To Breed or Not to Breed

(Article contributed by Fabian for

Many people want to breed their pets. Some people choose to breed for all the right reasons, preserving the line, or trying to better the breed.

Others ‘want the children to witness the miracle of birth’, or they have heard that an animal needs to have at least one litter before being ‘fixed. My personal favorite is ‘to make money’. That is a joke; the labor involved far outweighs any money that you might make. To be blunt, if you want to breed animals for the above reasons – Don’t do it.

Let look at some of the pros and cons of breeding birds and cats:

You need to get a suitable cage for breeding. Larger birds require a very large bird cage, and the breeding box must be mounted on the outside of the cage.

Birds are not like dogs or cats; once they have been bred they want NO contact with humans.

The larger birds are very loud, especially in the mornings and evenings. One plus is that they are quiet at night.

To make viable pets, the babies must be pulled from the nest by 3 weeks of age and hand fed every two hours. The feedings become less frequent over time, but must be continued until the baby is fully weaned.

You cannot sell a bird until it is fully weaned; some of the larger birds can take nine months to a year before they are fully weaned.

You need bird cages to house the babies.

An excellent reason to breed birds is to propagate the species. As an example, the Hyacinth macaw is on the endangered species list, and all efforts to breed this magnificent bird are looked upon favorably to keep the breed from becoming extinct.



Never breed ‘backyard’ (non-registered) cats. There are too many unwanted cats and kittens in shelters.

To me, cats are the hardest and most labor-intensive animals to breed. Reputable cat breeders really do breed for the love of the breed.

Litters should be planned, and the male and female must be paired with breed standard in mind.

As with any other animal, you need a suitable cage for breeding, and you must keep the males and females separated at all times to ensure that you do not have unwanted litters.

You cannot let your cats outside to roam, they must be kept safe indoors– another cat from down the block might get to one of your females.

Some unneutered male cats spray or mark. Some can be aggressive toward other cats, so most will require their own room or pen.

Females cannot be bred everytime they come into heat. When a female is in season she will ‘howl’ (non-stop) until she is bred, or until the season ends. The males will reciprocate, calling back to the female. Some breeds can be especially loud! However, NOT breeding your female repeatedly can also cause uterine infections.

Pedigreed or not, cats need to ‘potty’. This means that you will spend a good portion of the day cleaning litter boxes. Other daily duties include feeding and watering, checking the babies, bottle feeding any babies that don’t seem to be thriving properly, and socializing. And of course, depending on the breeds, routine bathing and grooming.

Cats must be socialized, you cannot sell a kitten if it is scared to death of humans, and you can’t show a cat that does not want to be touched.

Breeders of any animal or species must be prepared to keep and care for any babies that are not sold.

If you are still interested in breeding, contact a local breeder and ask them if they will help you set up your endeavor. Most will be more than happy to help.

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