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?
Is your cattery inspected?
- A cat is not pedigreed if it is not registered.
- Links cattery name to cat
Are your cats titled?
- Requires a professional site inspection certified by a major registry.
- Nominal fee involved, minimal standards required.
- Objective care of animals.
Member of breed club?
- 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.
- Signed code of ethics
- Peer review
Are kittens veterinarian checked?
Information released to buyer
- All veterinary records
- Name of veterinarian and clinic
- Vaccines, worming, all notations on individual kitten health
- Parents tested for any breed faults.
- Age expectation
How long have you been breeding?
Can I see written warranties/guarantees ahead of time?
- Catteries tend to come and go.
- Experience shows management of problems and issues.
When do you release kittens?
- 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
- Earliest kittens should be released is 12 – 16 weeks
At what age do you handle the kittens?
Can I visit the cattery? See all the cats/kittens? SUBJECTIVE QUESTIONS, BREEDER OPINION
- Handled daily from at birth is ideal.
These questions should inspire lengthy conversation.
Why did you pick this breed?
Do you have references?
- Talk of temperament, look, and health issues.
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…
- References are most often given if they are positive.
- Listen for interesting owner stories.
Susan Little, DVM
Diplomat ABVP (Feline)
Bytown Cat Hospital
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)
Catiators Cattery, West Virginia
"Anne McCulloch-Denise Clark"
A-Kerr’s Bengal cats, since 1989
Columbus, Ohio area
Member of Cat Writer’s Association
Booklets available at web site.