WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT BREEDING

Occasionally I have people ask me about breeding, so I decided to put a few ideas together for you. 

There is no right or wrong way to breed, but I think of three types of people who breed.

 Commercial breeders, who breed as a living.

The hobby breeder, who enjoys breeding and those that breed just one odd litter, 'because it is the right thing to do'

I would like to think of myself as a hobby breeder, all my cats, apart from my stud boys live in the house, under foot and duvet. They are all pets, very much part of our family, the fact that we are able to breed is a bonus. If we are unable to breed from them or they are neutered they remain here, with us in their old age.  We have had to re-home very few, with much sadness, not because we have finished with them as 'breeders' , but because they have found it to difficult to live in a multi-cat house hold

Tonkaholics Solataire Chardonnay

So Why breed?

If you think you will make a lot of money, from breeding I would say you are in for a big shock. It can become a very expensive hobby. A stud fee, Caesarean section, or with Kitten or Queen problems can set you back quite a few hundred pounds. So be prepared.

If you think every Kitten will be sold for showing, again you will be in for a big disappointment. I have had some really stunning cats, who have all ended up as much loved  pets. [This is how it should be] I can honestly say possible only 1% or less of my kittens have been shown. 

If you think it will be easy, again you are in for a big shock. The emotional heartbreak of watching a kitten die can take a dreadful toll on both you and your family. Thank goodness these times are few. If you are thinking of breeding you need to know that you will be able to cope with bad times as well as the good times.

Tonkaholics Dontforgetme and Teasel

Lady Christine Campbell

So you are still set on the idea of breeding.

You have weighed up the pros and cons.

So Where do you begin?

You need to find a good healthy Kitten, one that is socialized and relaxed in your company. A Kitten that is nervous and runs away from you, is probably not going to be a very  good Queen. She may even pass this temperament on to her Kittens. I personally try to breed healthy happy Kittens. The majority of my Queens help suckle and raise each others kittens. 

The GCCF, will have a list of breeders in your area, but it is also important to join the Cat Club of your choice. Most breeds have more than one club that caters for your breed. The club will be your source of information, on breeding policy's and registration etc. Access to all, of  these can be found on my link page

Some people have the misconception that if the cat has Champion lines, it must be good. This can be very untrue. I have seen two very good cats, paired together, breed mediocre kittens. Whilst kittens born from  cats that have never been shown can produce stunning kittens.

 

What do you do when your queen is calling?  

I personally do not have my  Queens injected with a long depo to stop them calling, due to problems, we have had following the depo injection. But use a 1/4 of a tablet of ovarid every other month. This means they only get a 1/2 - 3/4 of a tablet a year. :- Each Queen has 65 days pregnancy [nine weeks] 13 -14 weeks with her kittens.  a free call, then  the next alternate calls she will be given ovarid, however we do not give them for at least 3 calls [ 3 months] prior to mating her again. None of my  cats have another litter within a year of the last. 

I do feel, personally,  that they need to have some life as a much loved cat as well as producing kittens.  My cats are not breeding machines.

3 blue boys

Your Club, should be able to help you with finding a stud cat. There are quite a few Tonkinese studs, but many of these are private or at Limit, you will need to find, somebody that has, an open stud. May be the breeder of your cat can give you some ideas. 

Use the Gestational Chart, to give you an idea when kittens due

What will you need, once your kittens are on the way?

I have only touched on this subject , but will extend this information from time to time

tonkaholics@tiscali.co.uk

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