Adding a new kitten to your family should be a fun and positive experience. The most important part is finding a breeder that you can trust. Below are questions that will help you determine which breeder is the right fit for you.
1) How do you maintain your cattery?
Think of how and in what environment you would want your kitten to be raised.
2) What kind of testing do you do on your breeding cats?
Choose a breeder that is willing to show you documentation of genetic test results of their breeding Dams and Sires as well as the test results included in the kittens’ wellness exams.
3) Do you allow home visits and/or video calls?
If they don’t allow at least a video call, ask yourself why would they NOT want to see their home/facilities and kittens in real time? Are they hiding something?
4) Do you have any reviews or references?
There is no one better to let you know how good a breeder is than other adoptive families. Read reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp, Complaints board however… if there are just one or 2 negative reviews, be aware that there are angry people out there who unjustly write “revenge reviews” so be sure and read all carefully, look for responses from the breeder and don’t be afraid to ask about the situation.
5) Are the kittens/cats’ parents both registered? If so, what registries?
This is an important question because it tells you that the cats/kittens are authentic purebreds. Registries can be breed specific (For instance, RagaMuffins registered only with TICA not authentic but for Ragdolls TICA is fine)
6) How do you socialize your kittens/cats?
Think of your home environment, family members and all that the little one will be exposed to and need to be accepting of. Does the breeder’s practices help develop the characteristics your kitten will need to thrive in your home?
7) How long have you been breeding cats?
Experience is important but remember that some longtime breeders may have been unethical for DECADES. Sometimes a newer breeder may have a fresh perspective, modern education, and enlightened philosophy of compassionate care, and cattery management. When you talk to the breeder, listen for a balance of all these things.
8) How many litters do you have per year?
Overbreeding is one of the most common abuses against Queens. The COEs have a set number (3 litters in a 2 year period per each Queen) that is considered acceptable and healthy.
9) Can you provide pictures of the Queen & birthing area?
One picture is worth a 1000 words!
10) Why did you become a breeder?
A great question to get to know breeders on a personal AND professional level.
11) How large is your breeding program?
The breeder should be able to answer this in a way that you feel confident that they are able to manage that particular number and provide the love, care, and attention they require including studs.
12) Where do your cats spend most of their time?
Is the breeder's answer one that fits your idea of how cats should be treated regardless of their participation in a breeding program?