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The vast majority of kittens are sold as pets to a home where they will be part of the family for life, to be enjoyed for what they are and to be totally cosseted and spoilt by their adoring human slaves.
Sometimes, however, owners feel that they would like a little more enjoyment with their pet and decide they would like one which can be shown occasionally. If this is what you are looking for tell your breeder so they can advise you which kitten in the litter has the most potential for showing. Most breeders would welcome new owners who wish to have a Show Neuter. The benefits are two-fold. The new owner has the enjoyment of an occasional day out with other ‘cat-mad’ people, and the breeder has the knowledge that their lines are being shown. It is a very enjoyable day out as long as everyone remembers the Golden Rule. The cat you take home at the end of the day is the same much-loved cat you took in the morning, whether it has won anything or not. The main thing about showing is the friendships that can be made, and the enjoyment to be gained by being involved in such a popular hobby. Of course you don’t have to agree with the judge if he/she doesn’t place your cat or kitten first (any fool can see that yours is the best!!) but the judge’s decision is final.
The breeder of your kitten/cat should be more than happy to help you with your first venture into the world of Cat Shows. They would be able to give advice on the show to enter, how to enter, what show equipment you would need, which classes to enter, and judges to enter under, and also how to prepare your kitten/cat for the show. Just ask.
If, on the other hand, you like the idea of breeding that is a completely different scenario. Breeding is a very time-consuming, serious commitment that should not be entered into lightly. After all we are only the custodians of the breed in our lifetime and we have to ensure that we pass to the next generation the best possible genetics of the British Shorthair breed, but the enjoyment of planning a litter, experiencing the birth and rearing your very own litter of kittens is wonderful.
If you wish to have the experience of breeding, even if it is just the one litter, you must be honest with the person from whom you purchase your girl. All potential breeding cats have to be placed on the Active Register by their breeder otherwise no progeny can be registered, effectively meaning that you are breeding non-pedigrees. It would also be extremely difficult to find a stud owner who would accept you to their boy without the appropriate paperwork.
Discuss this thoroughly with the breeder of your girl - they are the ones who can help you the most. Everyone has to start somewhere and as long as you want to do it for the right reasons, the help will be there.
Do not try to deceive the breeder of the kitten by saying nothing and thinking that you would just breed anyway, as this can have unpleasant repercussions. There may be a very good reason why your kitten should not be bred from. You need to know. Honesty is the best policy. If the breeder still does not want you to breed from their lines, respect their wishes and find someone who will be happy for you to breed from their kitten.
Help, advice and information should be available at any time from the breeder of your girl, and in this way you will be able to enjoy your first litter in the knowledge that should you have any problems you have someone to turn to. All genuine breeders are more than happy to help in any way they can. Don’t be put off by tales of problems. They can exist but alongside these tales are stories of beautiful babies, born with ease, reared expertly by a wonderful mum, (and cat mothers are terrific), and being waved off to their new homes by a very tearful breeder who has loved them from the minute they were born and would love to keep the whole litter, (and sometimes does!!)
The satisfaction of knowing that you have reared your babies to the best of your ability, given them every care and attention and conscientiously chosen their new home from all the enquiries received, is a wonderful moment. So, if breeding is for you – enjoy the experience and don’t forget that help and advice is always on hand.
Best of British Shorthairs will also offer further advice and information should you need it.
For further cat-related information please visit the official web-site of the FELINE ADVISORY BUREAU - www.fabcats.org