I Want To Be A Sphynx Breeder
So you want to be a sphynx breeder…
So you get your first sphynx and just fall deeply in love. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up surrounded by little naked sphynx babies everyday :-) YES of course it would be!!!!! But, if that is your reason for getting into breeding sphynx your going to be VERY disappointed. Like anything in life, things always look easy on the outside. A lot of us breeders dont talk about the gut wrenching things we have to see, or the true reality of living with unfixed cats. No way would we do that! We want our websites and social media to paint a picture of happiness and beautiful kittens.
First off…. if your looking to make money being a breeder just forget about that, don’t even waste your time or money investing in a breeding program. You will be VERY disappointed. I go in great detail on my cost page about most of the costs involved in breeding. I been breeding for 15 years and charge top dollar for our babies and still lucky if I break even. You may think to yourself “no way this woman doesn’t make money she must not know how to run a business, as your adding up kitten sales in your head lol”. Well I actually been very successfully in hospitality management/business consultant for over 20 years. I can definitely run a business and was smart enough to know breeding was a hobby before I even got into breeding these cats. I have to have a litter of at least 4 perfectly healthy babies to break even on a litter (that’s if there are no significant vet bills). Just last month I had a $5200 vet bill for an emergency C section. We sadly lost 6 of the 8 babies, and the 2 serving babies had to get 24/7 care for the first 3 weeks. It will take me quite sometime to crawl out of that hole. YES that is the reality of breeding you dont see, this is the stuff we dont post for the world to know. Yes I still hold a full time job, I drive a Jetta, and live in a townhouse in NJ. I am not swimming in 100 dollar bills like most people imagine…. but I am lucky to have a career that supports my hobby of bettering the sphynx breed :-)
Secondly, living with unfixed cats is HELL!! Yes Hell! They want to breed, all the time. They will call (scream) all hours of the night. Both males and females will spray. The myth of just boys spraying was something I learned the hard way many years ago. I have photos of my cattery here on my website if you want to take a peek. You need to have your home set up for spraying/calling cats, and yes kittens! You cant wait until they start spraying because your house will be ruined by then. Cats pee up furniture and up walls….. you cant just clean it. To remove cat urine things need to be replaced. Yes furniture, drywall, sub floors…. REPLACED! We have ceramic tile 4ft up our walls in the cattery. We also have spare bedrooms that are designated for our nurseries. Before I even moved into this current home I spent close to $20,000 on preparing it for my 9 cats before we even moved in.
Lastly, you actually have to find homes for these babies. Oh yes… everyone loves sphynx. Sounds easy right? In 15 years I NEVER sold a kitten to a family member or friend. They all want them but are not willing to pay for them. Trust me it will be no different for you. You actually have to spend money in advertising. You have to know how to market. You have to gain the trust of the public. People dont trust the new breeder, you have to build a clientele. I would say 90% of my kitty sales come from repeat buyers. This is a big thing that a lot of people don’t consider. They have a beautiful litter but cannot sell them. They now have 6 month old kittens running around their house. Posting cute kitten pics on social media is NOT going to get your kittens home. You actually have to have people on your pages looking to spend $1500 and up on a kitten, people that follow what you do and want to support your breeding program. It takes a lot of time to build your name in the cat fancy.
So with all that said, you may ask…. How do I know if breeding is right for me? And my only answer is PASSION. You have to have a passion for what you do like with any hobby. Your motivation has to be to better the breed; no other reason. To be stright forward…. any other reason is just adding to the over population of unwanted pets. Breeders that advertise “small cattery” only having 1 male and 1 female are not bettering the breed. Throwing 2 cats together over and over do NOTHING to help the betterment of any breed. You have to be willing to outcross, bring in new linage, HCM scan, follow lines etc. This is the work of responsible breeding. I have seen countless people make the investment and get out before a litter was even born. They cant handle the spraying, maybe the mommy got pyometra and needed to be fixed, or they just didnt realize the time they needed to devote to breeding. Keep in mind, you keep babies for 12-15 weeks. Most of the time your bottle feeding every 2 hours because the babies arent very instinctive. Sounds easy until your actually doing it. Hey we all fostered kittens before, we know how to bottle feed, its nothing……. WRONG! I have had to cancel vacations, family gatherings, call out of work, miss weddings etc… this is real life. Your responsible for these little souls you brought into the world.
TAKE NOTE: The litter above this article was 8 babies born 5 days premature in 2018. You cant tell in the photo though. They were all born less then 2 ounces, lungs sticking when they would breath, and jaundice. I didn’t sleep for 4 weeks tube feeding them because they were too weak to nurse. They had to get sub Q fluids 3x a day and be kept in direct sunlight to help with the jaundice. This was one of my miracle litters. A lot of hard work but I love what I do. Sadly a lot of times premature kittens do not make it. 5 days early to a kitten is like a human child born 5 weeks early.
After all this and you think this is something you really want to do please be sure you have a mentor that is an experienced sphynx breeder. This is so very important. Just because you bred dogs, or your a vet tech, or you fostered kittens for years does not make you an expert at all! I have literally seen veterinarians get out of breeding sphynx. This breed is very different, and every person that went in with that attitude failed. We do offer mentoring to the right families, but at this time I am booked through 2019. Sadly alot of vets do not know much about cat reproduction nor our unique sphynx breed, its super important that you have a great team of knowledge behind you to be successful. If it was not for my mentor I probably would not have made it through my first year