While we encourage everyone to consider adopting a cat, it isn’t for everyone. It’s better to get the individual cat that’s right for you the first time around, than to adopt the wrong kitty only to return it to the shelter. When a particular cat breed or temperament catches your eye, it’s time to look for a cat breeder. But how do you know good from dud? We’re here to help.
If you haven’t already, devour our Ultimate Guide to Cat Breeds and follow the links for the greatest cat content the internet has ever seen. Each breed is accompanied by 5 reasons to love them, as if you needed that many. Your dream cat is just a few clicks away.
Research your chosen cat breeds - you should understand its looks, its temperament and any common health problems that it might have. The breed profiles in our Learning Centre are a great resource. By the time you’re through, you should be a certified catspert, able to drop kitty trivia into a conversation as casually as if you were making a remark about the weather.
Now it’s time to join forces with our old friend, Google, and find some cat breeders in your area. The breeder's website will tell you a lot, but don’t judge a book by its cover: these people are cat breeders not web designers, and a great looking website could just be deceptive. Look for transparent breeding information, plentiful contact details, testimonials and anything else that indicates this is a reputable, ethical operation. Don’t just rely on the breeder’s website however: independent cat breed or cat care forums can be a great source of honest reviews of the breeder’s cats and facilities. And don’t forget, the real world is still right outside your door! Ask friends, vets, and cat clubs for their recommendations.
Research is one thing, but for this next step you’ll have to head out into the field. Visit your cat breeder at the premises where the cats are kept. If they are reluctant and refuse to meet you there, refuse to buy a cat from them - they should not have anything to hide. Once you’re at the breeder’s take careful notes in your detective notepad:
If you’ve done your research, your first impression will probably be pretty accurate - but don’t quit now, there’s still a little more work to be done!
If everything looks good to your scrupulous eye, it’s time to ask some questions. Cat and car are only a letter apart, and they both purr. You should treat your feline friend with the same care you would when buying an automobile. You may feel a little uncomfortable with questioning the breeder, but it’s very important that you do. A cat is a long-term responsibility and you want to be sure that you’re getting a cat that you can love for many years to come. If your cat breeder seems annoyed or cagey when answering questions, consider this a strike against them: they should appreciate your efforts to be a responsible pet parent. Some questions you might ask:
If the breeder has impressed you so far, there’s only one more step - a cherry on top, really. A great breeder will genuinely care about their kittens, and will ask you questions to make sure that they are going to a good match. They’ll also provide information about caring for your new kitty both at the time of purchase and beyond. If everything checks out, and you’re finding yourself on the receiving end of an interrogation, desperately trying to impress your breeder: then congratulations, you’ve found a good one.
For more information on caring for you new kitten, click here.
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