Distinguish a Reputable Breeder from a Bad Breeder - how to look for experience
How to Distinguish a Reputable Persian cat breeder from a bad breeder
Before you buy a kitten, it is very highly recommended that you find a highly reputable breeder. Before you can trust what a breeder is telling you, you need to have evidence that you are dealing with a good breeder with years of cat breeding experience.
It helps if you live in one of the states that requires a cattery license. Also, many cities require a cattery license. While a cattery license is not necessarily proof that you have found a good breeder, it is definitely better than having no knowledge of whether the person has breeding experience. Unfortunately, many states, cities and rural areas do not require any sort of license. This doesn't give you any sort of reference whether you are dealing with a reputable breeder or not.
However, contrary to what some unscrupulous yet licensed breeders claim, good breeders can be found in areas without cattery licensing. If a breeder tells you that you shouldn't buy from another breeder simply because the other breeder lacks a license, that is a good indication the breeder you are talking to may be unscrupulous.
Another common lie that can give away an unscrupulous breeder is when the breeder tells you that all cats of a specific breed have a specific problem, other than congenital defects. This specific problem might be ear mites or ringworm for example.
Finding a Good Breeder by Interview: Questions to Ask
1. How long have you been a breeder?
While the number of years as a breeder gives you clues about a breeder's experience, they can still raise both healthy and unhealthy cats.
2. How many cats do you raise per year?
Breeders who raise very few cats may not have as much experience as their years of experience indicate. Breeders who raise hundreds of cats per year may run into epidemic health issues running through their cattery. Plus, too many cats may mean too little attention for the cats' social development. My rule of thumb is to ask how many males breeding do they have? Each male requires at least 3-4 females. Many times you can view the males on the breeder's web site. If they show a page full of male cats, beware, they may have more cats then one can handle properly.
3. Do you participate in cat shows? Why?
Reputable breeders usually show as a way of learning more about cats and legal issues in the industry, as well as to enhance their reputations. Trophies do show that cats are of a high quality, but be leery of a breeder who takes more interest and pleasure in the trophy collection than the individual cats. One sign of a good breeder might be a discussion of how he or she works to improve upon the breed, rather than the brags of the wins. Of course the wins show the breeder understands the improvement needs of the breed.
4. What congenital defects does this breed have?
A breeder ought to be able to come up with this information off the tip of the tongue. It helps if you have studied ahead and know the answer to this question. He/She should also have a clear plan to help prevent this defect in his/her cats.
A Summary of Bad Breeder Tendencies You Can Spot
- Sputters when answering questions about the breed
- Ignorant of a breed's genetic defects
- Has too many breeds and too many cats in a small space with few workers
- Brags a lot about titles, with little to say about the individual kitten's character
- Says only negative things about all other breeders
- Breeder isn't concerned about what kind of home you'll provide for the kitten
- Makes excuses for a lot of things, even when no excuse is necessary
- Charges overly high prices for pet quality kittens based on the color of their coats, or the size of the kitten's body. Only a cat up to the show standard registration is worth more than a standard pet price for it's breed and class. Standard Persian pet prices for pet cats without show qualities, regardless of color or size or being a mixed unacceptable breed, ranges from $300-$700.
Important NOTE about kitten farms!
You've probably heard of puppy farms, but did you know the same thing can happen with cat breeders? Over the last year, several kitten farms have popped up on the internet. They show wonderful pictures of cats and kittens for sale. Beware, BE WARNED!
A kitten farm is one that all they are truly interested in is the money! They are wonderful con artists! They harm the breed standard and profile. They harm the reputations of good, ethical breeders. They harm all of us.
Clues to know a kitten farm / kitten mill:
- Sells several different breeds of cats.
- No Grand Champions in the breeding stock. None of the sires and dames are granded. Will claim champion lines without having showed themselves.
- Breeds PETS only, not interested in bettering the breed, or genetic improvement of health for the breed.
- Gives breeding rights on PETS, not concerned with the breeding population.
- Charges by the color or mixed breed, not the quality or genetic health breed into the breed
- Sells UN-accepted breeds (breeds are not approved due to genetic faults behind them that have not yet been cleared.)
- Sells in large scales and has lots and lots of kittens.
Kitten farms and kitten mills do not know the genetics and lines behind the cat. This can result in a cat in it's maturing years dying short lived, or on lots of medication, or not socialized at he/she could be. A Persian is like an active puppy, not a cat who stares at you. Some of these guys supply pet stores and labs. Please do not support them. They need to stop breeding and save our cats and kittens from them. And please don't support a kitten farm based on their marketing and high priced pets. This doesn't make them less of a kitten farm; it just makes them MORE of a con artist stealing your money! It isn't ethical to sell a pet kitten for $2000 or more. GET to KNOW your breeder.
BACK YARD BREEDERS are somewhat the same as kitten farmers / kitten mills, but in a very much smaller direction. They can have from one cat- to who knows how many. Sometimes, a back yard breeder simply just doesn't know any better and needs to be educated. These people tend to advertise in the newspapers from low prices and up.
Lastly, sick breeders also known as hoarders. They are obsessed with cats and end up with way too many, to the point where they cannot find homes for their kittens. They become collectors and usually have anywhere from 100 and up cats, usually from 1-3 breeds. Most often they do not want you to visit them ever, and will make arrangements in the PetSmart parking lot down the street from their house (they love to puff themselves up too). They will always have a sincere excuse as to why the cat is dirty and/or sick! Again, beware! If the breeders cats are sick, why? if they are dirty, why? Too many to handle is normally the answer! Cat disease and filth spreads like wildfires. Sometimes these people will have all of their cats end up at the SPCA. Sometimes they send a cat just because they are tired of the cat.
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