This is such a good synopsis on wanting to breed cats. Written by Caroline McRae I want to share this with all those that may be thinking it’s a good idea. All my kittens go as pets only anymore and kittens are very time consuming. We all love our Persians, but breeding is a very serious undertaking; there always needs to be a goal when planning to breed. We are not encouraging anyone to begin breeding I want to take this opportunity to explain why wanting just one litter of kittens is never a good idea. Too often we hear that someone gets a pretty Persian female and thinks-“oh my goodness I just want her to have one litter of kittens” before I spay her.This often leads to disaster. First of all a female who is not spayed can begin their estrus (heat) cycle at a young age sometimes 5 to 7 months old, which is much too young to breed. While the girl is in heat her uterus swells and estrogen levels escalate. The length of time varies on how long they stay in heat, some will only be in for a week others can stay in for as long as three weeks & continue to cycle. Left unaltered they are at risk of developing serious infections such as Pyrometria, which can be fatal. During this period females often mark territory to attract a male as well . Spotting can occur & constant cleaning is involved. Females mature much quicker than boys. Some males do not mature until they are approximately two years of age . If you have two young cats put together you’ve started off completely wrong to begin with. Unaltered males are at risk of becoming more aggressive, and can eventually develop testicular cancer. Once neutered, this cannot happen. Unaltered males will spray which is often a strongodour. Some will then confine the male which is not a life you want for a pet. Cleaning & grooming are a daily ritual that takes time . When deciding which cats to acquire -breeding rights should be mandatory. Pet quality kittens should not be bred. Breeding quality registered cats run in the thousands of dollars . It is normal to pay over $5000.00 for a pair with breeding rights. With breeding rights you will know the pedigree . Good breeders will not breed cats with known health histories whereas back yard breeders have no idea. There are many diseases which spread quickly in a multi pet household you must be aware of. As well of what times and conditions in which these can flourish. You must be aware of the cats genetic history. Both parents must be PKD negative before ever entering into any breeding plan . FIV, FeLV , FIP & HCM , URI, PKD, RABIES are all disease that breeding situations need to be aware of. Distemper in unvaccinated kittens is fatal-etc. Vaccinations , vet check ups, deworming flea meds & heart worm meds all cost money. Ear mites, ringworm, coccydia & Giardia are all problematic & require vet attention . Dietary issues, IBS, allergies & uterine infections all require treatment. Pregnancies are not always easy. Monitoring a cat during pregnancy is often done by vet visits and ultrasound making sure she has proper nutrition & capability to deliver. Some require C-sections another costly adventure if you’re not prepared for it.If you were not aware female cats are the only mammals which drop their eggs when penetrated. This means that if you let the male mate with the female for longer than a 72 hour period, you are putting the kittens lives at risk. the kittens can be four days difference in age which for a kitten can be life-threatening ,one kitten can be ready and the other will be Premature in the same litter. . Still born & sick babies are a tragedy - be prepared to have several thousand set aside for vet care always . There are always risks. Are you prepared to lose your beloved pet due to childbirth . Complications do occur . The mother cat may develop infection she may not have enough milk she can develop a condition known as mastitis in which the kittens can’t suckle milk due to infection.Are you prepared to tube feed syringe feed , bottle feed , every two hours for the next 10 days. It is exhausting & not easy. There are other baby issues, such as premature lungs or bowels etc -again more vet bills. Ask yourself -are you able to watch a litter of kittens as they “fade” away. Most breeders will tell you , it is not easy. It is not for the faint of heart, there will be heartbreak involved at some point. Those who see the cost of kittens & think they can make some extra money need to think twice. The majority of breeders don’t make money, they spend more time, energy & money on caring & raising our precious babies than they do making money . Breeding should never be about money . There are so many variables involved . If you truly desire to breed, begin by joining a mentoring program available through most Cat Associations such as the CFA. ~ premium service.