Cat Pedigrees are needed by every cat breeder as when you sell a pedigree cat part of the expectation from the new owner is to receive a pedigree for the cat. Not only that but cat breeders need to be able to keep reliable records of the ancestry of their cats to enable the breeder to plan matings in the future. The whole point of breeding pedigree cats is to take away the random element of reproduction and to use selective breeding in both the planning of the litters and the selection of the kittens to use in the continuation of your breeding plans. Without a reliable record of ancestry then this would not be possible.
We all talk about pedigree cats; you may own one, show one or breed one. We know this means a recognised breed with a known background, but when you are either collecting a pedigree kitten or preparing your litter pedigrees, what exactly should be on a pedigree?
A pedigree is an important document listing all the cat or kitten’s parents, grandparents and so on, providing you or the new owner with information about the cat’s ancestry. As a pedigree cat, all ancestors should also be registered as pedigree cats of the same or accepted breeds with the GCCF.
The pedigree should show at least three generations of cats before the kitten, so this means parents (sire and dam), grandparents and great grandparents on both the dam and sire’s sides. Many breeders will provide a fuller pedigree going back four or five generations. The pedigree should also list breed numbers and registration numbers for at least three generations. Breed numbers will tell you what breed and colour the cat is, for instance ‘32a’ is a red point Siamese, and registration numbers will tell you that the cat was registered with the GCCF.
The kitten’s pedigree name that has been registered with the GCCF should be included on the pedigree. This will usually be a long name such as ‘Stripeysocks Caramel Truffle’. In this name, the first part ‘Stripeysocks’ will be the breeder’s prefix and all kitten’s bred by this breeder will carry the prefix ‘Stripeysocks’ at the beginning of their name; almost like a business name or trademark. Some breeders do not have their own prefix and kittens will be registered under a GCCF prefix that changes according to year of birth and breed. The second part of the name will be the chosen pedigree name and both this and the prefix will stay with the kitten for life.
The kitten should be registered with the GCCF or another governing body such as TICA or FB and the registration number should be on their pedigree. You will need this number for correspondence with the GCCF or if the kitten is shown or bred from.
The kitten’s details should be included on the pedigree such as breed, colour, sex and date of birth.
The breeder must include their name, contact details and address on the pedigree. This is also a perfect place for a breeder to add their website address if they have one. Having all the details in one place on the pedigree makes it easier for the new kitten owner to be able contact the breeder if it becomes necessary in the future.
The pedigree must be signed by the breeder to be true and accurate to the best of their knowledge.
The following ideas have been added and although not required on a pedigree they can make all the difference in transforming a basic pedigree into a deluxe pedigree. Guess what it will cost no extra to produce and will make all the difference your pedigrees!
To brighten up the pedigree, photos of the kitten could be added to the front or back. Kitten owners also like to see photos of the parents and these could be included in the sire’s and dam’s boxes on the pedigree. If you don’t own the sire, then ask the stud owner and most will be happy to allow you to use a photo.
If you have a logo then add it to the pedigree. These are simple to make and very effective. They can be used to display your prefix or cattery name and can also advertise your website, if you have one.
Once the pedigree is finished, don’t forget the finishing touches. The pedigree could be laminated to keep it in pristine condition or roll it up and secure it with a bow to make it extra special.
Last section added by Ross
Now there is plenty of pedigree software out there and having used most of them at some time I must admit that they make life easy, personally I use Breeders Assistant which I find to be really good. Now the only problem with pedigree software is that it cost money, fair enough really but as we know cat breeding is already an expensive hobby so for some people the cost of pedigree software is too much. Not to worry though as I have put together a couple of pedigree templates made in word that you can download free of charge.
I have added two downloads, one is the basic five generation pedigree and the other is also a five generation pedigree but has all the extras such as photo of kitten, photos of sire and dam, website address and breeders logo. All the fields are completely editable and with a very basic understanding of Word you should be fine. If you run into problems then feel free to contact me. Download the pedigree templates just click on either of the Word logos, you can contact me through the comments section below if you need help.
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Joanne Law is a UK breeder and exhibitor of Siamese cats and kittens under the prefix of Riobelle. She manages her own Siamese website as well as being a regular contributor of articles to Siamese Cat Breeder.