So, it was a surprise when I bumped into a survey of 1978 (yes thirty years ago, things have probably changed a bit since then). The survey was carried out by RC Povey, who at the time worked at the Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, Guelph, Ontario. The article was published in THE CANADIAN VETERINARY JOURNAL in August 1978.
The purpose of the survey was to investigate reports from veterinarians in North America that Purebred Pedigree Cat Breeders were experiencing a problem in breeding. The problem was as I understand it the frequency and size of litters - a "reproductive failure problem". They were low or lower than before it seems.
Does anyone have any knowledge of the expectations of cat breeders currently on this topic?
Mr Povey sent out 105 questionnaires, that were quite wide ranging, to breeders in Canada and the United States. 29 returned complete records implying some were returned incomplete. That represents a 28% success/return rate. Considering anyone doesn't much like filling in forms that isn't too bad really. The vast majority responding were located in Canada.
I have picked out the information that interests me (& hopefully any the odd visitor who might wander by) and it is presented in a table below. Some breeders didn't keep good enough records to complete the questionnaire. It shows that the average litter is about one per year. This is done deliberately by cat breeders for the sake of the queen cat and careful and considerate cat breeding.
Desmond Morris in his celebrated book, "Cat Watching" says that the European Wildcat has one litter per year and 2-4 kittens while the domestic cat may produce 4-5 kittens in each of the three litters per year.
Purebred Pedigree Cat Breeders data
|The Data ||The Number/percentage |
|number of breeding cats per cattery ||6.5 on average |
|breeding more than one breed ||5 out of the 29 responding |
|breeding long and short hair breeds ||1 out of the 29 responding |
|ratio of male studs to females ||1 male to 4 (or less) females |
|percentage of kittens alive at 8 weeks of age ||72.7% (sample size 1,329) |
|percentage of kittens dying first week ||86.% (sample size 1,329)|
|average age of Persian breeding females ||47 months |
|Average Persian cat litter size ||3.2 kittens |
|Average Himalayan cat litter size||3.3 kittens |
|Average Siamese cat litter size||4.7 kittens |
|Persians Ave. number of successful matings in a yr. ||1.04 |
|Himalayans - ave number of successful matings in a yr. ||1.25 |
|Siamese - ave number of successful matings in a yr.||1.1 |
|Persians - % kittens dying first week ||17% |
|Himmies - % kittens dying first week||14% |
|Siamese - % kittens dying first week||3% |
|Burmese - % kittens dying first week||7% |
|Other SH - % kittens dying first week||6% |
|Persians - kittens alive at 8 weeks of age ||65% |
|Himmies - kittens alive at 8 weeks of age||68% |
|Siamese - kittens alive at 8 weeks of age||81% |
|Burmese - kittens alive at 8 weeks of age||74.7% |
|Other SH - kittens alive at 8 weeks of age||82.1% |
|% still births in ave. Persian litter ||16.1% |
|% still births in ave. Manx litter||14.7% |
|feeding with mixture of fresh meat, raw or cooked, canned, dry, semi-moist ||the majority of catteries |
|Number of catteries feeding raw meat as a greater than 50% component ||2 out of the 29 |
|Number of catteries feeding canned food as a greater than 50% component||10 out of the 29 |
|Number of catteries feeding dry food as a greater than 50% component||7 out of the 29 |
|Catteries providing vitamins ||6 out of the 29 |
|Number of completely indoor catteries ||17 out of the 29 remainder gave limited outdoor access |
|Catteries reporting Respiratory disease ||19/29 - 65% |
|Catteries reporting Feline Urological Syndrome ||16/29 - 55% |
|Catteries reporting Enteritis ||11/29 - 38% |
|Catteries reporting Coccidiosis ||7 - 24% |
|Catteries reporting Anemia ||6 - 21% |
|Catteries reporting Panleukopenia ||5 - 17% |
|Catteries reporting FIP ||3 - 10% |
|Catteries reporting Leukemia ||3 - 10% |
|Catteries reporting Ringworm ||2 - 7% |
|Catteries reporting Pyometra, endometritis ||2 - 7%|
- Purebred Pedigree Cat Breeders to Home Page
- Go to Cat Health Problems
- Read the full PubMedCentral article.
This is not a knock cat breeders post. It is simply posting information about cat breeders which some people might find interesting. I certainly did as it is rare to see this sort of information.