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The club, the mission and the code of ethics

The club

We are a group of enthusiasts of the Cornish Rex breed. Some of us are breeders, owners of rex, admirers, veterinarians, members of all kinds of other feline associations, Rex exhibitors… all united by our common desire to see this breed continue to develop under the watchful eye of those who desire the protect, improve and simply enjoy this incredible breed.

We want to bring together Cornish Rex enthusiasts from coast to coast to coast, we want to have representatives in every province and make Canada a country renowned for the quality of its Cornish Rex cats.

The mission

The Canadian Cornish Rex Club shall be the main representing body of this breed with regards to the Canadian authorities and shall become the preferred resource for it’s breeders and owners.

Informations

By providing useful and relevant information on type, standard, health issues, ethical breeding practices as well as any other relevant advice and queries.

Complete file

By elaborating a complete file on the breed in order to present it to the government of Canada to allow for it’s recognition and protection.

Breeders

By uniting experienced and novice breeders, owners and proponents of the Cornish Rex to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience.

The code of ethics

This Code of Ethics applies to all breeders who are members of the Cornish Rex Club of Canada (CRCC). Its objective is to provide breeders with a guideline as to the values to be adopted in the management of a professional, respectful, conscientious and responsible breeding program.

Introduction

It is the responsibility of all breeders to produce cats that meet the requirements of the Canadian breed standard and to comply with appropriate ethical business practices when buying, breeding and selling cats.
In addition, every breeder club member has obligations to the public, other breeders, animals and the environment.

1. Obligations to the public

1.1 Informing the public

1.1.1 The breeder is able to provide truthful and up-to-date information about the Cornish Rex breed to the public and respond as best as possible to the questions put to them. When the breeder is uncertain, he/she can direct the person to other reputable resources.

1.1.2 The breeder keeps up to date on current health issues, best breeding practices and breed standards to ensure the transmission of the most accurate information possible.

1.1.3 The breeder supports the club's efforts with the Canadian authorities regarding the recognition of the Cornish Rex breed. The information circulating on this subject must always be truthful and current. The public can count on the breeders of the club to represent the Cornish Rex at their best.

1.2 Protecting the public

1.2.1 The breeder remains transparent in his words and his actions but can intervene in a situation where a member of the public is aggrieved or misinformed.

1.2.2 The breeder supports the efforts made by associations or groups of breeders to improve breeding practices in Canada.

1.2.3 The breeder recognizes the efforts of other breeders and supports them if these efforts are aimed at improving the quality of the bloodlines.

2. Respect toward the client

2.1 Informing the client

2.1.1 The breeder informs his client about the characteristics of the breed, the characteristics of the kitten concerned, the origin of his parents, his genealogy, his condition and all that could influence the decision to purchase the kitten.

2.1.2 The breeder informs his client when the kitten presents either a medical condition, a deviation in hair or breed type characteristics, a serious congenital or aesthetic defect that could disturb or oppress the client.

2.1.3 The breeder is able to refer his/her client to external resources once the kitten adopted, to allow him to offer him the best quality of life and the best possible care. The breeder remains accessible to his client for any question or request for advice.

2.1.4 The breeder will not present the Cornish Rex breed as a hypoallergenic breed.

2.2 Protecting the client

2.2.1 The sale of a kitten is sealed by a written contract in which all the characteristics, conditions of sale and guarantees are clearly defined. It is the breeder's responsibility to ensure that the contract contains clauses that are easy to interpret and as detailed as possible, especially with respect to the application of the warranty.

2.2.2 The breeder informs the client when the kitten is affected by a viral, bacterial or parasitic disease, unless it is completely cured at the time of sale and does not remain a source of contamination for the other animals of the client. This is especially important when the kitten is sold to a family with other cats or as a breeder in another cattery because it could introduce unwanted infectious agents and cause a lot of hassle and expenses to families and / or breeders.

2.2.3 The breeder informs the client if the kitten has a genetic or congenital disease, even if no symptoms are apparent. The breeder informs the client about the potential risks of genetic diseases and the measures taken to try to eradicate such diseases in their bloodlines.

3. Respect toward other breeders

3.1 Cooperation with other breeders

3.1.1 The breeder remains transparent in his words and his actions but can intervene in a situation where another breeder is aggrieved or misinformed. However, the breeder remains impartial during conflicts and intervenes only in case of dispute.

3.1.2 The breeder supports the efforts made by associations or groups of breeders to improve breeding practices in Canada.

3.1.3 The breeder recognizes the efforts of the other breeders and supports them if these efforts are aimed at improving the quality of the breeding.

3.1.4 In an effort to continually improve Cornish Rex bloodlines, breeders can articulate constructive criticism when it is relevant and desired, and be open to constructive feedback from other breeders as well.

4. Respect toward animals and the breed

4.1 Respecting fundamental rights of cats

4.1.1 The breeder maintains adequate hygiene of his/her breeding facilities and allows cats to have access to water and food of sufficient quality and quantity.

