You are in love with a particular breed of cat and are looking for a cat breeder. Try not to give in to the temptations of the heart and tempting prices because choosing a kitten requires time and vigilance. What precautions should be taken before adopting a kitten? What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying from a breeder? Our answers.
Adopting a cat from a breeder: precautions to take
If you have decided to adopt a cat from a breeder, you will have to check certain criteria. Our recommendations in your steps:
Find a serious and passionate breeder
Word of mouth is the best way to advertise a breeder with a good reputation. Ask around, look at reviews on the internet, in forums, social networks, ask veterinarians. Before leaving its birthplace, a kitten must be well socialized and for that, not to be separated too early from its mother. Early weaning is forbidden because it has consequences as much on the health of the kitten as on its behavior. A breeder who cares about the well-being of his animals will entrust the young feline after its 12th week of life (ideally 14) and only to a home that seems suitable.
From one litter per year, any cat breeder is considered a professional
Have a structure that respects the sanitary and animal protection standards set by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry;
To proceed to the identification of the animal by tattoo or chip;
To present the vaccination booklet of the breeder and her kittens;
Establish a certificate of sale specifying the data relating to the identity of the cat, its breed, the selling price as well as the coordinates of the buyer and the seller.
Assessing the cats’ environment
An experienced breeder is usually proud to show the environment in which his animals live. When you visit the premises, pay particular attention to hygiene (bowls, litter boxes, general cleanliness), the space given to the cats, and the furnishings: sleeping quarters, outdoor and indoor shelters, cat trees, toys. If cats are housed in a box or other isolated area, they may not be well socialized. Choose a facility where the animals have regular contact with their human family;
Examine the kitten closely
When you visit the cattery, take your time to look carefully at
The kitten’s physical appearance
The kitten should have a shiny, soft coat. Its nose, eyes and ears are clean, not sticky or crusty.
The behavior of the little feline
It should reflect a curious, playful and active temperament. If it shows fear or apathy, be careful. The breeder must be able to inform you about the character of the members of the litter: bold, shy, affectionate…
The mother must live with the breeder in order to have also benefited from a good socialization. Observe her character: is she shy? Aggressive? Does she let herself be approached easily? Study the way she behaves with her kittens because it is largely from her that the kitten inherits its character, both through genetics and education.
Be sure of the breed of cat
If you wish to acquire a purebred feline, the breeder must present you with the appropriate documents, such as the pedigree. This pedigree provides information about the parents, grandparents and certifies that all breeding requirements are met. To be considered “purebred”, a cat must be registered in the Livre Officielle des Origines Félines (LOOF), as well as its sires who have been tested negative for hereditary diseases.
Adopting a cat from a cattery: the advantages
As seen previously, by choosing a kitten born at a competent breeder, you are assured :
To acquire a purebred cat registered with the LOOF, thus guaranteeing you a perfect traceability;
To know the environment in which the animal was born and lived its first months;
To meet the kitten before welcoming him at home. Thanks to a first contact, you could see if he was clean, well maintained and sociable;
To benefit from a follow-up. A qualified breeder accompanies you in your adoption. He answers your questions and uncertainties. He is happy to help and advise you, even after the adoption.
Adopting a cat from a breeder: the disadvantages
Among the aspects that can slow down the purchase of a feline from a breeder, we can mention
A pedigree cat can be very expensive because the investment made by the breeders is important. Their expenses include the purchase of the reproducers, the genetic tests, the registration to the LOOF, the visits to the veterinarian (identifications, vaccines, deworming, antiparasitic…), the examinations (cardiac, renal ultrasounds), a food of quality, the litters, etc… ;
A breeder who certifies that the breed does not suffer from any hereditary disease is to be avoided because, either he knows the breed badly or he tries to sell you a cat at any price. Animals are bred to ensure breed-specific criteria, so it can happen that some felines inherit genetic faults even in very serious breeders. For example, the Maine Coon is known to carry hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is wise to ask the manager of the kennel for all the results of the genetic tests, as a guarantee of his professionalism;
If many breeders are honest, others are less scrupulous and traffic animals or cheat on the origins of the cats. If an individual cannot show you the mother of a litter because she died while giving birth, it is often a scam. For the purchase of a kitten, the use of classified ads is the most common way, but a breeder with a solid reputation usually does not need to advertise on these well-known websites. Not only is he listed on the breed clubs, but he has also been happy to answer all your questions by phone and to receive you at his premises. A good professional wants the best family for his litter and reserves the right to refuse an adoption if the promised living conditions do not seem appropriate for the kitten.