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Sphynx cats are a very unique and loving breed that is high in demand. For this reason, many people are interested in breeding them. While some people may do this as their hobby, other people do this to make money. Either way, it’s important to get an in-depth idea of what’s expected before you can start.
Here are the 10 things that you must know before you decide to start a sphynx breeding business.
1. You Will Need An Experienced Mentor / Vast Knowledge About The Breed.
You probably know a lot about the sphynx breed and are obsessed by their demeanor and overall disposition but I can assure you this is not enough. Breeding Sphynx cats are different from just owning a sphynx as a pet.
You will need to become an expert on all things sphynx-related. Breeding is much more than basic knowledge about their personality, traits, and character. Breeding Sphynx cats are totally different from other cats, you need a great team with extensive knowledge to withstand the first few years.
You will need to become an expert in such things as selecting sphynx foundation cats, and paying special attention to bone structure, coat, genetic history, and key features. You also need to consistently improve the breed, doing research about good bloodlines that you looking to use.
Starting your own cattery requires you to become a student, you need to gain vast inside knowledge of what’s expected as well as learn tips and tricks to make the journey easier.
Having an experienced sphynx breeder as your mentor is a great addition to your education as well as to the quality of offspring you will produce in the future. You need to learn in-depth information that only comes from experience.
You also need to reach out to other reputable breeders, form relationships and join their network. Becoming a part of such networks will only benefit you as you will establish credibility as a new breeder while learning.
However, the biggest problem is finding a breeder who will mentor you. Many breeders do this as a hobby while living a normal life outside their cattery. This means that they are busy and probably won’t have the time to be helping you on a regular basis.
Some breeders may not want to share their expertise and knowledge with you since it’s their prized possession which they have gained through failure and years of hard work. However, if you can find a good breeder to help mentor you, it’s a great asset.
If not it will be very tough you need to get back to the drawing board and STUDY STUDY STUDY, this will help you gain more information that you will need to overcome the challenges of being a sphynx breeder.
This field of work is only for those who are committed, brave and above all have the PASSION for this specific breed. The aim isn’t to produce more kittens but to better the breed.
2. Can You Make Money Breeding Sphynx?
If your main reason for breeding sphynx is to make money, by all means, you will be disappointed. This field of work may look like a way to make fast money but judging from the research I’ve done, the amount of costs involved is a lot.
Reputable breeders who are breeding these beauts do it for the love of the breed as they want to improve the breed. Yes, you will make money but it’s not a get-rich-quick kind of career.
Most breeders who make a lot of money breeding Sphynx don’t go through the processes that reputable breeders go through. Their costs are minimal and the profit is quite substantial. The downside to this is that the quality of kittens produced can be bad.
If you intend on doing this properly and to gain credibility there are testing, screening, research, medical care, and overall maintenance that’s required to produce quality kittens. The costs involved in doing so are a lot and sometimes you may not make a profit, and sometimes you may just break even.
The amount of money you make is dependent on whether there are any vet bills or unforeseen medical crises that may arise. For instance, you may make a few thousand with the birth of a few litters, provided everything goes well naturally.
On the other hand, a few months down the line the cat may need a c-section which is an extra cost, you may run a loss if kittens don’t survive or if you find out that the female you have been preparing isn’t fertile.
There is a lot to consider, think carefully before you choose to start breeding. It’s very expensive and unexpected at the same time rewarding if your intentions are for the benefit of this breed.
3. How Much Does It Cost To Breed Sphynx Cats?
If you are still committed to becoming a sphynx breeder, you need to know what to expect and how much you will need to start breeding. Once you have gained enough knowledge and have someone to help you along the way it’s time to start planning.
This process is extremely costly as you have to prepare for emergencies, maintenance, customization, and restructuring of your home. Let’s look at a breakdown of the necessary costs involved in starting a professional sphynx breeding business.
First, you will need your license and an approved name for your breeding establishment. You will have to comply with all standards and regulations in order to be approved. The license costs around $300 and is only valid for 1 year, depending on your state.
Restructure Your Home.
You have to restructure your home to make room for the cats. At first, you will probably start with two cats, a male, and a female with potential litter attached.
You will have to change the floors, and create a nursery, play area, and stud rooms. The entire set-up can cost around $5000-$10 000 depending on the size and furniture required.