4.1.2 The breeder strives, by all the means available, to preserve the harmony and the happiness of the cats living under his roof, whether permanent or temporary residents.

4.1.3 The breeder provides a stimulating, biologically appropriate environment for all cats living under his/her roof (ex: scratching post, shelves, cushions, safe toys etc.).

4.1.4 The breeder updates his/her knowledge and continues to develop and improve breeding practices and protocols, with regard to the health of his cats and kittens (health screening tests, available medications, adapted veterinary care etc).

4.1.5 The breeder shall provide the necessary health and maintenance care to all cats under his care in the event of a particular disease or condition and shall only use euthanasia when the quality of life of the animal is significantly and permanently affected.

4.1.6 The breeder tries to place his kittens and retired adult cats in the best possible families and does not hesitate to refuse the sale of a kitten when he/she feels a potential danger for the animal or if the family conditions unfavorable. In the case of a breeding cat, the breeder ensures that the breeder who buys his cat for reproduction purposes will take care of the animal and offer him a good quality of life.

4.2 Protecting the breed

4.2.1 The breeder supports the efforts made by associations or groups of breeders to improve breeding practices in Canada.

4.2.2 The breeder rigorously selects his breeding cats striving to produce kittens that meet the breed standard. This also applies to cats sold for reproduction purposes to other breeders.

4.2.3 For their breeding program, breeders select kittens with adequate health based on the best of their knowledge and according to available screening tests. This also applies to cats sold for reproduction purposes to other breeders.

5. Respecting the environment

5.1 Preserving the environment

5.1.1 The breeder is careful to dispose of used litter, food bags and cans properly by recycling what is recyclable.

5.1.2 The breeder returns any unused or expired medical product, medicine and antibiotic to his veterinarian or pharmacy for safe disposal.

5.2 Respecting the neighbors

5.2.1 The breeder is careful in keeping the outside of his/her breeding facility free of debris and waste related to breeding/keeping cats and will try to the best of his capacity to not inconvenience his neighborhood n any way (smell, waste etc).

5.2.2 The breeder takes the necessary measures so that no animal disturbs the tranquility of the neighborhood, either with excessive meowing through an open window or by the physical presence of the cat outside the property which could cause problems of marking or public nuisance. Neighbors, ideally, should not be overly aware of breeding activities.

The code of practices

This Code of Practices has been elaborated to clearly define the practices required for all CRCC breeder members. You will find a detailed account of practices to adopt in order to manage a professional, conscientious, respectful and responsible cattery.

Introduction

This code of mandatory practices was designed to standardize the practices of CRCC breeder members. Our goal is to help protect and improve the breed as well as protect the public by requiring a minimum standard of practice from our breeder members. The title of CRCC Breeder Member must be synonymous with quality and professionalism and must inspire confidence in the buyer and the general public.
Each of the topics is addressed in four parts. The first part is strictly informative and reports the facts as they exist in the literature, in scientific articles, books or any other verifiable source, and whose references will be cited at the end of the document.
The second part will serve as a context and will try to approach the information of realities in breeding. The content will be subjective and will give way to subsequent questioning, revisions, and constructive discussions.
The third part will present the required practices.
Finally, the last section, "Available resources" will guide the breeder toward available resources to help implement a chosen practice (if applicable).

1. The book of origins; Genealogy

1.1 The pedigree

Facts :
The pedigree is an official paper documenting the pedigree of a purebred animal. Several organizations can issue pedigrees and the basic rules are mostly the same. Depending on the country concerned, we will speak for example of LOOF for France, FiFe and WCF for Europe, CFA for the United States and TICA for international. We currently have two associations based in Canada, the Cats Canada Cats (CCC) and the Feline Association of Canada (CCA), which does not prevent us from registering our cats with other organizations if we choose.

Context :
For breeders, the pedigree has several uses, first, it is used to identify a cat. The pedigree allows breeders to analyze their choice when acquiring a new kitten that has not yet had time to mature and show its mature characteristics and traits. The breeder has every interest in analyzing the pedigree, and in seeking, through the different registered breedings, the desired characteristics in the ancestors of the kitten.
Another advantage of using the pedigree is to be able to calculate the inbreeding coefficient. A breeder who wants to buy a kitten that looks really good may give up the purchase when he discovers that the kitten has more than 25% inbreeding without specific justification. Some breeders use inbreeding wisely to refine the desired characteristic traits, while others will do so to save money on buying new cats by using the same male repeatedly to make it profitable. (The calculation of inbreeding is relatively simple but it requires the parents' pedigrees. You can find information on this below.)
Required practices :
All of the breeder’s cats must be registered. Breeders must register their litters and individual kittens in the new owner’s name, with a recognized association, within six months of sale, at their own cost.

