Are you considering breeding or taking 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 do not already have one.
Below is a small guide with things to think about, which can be helpful before you begin.
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 typical of the breed. You get to know your female's weaknesses and strengths, so you can find a male who can strengthen and / or complement her. You will also learn a lot about the breed by listening to the judges' assessments.
At an exhibition, you also meet others with the same race and can more easily make contacts. You may be able to get tips on any 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 show. 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.
In each litter it is recommended that a maximum of one female and one male go to breeding. If your female is bought as a companion, it is good if you contact your breeder and ask how she feels about breeding your cat. It may be that the breeding quota for the litter has been reached, or there is some other reason why she has been sold to company. 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 the choice of breeding male, help you with contacts, some practical tips, such as support during childbirth, sex of kittens, etc.
Before mating, your female must be HCM-scanned (at the earliest at the age of 1 year), blood grouped, be FIV- and FELv tested neg and have an umbilical hernia certificate ua. Nowadays they also test for PKD. (2019)
The female should be at least 1 year old before she gets her first litter. Therefore, it may be necessary with birth control pills before it is time for mating, as she can run very loud. It is good if you get to know your female's running behavior so you know when in the race to go to the male. Females can run very differently, ranging from every other week to three races in the spring and then take a one-year break. Ask your breeder how her mother behaved during running, pregnancy and childbirth. Often the daughter is quite similar to her mother.
Corda is looking for a male at an exhibition and puts her ass in the air!
To borrow a 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 demand that the female in addition to the tests is exhibited and that you have a pedigree 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 do test mating.
The male must have done the same health tests as the female. Registration of the kittens requires registration registration, copy of the male pedigree, ID certificate, certificate for normal testicular status and HCM scan.
If this is the first time you are mating your female, it may be a good idea for the male to live geographically close, as the female can easily get out of the race. If pairing is included, you have to keep in mind that you should go back and forth maybe a couple of times if it does not take the first time.
If you have exhibited your female, you know what type of male you should look for. He too should be on display. When mating, check that all the male's papers are in order and sign the agreement, which is available on SVERAK's website.
The cats must be in good physical and mental condition. You should not breed on cats with a bad temper. You want them to work well in their new homes. It is good to be able to interpret the pedigree to see what lines are in it. One can e.g. look at how many offspring the male has, that approved cats have been used in previous breeding, with approved colors. You can also see if there are individuals that appear in many cats' pedigrees. This means that it can be difficult to find a male who 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 eventually becomes related to each other.
The recommended number of offspring per year / male is 5% of this year's born kittens, which will be 17 kittens / male, when 349 Neva Masquerade were born in 2018.
Responsibility and time
Kittens are very cute. As a breeder, it is very exciting to see who is in the mother cat's womb, and very fun to follow the kittens' development when they are born. It is also interesting to see the kittens' outcome, 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 that a breeder does, which means that you are responsible for hidden faults until the kitten turns three years old, according to 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 things go well, but you also have to take into account everything that can go wrong, such as complications during childbirth, birth defects and kittens that do not survive.
You should think through what your goals are with your breeding. You are obliged to follow the laws and regulations that apply to genetic defects, e.g. color defects, tail kink, squint or umbilical hernia. It can otherwise damage the entire breeding work for the breed.
Even if you think that your cats should only be sold for companionship, it may happen that one of your kittens goes on to breeding after interest has developed. Then you need to know what you are passing on to the breed through your mating, so you do no more harm than good.
Therefore, you must have time to take knowledge / take courses, learn laws, rules and consumer law. You can also count on spending a lot of time on the litter. Leave in connection with the birth, time for socialization of the kittens, a lot of time for the buyers 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.
Cat club membership fee must be paid. You may want a family name already for the first litter. Fees for exhibitions with travel and hotels also cost.
When you have come as far as mating, it is time to sign a mating agreement, with an agreed mating fee. Male cat owners also charge / kitten at about 6 weeks of age. Travel costs will be added (expect that there may be a re-pairing if it does not succeed on the first try). It is also time to take out a breeding insurance that covers unforeseen expenses such as emergency Caesarean. During pregnancy, you can do an ultrasound and / or x-ray the mother to see what 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 at a veterinarian, and inspected before sale. You must register them in SVERAK so they get their pedigrees.
Other things that cost are food, cat litter, toys, food bowls, extra transport cages, kitten paddocks 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 supportive 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, childbirth, kitten time
A cat is pregnant for about 63-68 days. You count from the first mating occasion. Signs of pregnancy are that she stops running, gains weight, gets "raspberry tits" (slightly redder and larger teats). She can also get tired and nauseous. During her pregnancy, you can give food adapted to pregnant cats. Let her have free access to food, as there are smaller and smaller portions in her stomach. Otherwise, she can live as she normally does so as not to be stressed.
It is good to prepare a "housing box" some time before, where she can give birth to her cubs and spend the first time in. It should be a little hidden, so she feels that she gets peace and quiet. Then it's just to hope she chooses to give birth there. 23 degrees is the recommended temperature in the delivery room.
All births should be monitored should anything happen. It is a good idea to make appointments and observations if you need to seek help from a veterinarian if there are any complications.
Also note down when they are born and what they weigh. It is good when you should follow their curve and to compare with the next litter if you continue with breeding. Phone numbers for the vet are good to have on hand. Also scales, thread, sterile scissors to cut the umbilical cord with, clean towels, possibly. heating pad, mucus suction, milk substitute and baby bottle if someone needs to be fed. And something to tag the kittens with!
For the first three weeks of the kittens' life, the mother cat takes care of everything. You should just serve her! When the kittens are between 2-9 weeks, it is the most important time for socialization. Then you need to devote extra time to each kitten to play and cuddle, so it will be a cozy cat. A kitten garden from about 3 weeks of age can be good to have before giving them access to a larger area. In the kitten garden you can have food bowls, drawers and toys. In the pasture you can also teach them to be room clean.
Sell the kittens
Time goes fast with the little charm trolls. One day they turn 12 weeks old, which is the earliest you can sell the kittens. Many people feel good about staying a little longer with their mother.
When the kitten is to move, it must be fully vaccinated, ID-marked, have a pedigree registered in SVERAK and be inspected by a veterinarian within 7 days. In connection with the sale, you must write a transfer agreement and fill in a form for a change of ownership in SVERAK's pedigree. These agreements and forms are available on SVERAK's website.
It is important to have a good relationship with their buyers so they feel confident to turn to you when needed. If they want help with show, breeding, disease, relocation or just a little guidance through the 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 advertising page called raskatter.com where you can advertise about your registered kittens. You can also advertise on our rattling website, SIgNEringen, or your local cat club. You can also make your own website or appear on social media.
Many people send kitten packages with blankets that smell of mother when the kitten moves.
Expect a lot of paper jobs.
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 the 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 have received some guidance.
I also want to encourage you to read as much about breeding and your breed as possible, as well as to take the Pawpeds courses. They are very instructive. 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 to see the new happy owners pick up their kitten!