Has been COTD!
|Purred: Thu Nov 25, '10 3:06pm PST |
|Miss Precius, you appear to be one of those people who think bad things about breeders because you don't know anything about them. An opinion always has more impact when it's backed by facts. If you haven't read the entire thread so far, please do so now. It will show you that most of your suppositions are simply not true.
Many breeders require proof that a potential buyer lives in a housing situation where cats are allowed. They may also be fussy in other ways--only selling to people who have references, refusing to sell to people who may be cat hoarders, etc. In my country, Japan, breeders are licensed, and are required by law to determine that a potential owner is allowed to keep animals. Pet shops are not, which is why some hobby breeders look down on breeders who sell to pet shops.
As I wrote above, there are breeders and then there are breeders. There are extremely responsible breeders, extremely irresponsible breeders, and every kind of variation in between.
The claim that "the reason people go to breeders is because if they rent they don't have to get permission from the landlord cause the landlord will never find out but when they do there goes the animals to the streets, garbage, kill them or just drop them on the nearest back road" is inflammatory and, I would guess, far less true in the case of people who buy purebreds from breeders than in the case of people who get moggies through means other than shelters (by taking in strays, adopting a kitten from an oops litter, etc.). Yes, there are people who buy purebred cats as status symbols, get tired of them, and then get rid of them, but if there were figures available, I am sure that they would show that people who have hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend on buying a cat are less likely to think of it as an expendible item than would someone who has a stray picked up from the street. Although this is a generalization, because buying a purebred cat takes a bit more forethought and research than adopting a shelter kitty (as to which breed to choose, how to choose a breeder, etc.), and because people who can afford to buy a purebred from a breeder are, demographically speaking, probably of a relatively educated and financially secure group, if and when they must relinquish a cat, they are likely (again, this is a generalization) to find a way to rehome their cat (this would include shelters) that does not involve abandoning or, God forbid, killing the cat. Also, don't forget that a purebred looking for a new home has a statistically better chance of doing so than a generic moggy. Furthermore, consider the fact that purebreds are less likely than rescued ferals to have health and behavioral problems (again, a generalization, but I believe that statistics would bear me out). Many cats are abandoned when behavioral problems become too much to deal with, or when the owner can't afford health care.
Do breeders kill their cats? I've heard rumors about kitten mills abandoning cats or killing them, and yes, there are rumors going around about some well-known hobby breeders who have unwanted or deformed cats euthanized or who even kill them themselves (Tylenol works just fine). However, this is the kind of thing that seems to shout "urban legend"; again, "facts" are far and few to come by. As a breeder, I've kept on cats with health problems rather than sell them without telling the client the truth about their health (which, in theory, could be done). That's part of the moral code of being a breeder. Selling a cat who later becomes sick and dies is every breeder's worst dream.
Don't forget that in the days before spay/neuter became the norm, and most cats were indoor/outdoor kitties, many unwanted litters (moggies) were drowned or abandoned, and cats probably tended to have shorter lifespans than they do now, owing to the fact that they lived at least part of the time outdoors, were often fed table scraps or expected to live off the mice they caught, and didn't get much in the way of vet care. This was in the day when there were few cat breeds and few people who bred or bought them.
Breeders often sell older cats for a very low price when the cat's breeding or show career is over. The breeder does as thorough an investigation into each would-be adopter as a shelter would. There is no need for a breeder to abandon cats. (Kitten mills may do so, but that's an entirely different world from that of real breeders, and I don't know much about it.) Yes, purebreds do end up in shelters, for various reasons including behavioral issues, the owner moving into a place that doesn't allow cats, the death of the owner, and so on.
No, breeders should not all be "shut down." I'm a pretty typical breeder, and I only produce one or two litters a year; most catteries are not large businesses that the word "shut down" could apply to. If you had read earlier posts, you would see how breeders and the cat fancy support research that benefits all cats (even Miss Precius), not just purebreds (a moggy is just as likely to keel over dead with FIP or HCM as a purebred cat). If you think all purebred cats will end up in shelters, you need a reality check.
Also, since you apparently haven't read the whole thread, or haven't understood what you did read, a large number of cats listed as a certain breed at a shelter are not that breed at all. Shelters not infrequently give breed names to cats in order to make it easier to adopt them out (which gives one the idea that a lot of people secretly like the idea of having a cat with an identifiable breed). Thus, if you go to a shelter and see a bunch of cats with a breed listed, you may take this to mean that purebred cats are likely to end up in shelters. Maine Coons are a naturally occurring cat, and so you see a lot of Maine Coons in shelters. These are not, however, likely to be purebred Maine Coons produced by a cattery, but naturally occurring Maine Coons and MC mixes. Siamese mixes and Persian mixes are not uncommon. But, as I wrote in a previous post, your chances of finding a true Turkish Van or Turkish Angora in a shelter are probably smaller than your chances of winning the lottery.
And, since you seem not to have read or believed the content of the thread so far, I will take the liberty of repeating myself: people will always want "breed" cats. What is necessary is not legislation that will do away with breeders, but legislation that will make sure that breeders and breeding facilities operate according to strict standards. What is even more important is that these laws be strictly enforced, which would include regular inspections of catteries and the like.
If you truly love cats, by definition, you love all cats. Of the breeders and purebred owners I know, most love moggies as much as they do purebreds, and many have moggies in their feline households. More than once I've heard a cat show judge say, "Oh, I just love Maine Coons. But then again, I love all cats, period." I am acquainted with a well-known breeder and cat show judge who gave up breeding to free her time to do rescue work. At the same time, she continues judging at cat shows.
It comes down to this: some people want purebred cats, and always will. The point is not to ban purebred cats (via a ban on breeding them), but to make and enforce legislation that makes sure that breeding follows strict standards that make cats' welfare the primary focus.
A true cat lover should love all cats, and feel a kinship with all cat lovers. By the same token, all cat lovers should strive to improve every aspect of the lives of our feline friends, and activate against all practices that can objectively called detrimental to cat welfare.
If you truly love cats, Miss Precius, then you should read this thread and get a clearer idea than you seem to have at present of the world of purebred cats and breeders. If that is too much trouble for you, and/or you simply prefer to repeat the largely meaningless and falacious mantra that says "Breeders are bad, purebreds are bad, and we should get rid of the whole lot of them," then you, in my book, are not what I would call a true cat lover. Sorry.
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