Available resources :
Associations:
https://www.cca-afc.com/
http://www.chatscanadacats.ca/
http://www.tica.org/fr/
http://cfa.org/
http://www.wcf-online.de/
http://www.loof.asso.fr/actus/cesite.php
http://fifeweb.org/index.php

Inbreeding coefficient calculation:
http://labgenvet.ca/en/inbreeding-calculator/

1.2 Traceability

Facts :
There are several ways to ensure the traceability of our pets. The tattoo has known its glory years and is still used in dogs, the piercing is also used, as well as the ring which allows to track certain birds. For cats, the microchip has become the preferred choice for its versatility, low cost and durability. Some people mistakenly believe that a medal worn on the cat’s collar provides the same advantage, which is false since it only serves to identify an animal, in addition to being located outside the animal's body, unlike the microchip, which is inserted under the skin, between the shoulder blades.

Context :
For breeders, the microchip is the safest means of traceability. First of all, this method is most effective when it comes to identifying a lost or stolen animal, proving a cat’s legitimate identity when we register our litters, as well as in case of a dispute. The microchip is inexpensive and is usually registered in the database of the manufacturing company and the association that issues the pedigree and registration of the cat. So, if your cat arrives from the other side of the world, there is no need to implant a second microchip since it will suffice to register its microchip number at the same time as you transfer the ownership papers with the registering association. Note that each microchip company has its own registry. It is possible to trace the registry quickly with the first three digits of the microchip.
The microchip also protects against fraud, false documents, and makes it possible to claim an animal lost or collected by the SPCA or shelter since the microchip is registered in the name of the owner.
Required practices :
The Cornish Rex Club of Canada requires that breeders microchip all their cats and kittens and register the numbers in the appropriate database at the same time as they register the animal with a recognized feline association.

Available resources :
https://www.spca.com
http://www.petshometoday.com/
https://identrac.ca/
https://www.canadianveterinarians.net/documents/ncac-recognized-rfid-products-updated

1.3 Population control

Facts :
It is a well known fact that feline overpopulation in Canada is a scourge. Shelters and the Canadian Society for the Protection of Animals (SPCA) are full of abandoned animals, left to their own devices, sick or feral. Every week, countless numbers of cats are euthanized or die from malnutrition or cold.
Purebred cats are just as affected by this scourge. Not only because their reproduction rate is as high as for domestic cats, but also because many people are tempted by the experience of breeding, that is to say, produce litters), hoping for easy money without too much commitment. The consequences of these acts are enormous for the entire feline population. The main effect is that "purebred" cats are no longer pure, the type and characteristics is faulty, if not completely lacking. Shelters end up with ‘purebred cats’, which is not normal and unacceptable. Too often, purebred cats fall into the hands of uninformed or ill-intentioned people who have fun mixing breeds, or become ‘breeders’ without any knowledge or concern for the health of animals or the welfare of the breed.

Context :
A breeder should strive for the welfare of his/her cats and the preservation of his/her breed. He tries to develop his lines to get as close as possible to the sought after breed standard. His breeding plan takes into account several factors, such as profitability and the certainty of locating good families for his kittens. In no case is it acceptable that kittens end up on the street a year after their adoption.
Each of the kittens produced must have the assurance of finding a good home. Each mating must contribute to improving the breeder’s bloodlines, that is, to be used to select the future breeders according to their improved characteristics in order to eventually retire the parents.

Required practices :
- Sterilize (spay, neuter) ALL kittens produced, before their departure, except those selected for breeding.
- Select the adoption families carefully.
- No kittens are to be sold (or given) to pet stores, flea markets or auctions.
- Set a sales price representative of the work involved, the financial investment and the quality of the kittens (discounting causes to decrease the value of purebred cats) The price of the kittens should be in keeping with the sales price of the other Club breeders. Otherwise, you are causing the reduction of the value of our cats in Canada and decreasing their quality.

