Sunday, July 31, 2011

How to Find a Responsible Breeder

I think some of the most wonderful cats can be found at local shelters, adoption centers, and rescue organizations. They make great companions, and you can form a great bond with a cat you adopt from a local shelter, adoption center, or rescue organization. However, if you have your heart set on getting a purebred kitten, your best bet for finding one is going to be to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Here are some tips on how to find a responsible and caring breeder.

Don't Search the Newspaper or Craigslist: A lot of people don't realize that responsible, caring breeders are not likely to advertise in the newspaper or on Craigslist about their kittens. The individuals who advertise in these places are those who are most likely breeding for profit rather than those who are breeding responsibly, according to the website Breeder Checklist.

Check Breeder's Lists: On the other hand, different organizations keep lists of breeders who may be responsible. Remember, though, that just because an organization has a breeder on its list doesn't mean that the organization endorses that particular breeder. It is still essential that you do your homework before deciding to purchase from a breeder.

The Fanciers Breeder Referral List is one breeder list you can search on-line by breed type or by location. This source lists breeders in not only the United States and Canada, but also in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia, China, and Japan.

If you live in the United States, the American Cat Fanciers Association also contains a Breeder Directory you might want to check out.

Attend Cat Shows: Cat shows are a great way to meet breeders and to learn more about the breed in which you are interested. This is a perfect time to ask questions of breeders and even ask about when their next litter might be born. Responsible cat breeders are often involved in the cat community.

You can find information about cat shows on many of the cat registry sites, like the Cat Fanciers Association, American Association of Cat Enthusiasts, and the American Cat Fanciers Association.

Ask for Referrals: If you know anyone with the specific type of cat you want to get, ask him or her for a recommendation to a breeder. Ask about his or her experiences with that breeder. Was he or she happy with the breeder?

Ask Questions: Any responsible and caring breeder will be happy to sit down with you and answer all the questions you have before you decide to purchase a kitten through him or her. Those who are in the business merely for profit will not, may be impatient, or become defensive.

Some questions you may want to ask your potential breeder include, but are not limited to: What is your primary goal in breeding - to achieve conformation (breed standard) or temperament? According to Breeder Checklist, a good and responsible breeder will aim to meet both goals.

Other important questions you may want to ask include: how long have you been involved with this breed? What can you tell me about this breed's history, positive characteristics, and flaws? How old will the kittens be before you sell them? A responsible breeder knows a kitten needs to be with his or her mother for at least eight weeks before he or she can be weaned. Will the kitten receive any vaccinations before I get him or her? What if I buy a kitten from you and it doesn't work out? A good breeder will want you to bring the kitten back to him or her because he or she will care about what happens to all of his or her kittens. Make sure you get all of your questions answered before deciding on whether or not to purchase from any particular breeder.

Finding a responsible, caring breeder will take some work, but it will be worth it when you pick up your new furry friend and bond with him or her over a lifetime.


Breeder Checklist


  1. Thanks for this really valuable information. I really hope people will go to shelters for their pets since so many are suffering there.

    For those reading this, check out my cat blog archives for some interesting stories about the cat colony I manage.
    Debby in Arizona

  2. That was a really great post. We agree with Deb ... we hope people decide to adopt from shelters and rescues. There are so many wonderful, loving and deserving kitties just waiting for forever homes.

  3. I totally agree with both of you - all of my cats (except Milita) have come from cat shelters and adoption centers. Milita was given to us by a family friend. I have never personally used a breeder myself because I know so many cats are suffering in the shelters. Plus, it's said that up to 25% of cats in shelters are purebred anyway. I have no problem adopting an adult kitty; they often get overlooked, poor babies. :(

    And definitely check out both blogs - they are both great! :)