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Adoption Question

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well this is my first post, so I apologize if I have placed this in the wrong area.

I am looking to adopt a cat, and there is a feline rescue center in my area that has a pretty good selection of animals to choose from. But, this is where my question comes in...

The owner quoted me a price of $100.00 for adoption (which is considerably higher than our city animal shelter adoption fee of $32.50, but she does have a better selection and she specializes in cats exclusively). However, she then went on to say that pure breed cats start at $150.00. The part that confuses me is that she does not have papers to prove that these cats are in fact pure breeds. It is true that some of her cats APPEAR to be Siamese or Himalayan or other nice breeds, but I guess I just don't understand why/how she can charge more for them when she takes them in for free just like every other cat and she can't back up the fact that they are what she says they are.

All of these cats are either dropped off at her doorstep or she otherwise rescues them. I am more than willing to pay an adoption fee, because I understand that their are fees involved in upkeep of vaccinations, food/water, litter, facilities....etc. She seems to absolutely adore the animals and I'd like to believe that she's not just trying to make a buck, but then again I don't know.

My sister and her husband breed dogs (Great Danes) and I know that in the world of pure breed dogs, a puppy/dog is just another dog if you can't provide the AKC/CKC registration papers. My sister has to keep her paperwork 100% in order so that they can charge the appropriate amount for the puppies.

So this is why I came to you guys/gals. Can anyone tell me if this is standard practice or should I steer clear of her?

post #2 of 17
I agree with you - even if it LOOKS purebred (and may be) without papers to prove, I think its wrong to charge more, just on the basis of looking purebred.

If you really want a purebred cat, go to a legit breeder and buy one. If not, then keep searching. There are "purebred' rescues across the country - they take in pedigree cats that need new homes - whether from a breeder or an owner. Not sure if they have papers, but I would think they would be more purebred then this lady is claiming.

What kind of cat do you have in mind?
post #3 of 17
I use to foster for a cat rescue that would charge more for 'purebreds'. The reason is people would be willing to pay more for a cat that looked like a purebred. But it was a way to bring in more money to spend on the other cats still in rescue. Ethical rescues never make money, just like ethical breeders never make money on their kittens/puppies. A shelter/rescue may come out ahead on one kitten, but they loose it on another sick cat that requires a lot of medical attention.

The only way you can be 100% certain you are getting a purebred is if you go to an ethical breeder. Even purebred rescues can't prove the cat is 100% as they don't have papers. I'm with Siamese Rescue and we take Siamese and mixes, as well as Tonks, Orientals, etc. But are they purebred? Some - maybe, others - no, but without papers NONE can be considered purebred.
post #4 of 17
I think one one the main reasons for the higher fee on "purebreds" is to stop people from getting a cheap purebred they can make money on. If they were only $50 and some one sells it in the paper for $150, they can make money on a rescue.
For the most part with out papers then it isn't a purebred, but even if an animal came in with papers, most organizations can not surrender papers to the adopter for confidentiality reasons.
Even if she is "making" $50 on her so called purebreds, I am sure it doesn't go in her pocket, but goes on to help fund other rescues in her shelter.
I wouldn't let that scare you away from this person, I am sure she isn't making a bundle off them, and you said she sounds like a nice caring person.
But do check around, the right pet is sure to find you that way
post #5 of 17
Some shelters charge more for young kittens because they know more people are willing to adopt them. This sounds like the same thing.
If the cat looks like a specific breed, then more people might be interested in the cat, so she can charge more for the cat.
It's likely less than you would pay the breeder for the purebred kitten.
I would be more concerned whether the cat you are trying to adopt is healthy, than what his or her adoption fee is, cause vets are expensive.
You can spend that 50$ on one vet visit easy, and that won't include tests if the cat needs those.
post #6 of 17
i personally think the shelters should charge more for cats that appear to be purebred. because most shelters are privately/charity funded and since purebred cats are more in demand, why shouldn't the shelter try to charge more. by charging more they can make more money to save more cats. Now i'm not saying they should try to pass of the lookalikes as guaranteed purebreds or that they should charge outrageous prices. But yeah if a normal DSH adoption fee is 95, i think its reasonable for a purebred lookalike to cost 150 imho.
post #7 of 17
I have a huge problem with it.

If it is acceptable for anyone, even a rescue, to charge more for an unpapered purebred looking cat than for any other domestic, then it legitimises a higher price for the private sale of poorly bred, unpapered 'purebreds' - ie. people who have bought a purebred cat that should never be bred from, and mated it anyway. It encourages bad breeding practice and BYBs - which creates MORE problems for rescue organisations in the long run. Rescues that do this are shooting themselves in the foot.

It should be accepted that if a cat has no registration papers, it doesn't MATTER what it looks like - it is a domestic cat, end of story.
post #8 of 17
I also have a problem with cats be claimed as purebred. It devalues the breed in the eye of the public, and it puts blame on breeders adding to the pet overpopulation. You can get retired breeders for that price if you want a purebred. Getting a retired breeder you will get papers and some of the cats might even have titles.