There are a lot of customizations that need to happen to create an environment for a sphynx cat. You need to get waterproof furniture and tile the walls to prepare for spraying, you need heaters in every room to make sure their body temperature is regulated.
You need good play areas with interactive toys for this intelligent breed. Customizations can cost around $10 000. That’s apart from the electricity bills of having the heater consistently on.
Sphynx with breeding Rights.
Buying cats with breeding rights is very expensive. Reliable breeders look for good bloodlines and healthy cats that usually cost between $3000-$4000 per unfixed female.
Next, you’re going to need an unneutered male ‘stud’. Un-neutered males will cost anywhere from £1000-2000. Prices depend on bloodlines, temperament, and health.
Some choose to hire studs which is an affordable option.
You will have to provide the basics for each cat and the kittens which will be born. Costs will include
1. Good quality food and litter which is around $400 per month.
2. Vitamins and supplements which are between $20-$50 Per kitten.
3. Litterboxes, water bowls, and scoops which can be an additional $100-$200 once off.
4. Hygiene products such as ear, paw, and body cleaners add to the costs.
Vet bills are the scariest if you ask me, sometimes it’s not that it’s expensive but it’s the fear of health issues that may arise which may need medical assistance. You must have a savings plan ready in case of any medical care that your cats may require.
1. Kittens vaccinations are usually $50 per kitten.
2. C-sections can cost right up to $2000 sometimes more if it’s an emergency. You are also expected to pay for ultrasounds and other medication which can be an additional $500.
3. Other checkups are $200-$500 for the slightest illness.
4. Yearly HCM screening/scans and overall checkups are about $ 500-$1000 per cat. Note that the cats used for breeding are screened yearly, which means yearly checkups are required.
5. Unexpected medical costs must be expected.
6. Neutering/ spaying which is another $200-$300 per kitten.
4. How To Find Sphynx Cats With Breeding Rights?
One of the most important parts of breeding Sphynx cats is finding good quality breeding cats which have excellent bloodlines with good health. In order to produce healthy kittens of excellent quality, you need quality parents.
Breeders don’t normally sell unfixed cats because they want to protect the breed by preventing unwanted kittens from being born. There are many instances where people think it’s cute and exciting to breed these unique cats after a while, they end up with kittens who are unhealthy and poorly produced.
There are also unskilled people who want to be breeders but end up quitting halfway because they can’t handle the process and all its challenges.
This normally ends badly for the kittens produced as they will end up unhealthy, deprived, abused, and in the shelters. To protect the breed, reputable breeders do not sell unfixed breeder sphynx cats to new unskilled breeders.
Reputable breeders are not willing to take the risk of new breeders ruining bloodlines since they have worked for years to prevent certain hereditary diseases. Before a breeder sells their unfixed cats, they do extensive research and will need proof that you have good and ethical intentions.
1. You need to have an allocated area for the cats to live in, a nursery, a stud room, and a playroom.
2. You need to have the finances to breed sphynx. Since many breeders start the process and quit because they didn’t expect the huge costs that come with it.
3. You need to have a mentor/ knowledge to start the breeding process. You have to be skilled and most importantly have the passion to better the breed.
4. You need to show proof of planning and preparation, which should have been done months in advance.
5. You need to be licensed with an authorized cattery name.
6. You have to prove yourself as an ethical breeder who has the health of the breed as their main concern.
5. What Age Can You Breed Sphynx Cats?
As a breeder, you need to become familiar with the sexual maturity and cycles of the sphynx breed. Sphynx cats reach sexual maturity between 6-9 months. Many start breeding when their queens are more than 1 year.
The “estrous cycle” known as heat lasts for about 4-6 days in females. During this time your female sphynx will be ready for a mate. If mating occurs, conception can happen, if not she will still be viable for a few more days.
The heat cycles will occur every two weeks and the cat can become pregnant anytime during this period if mating occurs. Signs that show your cat is in heat are very distinct.
She will become very affectionate and clingy. She will also rub herself and roll on the floor. She can be moody and agitated at times as well as extra vocal during this period.
Male sphynx don’t go into heat and they reach sexual maturity around the same age as females. They are stimulated and aroused whenever they get the scent of the female when they are in heat.
Males tend to get very violent when it’s mating time, they tend to spray often and are very vocal. They will meow repeatedly as a sign to the female that he is ready for mating.
Part of being a sphynx breeder is being able to withstand the challenges that come with living with unfixed cats. They are extremely loud, aggressive, and irritable at times.
