By Elisa Black-Taylor
While I was doing a little social “petworking” (a new word for the modern age) the other night, I came across the story of a Maine Coon cat that I knew I had to share with the readers here. It’s about a Maine Coon breeder who dumped a pedigree Maine Coon kitten at the local shelter because she didn’t “like his markings.”
I’m not talking about backyard breeders or people who throw two cats together to see what kind of kittens come out of the mating. I’m talking about an apparently well known and respected breeder whose excuse, besides the markings, was she “didn’t want the kitten associated with her cattery.” That tells me this is either a renowned breeder or just thinks she is.
The story of how the cat got a home is a sweet one. A lady had come into the animal shelter late in the day and was looking at the “marked” kitten. The shelter manager came over to her and told her it was the Maine Coon’s last day and went on to explain how the Maine Coon breeder had just dumped off this kitten. Of course, this kind-hearted woman adopted the kitten on the spot.
Readers, I looked at the picture of this pedigree Maine Coon, who is now a couple of years old. I wish I’d saved it to my computer to share with all of you. There was nothing physically unappealing about this cat!
I believe this particular breeder is not only full of herself, she shouldn’t be allowed to call herself a professional breeder. Why not give the kitten to a family friend? Oh wait, the friend might tell someone the kitten came from this well respected cattery.
As with any other business, I imagine catteries have to have certain standards to maintain high rankings in the cat world. But to dump a kitten at the shelter is beyond belief. Not only did she abandon this sweet little kitten, this kitten took the space of another cat who needed to find a home.
I went online and tried to find out a little about breeding cats. I’m far from an expert and hope the readers here can help. First of all, have any of you ever heard of a situation like this? I once worked with a German Shepherd breeder (with genuine German dogs) who would only adopt out so many puppies from one litter. Is this the way it works with cats? Do only the first 4-5 kittens go up for sale or does the breeder try to sell as many as the queen gives birth to. What happens to the kittens who don’t measure up to standards?
I looked into complaints on breeders and found most of them were from selling sick kittens or from inaccurate information on pedigree. I found nothing on how many kittens per litter was preferable or what type of markings would make a cattery look bad.
I did learn that legitimate cat breeders enjoy showing their cats, and unless it’s a new breed, most do show their cats. It’s a red flag to buy from a breeder who doesn’t show. I also read that reputable breeders stick together.
I wonder what a top notch Maine Coon breeder would think of a breeder who does a shelter turn in based on markings. Or does this happen a lot?
This isn’t a topic I can contact a breeder about and just asked outright if the breeder would ever consider dumping a kitten at an animal shelter because of poor markings. What does this say about a breeder who does this?
I find myself wondering how often this is done. The shelter employee who told the history of this particular abandoned kitten knew the breeder. Does this mean this wasn’t the first time this happened? The kitten was on it’s “last day” at the shelter before euthanasia. So the breeder must have known the risk of euthanasia and did it anyway. I wonder whether the shelter manager tells the breeder the kittens she has left in the past (if applicable) all found homes, giving her an excuse to dump more off in the future.
I’m sorry to say this shows the cold-hearted nature of some people who make themselves out to be cat lovers.
I realize most of us at this website stand up more for the moggies and ferals of the world because there are simply too many of them. Breeders serve a purpose to improve on their favorite pedigree. The majority do it with pride and good intent.
Have any of the readers heard of anything this low-down being done? I’m just curious. To those of you who know more about breeding, is there a limit to how many kittens from one litter will be sold? I’m still wondering what imperfection made the Maine Coon breeder turn in a kitten.