Choosing the right cat breeder will help make sure you get a healthy, well-rounded cat. It can be difficult to know where to start when you’re looking for a breeder, though. After all, nobody wants to end up with a sickly kitten or accidentally supporting an irresponsible breeder. Knowing how to find the right breeder will give you the best chance of finding a new furry companion who will be with you for years to come.
How to Find Responsible Breeders Near You
1. Research the breed.
Before you begin the search for the best breeder, start by learning as much as possible about the breed or breeds you’re interested in. Knowing what types of health problems are common in the breed will help guide you in knowing what questions to ask your vet and breeders you may purchase a kitten from. You also need to have a solid base knowledge about what to expect from the breed personality-wise to make an educated decision on the right breed for your home.
2. Talk to your veterinarian.
Talking to your vet can help clarify any questions or concerns you may have about the health and behavior of the breed. Breeders are often enthusiastic about their breed, but it may be a breed with major health or behavioral issues you should be aware of and know how to ask questions about.
3. Ask around.
Asking family and friends who have knowledge of the breed or breeders in your area is a good starting point to finding a responsible breeder. You can also talk to vet clinics, groomers, and boarding facilities in your area. They will be able to tell you if there are cats from a specific breeder they see regularly, especially if those cats are exceptional examples of the breed or if they are poorly bred or have notable issues.
4. Search cat club registries.
The International Cat Association (TICA), Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), and breed-specific clubs all keep lists of registered breeders. You can search the websites for these organizations to find breeders near you. The catteries on these lists are all catteries that are registered with the organization, so you know that you’re at least dealing with registered breeders.
5. Read reviews.
Reviews of breeders are available in a variety of places. Many breeders will list reviews on their own sites, but you may find more biased reviews than you would in other places. Social media can be a great tool to find reviews of breeders, and you may even be able to find reviews through the cat clubs. If you’re lucky, you may even come across the titles that a breeder’s cats have won.
6. Call breeders and ask questions.
Calling a breeder with a list of questions will help you make sure you get all the answers you need. Responsible breeders should be willing to answer your questions because they understand the importance of purchasing a kitten from a responsible breeder. Ask questions about the health of the cats, information about the breeding pair, number of litters per year, and health testing. Also ask if you can come visit the cattery. In some cases, this won’t be possible, in which case you should ask for pictures to ensure the cats are being kept in a healthy, hygienic environment.
7. Visit catteries.
Whenever possible, visit the catteries you’re interested in purchasing from. This will give you a chance to see the environment and cats with your own eyes. Pictures will suffice if you’re unable to visit the cattery, but an in-person visit to meet the breeder is ideal.
8. Pick your kitten.
Once you’ve gone through all the steps to find a responsible breeder in your area, it’s time to talk to them about getting on a waiting list or choosing a kitten.
It doesn’t have to be complicated to find a responsible cat breeder, but it is a time-consuming process. Taking shortcuts in choosing a breeder can lead to bringing home an unhealthy cat and unintentionally supporting an irresponsible breeder in the process. Informing yourself about the breed of cat you’re interested in and having a list of questions prepared before you speak to a breeder will help you make a great decision. Be patient and be prepared and you’ll be playing with your new kitten at home in no time!
Related Read: 5 Expert Tips on Choosing the Right Cat for You
Featured Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock