There’s no shame in going to a breeder for your next kitten, and you don’t have to experience one of the many horror stories out there about irresponsible breeders. Yes, there are many wonderful kittens and cats in shelters throughout the country; however, sometimes people have a dream cat in mind. However, some of the flak “backyard breeders” get is true. To avoid disappointment and hurt from a sick kitten (as well as to avoid supporting animal abuse), it’s vital to learn just how to select a caring and responsible cat breeder.
Tip #1: Learn As Much As You Can About Your Breed
There are 45 breeds registered with The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA); that’s a lot! Before getting your heart set on a breed because of its appearance, learn all you can about it. For example, an Abyssinian has shorthair and is a busy and active cat; this may not be a good fit for you if you’re looking for a calmer cat. Likewise, a longhair cat such as a Balinese may not work for households with allergies.
Tip #2: Meet The Parents
A responsible breeder will keep the parents at their homes as treasured family pets. Sometimes, the grandparents are living there as well! If you cannot meet the parents of your future kitten, run away. It’s likely the mother cat is locked somewhere in a cage and only used for breeding. This is inhumane and also demonstrates that the breeder likely does not do extensive health screenings for mother or kittens.
Tip #2: Meet The Breeder, Too!
Do all you can to avoid just exchanging emails or telephone calls with a breeder. Any caring breeder will want to know who you are, and you should also want to get some idea of who they are. If they seem more interested in quick cash than understanding whether you and your family are a good fit for one of their kittens, find someone else.
Special COVID-19 Note
At the time of this writing, COVID-19 is still a major concern in the United States and beyond. If this is still the case when you’re reading this article, protect yourself (and others!) when visiting someone else’s home. In this era, it’s OK to use video calls in lieu of in-person visits. Always use masks, hand sanitizer, and take the appropriate social distancing measures.