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A Family With Its Own Look

by Jette Eva Madsen.

This cat look like it was breed by...

For a lot of the ambitious persons one of the most important issues when they start breeding is to create a family of cats with a look or some traits that immediately tell everybody that the cat in question belongs to that family.

In my lines...

To breed a family of NFO's where the members of the family posses the same traits is in breeders slang called to breed a line of cats. Breeders will say: " All cats in my line are very big. The lines behind my female all have large eyes." Etc.

This slang has probably appeared because some of the first, serious and methodical breeders used the type of inbreeding called line breeding to achieve their goal.

Despite the fact that a lot of breeders constantly talk of their line of cats only very few breeders succeed with the task of creating a family of cats with its own look. In today’s NFC-world you can count the few breeders that really can talk about their line of cats or their family of cats on one hand.

Most breeders start out with the best intentions but very fast we keep a kitten not because it has the traits needed to fulfil our goals but because that kitten was the sweetest of the litter. We visit other breeders and there we fall in love with kittens that totally lack the traits we wish our family of cats to have, but we buy them anyway.

What is needed to create a family with unique shared traits

In order to create a family of cats with its own traits or combination of traits a lot of conditions have to be fulfilled. The most important are:

Some breeders mistake a pedigree filled with their breeding name for an easily recognised family of cats. A pedigree filled with just one pedigree names tell a story about the breeders ability to keep the cost of breeding at a low level more than it tells the story of carefully selected matings that will enhance the look of his family of cats and make him reach his goal.

Guidelines to the breeding program

If you wish to start creating a family of cats that look alike there are several ways to do this. Common for all of them is that you need patience, you need to stick to your goal and you need to remember your goal. If you select for size don't let colour of the cat influence your choice. If you select for tabby pattern don't buy a black/white kitten.

How long time does it take??

It will take you some time. Don't rush and believe you are much smarter than all the other breeders. It will probably take you between 10 and 20 years to create a family of Norwegian Forest Cats with a look that people will recognise. That is the time it takes for a cattery with around 10 cats to create 4-7 generations and 150-300 kittens.

When have I reached my goal of establishing a family of NFC's with its own look?

You may think you have created a family of NFC's with the same look. But this is a matter where you cannot be your own judge. You have not reached your goal until other people are able to discover the cats belonging to your family of NFC's without knowing the name of the parents.