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
Ragdolls will exhibit no radical departure from the Ragdoll standard.
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
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
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.
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.
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
I will sell all pet kittens either having been altered, or with
a strict altering agreement as stated in the RFCI’s by-laws.
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.
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.
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
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.