Curious, for now... | Sphynxlair

Curious, for now...

Discussion in 'Sphynx Cat Questions?' started by ariena, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. ariena

    arienaLairian

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    In the month or so that I've had my nakie-baby, I've completely fallen in love with both her and the breed. The more I've thought about it, the more I'm curious about what goes into the breeding process, how to make sure everything is done correctly and properly, how to tell what sort of cat should be bred, etc.

    As for my baby I have now, I don't know if I ever want to breed her. However, for some reason she has never been spayed in her two years as a pet, and there is no marking on her papers that she is not to be used for breeding purposes. So for now, I'm remaining open to the possibility that one or two years down the road (not any time soon, poor MingMing has had so much to deal with the past few months without getting preggo!), I might see if she is suitable to breed, and if I am in a position in my life to take care of those kitten suitably and find a good home for each and every one of them. If not, then she'll be spayed and remain a happy little naked part of my family for the rest of her days. : )

    I'll be going down to a cat show on Sunday, hopefully to talk with some experienced cat breeders. I've always had an eye for biology and genetics, and think that the idea of expressed genotypes/phenotypes would be alright for me to handle. Before MingMing, I'd never thought of getting any kind of purebred animal; I've always considered them to be almost subpar to "mutts", due to the tendency of a lot of breeds to carry along extremely common genetic defects. However, the idea of helping to maintain and encourage a friendly, healthy breed of cats like my baby is, I must admit, very intriguing.

    If anyone has advice on how to become as knowledgeable as possible about any aspect of this, I would love your thoughts! The genetics, the way to contact and talk to breeders about their experiences, anything. Thank you!
     

  2. heather

    heatherV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

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    I'm still learning about the breed too. I can't help with any if your questions but it is a great idea to go to the cat show.

    The breeder I purchased Sophie from has a good reference article on her page:
    http://www.abeitagatos.com/abeitagatoscatteryrealcostpage1a.html
    (click on the link and it will bring up the article)
     
  3. Brooke

    BrookeBanned

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    There are other members here that will have better advice for you, but I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight if I didn't point you in the direction of learning everything you can about HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) a genetic heart defect that is fairly common to the sphynx breed. You should not consider breeding your girl if you don't have her scanned by a board certified cardiologist once a year to confirm she's HCM negative.

    Breeding is a huge undertaking from what I understand (I am not a breeder). It has it's rewards, but also is a huge commitment. My advice to you would be to find a reputable breeder who is willing to mentor you every step of the way.

    On the other hand, if you decide not to get into breeding, you might consider getting your little girl spayed. Pyometra is a fairly common and serious problem that can occur in female cats that have too many heat cycles without fertilization.
     
  4. havingalook

    havingalookV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

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    I would be concerned personally about breeding a cat with one eye without knowing 100% the reason behind it. Is it a genetic issue? Did she have a herpes outbreak and her eye ruptured or had an ulcer? Unless you know her breeder and trust her reason 100% then...

    I know i'm a pessimist but whenever I see classifieds with cats that have a scratched eye or an eye removed due to a scratch, I always think the worst.

    As well as HCM, FeLV, FIV, also research Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, chlamydia etc.
     
  5. Mews2much

    Mews2muchV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

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    I might be breed later on but am going slow.
    You can not rush into it,
    I was told to show first and learn about the breed.
    I have learned alot but still have more to learn.
    I am waiting at least 2 years before I decide if I want to breed.
    It is not cheap.
    Have you ever seen kittens born before?
    It is terrible when you try to save them and they still die.
    I have seen newborn kittens that were dead and some that died weeks later.
    These were not purebreds.
    You sometimes have to feed them every 3 hours.
    I do not know how you ended up with a sphynx that was not altered.
    You need to learn the standards and so much more.
    One of the breeders I know lost her dam when her kittens were about 6 weeks old.
    Good breeder do not breed for the money they do it to better the breed.
    You must have a er vet just in case something goes wrong.
    I was 12 when I watched Whiskers have kittens.
    Smokey and Mittens both died.
    You must HCM scan with sphynx and that is not cheap at all.
    I have breeders that will help me but I must learn more first.
    You have to have the kittens tested,altered and give them shots.
    I used to save ferals.



