ASK QUESTIONS

15 Questions You Should Ask Cat Breeders 
By: Dr. Debra Primovic 
 
 If you are getting a cat, most veterinarians recommend that you get it from a breeder. Choosing a breeder can be difficult.
To get the most out of your interaction with the breeder and to make sure you get the best possible kitten, be prepared to ask the breeder some questions. The answers and advice you receive will help you select the best and healthiest cat.
 

Here is a list of questions to consider asking your cat breeder:
 
1. Are the kittens' parents "certified"? This means that certain breeds are often at risk for genetic conditions such as heart problems. Most of these diseases are inherited, meaning the disease is passed from parent to kitten. Many breeders will have their cats evaluated and tested for that disease and ultimately "certified" by a veterinary specialist to be disease-free. Know about the breed and if there are any common genetic problems. A small amount of Sphynx will have HCM. Make sure your breeder scans the breeding cats every year!!! This is the only way to stop HCM is to scan and alter breeding lines prone to this disease.


2. Ask to meet the cat's parents. If possible, meet the kitten's parents. Notice if they appear to be in good health and evaluate their overall temperament. Are they shy or well adjusted?

3. How have they socialized the kittens? Have the kittens been around other cats? Other people? Socialization is critical in kittens 6 to 16 weeks old. Proper socialization consisting of good experiences of a kitten with other kittens and lots of different ages, sizes and types of people will give you the best chance at having a well-adjusted cat.

4. What vaccines has the kitten had? How many shots has he received and when will the kitten be due for his next kitten shot?

5. Have the kittens been dewormed? All kittens are born with worms and routine deworming is recommended.

6. Have any of the kittens in the litter been sick? If so, what were the signs, the diagnosis and treatment?

7. What visits has the kittens had with the veterinarian? Have they been examined and declared "healthy"? If not, what problems have they had? Have they been on any medications?

8. What is their guarantee? What guarantee does the breeder give with their kittens? If the kitten is found to have a severe illness, what will they do? This is a difficult topic but one that is a lot easier to cover up front rather than later.

9. Recommendations? Ask the breeder for a couple references of kitten owners that they have sold within the past year. CALL them. Find out if the breeder was fair, if they were happy with their cat and how any problems were handled.

10. Do they have a breeders contract? Does your breeder require a breeder's contract? If so, what is in it? Is the breeder willing to take back the kitten at any time, if you can't keep it?

11. Spay and neutering. Reputable breeders will spay or neuter your cat before it goes home with you. The kitten recuperates faster in a familiar environment. A reputable breeder does not take chances that a pet quality cat will be used for breeding. NEVER adopt an unaltered Sphynx. Kittens sold with a spay/neuter contract is a major warning sign that the breeder is not concerned about the welfare of their kittens.

12. Ask about health history from the breeders lines.

13. What are  they feeding the kitten. it is ideal to continue feeding the same food for the first few days at home to minimize the risk of gastrointestinal disturbances. If you choose to change the diet, do it gradually. I feed raw. I strongly urge my pet homes to do so as well. But, if not I will provide you with enough food to transition the kitten without stressing his system.


14. Health certificate and certificate of sale. – Ask the breeder if he will supply a health certificate for the kitten issued by his veterinarian. Some states require also a certificate of sale.

15. Does the breeder belong to a breed club? Ask for references

Get your questions answered and feel very comfortable with your new kitten.

Proper and responsible breeding, appropriate health care and correct kitten socialization will make a big difference in how healthy your cat is and what kind of cat your kitten will turn out to be.
 


What You Need to Know About a Cat Breeder's Contract
The contract that you sign when you buy a cat from a breeder is more than a simple bill of sale. It describes your rights and the seller's rights in the transaction, sometimes for the life of your pet....

As with all important decisions, buying a purebred cat requires planning. You are about to embark upon a relationship that may span fifteen to twenty years – longer than many marriages. So make sure you think it through.


When looking for a new cat, it is important to get the best and healthiest kitten possible. The best purebred kittens come from ethical breeders and not kitten mills. The few dollars you save is spent quickly on vet bills. Not to mention heartache.