How to Buy Purebred Kittens
When buying a purebred kitten there are some things the buyer must be aware of.
Purebred kittens are nearly always more expensive than your regular domestic cat, or kitten. Certain cat breeds (such as the hairless cat breeds) may be thousands of dollars, especially if they are well bred (or cleverly marketed). Many domestic kittens are given away for free, or adopted cheaply from a shelter. In fact some shelters occasionally get purebred animals which they adopt out at their regular adoption fee.
Purebred does NOT mean Quality
The only thing that “Purebred” means is that the kittens parents are known and registered of the same breed. If the parents were not taken to shows to prove they are excellent examples of the breed, worthy of being bred, and have earned championship titles, then the kittens are of no additional value. Additionally the parents should have been to a veterinarian prior to being bred to be tested for genetic problems. If the parents have had previous litters, some of the kittens from those litter should have show titles already and the breeder should be able to show you proof of such.
What is Purebred Kitten?
Legally a purebred kitten must be registered and the registration papers need to be transferred to the buyer at the time of sale. A seller cannot offer a purebred for one price with papers, and another price without.
Each purebred breed of cats has its own known common behaviors, Persians, for example, are more withdrawn, and less active than most cats, and sometimes have litter box issues. Knowing what breed behaviors are common in certain breeds will help a person select a cat breed that is right for them.
Every breed has negative health issues associated with it. If we look at the Persians one of the best known health concerns is the breathing passage being small and as such the cat is more at risk for heat stroke and so forth. Knowing what health concerns are common in what breed helps an owner prepare for, and try to prevent, the problems from occurring. The newer breeds of cats often have more genetic problems because their is a smaller gene pool.
Who are we Buying Kittens From?
Not every cat breeder is a Reputable one. Pet stores sell low quality kittens at inflated prices (after all, stores must make profit). Many people breed cats because it is relatively easy to do so, but few put in the work to prove their breeding animals are quality. As we have learned from above, Purebred does not mean Quality, and many “breeders” over charge because the public is woefully unaware.
Why do we want a Purebred Kitten?
Before buying a purebred ask yourself why a “Purebred” rather than any domestic kitten? If we are not interested in showing, then we might just find adopting a cat without registration papers is just as good.
In the United States alone over 2 million cats and kittens are euthanized for lack of finding a home, some may be purebreds.
Purebred cats often have more genetic health concerns (unless compared with inbred domestic cats) and as such a person can be paying a lot of money for a lot of problems down the road (particularly if the kittens do not come from a proven reputable breeder who offers a guarantee against genetic problems.
Where to Find a Reputable Cat Breeder?
You will not find kittens for sale from a reputable breeder in the newspaper or on the Internet. Reputable breeders do NOT breed until they have a waiting list of buyers. As such they may advertise the quality of their adult cats to attract interested buyers in kittens. You can find reputable breeders at cat shows, or by picking up a cat magazine. At this point you must check to see the show records and genetic testing done by a veterinarian on their cats and inquire further about their guarantees.
Be aware that you should never pay a cent for a cat without vaccinations, vet check, and some sort of guarantee.