     
  6. ariena

    arienaLairian

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    : ( Yes, I remember reading those threads on HCM on here while I was still lurking. That's so sad! If I go to the show and they agree that she should be bred on physical traits alone, I think it would be a good idea to find a vet who has experience with sphynx cats.

    Pyometra? I knew there were problems with cats who've had too many unused heat cycles, but I'd never heard the actual name. I will have to not wait too long to make my decision, then!
     
  7. ariena

    arienaLairian

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    I was told that it was because another kitten in her litter scratched her eye, but I would still want to get a vet to check out some extensive blood and immune (for the FIV) tests before I would risk having a tragedy on my hands. Thank you for the tips on researching!
     
  8. ariena

    arienaLairian

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    I actually saved her from a roommate who got her off of craigslist. The poor girl has had a bad run with people who didn't think about the responsibilities of having a sphynx baby before they bought her, or just got bored with her. : (

    Fortunately I've had no tragedies with my own pets, but I understand that a lot of the tragedies that can go with mating, including newborns dying soon after birth and stillborns.

    Thankfully, my family has a vet clinic that we've known and trusted for 16 years now. That's where I'd go after talking to the experienced breeders, to talk with them one on one about potential health problems and screenings, including making sure her eye wouldn't endanger any kittens.
     
  9. havingalook

    havingalookV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

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    You see the pessimist in me thinks 'uh huh' if I was told it was a scratch and why remove the eye just for a scratch? (See I don't trust people :LOL: ) Definitely get her viral screened whether you decide to spay or not, you can do a simple snap test at the vets for FeLV/ FIV and your vet will be able to tell you what other tests you need for peace of mind.

    Personally if it was me, I would have her spayed and let her enjoy her new stable family with you. If you do decide you would like to breed, then research, research, research and research some more. Get a breeder to mentor you so that you can learn and then get a show/ breeding cat from that breeder.

    Being a breeder can be heartbreaking, kittens can be lost and you could lose your girl, you need a cat fund to pay for unexpected expenses/ illness/ surgery as well as normal expenses (food, litter, stud fee's, vaccinations, health tests) and I can guarantee you, you won't make any money from it if you do it right.

    Enjoy your girl, she's lovely. This site and the people on it are full of knowledge, i'm sure you will become addicted to it:BigSmile:
     
  10. ariena

    arienaLairian

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    See, that's the biggest reason I'm hesitant to breed my little girl--she's absolutely tiny. If she ended up having a large litter, regardless of whether or not she had other health problems, she might have problems physically having the kittens...

    I think I'll make up my mind about spaying her after the show on Sunday--thanks for all the great things to consider and think about! Even if I do spay MingMing, if I decide to start a little breeding thing a few years from now, I'll know I'm doing it the right way. : )
     
  11. Mews2much

    Mews2muchV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

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    What show are you going to on sunday?
    Another thing is you can not expect someone to let her to breed to your cat when you are new.
    Has she gone in heat since you had her?
    If not she could be altered by laser and you may not be able to tell.
     
  12. ariena

    arienaLairian

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    She's definitely gone into heat; that crouching and back-paw scootching are unmistakable. Since she's two years old, that means that she's already been a while with her heat cycle, which means I should probably go ahead and neuter this baby girl, so I won't have to put her health in jeopardy while I learn more about the breed and such, right?
     
  13. Mews2much

    Mews2muchV.I.P Lairian V.I.P Lairian

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    Yea that is heat for sure.
    I have a 17.5 year old cat that could not be fixed because it would have killed her and she went in heat until she was 15.
    If you have her fixed be careful of the medicines they use.
    Some are not safe for sphynx.
    I am giving my vet a list of meds when i have Wrinkles fixed.
    You can always gt a sphynx for breeding later on once you learn.
     
  14. pinupcats

    pinupcatsLairian

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    There is a lot that goes into breeding. If you would like to talk to me about it, I would be happy to give you some advice. Holding a whole female out from breeding for 4 years can be hazardous to her health. Females cycle and they can get uterine infections that can be very dangerous. Also, you want to make sure the pedigree is sound and her heart is good as well as her parents. HCM is a huge problem with the Sphynx breed and research should be done on pedigrees to make sure there are not too many risks behind it.

