I'll admit I suffer from anxiety and depression. Most days are great, but some days (especially long, cold, dark, winter days) are just HARD! If you don't have anxiety, first off I envy you! But if you are a fellow anxiety sufferer, hello my friend you are NOT alone. You're probably wondering what does this have to do with breeding cats...well in a sense, everything.
When researching breeders in the United States, most Maine Coon cat breeders are selfish with breeding rights and I don't blame them one bit. In fact, I'll be the same way. These are NOT just cats to me, they are a dream and are treated with love and respect every single day. Because I am "new" at the breeding aspect of cats (we've rescued, bottle fed and raised several cats but have not bred them before) most US breeder's I contacted were reluctant to let me own one of their babies to breed. I understand them and respect their wishes and hope to do business with them in the future once I have had experience.
On a different note, I knew that I wanted to raise healthy cats most importantly. Not only do I want them to be big, beautiful and friendly, but the most important thing to me is to produce healthy kittens. Several breeders that turned me away offered their advice and said to contact breeders in Ukraine and Russia. Kris King, Stella, and Voodoo came from a fantastic breeder and we are so happy with the cats plus we stay in constant contact with the breeder. The breeder in Russia has been a learning experience. She did not send pedigree papers as promised and it has taken months to get them and Beatrix died just 2 months after we adopted her from FIP. She is not a breeder I would recommend using and I would not adopt from someone who takes weeks to respond to questions.
Anxiety means I overthink every single situation and what could possibly go wrong. There's no exception when it comes to breeding cats either, I worry about their health, their temperament, the cost of vet bills (and food and litter and toys), and if they would be happy here. After all they did fly across the world to come to the United States and their entire lives are different now. They have toys to play with, treats, cat towers, window perches, scratching posts, and lots of love. I would hope they are happy here ;)
So what is a good breeder?
Someone that offers a health guarantee, contract, has them registered and has papers for them, and bonus points if they have champion cats in their lineage. Showing cats is no easy feat, and they must be healthy and disease free to be shown. Most breeders will have a "no declaw" policy in their contract along with a clause on spaying or neutering your cat.