When I was first interested in the Persian breed I had no idea what a pet kitten or a show/breeding cat would cost...I have learned so much over the last 8 years... and each year I keep learning. To raise pure bred cats there is a lot to learn and the cost to start up and keep going each year does add up! In the fall of 2009 I bought my first show/breeding female cat from a breeder in California. I being a total "newbie" to this hobby, and not knowing where to start, made it very difficult for me! I did not know what questions to ask...she being a breeder of Persians for over 30 years, made me trust her! She showed me her beautiful Persian cats!!! she liked to mentor new people. So I was excited! Very smitten with the breed and delighted to hear that she wanted to help me. I had no idea this hobby is an expensive one!!! also if you want to do it right! You will need to have a lot of extra time that will need to be devoted! The cats sold to me could not breed successfully for many reasons they could not be shown as they were not in show condition. I had no idea someone would take such advantage of someone trying to learn about hobby breeding!! Three years later I discovered that there is
so much info to go over and it can take several years to learn just the basic's! Sadly the breeder I was friends with was seriously burned out! i was so shocked to learn this, but now look back and understand what she was going through! Thankfully for her sake and her cats she retired in 2012. Once I started to figure out some things about breeding and showing a cat from a very helpful website called P and e cats.com plus info over the years from many helpful breeders associated with CFA . I started to learn slowly over a 3-4 year time span and am still learning!!!I Without proper guidance I made huge costly mistakes!!! I was very saddened by this and needed to start over form scratch two-three times. I found out much later that there usually isn't any guarantees granted when it comes to buying a cat for breeding and/or showing him or her due to the fact they are a living creature with flaws!! Development plus reproductive system can be very unpredictable just like any other living creature on this planet!. So here I was with nothing to work with and out close to 10,000 dollars. I'm sure many people would agree that is a very expensive lesson to learn!!! Even though this happened I was still very eager to learn how to become a hobby breeder and be part of the CFA organization. From 2009-2017 I have spent close to 80,000 dollars. In 2012 We decided to try again...so we purchased a male, then 4 females as when you have one male, one female per male will not be enough for his breeding appetite. Not all the kittens survive from each litter with this breed. In case you are curious many other breeds will run into many pregnancy and birthing challenges as well! Foundation breeding/show cats need to have the best pedigrees to avoid health problems and to meet the standards of the breed set by the Cat Fancier Association. These kind of pedigrees will not be inexpensive by any means! Many items are needed for a small in-home cattery, lots of things that you wouldn't even think of will be needed and replaced year to year. I also have been quite surprised at all the hours I spend each week grooming, I never thought I would be grooming a cat every single day!!! cleaning every single day is required in a in-home cattery as well.. Extra loads of laundry will occur each day. Then feeding, feeding again and of course a deep cleaning of food bowls and water fountains is a necessity when you own 2 or more cats. A deep cleaning is needed for my home each month or even every two weeks this cost will be 130.00 to 200.00 every time.. Scooping litter boxes is required several times per day. The automatic ones that i tried do not work work well and actually cause more trouble than they are worth!! Over the years I have been remodeling my home too! it has been very costly! With a multi cat household and very small kittens that will go through different stages as they develop from birth to weaning to the final step of being able to go to their new home successfully will take an abundant amount of time, patience, a lot of worry, much love, socialization will be very time consuming to accomplish this and keep young kittens safe! A breeder will need to make certain areas of their home baby safe for all the developmental stages of a young kitten. We have spent 30,000 or more to finish our basement with all the best intentions to provide areas for cats to relax, play and enjoy their life in a happy, clean, safe environment. Hobby breeding does take a lot of planning, lots of time setting up and improving your set up. I'm also an Exhibitor in the CFA & to have success, it will take dedication every day to your cat you intend to show throughout show season year, as a cat has to be shown in prestine condition. To present date I have not yet re-cooped any of my initial investment, nor have I brought in enough money to support my hobby. I do not receive any funding at all. I have heard that some breeders of certain breeds could break even eventually, I'm not sure when this will happen, I think it requires a stronger economy! and for buyers to be interested in the breeds I'm working with and be as interested in them as much as I am. Then the willingness to see my hard work & pay for high quality pets. Breaking even may never happen as many breeders tell me they have worked with a breed for decades, but have never broken even and simply do the hobby solely for the love of their breed & for wanting to improve it.
