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Code of Ethics



The Cat Association of the Northern Territory supports the Code of Ethics for Breeders which was adopted at the A.C.F Conference in June 1981

  1. The cat or kitten should be in the best possible condition and health before it goes to a new home.

  2. It should be immunized, against Feline Infectious Enteritis, the final effective injection for a kitten being given at not less than twelve (12) weeks of age.

  3. No kitten should be sold at less than twelve (12) weeks of age.

  4. As far as possible it should be free from internal and external parasites.

  5. ALL kittens of a litter MUST be registered with the Controlling Body. (The Cat Association of the Northern Territory).

  6. Transfer of a kitten/cat must be effected within 30 days of a gift or sale to a new owner. This is the responsibility of the breeder.

  7. Transfer may be made for "Breeding" or "Non Breeding" status.

  8. The Pedigree, Veterinary Certificate and the Transfer of Registration are the birthright of the cat or kitten and are not to be withheld for extra payment. The price must include these whether the animal is meant for breeding, showing or merely for a pet.

  9. It is the responsibility of a breeder to ensure as far as possible that prospective owners know how to care for the cat/kitten.

  10. It is the responsibility of a breeder to ensure that the animal will be given a permanent home and not be passed on without due consideration for its welfare.

  11. The owner of a stud male should not accept unregistered females for service.

  12. The owner of a registered female should not use the services of an unregistered male.



All members of the Cat Association of the Northern Territory Incorporated (CANT (Inc.) who wish to be recognised as Registered Breeders must agree to uphold and respect this Code of Ethics in their actions and dealings.

•    All breeders must be registered annually by the CANT (Inc.).

•    No person may knowingly inter-mate two breed groups without having applied to CANT (Inc) and having been granted an experimental licence to do so. 

•    Breeders must maintain comprehensive records of all cats owned by them, all litters bred and the names and addresses of new owners of kittens sold by them.

•    All kittens of a litter must be registered with the CANT (Inc.).

Section 2    OBLIGATIONS
The overarching obligation for breeders is to always breed for the health, quality, temperament and the long term betterment of the breed.
•    Agreements between the parties should be made regarding the costs and re-mating if applicable.  The owner of the queen should make these arrangements well in advance and forewarn the owner of the stud of the impending visit of the queen.  It is the responsibility of the stud's owner to witness at least three matings during the time that the queen is at stud.  The stud service fee is payable and the completed certificate of service is to be provided at the time of service unless other terms have been agreed between the two parties.  All mating certificates provided for outside stud service shall be true and correct.

•    The owner of a stud male will not accept unregistered females for service and will ensure that the female is owned and registered in the name of a financial member of a recognised registering body.

•    Owners of queens will not use unregistered males for service and will ensure that the male is owned and registered in the name of a financial member of a recognised cat registering body.  Progeny of matings between unregistered animals or animals belonging to unregistered breeders WILL NOT BE REGISTERED.

•    Breeders should ensure that a prospective new owner who wishes to either breed or show the cat/kitten is provided with the best potential show or breeding cat/kitten available.  Cats/kittens with breed faults or sub-standard animals SHOULD NOT be sold for breeding and showing.

•    No cat or kitten shall be sold to, or through, an agent who in turn will sell them on to new owners. (e.g. pet shops).  Cats and kittens may be offered for sale at a cat show but must not be sold and removed from the show by new owners.  All sales of cats and kittens should be conducted at the breeders’ premises.

•    If exporting a cat overseas, every effort should be made to ensure it is not going into “the Pet Trade”.  Contacting the recognised Cat Control Body in the country to which the cat is being exported to ascertain the bona fides of the recipient is a recommended course of action.

•    As far as possible cats/kittens should be free from internal and external parasites, e.g. ear mites, fleas and intestinal worms.

•    All cats/kittens should be immunised against Feline Infectious Enteritis, Feline Rhinotracheitis and Feline Calicivirus (Fe3 Vaccination).

•    No kitten should be sold until at least 12 weeks of age and the breeder must ensure that the kitten is of sufficient maturity to cope with the move to a new home.

•    Kittens or cats sold or placed in a breeding program should be tested for known heritable genetic defects/diseases by DNA tests available at the time. The purchaser must be made aware of the test results and if a cat/kitten is identified as a carrier or affected the breeder/purchaser must provide CANT (Inc.) with a signed statement that they are aware of the results if they wish to proceed with the purchase/placement.

•    The Pedigree, Immunisation Certificate and Certificate of Registration are the birth right of the cat or kitten and are not to be withheld for extra payment.  The price must include these whether the animal is sold for breeding, showing, or as a pet.

•    Certificates of Registration will be transferred by the breeder into the new owners’ name when the cat/kitten has been sold.

•    Breeders shall maintain a high standard of health and care for their cats and keep only the number of cats which can properly be cared for and protected from illness and stress related problems.

•    Breeding cats shall be immunised regularly, and tested for preventable or inheritable diseases.

•    Entire female cats must not roam free (in the general environs) unless under supervision and calling females must be prevented from having access to the general environs.

