Why I disagree with cat breeding

by Maggie
(Tasmania, Australia)

beautiful non-pedigree cat

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Beautiful non-pedigree cat

*Please note before reading this article that I am not trying to attack or offend cat breeders.*

As some people here know, I have an Abyssinian cat (Nile Chilli Pepper An Aby from Aus!). He came from a breeder. His birth was planned, his 'owner' was chosen before he could even open his eyes, a purchase was made, and he was sent to me. When I bought him I had no second thoughts, I wanted an Abyssinian, and I was going to have one. There is nothing wrong with that, is there? What harm can there honestly be in purchasing a pedigree cat? He came from a happy home, he was healthy, and he was beautiful. There was no harm involved at all, was there?

Well, I didn't think so. But about two years later I began researching into animal rights, particularly the meat industry. I was told to watch a movie called Earthlings. It came in 5 parts, part 1 was breeders. Obviously they showed backyard breeders, mainly dogs. Stuff that I'd seen before. Dogs stuffed in little cages pumping out litter after litter to fuel the pet shops. But then they went onto shelters, they showed footage that will never leave my mind. It will haunt me for the rest of my life. They showed what happens to animals in shelters, when those animals never find a home.

What happens when kitten season comes along, and hundreds of pet owners have 'forgotten' or 'not had the time' to neuter their cats? The cats become pregnant, and the kittens are almost definitely taken to shelters. It would be nice if it those kittens all found loving forever homes, but imagine it, litters of kittens coming into shelters every day, the numbers constantly climbing. We all know how hard it is to adequately care for one or two cats, but several litters coming in a day is too many cats. Keeping them all would be unpractical, and even cruel, as they would not get the appropriate care and attention of which all cats crave.

So how do shelters solve this problem of cat over population? You're probably cringing by now, but yes, they solve that problem with death. I imagined there being a vet who would come in once a week or so and regretfully euthanise all these beautiful innocent kittens. My thoughts of a dignified, quick and painless death were soon shattered, when I was exposed to the harsh truth. Cats are tightly packed into a small metal box, which is then pumped with carbon monoxide, slowly suffocating the cats to death. Masses of cats go through this, they are then disposed of. However not all shelters do this, shelters who may not have such a tight budget may be able to afford euthanasia for their cats, but at this point in time gas chambers are still very commonly used -behind closed doors-. As it is a cheap way of disposing of a large amount of cats (see an article by Michael: Feline Euthanasia)

Why do these cats have to face the death sentence? Because people allow their cats to breed. Perhaps they want to show their children the beginning of life, or perhaps they think allowing their cat to breed 'just once' may be beneficial to him or her. But at the end of the day, allowing one cat to have one litter, ends in unnecessary death. Please, do not breed your cats, neuter them, and end the slaughter of homeless animals.

I feel similarly towards pedigree cat breeders. Many are not backyard breeders, they are educated people who may be described as a professional of a certain breed, and only sell their kittens to the finest homes with the most dedicated and capable 'owners'. But when you think about it, these people who love their cats and only sell to the finest homes are fuelling this tragic slaughter. When I think of where my Abyssinian came from, all that now comes to mind is the kitten who died in a shelter because I wouldn't settle for a moggie. In fact, I could have saved an entire litter with the money that I spent on my single Abyssinian kitten.

For every litter bred by a breeder, a litter is killed in a shelter. I beg anyone on this website who is here choosing which 'designer' cat they would like to purchase for a disgustingly large sum of money to reconsider. Go to your local shelter and save a kitten who is homeless, waiting in a shelter for someone to come and save his life.

The outside beauty of a pedigree cat will not justify purchasing that pedigree cat instead of rescuing a homeless moggy. As the inner beauty of a cat will always exceed the outer beauty. And that particularly goes for cats who are homeless and are waiting, hoping and praying for someone to come and save their life. Adopt, don't shop!

In respect of the kitten who died in the shelter because I craved a designer cat, I will never buy another pedigree animal or associate with animal breeding in any way. I ask everyone to consider doing to same, do not breed your cat, do not shop for your cat, rescue your cat from a shelter.