A hobby Breeder has to spend time and money to run their so called company with professionalism and respectable business tactics, even though a small hobby breeder does not require a license & is not recognized as a business, we will be required to keep records. We will report any income brought in and provide receipts of expenses for the cattery each year to our tax preparer. There are laws posted on the internet that explains what a small hobby breeder is and what a commercial breeder is. If your wondering what we are, we fall under the small hobby breeder law and have at least four breeding females in our program. The cats may or may not have up to 2 litters per year as every females cycling varies from female to female and each year for breeding there will be challenges. Suddenly a Queens breeding career may end. Each year can vary....it is very unpredictable. More info to consider is that a queen's breeding career may not start until she is 2 or more years old. Persian and Exotic breed is slow maturing. Persian males need to be of certain age to breed successfully. Replacing males & females will be a difficult task finding appropriate pedigrees will require time. Also litter's vary widely, I have only seen litters consisting of 1-2 or the most I've seen is up to 6 kittens with only 40% surviving. Some breeders have seen litters consisting of 1-7 kittens, they also share 40% loss as well. Unfortunately an entire litter can perish. This is very sad and disappointing. A breeder will spend a lot of sleepless nights to work with this breed throughout the breeding season. So if you have another job to go to in the morning it will be difficult! I do stay up with my Queens while she is in labor, as she will need human assistance I have never had a female open the birthing sac, therefore a newborn will suffocate quickly if I'm not there to remove the sac, I help remove birthing fluids from throat, nose, get the baby dry, then be sure my queen is doing alright after her delivery so her kittens can start nursing, all of this must be watched daily or sudden death is possible . Also when my Queen is in labor she will not keep the 1st babies born warm, lack of warmth for a newborn is life threatening. I will need to keep them warm until mom is ready to take over! I must keep the room draft free & at a certain temperature this does increase my electric and gas bill. Persians & Exotics kittens can have larger heads than some other breeds! their body also can easily get stuck into odd positions when entering into birthing position in order to pass through the birthing canal, so being born can be challenging. I personally have witnessed many babies getting stuck, either head first or tail first! as much as 95 % or higher of the time the Persian and exotic kittens is in the breech position. A birthing session can start in the morning and last all day, or start afternoon and last to evening hours or end up continuing until the next day! If you have a full or part time job away from home you will have to find someone to take your place, in order for you to stay with your kitty or you will need to ask your place of work if you can have some time off!After birthing, the breeder will need to keep up on the existing cats/kittens feeding and cleaning still needs to be done. Next many many hours will be spent to raise healthy well socialized kittens and this will take lots of participation from me and everyone that lives in my home as kittens need lots of interaction with people. This time period lasts from birth and up to 16 weeks. Kittens will require many baths per week as bathing helps this breed's skin to stay healthy. It is very important to keep feces from blocking & getting caught on their furry bottoms! Just like a human baby a kitten can develop diaper rash fast. Here is a list of some of the items I will need to purchase throughout the year in order to keep working with the Persian & Exotic breed.
Disinfectant cleaning products are purchased every month.
i will need to take time to interview and hire people to help with general cleaning, disinfecting areas every other week as I can not do it all by myself. When cleaning staff is not here, my husband and I have to everything alone. Extra pair of hands will be hired to bathe cats & kittens as well. Deep cleaning of your home will be needed every month it will cost more than regular cleanings could be up to 300.00 dollars each time as my house is large.
