Please note, this page contains general
information you can use when attempting to adopt a pedigreed cat or
kitten from a reputable breeder. This page does not contain specific
requirements of individual breeders but is based on the requirements we used
when placing past kittens with
prospective families. You may be asked to fulfill other requirements in order to qualify to bring one of
a breeder's beloved felines
into your home. So read on to make sure you are ready for the responsibility of
adopting a pedigreed kitten.
Each prospective family must agree to the following requirements or they are not eligible to adopt a pedigreed cat or kitten:
Most breeders prefer to place kittens locally, where they have a short distance to travel to reach their new homes. So people in the near the breeder's area of residence will receive preferential treatment, provided that they meet the adoption requirements listed above.
Occasionally some of babies do fly to reach their new homes. In the rare exception where a kitten or cat must fly to reach his or her new home, breeders generally ask that the new family pay for any shipping charges which includes an acceptable carrier. Every attempt must be made to arrange a non-stop plane flight; and only counter-to-counter shipping will be acceptable. The shipping costs to expect vary among airlines, but average between $150 and $210. An acceptable, airline-approved cat carrier will cost $30. The carrier we have used in the past is a Deluxe Vari-kennel with wire doors and side vents.
Below are the costs a person can assume will be involved in shipping their new cat or kitten. These are estimates only:
Your kitten will be at least 12 weeks of age when it leaves his breeder. And this is usually only if the kitten will be going to a local mommy or daddy. If a kitten will have to fly to his or her new home, he will not be released until he is four months old. This is for the kitten's benefit, as the older he is, the better he is able to handle the stress of travel. Also, when kittens travel by airplane, they are required to have rabies vaccines, and kittens should be four months old to receive this vaccine.
Kittens will have received their first series of kitten shots. Vaccination protocols vary with each breeder. When we were involved in breeding British Shorthairs, our vaccines were administered by our veterinarian, and were modified live, 3 in 1 vaccines. They vaccinate against: Panleukopenia (feline distemper), Viral Rhinotracheitis (upper respiratory infection) and Calicivirus (upper respiratory infection). Rabies vaccines are only given to those cats and kittens flying to their new homes.
Breeders wait to place their kittens at 12 weeks of age because we feel it maintains the health and well-being of the kittens. We can better match their personalities and needs to your family situation. That way we can promise a healthy, loving companion who will be a part of your family for many years to come.
Okay, you've passed the first hurdle by meeting the breeder's adoption requirements. So what can you look forward to when adopting from a pedigreed cat breeder?
Pedigreed cats are an intelligent, loyal and special furry friend raised with love and attention to his or her individual needs. Like humans, each cat has its own distinct personality, and the prima-donnas are catered to as well as coddle the crybabies. Breeders seek to match you with the cat or kitten who will be the happiest in your specific situation and will become the cat of your dreams. For example, you may have young children. You would want to be matched with the most easy-going, "floozy" type of cat. This is the cat that does not shy away from quick movements or loud noises, and is not afraid of people who are closer to their own level, height-wise (like children are).
Please note that that does not mean that breeders will willingly place a cat or kitten in a home where they feel their kitties may fall victim to over-exuberant children and overly-rough handling. Just as it takes time and the right personality to respectfully introduce kitty to a an existing cat, puppy or dog -- so goes the introduction of kitty to children.
Pedigreed kittens and adult cats have been provided the optimum in nutrition depending on their individual requirements. We feed Sensible Choice formulations in dry kibble form mixed together with Royal Canin formulations to the cats we still have. We also offer IAMS Original Adult formula. We find that these dry foods help our cats maintain that fabulous coat luster and glow of health. We do admit to having a few cats on the Royal Canin Slim Cat formula -- as some kitties, like people, have to struggle to maintain a healthy waistline.
Most breeders raise their cats underfoot, where they are pampered pets first, and show or breeding cats last. Kittens are doted on at all times, and many a friend or human family member has noted that e-mails and phone calls go unanswered when there are kittens to be played with.
We are frequently asked what it is that makes a British Shorthair "Pet quality?" Pet quality is not determined by health or temperament. A pet quality kitten might have a disqualifying trait -- like a tail fault, or green eyes (where they should be copper). The potential that these traits may be passed down in a breeding program will encourage the breeder to "pet out" the cat or kitten. These are traits that can cause a show cat to be disqualified in the exhibition ring, but in no way do they interfere with the cat or kitten being a loving companion.
Another aspect that may make a kitten or cat considered pet quality is the breeder's determination that the British Shorthair in question just wouldn't have "what it takes" to compete in the show ring.
Our standard is written for the adult male British Shorthair. It is very difficult for kittens to compete according to that standard. Maybe there are dark tabby markings in a solid kitten. Maybe the ears sit a little too high on his or her head. Maybe the muzzle is pinched. These are all picky traits that we as breeders and competitors must evaluate before placing our beloved kittens in a tough competition class of British Shorthairs. But, most likely, people looking for a special addition to the family won't notice at all.
Most pet quality kittens end up looking like the photos of British Shorthairs that you see in picture books. They just take longer to develop into that gorgeous example of their breed. Remember also that a lot of the Brits in picture books are older, mature breeding cats. The British Shorthair is a very slow to mature breed. As breeders and exhibitors, we seek out those cats and kittens that show promise at young ages to compete for the coveted rosettes.
So, remember that a pet quality kitten is still a healthy, beautiful representative of its breed. Exhibitors, and the judges they seek to impress are very discriminating and choosy when it comes to selecting a winning show cat. So, though we think all of our cats and kittens are great, we have to be realistic when determining who the "beauty contest" winners will be.
Remember also that all kittens sold as pet quality must be spayed or neutered before we will release registration paperwork.
Occasionally show quality kittens may become available. If you decide you would like a kitten that is show quality, whether to show or because you want a kitten that "looks like the one we saw in the Picture book;" be sure to let the prospective cat breeder know so that he or she can attempt to match you up with one a kitten that they feel has the most potential. If your goal is to show the kitten, the breeder may ask that her or she has the opportunity to show the kitten prior to selling the him or her as show quality. This requires that the kitten be released at an age older than four months, as CFA show rules require that a kitten be at least four months of age to be shown.
Unless you intend to breed the kitten, most breeders will still require that the kitten be spayed or neutered at the appropriate age, but will release registration paperwork with the "Not for Breeding" designation at the time that you pick up your new kitten.
Obtaining a kitten for breeding can be a difficult task, as most breeders are very reluctant to place their kittens with a novice. You will most likely undergo strict screening, and may also be required to participate in a mentoring relationship with the breeder.
Pet Quality -
$500 is an average for most of pet quality kittens. Older kittens may be offered at a lower price.
Show Quality -
$800 is probably a low starting point for show quality kittens with a spay/neuter contract.
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