Are you thinking about breeding or having a litter after your female?
Corda & Asha
If you buy a female for breeding from me, I am happy to be your mentor if you don't already have one.
Below is a small guide with things to keep in mind that may be helpful before you start.
I think you should start at the right end, and thus start by exhibiting your female, to get an assessment and see if she is breed typical. You get to know your female's weaknesses and strengths, so you can find a male that can enhance and/or complement her. You also get to learn a lot about the breed by listening to the judges' assessments.
At the exhibition, you also meet others of the same breed and can make contacts more easily. You may be able to get tips on a male that suits your female. You might even meet the male there and see what he looks like in real life.
If you have bought your female from our breeding, I will be happy to help you before the exhibition. Also on site, if I have the opportunity.
Exhibition is time-consuming, expensive and tiring. But very fun!
There are long days at the exhibition.
If your female was bought as a companion, it is good if you contact your breeder and ask how they feel about breeding your cat. It may be that the breeding quota for the litter has been reached, or there may be some other reason why she is sold for companionship. If it is good to start with breeding, you can also ask if he can imagine being a mentor. A mentor who you can ask for advice, discuss choosing a breeding male, help you with contacts, some practical tips, such as support during childbirth, sexing the kittens, etc.
Before mating, your female must be HCM-scanned (at 1 year of age at the earliest), blood typed, FIV and FELv tested negative and have an umbilical hernia certificate, among other things. Nowadays they also test for PKD. (2019) Parasite tests should also be sent to SVA.
The female should be at least 1 year old before having her first litter. Therefore, it may be relevant to use birth control pills before it is time for mating, as she can run very loudly. It is good if you get to know your female's running behavior so you know when in the run to go to the male. Females can run very differently, ranging from every other week to three runs in the spring and then take a year off. Ask your breeder how her mother behaved during heat, pregnancy and delivery. Often the daughter is quite similar to her mother.
Corda is looking for a male herself at the show and puts her ass in the air!
To borrow male
Finding a male in a small breed like ours can be difficult. Many who have breeding animals have been active for several years and require that the female, in addition to the tests, is exhibited and that you hold a breed name.
It is important that the inbreeding rate is as low as possible, preferably o.oo%. You can easily test this in SVERAK's FindUs, where it is possible to make a trial pairing.
The male must have had the same health tests as the female. Registration of the kittens requires a registration notification, copy of the male's pedigree, ID certificate, certificate of normal testicular status and HCM scan.
If it is the first time you mate your female, it may be good that the male lives geographically close, as the female can easily get out of heat. If re-pairing is included, you have to think about going back and forth maybe a couple of times if it doesn't work the first time.
If you have exhibited your female, you know what type of male to look for. He too should be exposed. When mating, check that all the male's papers are in order and sign the agreement, which can be found on SVERAK's website.
The cats must be in good physical and mental condition. You should not breed cats with a bad temperament. You want them to do well in their new homes. It is good to be able to interpret the pedigree to see what lines are in it. You can e.g. look at how many offspring the male has, that approved cats were used in previous breeding, with approved colors. You can also see if there are individuals that appear in the pedigrees of many cats. This means that it can be difficult to find a male that is not related to your female. It is important to think about broadening the breeding base when the breed is so small, so that it does not happen that everyone ends up being related to each other.
Recommended number of offspring per year/male is 5% of the year's born kittens, which is 17 kittens/male, when 349 Neva Masquerade were born in 2018.
Aanswer and time
Kittens are very cute. As a breeder, it is very exciting to see who is in the mother cat's stomach, and very fun to follow the development of the kittens when they are born. It is also interesting to see the outcome of the kittens, if they meet the expectations of the mating combination. But it also means a great responsibility towards your kittens, buyers and not least towards the breed. Keep in mind that if you just want to "take a litter", it means that you become a breeder for that litter. You take on the same responsibility and must do everything a breeder does, which means that you are, among other things, responsible for hidden faults until the kitten turns three years old, according to the law.
It requires a lot of knowledge about cat care, breed standards, breeding, diseases, genetics and heredity and health programs that must be followed for many years. Most of the time it goes well, but you also have to include in the calculations everything that can go wrong, e.g. complications during childbirth, deformities and kittens that don't make it.
You should think through what your goals are with your breeding. You are obliged to comply with the laws and regulations that apply to genetic defects, e.g. color defect, kinked tail, squint or umbilical hernia. Otherwise, it can damage the entire breeding work for the breed.
Even if you intend to sell your cats only as companions, it may happen that one of your kittens goes on to breeding after interest develops. Then you need to know what you are passing on to the breed through your mating, so you don't do more harm than good.