2. Health

2.1 Infectious diseases

Facts :
The feline community around the world, like humans, is confronted with many infectious agents. Without elaborating on each one since it is not the purpose of this guide, you should know that there are several types and for each, several possible screening and prevention methods. The three main types are viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases.
Viral diseases: Because the issues are different, as well as the associated risks, let's classify them into two categories. Category 1 for diseases that are high risk for life and easy to detect, and Category 2, for slightly less serious consequences and more difficult to detect.
Category 1: These are the well-known and often fatal blood borne diseases that infect cats. The three most common are rabies, feline leukemia virus (FIV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FeLV). All three are fatal and highly contagious, these diseases are not always detected immediately after infection because the symptoms develop slowly as the immune system is affected, except for rabies which is faster. Remember that rabies is transmissible to all mammals, including humans, unlike the other two, which can only develop in cats. There is a simple and inexpensive screening method for FIV and FeLV. For rabies, the vaccine remains the best protection for cats at risk of having contact with infected animals.
Category 2: Viral diseases in this category which affect our felines, most often manifest as colds, fever, body aches, depression, conjunctivitis, ulcers, diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, etc. Some of them are easy to identify, others aren’t. The danger in a cattery occurs when there are multiple viruses, or when accompanied by other infectious agents such as bacteria or parasites. In this instance, the infectious cocktail can put the life of the affected cat in danger, especially if this one is very young. Detection methods may vary from a simple medical examination, which will highlight symptoms characteristics of a particular viral infection, blood tests that can tell us more about the nature of the infectious agent by looking at the type of antibodies present, and PCR analysis which will detect the presence of the virus in the respiratory or digestive tract. PCR analysis remains the most reliable method currently, given its detection rate of around 80%, but remains less effective when the cat has no symptoms (preventive screening), in which case, an asymptomatic carrier cat may very well pass an analysis which will turn out to be negative.
What is PCR analysis? Viruses, bacteria or parasites that infect cells in mammals are detectable, but some are incredibly small. The genes are so small you can't even see them under a microscope. To be able to study them, we must extract them from a sample taken from the cat and multiply them. To achieve this, we copy the DNA until it becomes visible due to the quantity obtained. This is done by means of an enzyme, polymerase, which is able to copy gene sequences at a high rate. This technique is polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Bacterial diseases:
Bacterial diseases are often the cause of complications from an already existing viral infection. This is called secondary infection. Some types of bacteria are primary infectious agents and can, on their own, trigger an infection. Several bacteria encountered in breeding are detectable by PCR analyzes, while others are more difficult because they are detectable only a certain number of days after infection. Thus, a cat carrying chlamydophila felis for example, will possibly obtain negative PCR result for this bacterium, even if the cat continues to excrete it and to contaminate its surroundings. In addition, the interpretation of the results must be done with precaution, since certain bacteria can normally be found in uninfected tissue, and it is important to assess the general condition of the cat before making any judgment or choosing any treatment. A well-known example of healthy carrying is streptococcus in humans. Some carry it in the throat, others in the vagina, and there is no need to treat since the bacteria live in symbiosis with the body and, unless an imminent delivery, will not be a problem. In addition, despite the treatment, the bacteria will return to settle after the treatment is finished. The identification of these bacteria is therefore relevant, and must be assessed as a whole (context of cattery and risks involved). PCR analysis therefore becomes an essential tool in the development of a protocol plan for a cattery, but will probably not be used systematically, haphazardly. In other words, the more the breeder knows what he/she is looking for, the more the analysis will benefit him.
Parasitic diseases:
This category also contains a wide range of specimens likely to colonize the digestive tract of our animals, their skin or hair etc. In addition, most of these parasites will not be limited to our cats. Unfortunately, the dog can contaminate a kitten even if it is itself healthy. Indeed, several types of parasites, living in a healthy host, may go unnoticed and cause no symptoms in the individual.
For these types of infections, PCR analysis can detect some of these undesirable guests, but also Wood's light, cultures, etc. The veterinarian remains the best resource for the breeder, given the variety of colonizing organisms and the various screening techniques. Breeders can also rely on basic, broad-spectrum products, such as dewormers, shampoos, etc.to prevent these infections.

Context:
The management of infectious diseases in breeding requires a good preparation on the part of the breeder. This preparation includes the development of a preventive program adapted to the conditions of the cattery as well as a plan B, in the event of failure or the occurrence of new information. It goes without saying that the protocol of a breeder having fifteen cats will be different from that of the breeder who has only three. The veterinarian is our partner and our best resource when we are faced with the disease. A close link with this as well as a discussion of the protocol adopted for breeding will ensure the success of the breeding plan.
It goes without saying that the perfect protocol does not exist, and that it changes from one situation to another. The important thing is to ask yourself questions, consider the possibilities, weigh the pros and cons and determine the method that is right for your circumstances. The breeder must adapt his protocol according to the risks that his/her cattery faces. The key is to be informed enough to be able to make such decisions. In this sense, several training courses are available, scientific publications on the subjects, books, veterinary articles. New information comes in from all directions, methods evolve... This is why the practices recommended here must necessarily evolve at the same time.

Required practices:
- Perform screening tests for FIV and FeLV viral diseases for all cats coming into the cattery. The breeder must prove that the cats in his cattery are all free from these two diseases. All new cats and those who come into contact with cats in the cattery through boarding or breeding, external breeding, etc. must also be exempt.
- Perform tests to detect the infectious agents involved in infections, when the infectious agent is not already known.
- Vaccines and dewormers must be kept up to date according to the protocols recommended by your veterinarian.

Available resources:
1. Course from ChatsCanadaCats : Infectious disease and parasites.
http://www.chatscanadacats.ca/breeders/education.cfm
2. https://www.animaquebec.com/
3. Contact the CRCC for other training and courses offered by individuals.

