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The Breeder Interview:
If you want a healthy, happy cat, ask these questions before you buy.
Article (c) and reproduced by kind permission of Libbie Kerr - A-Kerr's Bengals

Questions allow the concerned breeder to shine. Listen carefully to responses, ask if this is a convenient time and explain your experience with pets, number and age of family members, your emphasis on health and temperament.

Objective questions. Verified through an outside source.


Is your cattery registered with a registry?
  • A cat is not pedigreed if it is not registered.
  • Links cattery name to cat
Is your cattery inspected?
  • Requires a professional site inspection certified by a major registry.
  • Nominal fee involved, minimal standards required.
  • Objective care of animals.
Are your cats titled?
  • Showing cats requires a friendly temperament.
  • Require a cat to be flexible and to adjust to strange surroundings.
  • Health of cat checked at show by judges and other breeders.
  • Willingness to be held to a standard.
Member of breed club?
  • Signed code of ethics
  • Peer review

Are kittens veterinarian checked?
  • At least once.
Information released to buyer
  • All veterinary records
  • Name of veterinarian and clinic
  • Vaccines, worming, all notations on individual kitten health
Health issues?
  • Parents tested for any breed faults.
  • Age expectation

How long have you been breeding?
  • Catteries tend to come and go.
  • Experience shows management of problems and issues.
Can I see written warranties/guarantees ahead of time?
  • Shows paper preparation and allows you time to read carefully
  • Ask questions before you sign
  • Be sure you are willing to live up to your end of contract
  • Pay attention to:
    • Grace period for health check by your vet
    • Return policy
    • Congenital health guarantees
    • Infectious disease guarantee
    • Void clauses
    • Spay/neuter agreement
When do you release kittens?
  • Earliest kittens should be released is 12 – 16 weeks

At what age do you handle the kittens?
  • Handled daily from at birth is ideal.
Can I visit the cattery? See all the cats/kittens?
  • Yes.

These questions should inspire lengthy conversation.

Why did you pick this breed?
  • Talk of temperament, look, and health issues.
Do you have references?
  • References are most often given if they are positive.
  • Listen for interesting owner stories.
The breeder’s patience and confidence in answering your questions before you buy the kitten are key indicators of professionalism and well thought out protocols. Ask yourself, was the breeder interviewing you as well? Breeders providing happy, healthy kittens are selective where their kittens are placed…


Susan Little, DVM
Diplomat ABVP (Feline)
Bytown Cat Hospital
Ottawa, Canada
Sits on Health Committee of CFA and Board of WINN Foundation

Liz Hanson, breeder of Maine Coons
Owner of Chemicoons Cattery
(so named for her professorship in chemistry at Lindenwood University outside of St. Louis, Missouri)
Liz Hansen

Anne McCullough
Ocicat breeder
Catiators Cattery, West Virginia
"Anne McCulloch-Denise Clark"

Libbie Kerr
A-Kerr’s Bengal cats, since 1989
Columbus, Ohio area
Member of Cat Writer’s Association
Booklets available at web site.

ęCopyright, 2006


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