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Are You Dealing With a Responsible, Ethical Cat Breeder?

Katznjamr Kitten in her new home.

Warning signs you may be dealing with a disreputable, unethical, or irresponsible breeder:

  • The “breeder” lacks in-depth knowledge about the breed, does not know the breed standard and breed genetics, so cannot gauge the true quality of their kittens and cats.

  • The “breeder” doesn't interview prospective owners or ask questions. The breeder doesn't share the challenging aspects of the breed. Instead the breeder is more like a salesman.

  • The “breeder” does NOT encourage visits to the cattery - always ask to visit, a visit speaks volumes! Instead, the “breeder” prefers to sell over the Internet and doesn't allow cattery visits. Flashy websites and cute pictures do not mean quality breeders, nor do they mean clean, healthy, well-run catteries.

The “breeder” insists on meeting you somewhere, so that the cattery is never visited, claiming health or safety concerns. Stay away from these breeders, there are far too many excellent breeders who will welcome you to the cattery and proudly show off many of their cats and kittens that are old enough to meet visitors.
  • The “breeder” houses adults and kittens in cages, and therefore has more space to house breeding cats and kittens.

  • The “breeder” does not have a good history or working relationship with a quality veterinarian. Ask for veterinary references.

  • The “breeder” does not socialize the cats and kittens.

  • The “breeder” breeds multiple breeds - meaning for profit, rather than breed furtherance.

  • The "breeder" has many litters of kittens available - meaning they are likely breeding indiscriminately for profit, rather than carefully planning litters.

Breeders with many litters of kittens are challenged to socialize each kitten well, may struggle to maintain a high level of cleanliness, often battle frequent health issues, and are not as careful about approving the home each kitten is sold into, due to an over abundance of kittens.
  • The “breeder” sells kittens without registration papers and pedigree.

  • The "breeder" charges more for registration and pedigree papers, even though it costs only $10 to register an entire litter.

  • The “breeder” doesn't test and screen for genetic issues - all breeds have them - but instead claims their breeding cats are perfectly healthy, so no need.

  • The breeder happily sells kittens with breeding rights to anyone interested, regardless of the buyer's experience or the cat's quality. Why? Because kittens sold with breeding rights sell for more money.

  • The “breeder” does not take back, for any reason, a cat or kitten they've produced.

  • The “breeder” is not a member of a recognized breed association, such as The International Cat Association (TICA) or The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA).

  • The “breeder” does not receive quality references from other reputable breeders.

  • The “breeder” does not give a health guarantee, or gives one for a few weeks or months after a kitten's purchase date. Health guarantees should be given for a minimum of three years, but preferably five years.

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