2.2 Genetic transmission of certain genetic diseases

Facts :
The genome of all living things, thus mammals, including cats and humans, is often subject to genetic mutations. These mutations are the effect of a copy error caused by the action of an RNA virus, ultraviolet radiation, a chemical, etc. These copy errors are the basis of evolution; at the very base of the Cornish Rex breed. When a genetic mutation is desirable, even sought after, the breeder will try to integrate it into his bloodline. It can be for example, a color (black, brown, orange ..), a pattern (tabby, burmese, pointed ...), or the shape of the ears or nose. All this brings a lot of challenges to breeders who have everything to gain by learning the basic principles in genetics.
Unfortunately, there are also unwanted mutations which can go unnoticed over several generations and cause serious illness, leaving the owner completely perplexed and helpless. For the breeder, it is impossible to say beyond a doubt that his breeders are free from all genetic diseases. He cannot therefore bear all the responsibility for what Mother Nature has reserved. On the other hand, by being informed, it is his/her duty to use the available resources as well as his/her good judgment to limit the risks of reproducing these genetic defects.
Increasingly, animal health professionals are offering screening tests involving direct and indirect methods.
Direct methods:
DNA testing is without a doubt the easiest for the breeder to perform. From a simple sample of oral cells, it is possible to determine if the cat has a particular disease, as long as this test has been developed and is available. Fast, inexpensive and efficient, it is a safe bet for breeders. Currently the tests recommended for the Cornish Rex are for polycystic kidney disease (PKD) as well as for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA-CEP290). New tests are developed regularly and soon a wide range will be available and accessible to breeders
Indirect methods:
Any disease can have its origin in genetics... or not. The lifestyle, diet and care to which the animal has access can greatly contribute to the development of serious diseases, such as diabetes, which itself contributes to the development of cancer, renal failure or cardiomyopathy, to name a few. The part attributable to genetics is more or less vague, more or less reproducible, and more or less understood. The genetic factor must absolutely be taken into account when a disease is declared, and this, for all types of diseases (heart, skin, intestines etc.)
The breeder has at his disposal several methods to help him in his steps, such as blood tests, ultrasounds, electrocardiograms, urine tests ... All these tests must be used judiciously, according to the indications of the moment, suspicions of the breeder and his veterinarian.

Context:
According to the events experienced in the cattery, the associated risks and the clues present (history of disease, reports of clients on symptoms or diagnosis of disease in their kittens who have become adults), the breeder has every interest in remaining vigilant and open to any possibility of genetic disease in his/her bloodlines. If a disease is suspected, the breeder will have several choices: Sterilize the suspected breeding animal, carry out appropriate examinations on this breeding animal, stay on the lookout ... Let’s just remember that it is better to be safe than sorry. Sterilizing a suspected carrier of genetic disease cancels out a big part of the risk. One must assess the potential carriers of the faulty gene in breeding cats from the same bloodline and not to forget the recessive genes, which can be present without our knowledge and in the absence of any symptoms.

Required practices:
- Eliminate from the breeding program any cat diagnosed with any disease that could affect the duration or quality of it’s life, and / or that of its descendants, whose genetic link cannot be excluded (kidneys, eyes, skin, heart, etc.). .)
- DNA screening for PRA, PKD of all breeding animals.

Available resources:
1. Course from ChatsCanadaCats : Genetics level 1 http://www.chatscanadacats.ca/breeders/education.cfm
2. https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/
3. www.labgenvet.ca

3. Breed standard

Selection of breeding stock:

Facts :
A breed, such as the Cornish Rex, has a desired type, previously determined and internationally recognized (see the standard Cornish Rex type document). Although there are some slight differences between associations, the type generally remains the same and is not subject to frequent change.

Context :
For the breeder, it is about producing and maintaining a high level of quality for several reasons. The first is to be able to provide the customer with a cat that meets their expectations by displaying the characteristics specific to the Cornish Rex breed. The second is for the good of the breed, and to help protect it. In this regard, it is relevant to recall that one of the goals of the Cornish Rex Club of Canada is to present its breed before Canadian authorities and thus obtain recognition of its genealogy. It goes without saying that the higher the quality of Canadian catteries, the more likely the breed is to be accepted.
Required practices:
- Study and become familiar with the breed standard in order to fully understand and know it.
- Select future breeding stock that most closely resembles the type sought in the breed standard.

Available resources :
Breed standard document produced by the CRCC (upcoming)
Seminars offered by the CRCC (upcoming)

4. Quality of life

4.1 Space

Facts :
A cat needs space, both horizontal and vertical. Run, jump, climb, stretch here and there ... Have you noticed that a cat changes places several times during its naps? He does not need to go outside and can enjoy himself very well inside a house or a simple apartment if it is suitably furnished to meet his/her needs. On the other hand, he/she must have the opportunity to be stimulated by seeing other individuals (humans, cats, dogs), by hearing sounds (radio, humans, other animals) and by having access to daylight.
Their environment must be composed of scratching posts, cat tree, tablets, hiding places, water and food stations in sufficient quantity, litter in sufficient numbers and placed in different locations.
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Context :
The breeder must compose with the space he lives in, his family, his work and his hobbies and also manage the space to maintain harmony within the cattery. A cat in a cage or in a small enclosure is unhappy and the Club does not endorse this practice, except for medical or temporary conditions.
A breeding male always poses a problem when it comes to removing him from the home because he marks (urine) his territory in the house, excites the females who, in turn will mark their territory in places that we often deem inappropriate. The male who must live in retreat can be happy in his lodgings, or on the contrary, if inappropriate, be very unhappy there.
The breeder must provide a place that meets the biological needs of the cat so that it feels good there and can fulfill its biological needs.
Mandatory practices :
- The living enclosures must provide sufficient space for the cat to flourish; that is, spaces with a minimum height of six feet, containing shelves, hiding places, a soft bed, horizontal and vertical scratching posts, toys.
- If the cat does not get to spend time outside his enclosure on a daily basis, the breeder must supply the cat with an exercise wheel.

