The Real Costs of Cat Breeding!
Do you think that cat breeders charge too much for their purebred Sphynx kittens? Do you think that you might like to start breeding Sphynx for fun and profit? Well, take a quick glimpse and see if you are up to the challenge! Remember, the financial cost is nothing compared to the emotional cost if you lose a kitten. Sooner or later you will lose a baby…it is heart wrenching to see the Queen nuzzle and clean a baby that is no longer alive. It is equally as heart wrenching for the breeder to have to take the tiny baby into their own hands…a baby that you have waited so long for and were so excited to welcome into the world! When your Sphynx are truly family members a loss like that goes straight to the Heart!
Breeding Sphynx is rewarding but it’s a true labor of love. It is more of a hobby and not a business that makes money. To be a reputable breeder who sells the healthiest kittens, raised in the best possible environment, you may be interested to know the cost. Not just financial, but the cost in terms of the breeder’s time, effort, lack of sleep and heartache as well. Everything listed is a legitimate and quite normal expense required to breed quality kittens. Cat breeding is not an endeavor for the faint of heart or the light of pocket.
Before you ever have kittens you will have expenses
To buy a Queen, you probably need to spend 2-3 times the price of a pet kitten.
All the expense of raising your Queen until she’s old enough to breed – including litter, feed, vaccinations, worming, etc…and more than once I have seen friends wait and wait until their little girl is ready to breed and just not breed. For one reason or another she comes into heat and breeds, but never takes and delivers your family the kittens you have been waiting for.
Driving to the Airport or the Stud Owner’s house if you do not own your own male. (Having your own male is a different subject entirely!)
Driving to the Vet and/or the Emergency Clinic for both routine care and other emergencies that pop up when you or your wallet least expect it!
Extra cleaning and the cost to replace ruined things when the Queen sprays during her heat cycle.
Lack of sleep for 7-10 days out of every month when the Queen is screaming in season until she can be safely bred. Your family will complain and you will go to work looking like the walking dead!
For every litter your Queen will require
Travel: Taking or shipping your Queen to the stud and any return airfare.
Stud Fee: Usually the price of a kitten. Keep in mind most of the breeders that I know do not let others use their male due to risk of illness or disease. If you do not have your own stud you may want to make sure there is one available for you.
Extra Food and Supplements for your Queen while she is in heat, pregnant, and nursing.
Lots of extra litter. Extra food means lots of extra litter!
Possible complications at birth causing the added expense of an emergency vet visit and a possible caesarean section. A caesarean section at the emergency clinic will cost you more than you paid for your queen and the kittens aren’t likely to survive. Sometimes your queen dies too.
The Requirements and Cost to keep your own male
Your stud should be the best cat in your breeding program and he must be unrelated to your queens. That means you will have to pay more for him than any other cat, which may translate to 4-5 times the cost of a pet kitten.
The expense of raising him until he’s old enough to breed – including litter, feed, vaccinations, worming, etc…
The replacement and/or cleaning of all the things in your house that he will spray.
A room of his own to house him in comfort because he can’t run free once he is actively breeding.
Vet bills for him and Doctor bills for you if he gets near another whole male and you have to break up a fight.
The time it takes every day to clean up his urine from the floors and walls and every surface in the room.
Washing the bedding he’s urinated on every day.
Changing his litter and washing his litter box every day or every second day.
Replacing drywall, baseboards and flooring ruined by his urine.
Replacing the bedding every few weeks as it gets tattered from too much washing.
The smell: If you don’t clean up properly and constantly, your family and friends will complain about the smell of a male cat. No one will come to visit you anymore!
Lack of sleep and general stress from having to listen to the screaming of a tomcat day and night!
If you do not have your own Male
You will have to pay a stud service of at least the price of a pet kitten and that is if you can find someone who will allow you to use their male.
You will have to pay the costs of getting your female there and back.
Your female might not get pregnant the first time or the second time and you may lose your stud fee.
You are responsible for any Vet care that your cats needs while being boarded at the stud owner’s house.
Your cat is very likely to come back sick and she can make all your other cats sick because every cattery has it’s own viruses and your cat has no immunity to those diseases.
Finally the cost of Healthy Kittens!
No sleep for two or three day and nights in a row waiting for the kittens to be born!
Time off from work when kittens are expected. If the birthing is unsupervised, there will probably be kitten mortality in almost every litter.
No time for friends or family when kittens are expected or for 2 -3 weeks after they are born. No more date night with the Hubby!
Kitten Milk Replacer and bottles for weak kittens.
Veterinary treatment for routine visits for vaccinations, deworming, neutering/spaying, and microchipping before the kittens go to their new homes.
Special weaning formula for kittens.
Even more cat litter and clean up for the kittens!
Kitten (and cat) destruction like furniture, lamps, upholstery, torn curtains, your favorite comforter, etc.
Toys for kittens.
Advertising: The cost of membership to breeder listing websites, business cards, pamphlets, flyers, magazine ads, etc…
Registration of the Litter.
Registration fees for each cat and kitten.
Supplies: cages, carriers, carrier covers, beds, toys, scratching posts, cat trees, pedigree program, filing system, litter boxes, grooming equipment, cleaning and disinfecting products, water filter system, air exchange/filter system etc.
Food and litter. Every week you need more food and litter. If you spend the extra money for the best food, you will have fewer Vet bills but the weekly costs never go down and when you have kittens, you can easily double your food and litter bills.
Annual subscriptions to cat associations & registering bodies.
Annual dues for all the Cat Clubs you belong to.
Long Distance phone bills to call your Vet, your breeder friends, your prospective kitten buyers, your follow up calls to kitten buyers and calls to get cats out of rescue situations.
Internet, Website Designer, Domain Name yearly registration fee, Domain hosting.
Your life will become a routine based on the needs of the cats. Foods, water, litter duty three times a day. Every day. Day in day out.
On at least a weekly basis, you will need to groom all of your cats: bathe, clip claws, clean ears, etc.
A thorough Veterinary exam and inoculations once a year for all your adult cats
Every year or two, your adult cats will need dental work
Time: time to learn about cats, cat breeding, the standard of your breed, research, communicate, follow up and more. You will never stop learning and you can’t afford not to take the time
The time and money you must spend to rescue any cat of your breed in trouble if it is in a shelter near you
Keeping your house constantly warm enough for your cats and kittens to thrive