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Record Keeping Is Important

Just how important is record keeping? When you have just one or two cats as pets their care and upkeep is considered incidental. Few people consider saving receipts for food or veterinary bills as that is simply part of having a pet.

Record keeping can take on a new importance if you are thinking about raising purebred animals of any kind. You need accurate records for

health,

pedigree,

breeding,

expenses and

identification.

The breeding of cats does not require the outlay of someone breeding purebred horses or cattle but anything worth doing is worth doing right.

When there are a half dozen cats of various ages and two have litters, you then have pedigrees to record, health records to keep and evaluating your litters.

  • Does one queen consistently produce that winning look while another has constant health problems? Health is a factor too! 
  • Animals that get sick right before a show are no fun and from a “just a pet” situation healthy is important! 
  • By evaluating the litters you know whether you are getting the look that you want. If you aren’t then take a step back and make changes - to do that you need records!
  • The $7 per bag pet food at the store for one or two pet cats is different from the more expensive premium food needed for best production of ten cats! 
  • Queens producing good litters deserve good food to stay healthy and raise kittens. 
  • If you notice on one food there are less – or more – problems than another then it warrants documenting this on your records.

Records allow you to not only make smart decisions about your cats but with any species breeding for show you can sometimes breed the best to the best and get a dud. What to do with them? Good records let you not only dig out a waiting list of people who wanted a pet but allows you to accurately say what was done when from a health point of view.

Show records allow evaluation. 

  • Is there a trait that is often mentioned – good or bad? 
  • If you look at your records and see ten judges all had positive comments about coat condition then don’t change what you’re doing! 
  • On the other hand if they all point out the same fault you can rest assured that is something to build on and find a mate that is particularly strong in that characteristic.

Perhaps some of the most important information is records of identification. 

  • If your cats are microchipped have that information where you can lay hands on it quickly. 
  • Regularly take updated photos of each cat. 
  • This allows you to physically see changes as your management decisions change but it also provides photos if your cat were to get out and disappear.

Although no one likes to think about this many people as well as ‘experts’ do not know cat breeds. Many know Siamese and anything with other-than-short hair is Persian but beyond that it’s a black hole of knowledge with many people. A photo can make the difference sometimes between finding your cat or not.

A record system need not be expensive – folders and an expandable file or notebook can keep things in order. If you keep records on your computer be sure to back them up regularly. Good record keeping help produce good cats!



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