Available resources :
http://www.animaquebec.com/sites/default/files/07_tableau_enrichissement_FE.pdf
http://www.animaquebec.com/sites/default/files/carnet_exigence_FE_revise_avril2016_0.pdf
https://educhateur.com/service-design-interieur

4.2 Nutrition

Facts :
Feline nutrition is the subject of many controversies, debates and research topics. It is increasingly difficult to come to a conclusion concerning the food of any manufacturers, with all the ever emerging new information being put forth on nutritional value versus the digestive system of cats. This document does not mention the best food to give or those to avoid. However, it is in the breeder's interest to take their own initiative to learn about the various types of food available in stores, how they are made, the ingredients they contain and why they are made in this way. Many people are surprised when they see the foundations of industry.

Context :
Breeders are in the best position to assess the general health of their cats and kittens. For example, a breeder whose cats are overweight should ask questions about the glycemic index of the food being fed. Hair texture, disease resistance and general health problems can also be reliable indicators, but not necessarily directly attributable. That is to say, a breeder who observes several faults or problems on several of his cats can question if the food being fed is contributing to the problem, even without being certain about the source of the problem, a hypothesis can be established. A change of food sources can take a long time to reveal a change, and of course, it is a process involving the risk of digestive problems.

Required practices :
- Feed high quality food with a balanced formula adjusted to the needs of cats according to their age, stage of development, gestation, lactation, etc.
- Offer fresh food, kept away from humidity and respecting expiration dates. Food should be kept in its original bag and stored in an airtight container away from insects and rodents.
- Provide unlimited access to fresh, clean water. The use of water fountains with charcoal filters is excellent for helping to maintain good hydration and is highly recommended.

4.3 Stress management, harmony

Facts :
In addition to basic needs (food, water, space etc.), members of the cattery need to belong to a group or a family to have sociability, affection, security and well-being. Physical and mental health is crucial and the need to belong to a family must be met to help lower the risk of generating stress, quarrels or even fierce battles between members of the cattery. You will have quickly guessed that this is undesirable and could even have more serious consequences, such as the expression of latent viral diseases or the development of idiopathic pathologies of all kinds. Stress, it is well known, is the worst enemy of mammals, humans and felines included!

One great source of stress is the practice of amputation of the first phalanx, commonly called "declawing", a surgical procedure which is still practiced, although it is banned in several countries and provinces. It is a painful intervention that leaves long-term consequences: abnormal posture of the feet and legs, phantom pain, premature osteoarthritis and bone fragments causing pain are among the many undesirable and unnecessary side effects of this intervention. There are no positive effects for the cat.
Let’s add that sectionning the tendon that flexes the claw, also called tenectomy, is not an adequate alternative either. The claw can no longer come out of its sheath, depriving the cat of this natural behavior while causing poor mobility in his fingers. It is an intervention that also causes pain. The claws must be trimmed regularly so that they do not grow back into the foot pad by curling and thus causing unnecessary injury.

Context :
The breeder has to deal with the individual characters and personalities of each of his/her cats. Females learn to live together, to love each other, to tolerate each other, to dominate or to submit. The well-informed breeder is aware of the unpredictability of cats when a newcomer is introduced. Cats that live in groups develop a hierarchy, negotiate common ground. With each new introduction, the whole balance of the group is upset, until the ranks are negotiated again and harmony returns.
It is quite possible for the breeder to maintain favorable conditions for the development of all his cats, including the representative (s) of the male sex and to take specific measures to resolve the problems taken individually. There is no magic recipe. What will work for one group will not necessarily work for the other. Being attentive to your cats is the best way to quickly spot and fix a problem.

The best way to avoid the inconvenience of inappropriate scratching is to trim the claws regularly (every 2-3 weeks) and improve the environment. A cat tree, scratching posts with different textures and placed in different positions (horizontal, vertical) are essential. The alternative of claw protectors (sheath that covers the claw) is an excellent solution. These sleeves can stay in place for 6 to 8 weeks if you use good quality products.

Required practices :
- Provide enough hiding places and quiet corners for all cats.
- Provide multiple food and water stations to reduce tension and competition and allow all cats to drink and eat without harassment. (according to the number of cats)
- Have enough litter boxes for all cats.
- Eliminate any aggressive cat from the breeding program, or keep it isolated until you have secured his continuing bloodline if the aggressiveness is deemed to be of environmental cause. Remember that temperament is largely genetic and that it is not desirable to breed a cat showing signs of faulty temperament.
- Allow all cats in their cattery to feel safe by enriching their living environment.
- The practice of declawing kittens is not acceptable. Refuse to declaw and educate new families by presenting alternatives to this obsolete practice.

