As you can probably imagine, the expenses to run a cattery are not cheap. They are very expensive. You may not realize how much money is required not only to start up a cattery but to operate and maintain a successful cattery. If you treat your cattery like a business, then the costs will start to add up quick!
We’ve recorded two separate podcasts on this topic of expenses. These were recorded approximately two years apart from each other. Both are worth a listen. As time goes by the cost of cats and products that you need to care for them is not getting less expensive. Many new breeders aren’t prepared for some of the expenses that are involved, which is why these podcasts are like gold.
The second podcast was recorded in the January 2023
Depending on the breed of cat that you’ve chosen to work with, the cost to start a cattery is going to cost between $10,000 – $20,000. That doesn’t include the recurring costs and surprise expenses that you’ll face once you’ve established your cattery. Let’s break down the initial start-up cost.
Cost to Start a Cattery
Cattery Buildout: Whether you’re using your personal home or a separate building for your cattery, there will be expenses to prepare the space for your cat’s environment. The buildout usually means building walls to separate spaces, tearing down walls, finishing out a ‘shed”, etc. It will mean using “cat-friendly” materials that can basically be destroyed and replaced over the next few years. 😉
Furnishing the Cattery: Once the cattery and/or designated space is completed, it’s time to furnish. Cat Trees, litter pans, toys, scratching posts, window seats, shelves, and tunnels. Make their space a kitty wonderland!
Acquisition of Breeding Cats: One of your biggest upfront expenses will be the purchase of your kittens with breeding rights. Depending on your chosen breed, you can expect to spend $3,000 – $4,000 for a kitten. Importing (which is what most newbies will do), and transport costs are one of the biggest expenses. Be sure to check out our article and podcast about importing cats from overseas so that you’re informed about that process, as well.
Health Testing/Screening: Once your breeding cats are in your cattery and settled, you should always do your own DNA testing and health screening. You can buy a DNA kit from Optimal Selection for about $100 each. This will test for any genetic markers for certain diseases and conditions. Physical traits such as coat color and patterns are also tested. In addition, you’ll need to see your vet and conduct any x-rays, sonograms, and echocardiograms. Any other tests that are related to the known health risks in your breed should also be done. You can listen to this podcast episode to learn more about DNA testing.
Licensing and Registration: Every breeder will need to register with a cat club. There’s either an annual fee or a lifetime membership fee to join the clubs. After that, your Queens, Sires, and Litters will all need to be registered with the club. This will allow you to issue certified Pedigrees for your kittens, participate in cat shows, and more. Learn more about registering your cattery and kittens in the course for beginner cat breeders.
Medications and Supplements: This one is controversial as some breeders don’t feel like cats need any supplementing while others will supplement with vitamins and lysine. There are extra nutrients for pregnant and lactating cats and even melatonin chips to control heat. If you decide to supplement your cats, this will likely be a monthly cost.
Every cat in your breeding program should be tested and screened before breeding.
Learning How to Start a Breeding Cattery can be overwhelming. Just take your time learning all that you can and don’t beat yourself up over mistakes. Everyone was new at one point.
This podcast episode breaks down the expenses to run a cattery. The expenses that you’ll likely incur on a monthly basis are spelled out. You’ll also learn of an awesome way to determine the actual cost to raise one kitten. That might be very enlightening information.
There’s much more to learn about how to breed cats! Sign up for the Complete Guide to Breeding Pedigree Cats and earn your Certificate of Completion!
Once you have finished listening to this episode, jump over to Episode 9 where we talk about how much to sell your kittens for!