Breeding a queen multiple times a year... is it ethical to go with this breeder?

twohandsfourpaws

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Hi everyone, I'm already the happy owner of a BSH from a European breeder who I felt highly comfortable with and demonstrated ethical breeding and considerable experience. We were living in Europe at the time and are now based in the US, looking for a second cat with a regional breeder.

I've put a deposit down on a kitten that is ready to be taken home in a couple of weeks at 9 weeks of age. I have recently gone to meet the breeder at her home and I am concerned about the breeding intervals of the mother. The same parents of my kitten produced a litter 4 months prior to my kitten's litter, and it seems like the mother is again pregnant and about to give birth soon. Again, about 4 months in between litters. From my research, this doesn't seem to be ethical to breed the mother more than once or twice a year, but it would be great to have a more experienced opinion.

Other things check out - cats/kittens looked healthy, environment was good, breeder is TICA registered (will not register my kitten until I spay her), I've seen the family tree (should I expect a copy now?), they're getting their shots at a vet at the appropriate age.

The only other red flag was that she did not ask me about my home environment or experience with cats. With my other cat, our breeder asked to see pictures of our apartment and interviewed us about our lifestyle. To not be asked these questions seems odd, just because I can afford the (high) price tag. That's the other thing - this kitten is more than double the cost of our current cat, although we bought her 4 years ago prior to COVID causing pet prices to skyrocket.

Any advice is very highly appreciated. Thank you!
 

Peaches&Mango

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I agree with Furballsmom, and do think it’s odd they didn’t ask questions imo.
I also think 9 weeks is too early to be taken, along with the multiple litters in the duration seems too many for the Queen. Have they been health tested etc?
I’m not overly experienced so I’m sure others will add later on what they think. I hope all works out for you though whether you take this kitten or another :)
 
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twohandsfourpaws

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I agree with Furballsmom, and do think it’s odd they didn’t ask questions imo.
I also think 9 weeks is too early to be taken, along with the multiple litters in the duration seems too many for the Queen. Have they been health tested etc?
I’m not overly experienced so I’m sure others will add later on what they think. I hope all works out for you though whether you take this kitten or another :)
Thank you! No, neither parents nor kitten are tested which is another concern.
 

GoldyCat

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Way too many red flags. Aside from the fact that 9 weeks is too young to take a kitten from her mother and litter mates, if litters are only 4 months a part it means the queens is being bred far too soon for her to have recovered from giving birth and nursing kittens.

Does the contract include a health guarantee? Not having the parents tested for at least HCM is a huge concern. Brits have a tendency to have cardiac problems. The breeders I know are working hard to breed for health, not repeating a breeding that produced kittens with cardiac issues.

I don't know how much your deposit was, but you need to consider that you might end up paying a lot more in vet bills than what you'd lose by giving up the deposit.

In the end, it's your choice whether to go ahead with this adoption. It may turn out to be a perfectly healthy kitten, but you need to be aware of the things that can go wrong.
 
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twohandsfourpaws

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Way too many red flags. Aside from the fact that 9 weeks is too young to take a kitten from her mother and litter mates, if litters are only 4 months a part it means the queens is being bred far too soon for her to have recovered from giving birth and nursing kittens.

Does the contract include a health guarantee? Not having the parents tested for at least HCM is a huge concern. Brits have a tendency to have cardiac problems. The breeders I know are working hard to breed for health, not repeating a breeding that produced kittens with cardiac issues.

I don't know how much your deposit was, but you need to consider that you might end up paying a lot more in vet bills than what you'd lose by giving up the deposit.

In the end, it's your choice whether to go ahead with this adoption. It may turn out to be a perfectly healthy kitten, but you need to be aware of the things that can go wrong.
Thanks for your answer. How many months in between litters is ideal?

The health guarantee is valid for 7 days after taking the kitten home.

The deposit wasn't very much, so I wouldn't feel too bad losing it. Poor kitties, though. :(
 

StefanZ

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The big European association of FIFe have it as 3 litters per 2 years. , unless a litter is very small. IF so, its possible and doable to take next litter much sooner. Most Swedish breeders do it once a year
Of course, most of these breeders have the cats as their family members.

Also, the minimum age of selling were a long time 12 weeks, NOW its 14 weeks, but discussions are going on to prolong it to 16 weeks...

Although I know there are so called Indenpendent clubs whom allows 10 weeks. (these are nowadays organized into an umbrella organisation WCF??)


To summarize: What is Tica saying about this I dont know, but this sounds to me sooner as a typical BYB more than a responsible, ethical breeder.

Not all BYBs are villains, but there is a reason why some are held contemptuosly for BYBs and some are not, even if small breeders.
 
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twohandsfourpaws

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The big European association of FIFe have it as 3 litters per 2 years. , unless a litter is very small. IF so, its possible and doable to take next litter much sooner. Most Swedish breeders do it once a year
Of course, most of these breeders have the cats as their family members.

Also, the minimum age of selling were a long time 12 weeks, NOW its 14 weeks, but discussions are going on to prolong it to 16 weeks...

Although I know there are so called Indenpendent clubs whom allows 10 weeks. (these are nowadays organized into an umbrella organisation WCF??)


To summarize: What is Tica saying about this I dont know, but this sounds to me sooner as a typical BYB more than a responsible, ethical breeder.

