Adopting Retirees

It is not easy for a breeder to let go of a beloved cat, especially one who has been part of their breeding program.  Not only have we raised them and seen them into adulthood and loved them as we do all of our four footed family members, but we have also nurtured them through pregnancies, sat beside them while they gave birth and rubbed their tummies to soothe the contractions, and played with them and their kittens as their offspring learned about the world.  To say that we have a special bond is putting it mildly.

So why would we even consider adopting out one of these cats?  Well it’s not easy!! But if a breeder wants to continue breeding you have to move forward.  A queen will become less fertile as she ages and some may not be able to produce anymore at all.  The same with males.  I tend to breed my queens for only a few years so that they live the majority of their life as pampered pets without the stress of cycling and pregnancy.  We add new, younger breeding cats by keeping the next generation.  We also have to bring in young breeding animals from outside lines to add genetic diversity to keep producing healthy kittens.  At some point you might decide there are too many cats in the house!

Having too many cats is not healthy for the humans or the cats.  Overcrowding causes stress in cats which can lead to poor immune systems and the spread of disease.  It really is impossible to be able to provide sufficient attention and affection to a large number of cats.   So it is really in the cat’s best interest to find them another home where they can be the sole center of someone’s attention.

 

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We are very careful about who we adopt our retirees to because re-homing an adult cat is more stressful and tricky than re-homing a kitten.  Kittens are naturally gregarious and looking to explore new worlds.  In nature a kitten would most likely leave home and find it’s own territory.  Adults tend to live in the same territory for their entire lives.

When looking for a new home for a retiree, it must be a good fit both physically and emotionally for everyone involved.  The ideal home will be stable and quiet without existing cats.  It will be someone who has patience, understanding of cat care and psychology and has the time to help the retiree adjust to it’s new home.  It also must be within driving distance since we will not fly adults.  Also, if the placement does not work out, it is safer and easier to bring the cats back to us if they do not have to fly.

It is always with a mixture of heartbreak and hope when a retiree leaves for a new home.  But it is a necessary part of being a responsible breeder.

 

Cat Shows

Is it Necessary for Your Breeder to Show Their Cats?

It’s not always easy showing a cat.  Cats are not inherently social animals like dogs are. Going to a foreign place with 100, or more, unknown cats crowded into a large room with unfamiliar people while hearing loud noises and tolerating lots of commotion can be very challenging for any cat to cope with.   Competing in cat shows costs quite a bit of money, calls for specialized equipment, involves time away from work and home and many times it requires extensive traveling.

For most cat fanciers exhibiting at shows is a hobby.  It is enjoyable, even though it can be very competitive.  It is an opportunity to meet with people who have similar interests and many make life-long friends.  But for breeders, showing is also a vital tool for critically examining our cats and assessing the results of our breeding program from which we can determine what is correct and what we need to improve.

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Getting a cuddle from the judge.

The breeder’s goal is to produce cats that adhere to the breed standard and are structurally sound and healthy.   Presenting our cats to the judges at a show gives us an opportunity to have our cats critiqued with a mostly non-biased eye.   Yes, sometimes there can be “politics” or “favoritism” displayed at shows, that’s just human nature and happens in most kinds of competition.  But over time, after your cats have been evaluated by many judges at different shows, you should have a good idea of how close your breeding program is coming to your goal.

Breeders can become “cattery blind”, which is a cat fancier’s term meaning that we perceive our cats to be perfect and correct.  The cat registry organizations, such as CFA and TICA, have written breed standards that were compiled and approved by the breed group.  These standards describe, in detail, what each breed should look like, from literally the tips of their ears to the tip of their tail.  But in all honesty, each breeder prefers certain characteristics that they tend to breed towards inadvertently or purposefully.  One of the ways to make sure a breeder is not getting too far away from the breed standard is to get out of the cattery and into the show ring.

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Thorough physical examination by the judge.

Good cat show judges are trained to know the standard of each breed they critique as well as what good, healthy structure is.   A judge is going to examine a cat in detail to make sure it adheres to the breed standard’s requirements and that it doesn’t have any structural faults.  A competitor can ask to speak to the judge when their competition is complete to gain the judge’s insight as to the qualities and shortcomings of their cat.   Some judges have favorite breeds or breeds that they have produced or have experience with themselves and their input about those breeds can be particularly constructive.

Another useful element of cat shows is being able to compare your cats with other cats of your breed, in real life, not just through photos.   Sometimes seeing the actual differences side by side can help a breeder to become aware of qualities they hadn’t noticed before.

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Posing in front of your ribbons!

Networking with other breeders at the shows is another benefit.  Being able to have discussions about the breed characteristics, cat health and sharing knowledge with the other breeders is invaluable.  There is always something more to learn.

For a breeder, showing their cats and kittens is a vital part of preserving the integrity of their chosen breed and of being a responsible breeder.  Responsible breeding of pedigreed cats preserves the breed’s distinct characteristics and ensures the continuation of predictable physical and behavioral traits for future generations.  Ask your breeder what their experience is with cat shows.

The Eyes Have It!

Singapuras are known for their very large, expressive eyes that seem to take up the majority of their face.  They come in a variety of shades of green or gold.  I love looking into their eyes and seeing all the swirls of color and opalescent glitter.

Nick Names

Why is it that we, as pet parents, give our pets a nice sophisticated name, then end up calling them something else?  It usually ends with an”ie” sound, such as Cutie, Beanie, Teenie, etc.  There is just something absolutely adorable about our pet family that brings out the endearments in us.

What nick names do you call your fur babies?

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