    Health, type and temperment should always be the goals of a breeder. And breeding is not for the faint of heart, anything can happen and you can suddenly loose a litter without warning. I lost an unborn litter back in August because the mother's uterus ruptured two weeks before she was due. Thankfully I noticed the bleeding or I could have lost my girl too. She had to be spayed and it turned out her uterus was deformed from birth. I lost another litter two years ago to Ecoli that was passed on by the mother, who carried the bacteria but didn't express it herself.

    Going to shows and meeting breeders is a step in the right direction. Showing an alter is a good way to learn what the standard is calling for and also for other breeders to see that you are serious about learning about the breed and what makes a good breeding sphynx. Idealy if you could find a local breeder that would be willing to mentor you, that would be great.

    Good luck and have fun at the show. If you like to talk to me, I'd be happy to give you a phone call. Just email me at pinupcats@tds.net

    Cyndee
     
  15. pinupcats

    pinupcatsLairian

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    A cat should never be bred on physical traits alone. The pedigree should be looked at as well as there are known carriers of HCM and other genetic illnesses out there that should not be passed on. I would check with the breeder and find out why the cat was never altered. I would also try and find out as much about her history as possible. Having her scanned by a board certified cardiologist is also a must before breeding.

    Yes, you will find someone willing to let you use their stud for breeding, but you really need to do all your homework first as breeding sphynx is not an easy undertaking and having someone around who's willing to help you really is the best route.

    good luck
    Cyndee
     
  16. pinupcats

    pinupcatsLairian

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    It sounds to me like this poor girl has been passed around a bit. I think breeding her without knowing her full history would not be doing her a service. If she lost an eye, there is probably a more fully detailed reason for this. have your vet do a PCR test also. this will tell if she's ever been exposed to certain viruses.

    And yes, pyometra can happen to unmated girls. I recently had to spay one of my nicest girls because of this infection. She was only a little over a year old. Constant heat cycles are really tough on our girls.

    If you really want to become a breeder, find a mentor who will help you and start with a healthy cat that you've known their history from birth and you've got the breeder willing to help and guide you as you learn.

    Cyndee
     
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    • pinupcats

      pinupcatsLairian

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      If she is small, do not breed her. Our breed standard calls for a medium to large size cat. Breeding small frail females increases your risk for problems. Based on all the information you've posted, I really don't see why you want to breed and risk her? if she is small, it may be because she was a runt or had other health issues as a kitten. She's already had a rough life with loosing th eye, ect.. why risk it? even if you found a breeder willing to lend you stud service, would you reallly be doing your little girl a favor by breeding her when you know she's small and already been through a lot?

      Ultimately, its your choice as her owner to make that call.

      Good luck
      Cyndee
       
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      • ariena

        arienaLairian

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        Thank you so much for all your advice! From the information you and everyone else has given me, I think I will go ahead and spay little MingMing. You are right, Cyndee--she has already been through a lot. She should just be able to relax and torture my dog, sleep, and run around the house :p

        However, that does not mean I'm still not interested in getting into the breed and learning as much as I can about it! : ) after the show, if I still have questions (and I bet I will) I will shoot you an email.
         
      • Brooke

        BrookeBanned

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        I'm so happy to hear this! No doubt you're making the right decision for your girl. There are so many breeders out there that don't have the sphynx's best interest at heart, and I'm glad to hear that if you do get into it, you plan to do it the right way. Way to go! :ThumbsUp:
         
      • ilovemysphynx

        ilovemysphynxAdministrator Staff Member

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        Sorry to come in on the end of this, I think you made A good decision. We breed and have both our male and female, I know that some use A stud but I am not comfortable with that with my girl and wanted her to have A husband:Wink: It is nice for new pet owners to see both mom and dad too.
        It is heart breaking when you loose A baby our last litter we lost 2, I had A week of not sleeping and coming home from work every hour and a half to check them.
        It is alot of money to breed without anything going wrong but you must be prepared if something does go wrong.
        You have to be able to help her while having them and know what to do and when to step in and help. You also have to know how to tell if something is wong and if you need to get to A vet at that point you have about 30 min. to get there. If it is A sunday or A holiday you need A back up vet that you trust.
        If you decide to do this I would not use your sweet girl you have now, like others said she has bee thru alot and you do not know enough about her.
        Best of Luck and if you have more questions let us know.