Starting Your Very First Cattery
It all started with a single feline friend. The majority of people who run a kennel or cattery got their start in the breeding business because they fell in love with a particular breed of dog or cat. The cattery may have started out as an effort to have one litter of kittens, but as the breeder realized how much she enjoyed the experience, she couldn’t stop at just one litter and started expanding her business in the garden.
In the same way that a kennel is for dogs, a cattery is for cats. A cattery is a facility where numerous cats of a particular breed are housed together with the goal of reproducing and advancing the genetic lineage of that particular breed. The upkeep of such a large number of cats presents the proprietor of the cattery with one of the most difficult problems. Dogs are “pack” animals, while cats do not travel in groups. There is no established social order among felines, and male cats will typically ignore a female until she is in heat.
Forcing a lot of cats to live in one place can be pretty stressful at times. You want to keep them happy and healthy to the best of your ability. After all, your cats are more than dollar signs, they’re your pets above all, and they depend on you.
Having so many cats in a single household requires a lot of time and effort. Your felines are relying on you to provide what they need. These needs include enough space to live comfortably, clean bedding, proper ventilation, food, and water. Daily care and cat health should be at the forefront of any cattery.
Make the rounds and visit other catteries in your area. Visiting a cattery in person will offer you the opportunity to see the layout of an existing cattery and ask questions of the owner. A cattery can be set up anywhere, including an apartment if you have a big enough room.
Each cat will require at least 30 cubic feet. This is only the minimum space you’ll require, and if you can afford more space, all the better.
Proper ventilation is important too. Everyone needs fresh, clean air and your felines are no exception. Fresh-flowing air will help decrease the spread of airborne diseases and germs harmful to you and your cats.
If there are no windows available in the space, you will have to look at having ventilation installed. The easiest solution is installing a ventilation system like the one you would find in a kitchen or bathroom.
If you’re lucky enough to have a sun porch or a room with a lot of windows, lighting isn’t difficult. If you don’t have a bright, sunny room, you will have to install some form of artificial lighting.
A lack of sufficient light might have an adverse effect on the coats of the cats, as too little light can cause the cat to shed. You need to maintain a natural cycle of light so the feline biological triggers respond accordingly.
Water is probably the most important thing you can provide for your cats. You could have the best food and vitamins in the world, but without fresh water readily available, all of your other efforts will have been in vain.
The best way to keep water fresh is to use water bottles. Leaving water to sit in open bowls makes the water susceptible to bacteria. Even your cat’s saliva can affect the water. You can use the same water bottles used for small animals like rabbits or guinea pigs.
When it comes to food, your best bet is to talk to your veterinarian about your options. Breeding cats have different nutritional requirements than an average house cat. You want your cats to be in optimal health to produce healthy litters. Also, a nursing mother might need a different diet than a female cat who isn’t nursing.
Neglecting to keep your cattery clean can have severe consequences. Built-up waste can provide a lush breeding ground for disease, bacteria, and viruses that could be harmful to your cats, their kittens, and you.
Washing and airing out the rooms should be done at least on a weekly basis. All the food and water bowls should be washed as well. Litter boxes should be emptied daily, with a thorough scrubbing with bleach once a week.
The Fundamentals of Cat Breeding
People who have a strong affection for cats may, on occasion, decide to breed cats under the philosophy that “the more, the merrier.” There are times when people who own cats have the desire to increase the number of cats in the world by getting involved in cat breeding. The end result is wonderful since more lovely cats will be able to find homes and people who will adore them, but the stages involved in breeding cats need to be followed very carefully in order to help ensure that both the mother cat and her offspring will remain healthy.
Breeding cats does involve a time and monetary commitment, so cat owners need to count the costs before they get involved in the process. In addition, it is very important to read about the topic in a book, online or speak with an experienced breeder who can give advice and helpful tips before getting started. Cat owners need to determine the particular kind of cat they want to breed and what is involved in doing so. These preliminary steps are important so that the breeding process can be done safely and correctly.
Logistics is also something to consider when getting into the business of breeding cats. Owners must make sure they have enough space in their home for the cat and all of their little ones. Some people choose to sell or give away the kittens once they are born, but if something happens and no one can take a kitten or two, there should be extra space available for the new addition.
Before breeding begins, it is best to have the cat undergo a thorough check-up and get vaccinated against harmful diseases. These measures will help protect the male and female cats from getting sick and possibly passing on their illness to the babies. This could adversely impact the entire breeding process, so this precautionary process is important to help cat breeding to go smoothly.
Female cats should be sprayed before their first cycle to decrease the number of male cat prospects coming around when she is prime for mating. In addition, the male and female cats should be adults before they are used for the breeding process. Their maturity is important to their health as they are paired together to produce a litter of kittens. The pregnant cat, or queen, should be well cared for during her pregnancy and given a special place to deliver her young.
Cat breeding can be a rewarding process as pregnant female cats bear healthy little kittens that can be fed and nurtured in a loving home. There is a certain way to go about breeding particular breeds of cats, so breeders must take the time to find out the proper way to go about it. The time, dedication, and monetary investment involved in bringing cats into the world is worth it to give cats a good place to live.