Why Adopt From a Reputable Breeder?
Picking the right breeder is the first and most important step in your search for a purbred kitten or cat. Remember, a healthy cat is a beautiful cat. A kitten is a companion you'll have for many years to come and choosing an ethical, reputable breeder is important.
Your first task should be making a list of breeders who deal with the breed you're looking for. Do a little research to see what their reputations are. Cat societies/associations, friends with cats, previous owners and vets are good sources of information. Does the breeder have a website or references online? Do they keep in touch with their pet buyers to ensure tnat the health of their lines are monitored? Many people who buy from breeders will write about them on a blog, pet websites or in other forms of social media. If there are reviews, do they come with pictures and stories of the cats as adults? Sites that aren’t geared towards breeders (but geared towards offering a pet owner an unbiased and broad spectrum of information about animals) are another wealth of knowledge. People will often post about both good and bad experiences through such sites. Also, ask about how they are specifically advocating for the breed. How are they collaborating with other breeders to learn about potential issues/concerns? What is their involvement in the cat fancy?
If a breeder is registered with an association, you are more likely to get a healthy, well-conditioned cat with pure bloodlines. Assembly line catteries might sound harmless, but these kitty mills can produce pets with plenty of medical problems. While most breeders love cats passionately, those merely in it for the money will often breed and keep their cats in squalid and inhumane conditions. So, a visit to each prospective breeder is highly recommended. You may also want to make sure the cats and kittens are kept in clean, comfy and safe surroundings. Otherwise, you may end up paying more than you bargained for in unforeseen vet bills. Often, you can get a quick impression by taking a look at the breeder's home or place of business, or by chatting with the breeder. Asking well thought out and pertinent questions is also essential. If by some chance the breeder seems cagey, you should probably steer clear. Someone with nothing to hide will gladly communicate with you and invite you to visit the cattery should you be a serious about adopting. A credible breeder will also not hesitate to refer you to a reputable colleague should they not meet your needs for a kitten.
A breeder who interviews you to make sure you can provide a good home is another good sign of a qualified breeder. Every breed will have thier own specific genetic illnesses/issues and hence, it is important to ask about genetic health gurantees and what the breeder's policies are should a kitten/cat present with one once adopted. A good, honest breeder will be completely transparent about potential issues in a breed. Ask about how pedigrees and lines are researched in an attempt to steer away from such hereidatary issues. Ask if independent necropises are performed on kittens/cats who have passed prematurely in order to identify any progressive health issues in lines being used. A sales contract outlining these policies is something to inquire about.
Ask your prospective breeder if their kittens and cats have been tested for infectious diseases such as FeLV/FIV and various gastrointestinal bugs that can be acquired from other catteries and shows. Do they isolate and test newly acquired cats? If so, what kind of testing is performed? A reputable breeder will have records to prove such testing and/or treatments were completed. Of course cats can become ill, no matter how well they’re looked after. However, it’s a good idea to find out how the breeder handles illness in his/her cattery. Watch for an excessive amount of cats/other animals in a breeder's home as well. Too many animals often means a compromise with respect to quality feeding, appropriate infectious testing, and diligent veterinary care. Asking the breeder about the food they use is another useful tip. A high-quality diet means healthier cats. Kittens should be re-homed no earlier than 10 weeks of age to to allow for appropraite weaning and more importantly, socialization. Most breeders will keep kittens until they are 14 to 16 weeks old for this reason.
As you begin the quest of choosing a reputable breeder, approach the adventure with information that will help you make the best, most informed choice possible. Remember, this is going to be your companion for years to come, so take the time to research and choose wisely.
Adapted from PetMd.com