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what do you look for in breeders?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
when it comes to good cat breeders what do you look for. With dogs I know you look for parents that have won championships in the AKC, OFA (or other) health screenings, Not too many females, not to many litters each year, people who don't breed designer or "teacup" dogs, people who allow you to come meet the dogs and puppies/require you to come and be interviewed and be matched to the right puppy, let you meet the mother and father (if he belongs to them) of the puppy, and more important aspects that are not quite as major as these. So what do you look for in a cat breeder, are they basically the same? What is the cat equivalent to the AKC? Another important question is how do you know if a breeder of something like a traditional Siamese is good since the cats can't be shown? Are there health tests like OFA for cats? Thanks for any input, I'm relatively new to cats
post #2 of 10
Cfa is the lagest cat organization
Tica is another well respected one

Ask why are they breeding ....?? the answer should be for the betterment of the breed and what they are specifically aiming for...

Are they breeding more than one breed>???? most good breeders say two is the most ..

do they have linage of several generations not just mom dad grandma and grandpa
post #3 of 10
Yes its basically the same. The equivalant of AKC is CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) but you also have ACFA and TICA as big associations too. CFA doesn't recognize some of the breeds (like Bengals) that ACFA and TICA does.

I will leave out the foreign registries for the time being (european/australian).

There are other "associations" that recognize some breeds like traditional type of cats but these are very small and usually the big associations don't accept any of their cats for registration.

One of the other things you might find in a good breeder is their insistance of spay/neutering pet cats - dog breeders usually don't insist on this (which IMO they really should). Another is declawing - most good breeders are totally against this being done to show or pet cats - there is no reason to do it. Most associations will not allow declawed cats to be shown anyway.

There are certain test now that breeders are screening cats for - heart and a few others.

When evaluating cats, you should learn and know a little something about the breed in general before you go looking for a breeder. You will know what you are looking at. Its better (IMO) to have more grands then just champions in the lines. Its pretty easy to get a cat championship - much harder (unless you have top quality) to get that grand.

You don't want to deal with breeders who have a LOT of litters but the cats are not being shown or titled. They usually are more into making money. Good breeders try to stay small and turn out QUALITY kittens - even if they are just pets and not in the show ring.

We wanted an ocicat after seeing them at a show and did research. We contacted many breeders (6-7) to see if they had anything available. We wound up with a show one We don't have to show him. The breeder actually changed the contract (pet) to allow us to show him. He turned out better then expected.

We had been breeding/showing cats for a long time and the breeder knew that in our discussions. So I'm sure she changed the contact on that basis with the quality of the kitten. Had we not mentioned showing to her, she probably would have not told us we could do it as we bought him for pet
post #4 of 10
Just a note from someone who has been in dogs since being a toddler... the requireing of spaying/neutering dogs is growing. Thank GOODNESS! I know growing up our dogs always went with a spay/neuter contract.

And once ms Athena gets her GC and comes in season...her pups will be on a similar contract as my kittens.

Ok Hyjack over..

But yes when I look for things in a cat breeder, I look for the same things I look for in a dog breeder. Breeders should all opperate with the same ethics. Weather they are Cat, Dog or horse..ect.
post #5 of 10
Well first off, Don't ever assume you know something about a breeder. ASK first!!!

For me I look for Persians that have the look I'm striving for. I want a breeder who will disclose anything before hand about their cats that will help you pick the right one for you. A breeder has to be ethical, responsible and not a kitten mill. The breeder should be willing to show you the papers and pedigree on the cats that you might be interested in. They should be forthcoming. If they hide anything back, don't want you to see an animal or something... RUN. the contract should say that there is a health guarantee. It needs to be 1 - 2 yrs for that health guarantee. I also am looking for certain bloodlines to add to my breeding. The cats in someone cattery should be healthy and clear eyed and noticeably cared for.

