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Ethical Breeding Steps for Fun and Success

Cat breeding is an expensive, time-consuming hobby.
Here is an easy five-step formula for becoming an ethical and respected breeder in the Fancy without facing heartaches and making mistakes.

Step 1—Gaining Knowledge

A good breeder needs a firm goal that is specific towards the betterment of the bread in some way. To create a measurable goal, you need a strong education in breed standards, health, look and temperament, and genetics. Get ready to do some research in these areas.

Gain knowledge about the breed standard

  • Find a breed standard on a major cat registry website or correspond with a current cat breeder
  • Attend a show hall to see winning cats in action and find a breed that suits your taste
  • Do not attempt to change the breed standard as it is a long and difficult process for an experienced breeder.

Gain knowledge about the breed’s health

  • Be ethical. Know how to keep your cats healthy throughout their lifespan.
  • Other breeders can be a great resource to ask how to avoid health issues and eliminate them from your breeding lines.
  • Consult books or the internet about the breed’s health.

Gain knowledge about the breed’s look

  • Decide on a color division. Not all breed’s color mixes are allow for showing.
  • Learn about the breed’s aesthetic faults and disqualifications.
  • Determine a winning look for the breed you wish to show. Have an objective for the qualities you wish to emphasize on the show floor.

Gain knowledge in genetics and feline husbandry

  • Genetics can help you predict if the cats you breed together will produce the dream kittens you wish to produce.
  • Genetics can help you avoid inbreeding and free your line from health problems.
  • Feline husbandry can help keep your cats healthy and happy.

Step 2—Build a breeding program

  • Think of the number of cats you want and can have in your program
  • Consider how the cats you choose will be bread in the most effective way to reach your goal.
  • Write down the colors of your cats, their type, aspired lines, and pedigree for future reference.

Step 3—Prepare your home/cattery

  • Purchase pet supplies.
  • Create a comfortable space for your cats to sleep, play, and eat before purchasing.

Step 4—Purchase your cats

  • Do not compromise. Get the best cats to reach your goal. If needed, wait to buy the right pair of cats.

Step 5—Spay/Neuter

  • Showing a neutered cat
    • Looking at cats without buying one during the research process can be frustrating, and one must be extremely disciplined.
    • A neutered show cat might be a temporary and less costly alternative. Having a neutered show cat will enable you to visit many shows, develop a reputation, and get a head start on show grooming.
    • For such a cheap option, you will get to know many cats and people who will be sources for knowledge.
  • Spay/neuter cats that deteriorate the breed
    • Ethical policy that ensures the health and welfare of cats
    • Selling a neutered cat may motivate others to show a breed
    • Inspires respect from other breeders

Revision Rationale

Publishing for the web means taking an essay or article and making it appeal to the visual senses. This document was long, confusing, and disjointed. Instead of being informative, the writing style gave off an opinionated tone. My revisions focused on the visual elements of the writing by using bullet points and bolding the steps. I reduced the number of steps because I wanted the article to focus around a central bottom-line message: ethical breeding steps for fun and success. The author seemed overly focused on creating a 10-step plan, which over-complicates the process; thus, the reader becomes overwhelmed and is unwilling to take on a breeding program.

The revisions emphasize the research that goes into a breeding program by dividing categories of the process into sub-sections. The bullet points for Step 1 clearly identify the objectives a future cat breeder should keep in mind when exploring his or her options. The remainder of the article did not receive subsections because the points made were mainly more generalized reminders versus detailed how-to steps.