Various Medicine, and medical supplies, supplements to aid in health is much needed throughout the year. A supply will have to be kept on hand and will cost around 3000.00 or more per year. Food, this consist of wet, dry and raw food. I purchase food every two weeks.Growing kittens will need to eat all 3 types of food 6 or more times per day, as cats like small meals through out the day and night! The cost of any good gened cat for breeding will cost an average of $1800.00 to $5000 plus shipping as the best cats will not be close by. If you skimp on the quality of the breed, it will show in your breeding! your cat will not meet the guidelines of CFA standards. I do spend a lot of time learning about the breeds standards and about CFA show rules because I want to achieve titles for my cats & respect from the organization. Not every litter born will have all show kitten/cat quality therefore I will be placing some kittens per year into loving approved forever pet homes. Every 2 years sometimes sooner, a cat or 2 cats will retire from the cattery for various reason’s and I will need to spend up to 3000.00 or more to replace one cat if I want to keep breeding and showing. More Items to buy include: Cat trees, Cat furniture, Cat teasers and toys.Shampoo- Many different Specialty and basic are needed for regular bathing plus types for showing, Conditioner- Basic & Deep conditioning types.Pet hair Dryers- A Persian and Exotic coat will require a good Pet dryer, we own three and those cost around 150.00 per dryer our stand dryer is 1000.00. A Persian and Exotic breeder will need at least 4 pet dryers in various sizes for home use and for travel to Cat Shows. Cat beds- many good comfortable ones will be needed throughout the year! Cat toys specific ones for kittens and for showing. Many types are needed to entertain your cats & kittens! Electronics such as cell phones and computers will need to be replaced every 2-4 years.
Genetic testing for Poly-cystic kidney disease, PKD for short , FeLV and other genetic testing is required throughout the year, through UC Davis genetic testing lab.
Vaccines are purchased several times throughout the year...vaccines are very important to keep kittens and adult cats healthy, for us only the best product available on the market is our choice, these products will not be inexpensive. De-wormers- at least 6-7 times from birth to 16 weeks old is needed ... again only the best available is used and is not a cheap product. The energy cost of Utilities used in your home will increase from your cats & kittens using daily electricity. Loads of laundry will increase with owning cats an average of 2 extra loads per day just for kittens and cats!. Unfortunately, a breeder will be faced with C-sections on their Queens, I personally have seen 1-2 per year, the cost from my experience has ranged from 650.00 during reg. business hours. After hours emergency care can go up to 4000.00 per c-section these costs are variable from each veterinarian office and are subject to change at any time, there is no guarantee the breeder will end up with any live kittens. With any surgery a cat's life can be at risk during and after surgery, some Mother's cannot nurse their kittens because they do not feel well. I personally have lost each litter from birthing problems resulting in a C-section. Only this last year 2016 have I ever seen one kitten survive and my mother cat wasn't able to take care of him. Thankfully another mother was able to take over the duties of nursing her kitten. If not the breeder will need to supplement the kitten or whole litter by tube feeding or bottle feed the kitten (s) every 2-3 hours for several weeks or the kittens will die quickly , this is a grueling task! lots of sleep will be lost and could definitely impact the breeder's health. If your thinking about becoming a cat breeder, I highly recommend you researching the breed you are interested in. Also speaking to many experienced breeder's is very helpful, so they can inform you properly about start-up cost and on-going cost and about all the long hours you will work, they can share with you about all the sacrifices you will make such as missing vacations, or important events with your family. As you will not be able to easily leave your cattery. Anything worth while is only gained from hard work and dedication! There is many more cost involved. It is difficult to list everything here! Please do lots of research before you purchase a pure bred cat, dog or any pet take to seek information as they want your whole devotion of time, care, and love! I have gained a wealth of knowledge over the years from the dedicated people I have met throughout the cat fancy. Also there is a wealth of information on an online magazine called www.pandecats.com members pay $50-$60
per year for a wealth of info. Thank you for reading this and I hope to meet you in the near future. Pets are expensive and you will need to make a budget and plan accordingly.
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