How to Find Your Dream Kitten!
The adoption of a purebred kitten/cat can be an exciting adventure. Before you make that final decision, however, keep in mind that having a pet is not something to enter into lightly. Consider your decision carefully so your relationship with your new friend can be as fulfilling and happy as possible.
Take the time to research the different breeds. Each breed has specific personality traits and care requirements that you should know about before you adopt a cat. Examine your lifestyle and expectations. Learn about all the different breeds -- read magazines, such as "Cat Fancy" or "Cats USA"; attend several cat shows; and, talk to as many different breeders as possible.
Once you have found a breed that captures your heart, your first impulse may be to check your local pet store. While you may find purebred kittens for sale there, most professional breeders will not sell kittens to pet stores. Your best bet is to adopt directly from a reputable breeder. You will know the person who bred the kitten, know about the kitten's parents, have complete health information and proper registration forms, and have a true evaluation of the kitten's quality. Equally as important, when you adopt from a breeder, you have someone to call for advise or for answers to your questions.
Finding the right breeder can be as time consuming and frustrating as finding the right breed of cat. Contact some of the breeders you've talked to at shows, from the "Directory of Breeders" provided in the various magazines, or from one of the numerous breeder referral lists available on the internet. Be patient! Most reputable breeders usually have waiting lists, but the wait will pay off with a healthy, loving cat/kitten. Remember when you adopt an indoor cat, you're making a commitment to that animal for the next 15 to 20 years.
Screen the potential breeders thoroughly. Since you will be investing in thebreeder's knowledge, you need to be confident that the breeder you finally select will be there to assist you with your questions for years to come.
Some Questions You Might Ask Potential Breeders
~ What is
the personality of the breed? In general, what is its activity level?
~ A reputable
breeder is someone who devotes his or her time to the protection, promotion
and preservation of a particular breed of cat.
Reputable breeders want their kittens to go to homes where the kitten and the new owner are happy with each other. For example, If you are looking for a quiet cat and you talk to a Siamese breeder, he or she should tell you that the breed is not for you. The breeder will also ask you how much time you have to dedicate to your new cat. While a perfectly groomed Persian is a delight to behold, if you don't have the time to comb your Persian daily, your beautiful cat will soon be covered with mats and then neither one of you will be happy.
As part of their commitment to purebred cats, reputable breeders are involved in the cat fancy. That is, they show their cats to compare how well their breeding program is meeting the standard for their particular breed. Additionally, breeders meet at shows to discuss health protocols pertaining to multi-cat households and current information on diseases, vaccines and genetics.
Breeders form a special bond with the kittens they have bred and will love the cat no matter where it lives. Some exhibitors may be willing to place kittens at the show, but most will only bring pictures of their kittens for prospective owners to see. They do this to allow themselves time to check with your veterinarian or even visit your home before sending their precious kitten to live with you. Please remember, for as many questions as you may have for the breeder, a reputable breeder may have just as many questions to ask you.
Questions A Breeder May Ask You!
How many cats do you have and how do you care for them?
In Conclusion, reputable breeders want to place their kittens in good homes. They want to be certain their pet-quality kittens are spayed or neutered. The breeder will either spay/neuter before the kitten goes to its new home, or will hold registry papers until proof of altering has been provided by the buyer. Breeders also want to be assured that the cat/kitten will not be allowed outdoors. They will verify that your home is free from contagious diseases that could threaten the kitten's health. Don't be offended by breeder questions. Remember that the breeder has raised the kitten and wants assurances that the kitten will be going to a good, loving home.
While everyone wants the perfect kitten for a pet, remember, it
will take some work to find a reputable breeder, but it will be worth
the time and effort you've expended. When you hold your healthy, happy
purebred kitten in your arms, hear its quiet purr and watch while it
explores its new home, all your efforts will be rewarded. Enjoy your
new family member!
Footnote: Excerpts out of "Cats USA" & Cat Fancy" magazine articles.