WPCC Cattery of Excellence Pilot Project

Purpose

There are two major problems facing the cat fancy, breeders and kitten buyers:

  1. Scams
  2. Backyard breeders and registered breeders who fail to adhere to satisfactory standards.

The purpose of the Cattery of Excellence scheme is to identify breeders who do adhere to standards, give them recognition, and make it possible for the general public to identify them.

What is a Cattery of Excellence Breeder?

A Cattery of Excellence breeder is a highly ethical breeder, who cares deeply about cats in general as well as their own cats, has a good working knowledge of their own breed, genetics, cat care and breeding. S/he is willing to educate the public (especially kitten buyers) and to mentor newer breeders or to be mentored if s/he, is inexperienced. To prevent accidental or backyard breeding from their kittens they sterilise their kittens before homing them (unless the buyer is a registered breeder). A list of vets who perform Early Neutering or Spaying is available from the CoE committee. Should the breeder live more than 50km from these vets, they may apply for exemption. The committee must then receive confirmation from the kitten buyers’ vets that the kittens have been sterilised by the month in which they turn six months old.

There are two levels to the scheme: Novice – a probationary level for new breeders, who will be mentored for two years, and full membership, in which the breeder will have sufficient experience to mentor the novices.

How the Scheme Works

  1. Membership is completely voluntary.
  2. The fee payable is to cover expenses such as printing of certificates of membership, postage, telephone expenses, travel expenses and any other expenses which may be incurred in the administration of the scheme.
  3. Entrance to the scheme is by means of an application form in which the breeder sets out details of their breeding operation, and a written examination designed to show that the breeder has a reasonable knowledge of their breed, cat care with specific reference to breeding, feline genetics. The exam is written at home, in the breeder’s own time, and they are encouraged to research any answer of which they are unsure, the purpose being to make sure that they have knowledge going forward. Because of these conditions, and the importance of this kind of knowledge, the passmark is 90%. However, it is possible that one answer could be so unsuited to excellence and ethics in breeding that the candidate could fail on that one answer.
  4. If there are any problems in the application form or the exam, the CoE committee will discuss these with the breeder. If they cannot be satisfactorily resolved (eg if the breeder insists that sterilisation of pet cats is nonsense and all cats should breed at will) the application will be declined. If problems can be resolved, or if everything is satisfactory, proceed to (e)
  5. On acceptance into the scheme, the breeder is issued with a certificate which may be displayed in their cattery. They will be listed on the WPCC website and facebook page. They are entitled to say in their own advertising that they are a WPCC Cattery of Excellence.
  6. When they sell kittens they must explain the CoE scheme to their kitten buyers, and tell the kitten buyers to expect contact from the CoE committee. They must also give the CoE committee a list of the kitten buyers’ names, telephone numbers and email addresses, as well as the kitten’s registered names and SACC registration numbers. The CoE committee will send an email to the kitten buyer to arrange a mutually convenient time to phone and go through a feedback questionnaire, which is designed to check whether
    1. The breeder is adhering to the standards they claimed in their application (or higher)
    2. The kittens sold were healthy on transfer
    3. The breeder gave appropriate support and guidance to the buyer
    4. The buyer is satisfied with the experience of buying a kitten from the breeder.
  7. If there are no problems, the breeder is informed and continues as before.
  8. If there are problems, these are addressed with the breeder. If they cannot be resolved, or if the CoE committee feel that they are of a sufficiently serious nature (eg fraud, cruelty, selling of sick kittens) membership of the scheme will be terminated. The CoE committee has the right to submit a complaint to the SACC ethics committee, which could result in the breeder’s registration with SACC being terminated.
  9. It is assumed that any registered breeder will produce at least one litter per year. Therefore, if no litter details are received for a period of one year, the breeder’s membership of the CoE scheme will automatically be terminated. If there is a good reason for not breeding for a period of a year (eg sickness) and the breeder does want to remain on the scheme, they should notify the CoE committee. The reason for automatic cancellation of membership is to prevent a breeder who knows that feedback from their kitten buyers will be unsatisfactory from simply not informing the CoE committee of them.

The Catteries of Excellence


Azreal Russians Leanne Hewitt 021 685 3360 leanne@perform.co.za

Burlamien Burmese Elmien de Wet 028 214 1752 burlamien@gmail.com

Kriss Cross Cattery Krystle Callaghan 072 267 2900 krystle@krisscross.co.za

MyEden Siamese, Orientals and Boarding Cattery Tony & Ivone Perestrelo 021 559 2406 myedens@gmail.com