I don't know what else to say.
post #6 of 10
Yep, pretty much the same for cats. Also someone who keeps their cats (other than stud males who may have to be housed separately) as part of the household and socialises them well.

Originally Posted by ScamperFarms View Post
Breeders should all opperate with the same ethics. Weather they are Cat, Dog or horse..ect.
This is taking things off at a tangent so I won't talk at too much length about it, but bird breeding works quite differently. There are ethics, but they are very different ethics (no hybrids, maintaining natural shapes and breeding lines preserving wild colours), and many responsible breeders would never exhibit their birds because they operate closed aviaries (basically permanent quarantine) for health reasons and never let their prized birds be in a hall with with others! A closed breeder is the best to go for when getting a bird. I would also never buy a budgie bred for showing, as they have been bred too far from the natural type and tend to have shorter lifespans.
post #7 of 10
Interesting on the bird breeding I do agree on the budgies - IMO the "show" ones are not normal looking
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Interesting on the bird breeding I do agree on the budgies - IMO the "show" ones are not normal looking
It's basically due to the fact that birds are not domesticated, they are considered 'wild' animals even when bred in captivity and tame. Humans have done little to them (with the exception of the show budgie) to create breeds for different functions or to fulfil different requirements, each type of parrot is a different species. Even the show budgie is not considered a different 'breed' than a wild budgie. Hence a Senegal Parrot is a Senegal Parrot, and unless it's deformed, is going to look pretty much the same as every other Senegal Parrot out there, and competing against other Sennies would be a fairly pointless exercise, since there is little variation outside of the norms of what you would see in nature (and nor should there be).

The other reason is that you can't choose who to mate your parrot to, especially with larger birds. Your bird will either form a bond with the bird you've chosen, or it won't. If they do bond, they are together 'until death do us part', so any offspring created will always be the result of the same pairing. You can't put a parrot with a different mate for a couple of days because it has a feature you like and want to be passed on to the offspring. It just won't happen, and injury to one or both of the birds is a possibility!

The only exception to lack of change in parrots is in the occasional natural colour mutations, people may well selectively breed to get dilutes, -inos, cinnamons etc. I do not have a problem with this, as long as breeding for natural colouration continues alongside. This is becoming a bit of a problem with lovebirds, in that less people are breeding the plain old green peachies and more are selectively breeding for dilutes etc.

Hence a good breeder will be aiming for health and good socialisation, won't let their birds near any other birds, and will hand-rear those earmarked for pet homes, and let the parents rear potential breeding birds (a hand-reared, well socialised parrot will be unlikely to form a bond with another bird once it has chosen a human to bond with, so is likely to be unsuitable for breeding.)

Sorry I said I wouldn't go into it at length and I just have, I can't stop myself
post #9 of 10
I'm a breeder, but I buy from other breeders too. Some things I look for are:

1. Pedigree/Bloodlines and does this breeder show their cats or are they just riding someone else's coat tails? I know some breeders can't/don't show for various reasons and I take those into consideration.

2. What is their reputation among other breeders.

3. How do they care for their breeder cats. Yes, I'm concerned about how the kittens are cared for, but I'm more interested in how they care for the breed cats that are with them for many years. Most breeders will take excellent care of their kittens, afterall they must be in sellable condition, but how about the parents?

4. What associations they belong to.

5. Are they personable, easy to talk to, do I like them. Once the cat is purchased, it's not the end of the road, the relationship with the breeder can go on for many years.

6. What sort of contractual health guarantees are offered.

There are many other things to consider, but these are some of the top things I look into
post #10 of 10
I am not a breeder - but, based on my time here on TCS and the postings of the breeders on this site, I would post a thread asking for referrals from the breeders who are "regulars" here. I am so impressed with the wealth of knowledge that TCS breeders all appear to have; their willingness to offer advice; and their concern for the betterment of whatever breed they represent. Along that line, if you are near one the the TCS breeders, why not talk to them about their cats?
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