Not all BYBs are villains, but there is a reason why some are held contemptuosly for BYBs and some are not, even if small breeders.
This confirms what I thought. My first breeder allowed us to take our BSH home only at 4 months. Due to travel for the holidays, I asked the 2nd breeder if I could pick up the kitten a few weeks later and she refused, saying it would be bad for the kitten because all the siblings would be removed and it would be traumatic. Is there any truth to that?

Are BSH's really so rare in the US? Are they in such high demand where people are on waiting lists to pay 2-3K for a kitten? My girl cost 750 euro when I bought her in Europe and, if I'm honest, is a pretty rare color, healthy and extremely beautiful for breed standards.
 

Zeus63

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I've gotten kittens from Breeders, who I would deem responsible, at 9 weeks old. I really think it's a matter of opinion on weening from 8-16 weeks old. Lots of feral cats are weened at even earlier ages and do just fine.

Recently I purchased two Savannah kittens. One was 16 weeks and one 9 weeks. They are later generations (F6 and F5) so no major differences in behavior versus not hybrid cat. Savannah breeders, in general, seem to like the kittens to go home a little earlier so that they bond with their owners. Plus since I got two they socialized with each other. These cats are still under 1 year. I will say the the one we got at 9 weeks is a little more bonded to us than the one we got at 16 weeks. Probably that is just personality differences. THey are both good cats. I also got one of my Ragdolls at 9 weeks from one of the top Ragdoll breeders in the country. Generally she didn't let her kittens go until 12-16 weeks. She sent all males to new homes neutered. I had bought cats from her before and was also getting a younger male from her. Since she was comfortable with me socializing and spaying the female, she let her go early. That cat lived until 20 and was an awesome cat.
 

Alldara

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I have no experience with breeders but I know with newer research that the vet seemed to be concerned with how fast rescues in our area were pushing out kittens. But even the rescues were keeping them for 3 months.

I would be concerned about the intervals. Barn cats went unfixed had litters back to back and often those kittens in later litters were sicker and sicker. Her health policy is also shorter than rescues here (14 days for the shortest), and even the rescues will hold the cat a few days if payment is made. They kept Calcifer for two weeks for us so we could ensure full attention to the subject of intro's.
 

vansX2

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As some others have spoken here that 9 weeks is too soon, I agree. My last boy Jackpot was received from the Breeder at 12 weeks. He has been healthy which is great. But perhaps he needed more time with his Mother as he has a compulsion to chew particularly plastic. ( Bags, Sandals, Shoe lace tips, Bubble wrap; etc.) I often tell people that " I have a puppy that meows". Jackpot will be 3yrs in August and the chewing habit continues.
 
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catsknowme

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Oh, those poor mama kitties....this is heartbreaking. You could ask about how many retired queens the family has kept. In the Lancaster,CA shelter, I have see discarded purebred bitches with udders sagging to their toes and it's a heartbreaking sight. It's a tough, tough decision because you will be giving the kitten a good home but with the high prices that the breeder in question is charging,every sale promotes their dubious scheme.
 

Zara12345

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Hi everyone, I'm already the happy owner of a BSH from a European breeder who I felt highly comfortable with and demonstrated ethical breeding and considerable experience. We were living in Europe at the time and are now based in the US, looking for a second cat with a regional breeder.

I've put a deposit down on a kitten that is ready to be taken home in a couple of weeks at 9 weeks of age. I have recently gone to meet the breeder at her home and I am concerned about the breeding intervals of the mother. The same parents of my kitten produced a litter 4 months prior to my kitten's litter, and it seems like the mother is again pregnant and about to give birth soon. Again, about 4 months in between litters. From my research, this doesn't seem to be ethical to breed the mother more than once or twice a year, but it would be great to have a more experienced opinion.

Other things check out - cats/kittens looked healthy, environment was good, breeder is TICA registered (will not register my kitten until I spay her), I've seen the family tree (should I expect a copy now?), they're getting their shots at a vet at the appropriate age.

The only other red flag was that she did not ask me about my home environment or experience with cats. With my other cat, our breeder asked to see pictures of our apartment and interviewed us about our lifestyle. To not be asked these questions seems odd, just because I can afford the (high) price tag. That's the other thing - this kitten is more than double the cost of our current cat, although we bought her 4 years ago prior to COVID causing pet prices to skyrocket.

Any advice is very highly appreciated. Thank you!
Hmm... late reply but I, personally, would NEVER go with such a breeder. First of all, overbreeding IS harmful and detrimental to the health of the queen. Long pregnancies and nursing kittens do take their toll on their little bodies despite how well they're looked after and breeding queens MUST be given a break of at least 6 to 8 months between litters. Ideally a year!

Secondly, kittens leaving at 9 weeks of age?! Big no. It is vital for a kittens health, development and temperament that they stay with their mother for at least 12 weeks before they're rehomed. Some breeders even keep their kittens until upto 16 weeks of age. No ethical breeder will rehome their kittens at 9 weeks that's guaranteed.

Also, 4 months in between litters and the increased price tag makes me think that they're using their queens to pump out babies and breeding solely for monetary reasons. Please pick a breeder who will prefer to at least get to know you and the kitty's living arrangements before agreeing to sell you a kitten. This sounds more along the lines of backyard breeding nevermind if they're registered or not! And if they were registered I am sure they're going against a lot of the policies of their registry like overbreeding and rehoming kittens at young ages.

Whew! Sorry for the rant and if I came across as harsh😬
 
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