Therefore, you must have time to acquire knowledge/take courses, learn laws, regulations and consumer law. You can also count on spending a lot of time on the hill. Time off in connection with the birth, time for socializing the kittens, a lot of time with the buyers who you have to talk to who will also come to visit and then time to plan for the kittens' move.
Some of the health tests must be done regularly up to the age of 8. It is a recurring expense.
Membership fee to the cat club must be paid. You may want to have a tribal name already for the first litter. Fees for exhibition with travel and hotel also cost.
When you have gotten as far as mating, it is time to write a mating contract, with an agreed mating fee. Male cat owners also charge/kitten at approx. 6 weeks of age. Travel costs are added (expect that there may be re-pairing if it is not successful on the first attempt). It is also time to take out breeding insurance that covers unforeseen expenses such as e.g. emergency Caesarean. During pregnancy, you can do an ultrasound and/or x-ray the mother cat to see if she is pregnant/how many kittens there are.
When the litter is born, they must have insurance with hidden fault insurance for three years. They must be vaccinated twice and ID marked by a veterinarian, as well as inspected before sale. You must register them in SVERAK so they get their pedigrees.
Other costs are food, cat litter, toys, food bowls, extra transport cage, kitten pen and it may be necessary to take time off in connection with the birth until you see that everything is going well at home. Sometimes you also need to supplement feeding kittens. You can also count on some wear and tear at home, things that may need to be replaced. It is good to have a buffer for all the expenses before the litter.
My own goal and hope is to go plus-minus-zero financially with my breeding.
Pregnancy, delivery, kitten period
A cat is pregnant for about 63-68 days. It is counted from the first mating occasion. Signs of pregnancy are that she stops running, gains weight, gets "raspberry teats" (slightly redder and larger teats). She may also become tired and nauseous. During her pregnancy, you can give food adapted to pregnant cats. Let her have free access to food, as smaller and smaller portions can fit in her stomach. Otherwise, she can live as she normally does in order not to be stressed.
It is good to prepare a "nesting box" some time before, where she can give birth to her young and spend the first time in. It should be a little out of the way, so she feels that she gets peace and quiet. Then it's just a matter of hoping that she chooses to give birth there. 23 degrees is the recommended temperature in the delivery room.
All births must be monitored in case something happens. It is good if you record times and observations in case you need to seek help from a veterinarian if complications arise.
Also record when they are born and what they weigh. It is good to follow their curve and to compare with the next litter if you continue breeding. It is good to have the telephone number of the veterinarian at hand. Likewise, scale, wire, sterile scissors to cut the umbilical cord with, clean towels, if necessary. heating pad, phlegm suction, milk substitute and baby bottle in case someone needs support feeding. And something to label the kittens with!
For the first three weeks of the kittens' lives, mother cat takes care of everything. You just have to serve her! When the kittens are between 2-9 weeks, it is the most important time for socialization. Then each kitten needs to be given extra time to play and cuddle, so it becomes a cozy cat. A kitten pen from about 3 weeks of age can be good to have before you give them access to a larger area. In the kitten pen you can have food bowls, a box and toys. In the paddock, you can also teach them to become room cleaners.
Sell the kittens
Time flies with the little charm trolls. One day they turn 14 weeks old, which is the earliest you can sell the kittens. Many feel good about staying a little longer with their mother.
When the kitten is to move, it must be fully vaccinated, i.e. 2 times, ID marked, have a pedigree registered in SVERAK and be vet inspected within 7 days. In connection with the sale, you must write a transfer agreement which is available on SVERAK's website under "My pages" and make a change of ownership online on SVERAK's website. The only thing required is the mobile bank ID.
It is important to have a good relationship with your buyers so they feel confident to turn to you when needed. If they want help with exhibition, breeding, illness, relocation or just a little guidance during their time as a new cat owner. As I see it, I am available to the buyer of my kitten as long as it lives.
SVERAK has an advertisement page called köpakatt.se where you can advertise your registered kittens. You can also advertise on our rasring website, For NEM, or their local cat club. You can also make your own website or be visible on social media.
Many send kitten packages with blankets that smell of mom when the kitten moves.
Expect a lot of paperwork.
There is a lot to think about. But at the same time it is very rewarding!
It is a very fun and social hobby with all new contacts with other exhibitors, other breeders and kitten buyers. And everyone else who is interested in your cats!
I hope you still want to help improve and strengthen the breed and that you got some guidance.
I would also encourage you to read as much about breeding and about your breed as possible, as well as taking the Pawpeds courses. They are very educational. The more knowledge you have, the better you can develop the breed and your breeding, produce even more beautiful, healthier cats and can be a better support to your buyers!
The reward for all the work is seeing the new happy owners pick up their kitten!