$750??? For a kitten?? Are you serious? Screw that. I’m going to check the classifieds. I can get the same type of kitten for $300!
Stop right there. If you decide you’re going to go the purebred route for acquiring your next puppy or kitten, please read the following before you make your purchase.
$750 seems like a lot of money for your new pet, but if you think about it, your pet is going to be with you for the next 12 to 15 years, meaning you’re paying $.17/day for your happiness. Is that really so much?
Contrary to popular belief, breeders charge $750 for a reason, and it’s not for profit. After you factor in all the costs, such as proper vaccinations, neutering/spaying, vet visits, it will be fortunate if a reputable breeder can break even. Breeders breed for the love of the breed.
Now you have to ask yourself, why is this person selling this kitten or puppy for so cheap? Often the case is that they are moggies that look like the breed (you might as well just go to the shelter and adopt! they have just as many wonderful cats and dogs). Or if they do look like purebreds, usually the person will be breeding without the original breeder’s consent. How does this happen? Well, some breeders have a spray/neuter contract which states they will provide papers once they receive proof. These people don’t follow through with the contract, and voila! you get backyard breeding.
So here are a couple of things to look for: Reputable Breeder vs. Backyard Breeder
A reputable breeder will have their breeding cats or dogs tested for predisposed traits common to that breed; eg. hip dysplaysia, HCM, and make sure that they are negative to ensure that it is not passed on to the offspring. A backyard breeder doesn’t care, so you’ll most likely get a kitten/puppy that is sick from the start. Your “bargain pedigree” can soon becomes quite expensive, with many costly vet bills (that will soon exceed the $750 that you didn’t want to pay), further down the road!
(Source: Megailee Ragdolls)
A reputable breeder will provide a health guarantee and pedigree papers (check that it is registered with one of the main registries: AKC, TICA, CFA, etc). If the breeder you’re talking to asks you to pay $300 extra for papers, run in the other direction as fast as possible. For cats, registering a litter and getting papers for them costs as little as $10.
A reputable breeder will make sure that the kitten or puppy is well socialized (for kittens – keeping them 12 weeks or more so they can learn the proper lessons from their siblings and mom) to provide a loving, well behaved pet. Whenever you visit a breeder’s home, the kittens and puppies should be confident and curious. A backyard breeder will try to get rid of them as soon as possible (age 6-8 weeks) to reduce the added expense of having to take care of them longer, which also results in missed important social lessons for the little one.
A reputable breeder will breed their bitch (dog) or queen (cat) once a year or every two years, having a small number of litters per year. This ensures that the breeder has enough time to give special attention to each little one, as well as giving the mommy time to recover from the huge toll on their body of having to raise so many. A backyard breeder will breed as many times as possible to make profit.
Last, but not least, a reputable breeder will, but not always, show their cats or dogs to ensure that they are conforming to the standards. I actually recommend going to cat or dog shows to meet the breeders in person. You can meet their cats/dogs, put a voice to the face, and be able to ask for references.
I could go on and on but knowing how people have short attention spans, I’ll stop here. I hope I touched enough on the important aspects of what to look for when choosing a breeder.
If you ever find yourself in a backyard breeder situation, as hard as it may seem, especially if you find the puppy/kitten to be in horrid conditions, do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy from them. It will only encourage a ruthless cycle and potential heartbreak for you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this entry and hope you are all the wiser. Good luck on finding your next furbaby! – Kat