Comments for
Why I disagree with cat breeding

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Sep 08, 2011 Cat Breeding vs Irresponsible Pet Ownership
by: Proud Hobby Cat Breeder

Why is it that responsible hobby breeders are vilified for the irresponsible (in)actions of pet owners who do not spay/neuter their pet cats? My hobby includes spending a small fortune in genetic testing and researching pedigrees to improve health and vigor and preserve the unique aspects of a breed of cat. All my pet kittens are altered and the few kittens that I am responsible for planning and bringing into this world each year is miniscule compared to those people who just let their cats breed randomly then expect those poor shelter folks to rehome and deal with the results. How about villifying the ignorant pet owners who don't alter and who let their cats roam? BTW - next time you cat lovers take your cat to the vet and a test is run or a life saving procedure is done....thank a real breeder for the countless donations in cash, DNA and pedigree information that helps researchers find the answers to feline health problems. How many pet owners put their money where their mouth is when it comes to helping the larger feline population. Come to think of it, there is a great deal of donations from breeders to those very shelters and rescuers who bad mouth them. I'm tired of hearing the Animal Rights agenda reflected by folks who really don't understand these groups real mandate...to end ALL pet ownership. And that includes all you cat lovers who own pets.

May 15, 2011 Me too
by: Rose

Well said Maggie.
It's refreshing to meet someone prepared to speak out against the greed and selfishness of those who make money out of cats.
Oh yes they deny they do it for the money,just as USA vets deny they declaw cats to make money.
But they don't fool those of us who really love cats.
It breaks my heart that numerous kittens are born doomed to die unwanted.
How can any breeder live with that on their conscience while deliberately bringing more kittens into the world knowing for every one they breed another unwanted one dies?

Don't get me started on showing cats Ruth,that is not what cats are born for!

May 15, 2011 I agree Maggie
by: Ruth

This is a brilliant well thought out article Maggie and I agree with everything you have written.
If someone truly loves cats they love each and every cat, no matter what breed, size, shape or colour.
As you say, there are millions of kittens in Shelters, especially right now in kitten season, many are doomed to die horribly.
I have been against breeding and showing since I had to attend Cat Shows with the duty vet, as the nurse.
Cats are looked upon by many breeders and showers as commodities to make money from, to become famous from.
That to me isn't right !
Those cats are used, they don't enjoy being toted around various shows, examined by a strange vet, shut in a cage to be looked at by strangers.
They don't enjoy breeding litter after litter.
Worse still are those who breed wild cats with domestic cats, there is no need to deprive wild cats of their natural lives to create new breeds.
We surely have plenty of cats already, many of who are not treated as cats should be anyway.
Some breeders may love their cats but loving cats means all cats and thinking about the good of all cats, not just your own.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

May 15, 2011 Another route
by: Michael

I have just reminded myself that there is a third way. Occasionally it is possible to adopt from purebred cat rescue organisations.

There are websites that manage this and a good number of the cat clubs (clubs that relate to an individual cat breed) run rescue departments.

There are also Yahoo Groups who are dedicated to discussing the breed in question and who are a good source of networking. Go to this page and search for "purebred cat rescue"

These are not that easy but could be one other avenue for people committed to adopting a purebred cat.

May 15, 2011 Fine article and photo
by: Michael

Hi Maggie. Love your article and photo. The truth is I have exactly the same feelings about cat breeding, euthanasia, the mass slaughter of cats and dogs and so on. Although I respect other people's views and opinions. And like you don't indulge in breeder bashing.

I just feel that there is an overwhelming case for doing something about this senseless slaughter of millions of cats every year just because people can't get their act together and act responsibly with respect to the cat. What is it about humans that we have to screw up so comprehensively on something that is not that complicated to fix?

We just don't give enough priority to dealing with "cat ownership" because we are too busy dealing with trying to stop countries going broke or shooting up the Taleban in some far flung desert.

Australia, it seems, is leading the way on dealing with cat ownership problems, which is good to see.

Cat Registration

Abandoned Cats and Dogs

Although they also, on occasion, have (
for me) some brutally bizarre policies regarding feral and stray cats.

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