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The Cost of Breeding

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Trish Allearz, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Trish Allearz

    Trish Allearz Moderator

    I wrote this last year...

    The cost of breeding

    As a former breeder of Sphynx, I have heard countless times people purchasing a new kitten without a spay or neuter agreement (or pre-altered) in order to ‘make a little bit of my money back’. Each time- I want to ask them if they truly know what they are getting into or do they simply enjoy the excitement of going into situations totally blind? The truth is- breeding is costly. ‘Of course!’ these people always say, ‘I have to pay x amount for my new girl and y amount for my new boy! Sure, it costs!’ But it’s more then that…

    It’s the sleepless nights as you worry about a pregnant queen… It’s the day upon dragging day hand feeding a tiny helpless kitten… It is the money spent at the vet on an uncertain prognosis and the heaviness you carry within your heart when you don’t know whether the path you chose for this particular cat or kitten was the right one It’s the final gasp of a dying kitten in the palm of your hand- a newborn life, already mingled with death… It’s the pacing in the exam room as your vet takes your queen into the back- hoping her kittens are still alive, but praying that your queen will be okay…

    Breeding costs. It costs more of your heart and soul then most people are willing to give. This week- an experienced Sphynx breeder had a young queen go into labor. Her labor was long and drawn out and therefore, she was whisked away to an experienced reproductive veterinarian. This vet performed a procedure that hopefully would buy the young queen a few more days before her litter was born… It did not work. Now, there are six tiny kittens sitting at the Rainbow Bridge, five dead before they even had a chance to truly draw a breath and one put gently to sleep after 24 hours of fighting for her fragile life… And as of right now, their Momma’s tired body, infected from the dead kittens she carried, is trying to battle for her own life- to remain within this world with her loving owner a while longer.

    When you choose to breed- you choose to gamble it all. Yes, there are plenty of cats who have healthy litters and may never need veterinarian intervention, but there are always those cats that will miscarry regardless of their health prior to pregnancy. There are always those cats who will need emergency c-sections in the middle of the night. There is always the chance of losing a queen due to pyometra as she cycles over and over and over- just as there is always a chance of losing a queen during labor and delivery. And throughout this all- there is never a guarantee of live, healthy kittens. Not once do you receive this guarantee and to think you do- you are simply ignorant and arrogant.

    Breeding costs. Please, think before you breed. Know your breed- know its health problems and the inherent risks beforehand. Yes, it might cost a lot to bring a purebred Sphynx into your home, but bringing home a PET is nothing like the emotional cost of breeding. So please- once again- think before you breed.

    (Attached is a very blurry photo of the Sphynx's tummy that I spoke about in this... The Sphynx lived- but it was a HARD FIGHT for her life... Over three or four surgeries, laser treatment day after day, and multiple infections... This photo does not even depict- NEARLY- the horror of the situation and be thankful it is the blurry photo. Most people could not handle the clearer picture of this situation).

    Attached Files:

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  2. admin

    admin Paige Staff Member

    Wow, Trish! Very moving, informative post! I hope anyone wanting to breed will read it first.
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  3. Pam Flachs

    Pam Flachs Savannah Super Cat

    Trish, you really speak the truth. Thank you for sharing this!
  4. Suzanne H

    Suzanne H Savannah Super Cat

    Thank you, Trish for this post. I copied it and sent it to my husband via text. This was the reality I have been trying to explain to him. We aren't ready for breeding.

    Erik, is very soft hearted when it come to animals, and being a fireman I think later in he would be a great breeder, once educated enough in ALL that goes with it.

    When and IF we begin a breeding program, I want him to have the time do it with me.
    Honestly, Trish, I don't see how you do it with a few kids and a baby to boot. If we enter into the breeding arena ii know who to take lessons from. ;)

    Of course I believe all of you breeders do an amazing job of taking care of the lovely creatures and their offspring.

    I can't wait until I'm in position to start looking for my SV kitten. But I want to well bred (ha) in the breed.

    Thank you again,
  5. Trish Allearz

    Trish Allearz Moderator

    You are so welcome, Suzanne- as you can tell, I tend to write when inspired and after watching what Emma went through (it was horrible)- I had to write it out. Breeding can be wonderful, but it can go wrong in an instant.

    And I am at home- so this is ALL I do... But don't get me wrong- to do it right, it is a passion, yes- but it is worse then a job. A job- you can typically leave at work. Breeding- it is often 24-7 and you will devote more time to it in your life then you would ever believe possible.
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  6. Alice

    Alice Guest

    I could/will never breed. I get so very attached to my babies as it is and I would end up in the looney bin if I had to deal with the possible heartaches associated with breeding, plus the stress. I cannot imagine! And would rather not..... :(
    I don't know how you do it, but kudos to you! :)
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  7. John Popp

    John Popp Site Supporter

    It definitely takes a special person to be a breeder. Plenty of heartache, often great deals unforeseen expense and a failed business model waiting around every corner. At the core of every successful breeder there needs to be a very strong person who can cope with these things, have a great love of their animals and also carry a great deal of animal science and genetic knowledge. It's a huge package to put together and without an immense amount of forethought the animals and pets we all care about so much end up being the ones hurt.

    Not that I have intent on ever breeding cats, but I do think it would be helpful for others considering it to have a complete picture of things. The amount of knowledge needed, the resources, the space and an appropriate amount of cooling off time to think better of it. A drivers ed film depiction of horror may turn away a few, but the whole story will see many more turning away from attempting to do something that by no means are they cut out or prepared for.
  8. Trish Allearz

    Trish Allearz Moderator

    It's about impossible to give someone a complete picture of what it takes- it literally takes over your life.

    Everytime I think I've told someone as much as I can- I remember more and more and... more! If you are doing this right, you are always learning and never stagnating. You change protocols, you change this procedure or that, you learn more about your breed, etc, etc.
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  9. wetcats

    wetcats Savannah Super Cat

    From the bottom of my heart I thank you, Trish. As the news of my SV kitten* gets chatted around, everybody of course has an opinion. People we met through our distant relees, put this up as dinner conversation...."Breeding Hot Cats, like Savannahs,and Bengals, and the naked one, is one of the easiest, and quickest ways to make money, period. Just keep them breed all the time and pump out the kittens, sell them real high and in five years, your rich" END Quote. To say I was a little 'loud' at dinner is fair. Frankly, he needed telling off. I say what I want to and accept the consequences--my friends like me, my relees like/love me and he didn't signify. But WTF!!! and I know that's not ladylike--sorry if I offend--I just got so enraged at the supreme callous idiot. Some people are just a waste of skin..... I was brought up on the farm--we literally cried if a kitten or a puppy died. Everybody went to pieces over a lost litter of ANYthing--too soft all of us.
    Where are peoples hearts?? never mind their missing brain.
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  10. admin

    admin Paige Staff Member

    I don't know what has happened to our society as a whole...many people told me I should euthanize my baby Cisco, who would not eat, just because he was 10 years old...of course, I did not listen, let my vet insert a feeding tube and it should come out soon because he is eating on his own again...

    I love my cats and love breeding, although it can be difficult and very painful at times...the joy is in seeing the kittens born in your home, grow up to be such loving beauties and bringing joy to others ;)
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