Why Breed Cats?

With all the media coverage on animal cruelty and the heart-tugging infomercials on television, people might wonder why anyone breeds cats (or any pet) today. Time and again I see comments asking why is anyone breeding, there are millions of animals dying in shelters. The fact of the matter is, that isn't true. There are not millions in shelters, the animals in shelters are not pedigreed (or the numbers are vastly over-estimated for adoption reasons), and there is no overpopulation crisis. In some states, the *opposite* of this is true - several states are shipping and importing animals, from other US states and even foreign countries, to meet the number of adopters in their area. Yes, there is a problem with unwanted and stray animals - and that problem that usually begins with the owner, who does not spay/neuter their pet for cost or other reasons, allows their intact animal to run loose outside, or those who surrender animals the moment they become a burden.

Thirty percent of animals in shelters are NOT purebred, contrary to claims. It's more like around 3% at last evaluation. The larger statistic is one that is made up of "lookalikes" and by animal rights activists who seek to blame breeders for every animal in shelters. Some shelters also feel that by calling an animal by a purebred identification, they increase its chances of adoption. The mostly blue cat becomes a Russian Blue; any white cat is a Turkish Angora; any pointed cat is a Siamese. The reality is, responsible breeders contract with pet buyers to take their animals back if there is a problem. They do not ever want their home bred animals to end up in a shelter.

Hobby cat breeders also advocate spaying and neutering pet cats. Many refuse to place cats prior to having the surgery done, or with a contractual obligation to prove the owners have desexed the animal. Hobby breeders have, as an overall average, two to three litters a year. That's all. And with average litter size of three or four kittens, they are producing about 8-12 kittens a year. Of those kittens, one or two will remain in a breeding program - leaving six to ten kittens to place in a year. That's hardly contributing to overpopulation! By contrast, a pet owner who allows an intact pet to roam and reproduce, is producing uncontrolled litters, none of which are wanted for a breeding program, who have no titles or papers, and who end up dumped in shelters if they don't sell while they're "cute" baby kittens - THAT contributes to overpopulation of unwanted cats. That is also anathema to responsible home hobby breeders.

We've learned that when you look at the numbers and review the real data - there is no "pet overpopulation crisis." That is a phrase used for fundraising by major animal rights organizations. These are organizations who openly admit they are against all pet breeding or even pet ownership - so of course, they inflate their data to blame hobby breeders, as they continue the march to pass enough legislation to end all breeding.

Worse, as states lacking adoptable animals turn outside our borders, we are seeing outbreaks of preventable disease brought in from countries that do not have the same vaccination requirements or protocols. This is a situation that must be addressed - but it is buried by the animal rights crowd, who mislead the animal loving public into giving them millions of dollars to lobby for their agenda against US home hobby breeders.

Responsible breeders abhor cruelty. We reject the breeding of unregisterable pet cats solely for the sake of more pets, for children to experience birth, or for any of the baseless reasons people give to allow their pet cats to reproduce unchecked. There is a reason we spend a lot of our money on well bred outcrosses for our programs; why we show under trained judges to evaluate our breeding stock; why we spend thousands of dollars on high quality food and cutting edge vet care; why we dedicate our time, our hearts, and our money on creating animals that meet a particular breed standard and temperament. We love our chosen breeds, and what we do is nothing like what those who allow their mixed breed animals to reproduce with other mixed breed animals do. We have much more in common with those seeking proper animal welfare than these folks often think. I don't want that person who drops their unsold kittens at a shelter like clockwork every year, who continue to allow their cats to breed their cats to sell what they can and dump the rest, to be allowed to continue breeding. We, like you, think those folks should be stopped. We too hate that any animals are dying in shelters, are dumped in shelters or in the outdoors by irresponsible owners. You do not breed animals if you do not love them, and our hearts break along with yours every time an animal is abused or killed.

The bottom line is, not only do some people require animals with certain traits, and predictable behavior - they *want* them simply for what they are. Everyone should have the choice to have the pet that is right for them and their particular family. Without hobby breeders that is impossible. Extremists want to dictate to you, that the only choice you have is a shelter pet, even if you have a need for traits you can only get from a breeder. Instead of working with responsible home hobby breeders, they seek to eliminate them.

But here's what you should think about. If the animal rights extremists win, and all breeding programs are ended; at the same time they place all the shelter animals and all of them are spayed and neutered....where will you be able to get a pet cat or dog then? THIS is their goal, the end product they seek if they have their way. Is that what you want? 

Why Breed Pedigreed Cats?
The wonderful breeds you see online and at shows are in danger. Well-meaning people are being misled by animals rights extremists who will not tolerate breeding in any form. We've all seen the horrible conditions in the exposes on television - and no responsible hobby breeder supports that kind of breeding. But instead of using existing animal cruelty laws, these groups use their money and influence to try to outlaw breeding altogether - meaning the well-bred domestic animal with predictable type and behavior could one day be extinct.

The oldest cat breeds have gone through a lot to make it to today. The devastation wrought on Europe during World War II nearly destroyed several of them, and only through the hard work of dedicated breeders do we still have Birmans, British Shorthair, Norwegian Forest Cats, Chartreux, and Russian Blues, among others. Breeds are in some cases many centuries old, like the Abyssinian, Japanese Bobtail and Turkish Angora. They are unique among their species, with predictable type, color, coat, and behavior. The loss of any of them is a loss for all cats.

However, as the propaganda using inflated statistics intensifies, more and more localities are passing restrictive laws - requiring breeder "registration" and "licensing," along with per-animal "intact permits" meant to force breeders to pay for every breeding animal to in essence create an economic catastrophe. One recent article about a seizure of a kennel's animals claimed the operator was making over $200,000 a year on puppy sales, without paying income tax. That number was created by an animal rights group. who used their "math" to state that 20 dogs would produce 200 puppies a year. This ignored basic fact - that dogs only come into heat twice a year, to begin with, and most litters are an average of 2-3 pups per litter. Even if those dogs did have 2 litters a year - it's not even close to 200 puppies. There was no mention of the costs of birthing, vaccinating, spay/neuter, feeding, training, showing, or any genetic or health testing. They claimed the breeder made $10,000 per puppy, for all 200 puppies, with no costs. That's ludicrous on its face. If you've searched this far looking into pedigreed animal, you know that yes, they are expensive, but not anywhere near $10,000. But these numbers have a great shock effect, to help promote restrictive laws to stop breeders, insinuating they are all making wild income off their animals. Most of us operate at a loss, if you want the truth. We do it because we love our breed and want to help it survive for the next generation.

The highest population of cats in shelters are, sadly, feral and stray. They reproduce uncontrolled in the wild. There are also a large number of owner surrenders, even in violation of a contract to return a cat to a breeder. People want to walk away from the responsibility and don't want to explain their (often ridiculous) reasons for surrendering the cat. The real answer to the feral and stray problem is owner education combined with low cost spay/neuter plans. Proven through empirical data, local level low and no-cost spay/neuter programs are the number one way to control stray populations, and usually within 5 years stray colonies dwindle and disappear as they fail to reproduce further.

The loss of any breed of pedigreed cats would be devastating. The pet-loving public has the right to choose the type of animal they wish to own, and responsible hobby breeders are preserving these breeds for all to enjoy.