Available resources :
http://en.educhateur.com/
Alternatives to declawing:
https://cvrivesud.com/en/cat/alternatives-cat-declawing.html

4.4 Kitten sociabilisation

Facts :
Kittens need supervision during their first weeks of life. Normally, in the wild, for example, the mother who is able, has no postpartum issues,and is in a safe place, is able to take care of her kittens and teach them the essentials. However, she will teach them what she knows herself, that is, how to defend herself, survive, eat, be clean and hunt. If hunting is all about eating kibble in a bowl, so be it, she will teach them. On the other hand, emotional development with humans cannot in any case take place without the continuous presence of humans. Even a cat with a very sociable temperament cannot instill sociability in its offspring if the breeder does not take care of it personally. Before introducing a kitten into its family, it must not only have learned to eat, use the litter, have good hygiene and sleep at night. But it must also have learned to trust humans, know how to differentiate between real danger and regular household noise. The average age required for the introduction of a well-bred kitten is around 14 weeks, but the development of each kitten is unique and the breeder is in the best position to judge whether the kitten is or not ready to leave the cattery.

Context :
For the breeder, there are several stages to be expected in terms of the development of their kittens. First, kittens must live, that is, breathe, drink and spend the first few days, showing daily body weight gain. During this period, the breeder remains on the lookout, keeps the nest at the right temperature and strives to provide the mother with everything she needs. Then, learning how to wash, eat, use the litter are all steps that can be acquired quickly and easily, or not, depending on the litter, conditions and problems specific to kittens. The role of the breeder will then be to give the kittens the opportunity to develop their sociability as much as possible, while remaining sheltered from real dangers. He/she can, among other things, handle them often, and this, from the first days, give them access to the house for short periods depending on their age, change rooms to allow them to familiarize themselves with the different normal sounds of a house, play with them, introduce them to strangers. Again, each breeder develops the method that suits them, according to his/her resources. The best way to tell if the method is right is to assess the results. How do kittens behave? What comments do we receive from customers? It is very important to take the pulse on the mental health of your kitten because if there is a problem, the method could and should be improved.

Required practices :
- Kittens must stay together with their mother until the minimum age of 14 weeks.
- Kittens must be given the opportunity to interact with humans on a daily basis. Socialize the kittens properly so that they can flourish and become good companions.
- Cut their claws, clean the sheaths and ears regularly to get them used to grooming and handling.
- Provide the necessary accessories, vertical and horizontal scratch posts, to ‘make the claws’ so that they can learn to use them.

Available resources :
http://en.educhateur.com/
http://www.animaquebec.com/sites/default/files/09_tableau_socialisation_FE.pdf5.

5. Legal aspect

5.1 Sales

Facts :
When an individual gives money in exchange for goods or services, the act is considered a sale.

Context:
For a breeder, it feels more like an adoption, but in the eyes of the government and the law, it is a sale. It is not easy to consolidate the two. For the breeder, it is a baby who needs a family, care and love. But from a legislative point of view, it is rather the family that needs the cat to "function", be well and bring them joy.

Required practices :
- The sale of a cat or kitten will be accompanied by a written contract which details the conditions of the sale.
- The contract clearly identifies the animal (name, microchip number, name of the parents, registration number if already done, color and pattern) and the two parties involved by the contract (name, address, telephone number, email).
- A copy of the contract signed by both parties is given to the buyer and the seller keeps a copy in his/her files.
- The contract details the conditions and scope of the health guarantee for infectious as well as genetic and congenital diseases.
- The breeder provides the client with a clearly identified sample of food, in sufficient quantity to make the transition to new food if desired.
- The breeder will give advice and instructions to the buyer (the adopter) on the adaptation of the animal to its new environment.
- The breeder will remain available to answer questions from the client.
- The breeder will assist the owner to relocate his animal if he should need to.

Available resources :
The consumer protection act (Québec)
http://legisquebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/ShowDoc/cs/P-40.1
Consumer protection legislation in Canada :
https://ic.gc.ca/eic/site/oca-bc.nsf/eng/ca02965.html

5.2 Guarantees

Facts :
According to the law there is a legal warranty provided automatically and minimal protection is assured, that means that even if the seller does not offer a warranty, the breeder may be subject to prosecution. The warranty is offered free of costs and must include the following items:
- Quality guarantee: The product purchased must be suitable for normal use.
- Guarantee of durability: The service life must be reasonable.
- Guarantee of conformity: The product corresponds to the advert or description given by the seller.
- Safety Guarantee: The product must be safe.
- Guarantee for hidden defects: The defect, if it would have had the effect of canceling the sale if the buyer had known about if beforehand, is considered a serious hidden defect.

In the event of a problem with the product, as mentioned above, the seller offers solutions. For example, offering a full or partial refund, replacing the product or paying for replacement costs, having the product repaired at his expense, performing maintenance for a specified period of time.

