RAGDOLL FANCIERS CLUB INTERNATIONAL ( R.F.C.I.)
This is Addendum II as referred to in Article XXVIII – Code of Conduct of the R.F.C.I. By-laws
A Members Guide to Ethical Cattery Management
This Code of Conduct is intended as a guideline for our Breeder Members. The recommendations and practices set forth in this Code of Conduct are to be considered a model of ethical breeding practices, and should be followed as routine whenever possible. It is understood that in rare circumstances special situations may present themselves to a member, where these guidelines are not met, and then RFCI recommends using sound judgment.
It is also understood that some breeder members may put into practice even higher ideals in their own breeding programs, and for this they should be commended. This Code of Conduct set forth is not meant to police our Breeder Members, and should not be used as such.
In the breeding of Ragdolls, I will emphasize good health, stable temperament, and breed for appearance to meet the Ragdoll Standard
My Ragdolls will exhibit no radical departure from the Ragdoll standard.
I agree to protect the Ragdoll reputation by employing responsible personal, social and business practices.
I agree to understand and follow any municipal, community or local requirements regarding the housing, registering or selling of my Ragdolls.
I agree that when attending shows, I will be aware of and abide by the rules and customs that govern each show, whether I am a spectator or an exhibitor.
I will behave at all times in a respectful manner that will reflect positively on myself, the Ragdoll Cat and RFCI. I will view success as a concern secondary to the health and well-being of the Ragdoll and to my relationship with others among the cat fancy and RFCI.
I will keep accurate records of all pedigrees and breedings.
I will register all kittens with at least one major cat association.
I will provide registration papers within a timely manner of all sales.
I will plan and implement a breeding program with the preservation and protection of the breed being foremost.
I will breed discriminately, making sure that I am able to find good homes for all of my kittens. I will emphasize quality not quantity.
My breeding Ragdolls will be kept free from disease and genetic defects to the best of my and my veterinarian’s ability. A cat who exhibits chronic illness or poor health should not be bred.
I will consult a qualified veterinarian or geneticist if an inherited problem is suspected. I will report all findings with breeders who have purchased breeding stock from me that may be affected by the findings, as well as I will report all findings to the breeder of the affected cat.
I will whenever possible request necropsy (autopsy) on any kitten or cat that dies suspiciously.
I will only breed my cats when they are in good health and of good weight and condition. It is strongly suggested that a female not be bred before 12 months of age, unless she has had frequent heat cycles that are affecting her health and condition. It is recommended to not breed a female too frequently but give ample time in between litters for her to regain her weight and condition.
It is recommended to not over breed a male, so he is able to maintain a healthy weight and condition.
It is recommended that breeding cats be altered and retired at an age appropriate for their health and well-being.
I will provide proper care for the safe and healthy delivery of kittens, and will, whenever possible, be available to assist the queen if necessary. I will consult with a veterinarian at the first sign of difficulty.
I will provide sufficient socialization for kittens, as well as assess their individual temperament so they go into their new homes suited to that situation.
I will represent the Ragdoll cat realistically, doing my best to dispel past myths propagated to qualify the Ragdoll as a scientific phenomenon, such as they don’t’ feel pain, or they never shed, or they always go limp when held, or they consistently reach tremendous sizes. Instead I will describe the Ragdoll qualities in an accurate manner, addressing unrealistic expectations with factual descriptions.
I will not place a kitten younger than 10 weeks of age, and recognize that 12 weeks or older is recommended.
I will maintain a high standard of health and care for all of my Ragdolls, by providing adequate room for exercise & play. I will provide clean and comfortable quarters with adequate ventilation and lighting. I will provide a balanced quality diet with clean water and litter. I will provide my Ragdolls with regular vaccinations and veterinary care. I will give my cats daily care and affection.
I will house my cats in a manner that minimizes the risk of accidental breeding or aggressive behavior between cats.
I will not allow a cat to run loose outdoors. If I provide an outdoor run, I will make sure the cat has proper protection from the elements, parasites and other animals the cat might be exposed to.
I will not declaw my Ragdolls and will advise against it to my buyers. I will explain my opposition to this practice and make recommendations on how to prevent the cats from undesirable behavior.
I will not sell any Ragdoll to a pet store, or knowingly to a backyard breeder or kitten mill. Or any breeder who exhibits lack of ethical treatment to their Ragdolls.
I will sell all pet kittens either having been altered, or with a strict altering agreement as stated in the RFCI’s by-laws.
Early Spay/Neuter is Highly recommended and should be done if at all possible before the kitten leaves your cattery
I will conduct all sales in a professional manner designed to protect the health and welfare of the cat.
I will include a written contract with all kitten or cat sales transactions, leasing agreements and stud services, with both parties having a copy.
I will include in my written contract the minimum specifics as listed in the by-laws of RFCI.
I will explain the difference between pet, show and breeder quality, before selling any kitten. This explanation could be included on my website, or any information that I use to educate buyers about my kittens.
I will carefully evaluate any kitten being considered as a breeder or a show/breeder, and discuss all qualities and traits with the potential owner prior to the sale. I will disclose the pedigree before the sale is final.
When selling a breeding cat, I will fully explain the pedigree, registration numbers, any inbreeding, and any outcross that I am aware of. I will include the minimum of a three-generation pedigree, although a five generation pedigree is strongly recommended.
I understand that it is recommended that breeders have a 5 generation pedigree on all of their breeding cats, with Certified Pedigrees whenever possible.
I will be available to help all newly established breeders that I place any breeding cat with, for mentoring, support and guidance.
I will contact the breeder of any cat I plan to retire from my breeding program. I will follow the breeder’s policy for re-homing the cat, and give full disclosure to the breeder of the new owners. If there is no previous agreement for the re-homing of this cat, I will together with the breeder decide what is in the best interest of the individual cat. If an agreement cannot be reached for re-homing, the cat will be altered and placed into a pet home.
I will do anything with in my power to aid in the safe re-homing of any Ragdoll of my breeding that is in need of rescue or placement.
I understand that all sales should be covered by a contract. I am free to have my own contract with more issues covered than the minimum requirements set forth in the RFCI bylaws. In the case that I have not used a contract or have less than the minimum required by RFCI, as found in the RFCI’s by-laws, I agree that any dispute will be settled by the Grievance Committee according to the contract requirements set forth in the RFCI by-laws.
Full sample contracts will be offered in the RFCI By-Laws, or can be found on the RFCI’s website, or are available through the Secretary for those who would like to use them.
I agree to use these Code of Conduct as a guideline in my breeding program, and consider them as a minimum ideal in the decisions and policies I make, always keeping in mind the welfare of my Ragdolls, the protection of the Ragdoll breed, and the rights of my customers. I agree to encourage and support RFCI and my fellow members in the following of these Codes of Conduct.