There have been studies done stating less than 1% of cats entering shelters/rescues are purebred. The majority of cats are mislabeled.
post #9 of 17
I agree, and not only does it cheapen the breeds and give a false impression of the number of unwanted purebreds, this can directly translate to invasive and restrictive legislation against hobby breeders.
post #10 of 17
I doubt she is charging more to make $$$. Cat rescue places need funding too, the extra $50 is already spent on food or vet bills or something. Most shelters charge far less than what it has cost them to feed and house the animal AND spay/neuter and microchip and other vet bills. You are going to spend so much more money taking care of a cat initially that doesn't come from a shelter or rescue group because they take care of all these things for you. $100 is not unreasonable at all for a "high demand" cat. Many shelters charge higher amounts for kittens because people are willing to pay for it. Cat rescue is EXPENSIVE. Charging more because it is "purebred" is silly, but charging more because it has a higher demand makes sense.

True pedigreed purebred cats from an established cattery / breeding program will cost a LOT more than the $150 she mentioned though. Usually deposits alone are about that much.
post #11 of 17
It's not about whether she is doing it to make $$$$ - she's just trying to cover costs as best she can. BUT if a rescue charges $50 for a moggy and $100 for a moggy that looks like a purebred, then it gives the message that it is OK to do that. That it is OK to pay more for a cat because it looks like something it isn't. That it is OK for people to pay more for unpapered cats that claim to be purebreds. Like you'd get from a BYB. It legitimises a BYB charging $300 for a cat with no papers that looks like a purebred.

Do you see what I'm trying to say?
post #12 of 17
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
BUT if a rescue charges $50 for a moggy and $100 for a moggy that looks like a purebred, then it gives the message that it is OK to do that.
I agree. It's the same as labeling a cat as a "Bengal" (or any breed) just so it gets adopted faster when they know darn well it's not a Bengal. Without papers you cannot say whether it's a certain breed or not.

I also have a question, when cats are surrendered with papers does anyone try to track down the breeder? As most breeders want their cats back should the new owner not be able to keep them.
post #13 of 17
I see your point about it devaluing the breed and possibly promoting BYB's.

But at the same time, I don't think most adoption agencies really try to pass off the cats as the breeds. At least the adoption agencies i visited always used the terms "like" "possible" "mix" etc so that you knew it wasn't purebred. Also if these look alike kitties are cheaper then BYB then at least people are considering adopting a cat that needs a good home as opposed to buying one from a breeder (good or bad). And lets face it, the people who would be willing to buy the lookalikes, would have gladly payed a BYB since its still on average half the cost of a good breeder if not less.
post #14 of 17
We have done it, but it is something I dont agree with, I think it is wrong to try and get more money on a cat that 'possibly' is a pedigree (ours were mixes, so effetively just a very unusual, stunning moggie), they should all be the same regardless and for the most part, it doesn't cost more for a pedigree rescue to look after a cat than it does a moggie rescue - but they can probalby do more as they have a 'higher income'
post #15 of 17
I also feel a bit sorry for the poor ordinary looking mogsters - because I think it also gives the message and maybe reinforces a belief that they're not worth as much and not as desirable, and therefore more disposable.

I honestly feel that if you're (not anyone here personally, just in general terms) looking in shelters/rescues for a cat in the first place, then in your mind and heart when you start looking, you'd be more than happy giving a home to a moggy pal. Then something 'better' is offered (it must be better because it costs more, right?) and maybe then you feel that a moggy is not as worth having.

People want purebred cats for all sorts of reasons, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, I have both papered purebreds and a mogster, but usually it's because they want either a cat that looks a certain way or has a certain temperament and character traits (or both) - and the latter of those you cannot even begin to judge from an unpapered lookalike, because it isn't what it says on the tin.

This does everyone a disservice. Siamese in this country have a falsly earned reputation for being moody and mean and having health problems. Bengals have a reputation for being wild and unfriendly and aggressive. Burmese have a reputation for being miniature 'Genghis Khans' with bad temperaments. The reason for this is simple - because they're popular breeds, a lot of shelters label their lookalikes as these breeds, and the reason a lot of unpapered cats that look like these breeds end up in shelters is because of the large number of BYBs producing these popular breeds, but not breeding for good health and temperament. There is also no support network for rehoming, should the need be necessary - that is one of the benefits of going to a good breeder, they will help you rehome if it is necessary, or offer a home themselves, which helps to keep cats out of the rescue system.

I can't see any benefit at all in false labelling - if in the UK it doesn't fall under the Trades Descriptions Act and the remit of the Trading Standards Office then it ought to - after all, selling counterfeit 'branded' clothing is illegal, yet we are talking about lives here which should be more important - and if a so called Siamese that you're expecting to be people orientated and loving turns out to be mean and moody and always needing a vet visit, then it's more likely to end up being rehomed over and over.
post #16 of 17
The humane society here in Salt Lake also charges more for cats that "look" purebred. I think it's wrong, unless they have papers. Which they usually don't.
post #17 of 17
Breed rescue groups need to be kept in the loop whenever a rescue group or shelter come across a potential purebred. Some breeds have special needs when the are being rehomed. For instance, they might bond closely with THEIR person and can't adjust to their new surroundings. I know that Siamese and OSH cats take the loss of their owner especially hard.

A Turkish Van was PTS just last year because of his behavior in the shelter. True, the breed rescue group was contacted, but the shelter did not wait for the breed rescuers to get on the scene. We're talking nearly 48 hours here

Also, another reason to keep breed rescue groups informed is that breed rescue groups need to know who is breeding these unwanted cats. Some breeds are such a minority and so well organized that it would be easy to take action against a BYB, if they only knew who was putting out the unwanted cats.

Finally, rescue groups WILL track down new homes for both purebreds and purebred lookalikes. If rescuers are out for the best interests of the cats, they'll be in contact with the purebred rescuers so that their resources can be directed to more cats.
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