Top Tips On Buying A Pedigree Kitten
Buying From A Breeder
The advantages of buying directly from a breeder is that breeding has usually been carefully planned and thought through with regard to producing healthy cats with good temperament. Many reputable breeders will also offer some form of guarantee contracting to take the cat back if not suitable. A good breeder will most certainly be registered with a breed or cat club. Examples of these are www.rexcatassociation.co.uk, www.thebalineseandsiamesecatclub.co.uk and www.burmesecatclub.com. Also buying a cat direct from a breeder means that there is the opportunity to see the parents and know the exact date of birth of the kitten.
Not all private breeders are reputable. Some breeders will take on cat breeding for financial gain only. These breeders specialise in popular pedigree cat breeds but do not show their cats and usually they or their cats are not registered with any breed club. If you are thinking of buying a pedigree cat from a person who regularly has kittens for sale and yet is not registered with any breed club, I would strongly recommend asking for contact details of at least one previous purchaser to ensure that the kitten purchased remained happy and healthy. If the breeder is unable to supply you this information, it is advisable not to proceed with the purchase. Be aware that the same cannot always be said for kittens sold in pet shops where the history of the kittens for sale can be uncertain.
Buying From A Pet Shop
Some pet shops are very good at ensuring they supply only kittens from breeders they know and trust. However in many cases be aware that the history of kittens sold in pet shops is very uncertain if not unknown.
What Breed Should I Choose?
Take time to consider which breed would suit you, your family and your lifestyle best.
Find out the characteristics to various breeds, for example check out www.catsinfo.com who provide cat breed profiles.
Here are some particular characteristics of some breeds
Oriental or Foreign Cats
Tend to be more highly-strung and demanding. Some are particularly noisy, like the Siamese. This type of cat can be great fun, as they are intelligent, inquisitive and playful.
Will be more laid back and easy going, like the Persian. They should adapt well to a new home. Don't forget their coats will need a lot of attention, and need daily grooming.
Short Haired Cats
European, American and British short-haired cats all have dense warm coats that, although they need regular grooming, do not require as much attention as the long-hairs. Short hairs are usually bright, affectionate and even-tempered without loud "voices".
Coat colour is not linked in any way to temperament, but it is worth considering that pure white cats need attention to keep their coats clean and unstained. Cats with white on their faces may need sun protection cream on their noses and ear tips in sunny weather.
Do your homework first - cat magazines are an excellent source of advice on different breeds and often feature lists of breeders and contacts for breed clubs and societies. Check the characteristics of your preferred breed and the amount of attention and grooming required. Breed related inherited illnesses are less common in cats than in Pedigree dogs, but do find out whether the breed you fancy is prone to any medical conditions (such as respiratory problems in snub-faced cats like Persians).
Signs to look out for to ensure your chosen kitten is healthy
All kittens should:
- Have clear, bright eyes without discharge.
- Have no membrane (the nictitating membrane) up across the inner corner of the eye which can indicate illness.
- Be clean under their tails and not showing any signs of diarrhoea.
- Not have "pot bellies" which can indicate worms. Worms can easily be eradicated and it is usual for kittens to be treated for worms before sale, so ensure this has been done.
- Have glossy, unmatted fur.
- No signs of flea dirt (black specks) in their fur or sores on their skin.
- Have clean white teeth.
- Show no signs of lameness or standing awkwardly.
- If any other kittens in the litter show signs of ill health, it is advisable to walk away as illness or infection could easily affect the whole litter and your chosen kitten may not YET show signs of illness.
- Remember the quietest and smallest kitten of the litter is the most likely to be weaker, however the most lively kitten is likely to grow into a bossy,
- Equally, the most lively, cheeky kitten is not ideal, being likely to grow into a bossy, dominating adult cat.
Cost of buying and owning a pedigree cat
Pedigree animals may incur higher vets bills because certain breeds are prone to various hereditary conditions. Certain breeds, after generations of selective breeding, can be prone to various hereditary conditions which can require long term treatment. It's therefore best to insure a pedigree kitten as soon as you take it into your care and select a policy which provides adequate levels of long term cover. Once a condition becomes apparent it may be impossible to get it covered under a new policy.
Prices of kittens will vary according to the breed, colour etc. and the location of the breeder may also affect the price. As a guideline, prices will vary from £300 up to a few thousand for top quality showing and breeding cats.
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy
The GCCF is the primary governing body of the Cat Fancy in the United Kingdom is the feline equivalent of the Kennel Club. Go to www.gccfcats.org for further useful information.