Be prepared for the spraying that will happen regularly as well as the mood swings that go with it.
6. How Can I Tell If My Sphynx Cat Is Pregnant?
It’s very important to know the signs of pregnancy so that you can take the necessary precautions in making sure they are well. Signs include:
1. Change In Nippples.
At around week 3 you will see significant changes to the cat’s nipples and the area around it. The nipples will become enlarged and they will change color to a darker shade of pink.
2. No More Heat Cycles.
The cease in heat cycles is probably the biggest indicator that your sphynx may be pregnant. This means no more vocalizations, moodiness, and spraying. She will be significantly quieter and more relaxed.
3. Swollen Belly.
The belly is very visible at first but after the third week, you will see a significant change in belly size. Her abdomen will feel tight and firm which will serve as confirmation that she’s actually pregnant.
4. Change In Behavior.
Pregnancy causes a change in hormones which shifts their overall behavior. It’s said that cats become more affectionate, sleep more, and overall are less active than before.
5. Change In Appetite.
At first, the cat will stop eating as she will feel nauseous and may want to vomit. This soon goes away as her appetite increases to sustain the development of the kitten she’s going to give birth to.
7. How Long Are Sphynx Cats Pregnant For?
The gestation period of cats is totally different from humans. Sphynx cats are pregnant for around 65 days approximately nine weeks on average as it can range between 60-70 days.
This period goes by really quickly and the cat’s body goes through rapid changes to nourish and develop the kittens. 65 days is the average/optimal pregnancy period in order to produce healthy kittens.
Kittens born a few days earlier can be very underdeveloped and may need medical assistance for the first few weeks of their life. Sometimes they won’t even survive.
This goes to show that even a few days which may seem insignificant to you, maybe the time needed for the cat to develop properly. Carrying to full term is essential in making sure the litter survives after being born.
8. How Many Litters Can Sphynx Cats Have In 1 Year?
The normal litter size of a sphynx cat is 4 kittens, provided that the cat has been pregnant before. If it’s the cat’s first litter, it’s possible for the cat to birth 2-3 kittens instead.
The litter size of a sphynx cat depends on a lot of factors. If it’s the sphynx’s first litter, it’s probably going to birth fewer kittens than normal. Also if the sphynx have certain genetic traits it will affect them since some queens come from mothers who may have produced more or fewer kittens.
In some situations which I have read about a sphynx cat giving birth to 8 kittens. While this is a big litter, it’s very rare and the death rate is high.
Normally when a lot of kittens are born it’s possible that some may die due to being underdeveloped or born with defects. Not all kittens make it as some of them die a few days or weeks after birth.
9. How Long Do Sphynx Kittens Stay With Their Mother Before Sold?
Most people adore kittens being small, as they are cute and it’s great watching them grow. However, veterinarians recommend that kittens should not be separated from the mother until 12 weeks old.
Many backyard breeders who advertise on the web or in the paper often post ads stating ‘ready to go. This is of course a way to get the cat sold faster to make money.
While reputable breeders only allow their kittens to be sold at 12 weeks because they care for the cats well being and not about making money. They understand that the first few weeks of a kitten’s life are very important.
These cats are fragile and born without an immune system, therefore it’s easy for them to pick up diseases and viruses which could kill them. Reliable breeders understand this and only sell their kittens once they are vaccinated and at least 12 weeks old.
Newborn sphynx needs its mother for nursing as well as for emotional support. It’s cruel and unethical to separate a kitten before 12 weeks since the kitten will be at risk for being underweight and the kitten can be untrained and problematic.
10. Challenges That You Will Experience While Breeding Sphynx.
- You will have to cancel vacations, holidays, and even family gatherings at some point since they will always be something that needs to be taken care of. Your sphynx may be on the verge of giving birth, litters need to be fed or a kitten is sick.
- You will need to be available 24/7 to answer calls, Book visits, or respond to messages from potential buyers and answer all questions.
- Living with unfixed cats is a great challenge for anyone. They are loud, spray a lot, and smell bad.
- This journey is financially draining, you cannot depend on breeding itself to cover costs as sometimes you will not even be profitable. You must be financially stable to start the breeding process.
- It’s extremely difficult to get through the first year. You need the support of an experienced sphynx breeder who will guide you.
- Families and friends will probably fall in love with these kittens but will want them for free. You have to remain firm even when it’s concerning the family.