testing, stud fees, travelling expenses to the stud and the vet, special food, extra heating, lost holiday time for kittening if you are working, vaccination for kittens and registration fees. Breeding is a HUGE commitment.
Finally, can you part with your kittens? They are only yours on loan for three months and then they have to go to new homes. It is up to you to find the right kind of home and owners and you will probably have to devote a lot of time to prospective new owners. However, kittens may not sell well, so you my have to keep (and feed!) them until they are 6 months old or more, or may have to take back an older cat that you have bred if the owner’s circumstances change.
If, after considering all these points, you still wish to breed – good luck!
How to go about Cat Breeding
Firstly, you must ensure your girl is on the Active Register. Cats are registered on the Non-Active Register when their breeder does not wish them to be used for breeding; this will have been the decision of her breeder so you should be honest about your intentions to breed at the time of purchase. Make plans well in advance of when you want her to be mated. She will kitten nine weeks after mating and there will be three months in which the kittens need to be reared and cared for – this makes a minimum of five months in all and could be a longer period if your queen does not come into season when expected, or if you have problems with the litter and they are not ready to leave you at three months.
When you are looking for a breeding queen choose your breeder carefully and try to go to an experienced person who knows what they are doing and are familiar with the Ragdoll cat’s complicated genetic make up. Do you think the breeder is friendly and do you feel that after you have taken your kitten/cat home that you would be able to phone and ask questions and get the support you need? You will almost certainly want to be able to call and chat about many things in the weeks and months that follow.
It is a sad fact that some breeders will be willing to sell you a breeding cat but may not offer that support and after care. Many people wonder why there is such a difference in price between a breeding cat and a pet. Apart from the fact that breeding cats have to be a superb specimen of the breed and adhere closely to the Standard of Points ( something that is hard to produce), the extra cost is a small price to pay for the back up you will need as a novice breeder. If you don’t get that after care and help, you can become confused and worried about all aspects of breeding and may well feel that you have been ripped off!!
Please don’t buy the first queen you see! Show the pedigree to your breed club, local breeder or better still ask an experienced breeder if they will go with you to view the new kitten.
Now……..help on what to look out for when choosing a breeder as those with websites open up more choice from your armchair. Please remember though that not everyone is truthful and they can put what they like on their own sites! It has been known in the past that breeders have used photos of cats that are not theirs and pass them off as their own!!
Firstly, if you are a novice breeder you should join at least one breed club. Do as much research yourself as you can and you will then find it easier to spot the breeders who don’t have a clue especially about the genetics of the breed.
You wouldn’t have driving lessons off a learner driver even if they had been driving 15 years, so why would you buy a breeding cat off someone who doesn’t know the difference between a High Mitted, Mid High White or High White. It is most reputable breeders belief that no one should sell breeding cats until they have a full understanding of the breed and the commitment that it entails, so when reputable breeders see that new breeders who have never had a litter put prices for breeding cats on their websites it makes them very concerned and with good reason.
Some Tips on what to look for in a good breeder:
If an established or Novice breeder is not a member and Registered Breeder of a breed club this does not make them a bad unreputable breeder!! The same applies to the following, just because a breeder IS a member and Registered Breeder with a Breed club it does not actually guarantee that they are a good breeder. You need to keep an open mind and never buy a kitten from anyone if you have any shadow of a doubt about the health or upbringing of the said kitten.
Please think twice about purchasing a Red Series Ragdoll i.e. Red/Cream Males and Red/Cream or Tortie females until you understand the genetics of the red series as unless the correct matings are done, you may not produce kittens in the colours you expect!!