What is a Cattery?
In the Cat Fancy, there may come a time that you would like to go to a cat show and show an animal. In general, most federations require that you have a registered cattery name. This is similar to the kennels in the dog world when showing animals.
For this reason, a Cattery usually falls into one of three categories:
1. Commercial: Using a large number of breeding animals, kittens are produced for sale on a continuous basis, based on market demand. There are a small number of these, and you will see listings on the net of these operations in the commercial listings. Usually, these people show to keep the name out there, and then advertise kittens for sale. They can be selected by breed. This is a very difficult way to make money and is often subject to what breed is hot at any given time!
2. Non-Commercial / Hobby: Most catteries fall into this category if they are showing whole animals. Unless you purchase a whole animal to show, you usually breed when you need a show animal. You will generally select the best of the breeding and show this animal as a kitten in the Kitten Class. This is generally from the age of 4 to 8 months of age, at which time the kitten becomes an adult. Assuming the kitten does well, you continue with it into the adult class. You would normally show an adult for one full show year. At this point, if you are not going to use the animal for breeding you may have it altered and then show it in the altered class, or place the animal in a non-show home. In this type of cattery, the animals are generally raised in house and under foot and since the numbers are small, they make wonderful pets.
a. The problem with this type of cattery, is the cost. In general, it costs about $250-300 to get a kitten to 14-16 weeks of age! Yes, that's EACH!! After you add in a Stud Fee if you do not have a breeding male, Vet Bills, Shots, food, formula and litter, plus shelter, it all adds up very fast. To further complicate the problem, a really good show animal averages at about 1 in 20 and a superb one may be from 1 in 36 to 1 in 100. For this reason, most catteries in this category sell kittens to selected pet homes to defray the cost of the hobby. They also often place retired animals into pet home at no charge to keep their numbers down. Regardless, it is very difficult to maintain for any length of time. (We know!) When approached by someone wishing to become a breeder, we try to explain all of the above in great detail, trying to talk them out of it if it seems that they could not maintain the operation.
b. Federation Judges are usually required to be considered breeders at some point. This creates a sub category of this type of cattery out of the necessity to have bred and raised a litter from some breed or type. Since they go on to Judging, the Cattery Name often later exists in name only.
c. The most common sub type is the one or two litter version. After seeing how involved it is, they give up and join category three.
3. Name only Hobby: Most catteries fall into this category if they are showing either altered animals or household pets. They may have either migrated from category two or started here by registering a name with a federation they wished to show in. At some point they may buy or make a deal to show a Kitten for a period of time but usually just show the animals that they have. They do this like a NET community, an active hobby with good travel and good friends. (Oh yes, and Show Food)
---->Over the years, Pilgrim Paws has migrated between category 2 & 3. At the present time, we are looking for a new Show Cat to replace Music Major in the next year or so and may have found it! We will see over the next few months. Watch the site for updates on this.
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