I have always found wonderful cats in the animal shelter in my town. However, I have had moments when I thought it would be special to have a purebred kitty. Never having dealt with someone who raised purebreds, I didn’t know how to find a reputable cat breeder..
Therefore, thought you readers might have a similar problem if you have never dealt with a cat breeder. Did some research and have learned important things, such as how to choose which ones might serve me best, and what to look for. Now I’ll pass the information on to you.
Do Your Research
Start by making a list of potential breeders that you might wish to contact. Then, research to learn the breeder’s reputation. Check with cat societies, friends with cats, and vets. If you find a bad review in one of these situations, remove that breeder from your list.
Then, visit the breeder and see what kind of facility he has. How are the animals treated? Do they have comfortable, clean quarters? Do they get lots of attention from humans? Are they well fed, healthy, and warm, with no signs of neglect, overbreeding, or abuse?
It’s also a good idea to research the breed you wish to buy. Become familiar with the breed characteristics, and if there are congenital defects to look out for. Ask the breeder how such defects are avoided or kept to a minimum. An independent vet check of the kitten might be a good idea.
Contracts And Guarantees
Ask for a clearly written contract, as this step will provide confidence both for the pet owner and the breeder. The contract should provide a health guarantee, giving time limits and details. It should explain what happens in case of a genetic problem with the kitty.
The contract also requires the new owner to give his pet a certain level of health care. If for some reason the owner can no longer provide that care, often the breeder will take the pet back and find it a new home.
Does The Breeder Belong To an Association?
Expect a good breeder to belong to an association. In the United States, TICA and CFA are common ones. The association’s website explains the standard to expect from breeders belonging to that group. The association also keeps a record of the pedigrees of that breeder’s pets.
Be wary of the breeders who offer pets without registration at a cheaper price. Sometimes they might offer these unregistered litters because of some negative reasons. Perhaps that litter is not purebred, has not been properly bred, or they come from unknown parentage.
Check with the breed club for information, and if the breeder provides references, be sure to call them.
Have The Parent Cats Received Vet Certification?
Ask the breeder if you can meet the parent cats. Find out if the animals have received evaluation from a vet as to their health.
This certification should be done before the cat is bred, to test for disease or genetic conditions. If you know the health of the parent, you can feel reassured about the health of the kitten.
Sometimes you will find you can’t meet the parent cats. If so, find out why, and if the answer seems completely justified, great. Make sure the answer does not leave room to doubt the quality of care these cats have received.
What About Socialization?
Ask the breeder if the kittens have been socialized with other cats, or with people. Good socialization will allow the kitten to function much better with other cats and with humans.
This step becomes very important, because if the kittens do not learn how to interact with other cats and people by the time they are 16 weeks old, they may not learn this way of behaving. This lack of socialization can lead to behavior and adjustment problems as they grow and develop.
What About Vaccines And Shots?
Kittens must receive special vaccinations and shots from an early age. Get information from the breeder as to what shots the kitten has received and when the next shot is due. If the breeder cannot answer your question, consider it a sign that he’s breeding irresponsibly.
Kittens are born with worms. Find out whether or not the baby has been dewormed. This procedure is recommended for all kittens.
Does The Breeder Have The Kitten Spayed/Neutered?
Breeders do their best to spay/neuter the kitten or cat while it still resides with them. Such a policy will keep unwanted kittens from appearing accidentally. The policy will also help to stop some people from breeding cats just to make money.
What About Asking Questions?
It’s important to ask the breeder all the questions you think might give you important answers. Know enough about the breed ahead of your visit so you will have questions at the ready.
A breeder should be happy to answer questions, because these indicate that the prospective owner has concern for the kitten’s welfare. Tour the whole facility. If this is not allowed, you might become a bit skeptical of the breeder’s honesty.
What food do kitten and mother eat? Have tests been performed to check for infectious illnesses and potential problems? Can you gain access to the records of vet checkups?
A breeder who has concern for the care of his kittens and cats will also ask you questions. In this way, he can find out if you would be a good cat parent, and especially for this breed of cat.
When Can The Kitten Go Home With You?
A kitten should remain with his mother until he reaches a minimum age of 10 weeks. Some breeders like to keep mother and kitten together until 14 to 16 weeks of age. Be concerned if the breeder offers you a kitten younger than 10 weeks. Steer clear of this person.
Finally you reach the joyful day when you can take your kitten home with you. Enjoy your new family member!