Context :
Let us take up the five aspects of guarantee drawn from the legal guarantee, by applying them to our catteries.
The quality guarantee for the adopter means that the cat purchased will behave like a cat. That is to say, at a minimum, the cat will be affectionate, playful, sociable. A normal cat is an animal that eats, drinks, uses litter, sleeps a lot, likes to be petted, purrs, etc. This means that the adopter will be right to complain if his kitten is not nice, does not eat, is sullen, does not play etc. If the kitten has a specific condition, the breeder has every interest in informing the adopter BEFORE closing the sale and offering a corresponding discount or tighter follow-up with it, or even rehabilitation assistance.

The guarantee of durability for the adopter is a cat that will live for several years. An animal that dies prematurely, without accident or external trauma, can be interpreted as a hidden fault by the client. In such a case, it is always difficult to decide on the exact age at which death is premature. In the event of litigation, it is a judge who will decide according to the declarations and according to the information which he will obtain. A domestic cat can hope to live beyond fifteen years and it is not uncommon for this age to be exceeded. In addition, the cat's health guarantee does not only cover the life of the animal, but the entire medical condition, where the cat will have to be taken care of, followed by a veterinarian or taking medication over a long period. It is in the breeder’s interest to think about the possibilities and offer support accordingly (offering to simply pay for a drug can defuse an emotional situation and demonstrate to the adopter that the support is voluntary and in good faith, even if the resources of the breeder are limited monetarily).
The guarantee of conformity, on the other hand, is very simple and should never be a problem for customers of Club breeders. Because the breeder knows the quality of his bloodlines, he will not wrongly claim that his cats are worth more than what they really have. This means that the kitten sold corresponds to the kitten in the photo, that if the advertisement says that the parents are of a champion line, this must be real and provable (why not give copies of the papers at the same time as the contract, to support your claims?)
The guarantee of safety for breeders can mean two things in particular. The first is the aggressiveness of the animal. A normal kitten or cat should not be aggressive or attack humans or children. It can happen that a cat presents a behavioral problem and in this case, the breeder will seek a family without children or other cats and who is ready to deal with this condition and to help the animal in its rehabilitation.
The other possibility of conflict would be the sale of a sick cat carrying a disease which could harm members of the adoptive family. Without elaborating, let's mention the rabies virus which could be the worst scenario, but there are also some intestinal parasites or even fungal infections which can affect humans. The breeder must assess the risks if a kitten has a condition. Apart from rabies, the breeder can proceed with the sale, mentioning the diseases carried by the animal and the dangers relating to humans.
The warranty for hidden defects is probably the most frequent cause of litigation in breeding. A sick cat, not declared to the buyer, or a cat with false documents. When breeders are dealing with a problematic cat, it is essential to explain the issues to the adopter and to adjust the price and/or guarantee accordingly.
For a breeder, this is not always easy. Income is slim and the risk is significant. The Club recognizes the difficulty and believes that transparency is the best option. Public confidence in our breeders is the key to achieving our credibility.

Required practices :
- Offer a guarantee for genetic and congenital health of a minimum 24 months from the date of birth. (conditions must be detailed in writing)
- Offer a minimum 10 day infectious health guarantee.
- Report in writing to the buyer any illness that affects or has affected the kitten (requiring treatment) The buyer should be aware of the kitten's medical history and understand the consequences.
- The vaccination booklet with the certificates signed by the veterinarian must be given to the buyer with recommendations for the vaccination protocol and parasite treatments.

Available resources:
Legal warranty
https://www.educaloi.qc.ca/en/capsules/legal-warranty-automatic-protection-consumers

5.3 Income declaration

Fact :
According to the law, it is compulsory for any person carrying out sales activities to declare their income. Not declaring income is fraud.

Context:
Cat and dog breeders are often singled out, compared to factories, or accused of wanting to make money on the backs of poor animals. While some breeders deserve these judgments, this is not the case for the majority who strive to do things in an exemplary manner. Between the overly demanding perfectionist breeder who seeks perfection and ends up a under mountains of debt and the breeder who puts his profits first at the expense of the welfare of his animals, the Club believes that a happy medium must be struck, so that all parties are satisfied.
The first advantage to declaring your income is to allow a good start to the cattery, since the high expenses and low income generated during the first years can bring about reductions in gross family income. A breeder who therefore has a job outside the home will be relieved to declare his losses to save a little on income taxes, as long as this does not exceed two consecutive years of negative income.
The Club strongly encourages breeders to make a profit and will do everything to help them in this regard. A breeder who does not make a profit will end up unhappy and dissatisfied. To ensure the development of our breed, the Club needs breeders who are proud of their passion, happy and motivated. Also, in order to present our breed before Canadian authorities, it is important that the members adopt good practices, not only with regard to the health and standard of the breed, but also by legalizing their actions. In a word, we seek credibility for the Club and for each of its breeder members.
Let us be proud of our passion and make it a respectable profession!

Required practices :
- Respect the law by declaring your income and expenses.
Available resources :
Course for cattery administration in Quebec
http://www.chatscanadacats.ca/breeders/education.cfm