•    Entire male cats must be prevented from having access to the general environs.

•    Cats must be groomed regularly and handled daily and be given facilities for climbing and scratching.

•    Cats should be provided with a balanced diet with food bowls to be changed at least once a day and always clean water available.

•    Cats should be housed in hygienic conditions and provided with toilet facilities that are kept clean and disinfected regularly.

•    Prompt veterinary attention should be provided if and when required.

•    Queens shall not be overbred, a maximum of two (2) litters per 12 months period is recommended.

•    Breeders shall keep records of all matings, including mating dates, birth dates, number and sexes of kittens born.

•    All breeders are to familiarise themselves with the kittening process prior to breeding a litter.

•    Increase food amounts to the queen as pregnancy progresses and/or as the queen requires.

•    Ensure an adequate calcium supply (in the correct form and proportions) during pregnancy and lactation.

•    Provide a clean, adequately sized box and bedding at least one (1) week prior to expected kittening.
•    Assist the kittening process where necessary.

•    Queens must not knowingly be left more than two (2) hours in unproductive labour before seeking veterinary advice.

•    Check the queen daily for undue bleeding and signs of mastitis.

•    Check kittens daily for weight gain.

•    Eyes should be checked daily in small kittens and if eye infections occur, veterinary treatment should be sought.
Entire or over 9 months of age:

•    No breeding cat shall be excessively passed around, be leased loaned or sold ENTIRE more than three (3) times during its life, before being desexed.

•    It is the owner's responsibility to ascertain the acceptability of the new owner's (lessee's borrower's, buyer's) premises and standard of care before the cat is re-located.

•    It is the breeder's responsibility to desex all stock no longer required or unsuitable for breeding.  Desexed former breeding stock may be found homes.  All ex-breeding stock should be micro chipped prior to sale or re-homing.

•    No person may advertise a cattery sell out.

•    The problem of genetic anomalies is something of which all breeders should be aware – this is not to suggest that these are common but cats must be expected to have a quota of defects just as are found with other animals.  (See the ACF (Inc.) Book of Standards for list of withholding faults and list of known genetic disorders).

•    The mating of very closely related cats through a restricted mating programme is another way to test for any genetic anomalies but should only be an option in very special instances (a list of restricted matings is given below).  Kittens bred from such matings must be registered as non-breeding and desexed to prevent the inheritance of any detrimental genetic traits by subsequent generations unless there is a specific purpose which has been advised by veterinary or genetic counselling.
o    Mother to son
o    Father to daughter
o    Full siblings
Breeders are strongly encouraged to avail themselves of DNA testing applicable to their breed.  Testing can be accessed from such organisations as UC – Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory or  NB. Samples are taken by a Cotton Mouth Swab except Ancestry and Karyotyping.

•    Brachycephalia – a malformation of the skull resulting in significant flattening of the face.

•    Feline Hip Displaysia(FHD) – a deformity of the joint of the hips resulting in a displacement of the hip joint.

•    Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) – not an inherited disease, however a genetic predisposition to the development of FIP has been identified.

•    Flat-chest Syndrome – results in kittens with compressed, flattened rib-cage causing difficulty in breathing.  Though to be caused by a simple recessive gene.

•    GM1 & GM2 Gangliosidosis – GM1 is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease.  Due to the lack of the enzyme acid β-galactosidase which leads to the build up of GM1 ganglioside within cells. Symptoms include uncoordinated walking (ataxia) and tremors. GM2 is also an autosomal recessively inherited lysosomal storage disease. Due to the lack of hexosaminidase A & B.

•    Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) Restrictive Cardiomyopathy (RCM) – both of these conditions are characterised by impaired relaxation of the heart muscle.

•    Hypokalaemic Polymyopathy – a disorder of severely reduced potassium retention in the cat causing severe muscle weakness.

•    Muscular Dystrophy – a genetically inherited disease that affects predominately male cats as it is an X-linked autosomal recessive condition.

•    Neonatal Isoerythrolysis – (Blood Type Incompatibility) Potentially life-threatening disorder that affects kittens of blood type A that are born to Queens of blood type B.

•    Orofacial Pain Syndrome – the clinical signs are characterised by exaggerated licking and chewing movements and pawing at the mouth.

•    Osteochondrodysplasia – Scottish Fold Osteochondrodysplasia is a hereditary disease affecting bone growth as well as formation of articular cartilage.

•    Patella Luxation – thought to occur when an oversized patella (knee cap) is associated with an abnormally narrow groove at the end of the femur.

•    Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) – a deleterious gene mutation which causes enlarged kidneys composed of dilated cystic channels resulting in early kidney failure and death.

•    Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – an inherited ophthalmic condition leading to irreversible blindness.

•    Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKDef) – an inherited disease the main consequence of which is development of anaemia caused by a lack of Pyruvate Kinase (PK) in red blood cells.

•    White Cats and Deafness – caused by progressive degeneration of the auditory apparatus of the inner ear and may affect one ear (unilateral) or both (bilateral).

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