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Cringing At Breeders Contracts & Lack Of Knowledge

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey there,

So I have started interviewing potential breeders for my Sphynx that I hope to join my family. I sent out a survery of 15 questions going from anywhere from price, health, ethics, references, HCM scanning and their future hope for the sphynx. I found it interesting that a few breeders who were quick to tell me they had kittens and were ready for deposit did not response at all! But this is what I am trying to do - find out who really cares about their sphynxes and wants the best for them.

So the other various breeders who contacted me back with their answers had mentioned several things that made me cringe. I just want your input with this..

Breeder 1

1. One breeder told me that she kept her baby kittens in a bunny cage till they were able to walk! I felt somewhat confused by this... because how can the mother nurse her kittens in a bunny cage?! Also, I found it odd that it was a bunny cage! Would this sound an alarm in your head? She also told me that I was the first person in all her years of breeding who asked that many questions!?

Other then that she was nice and answered things professionally. It was just the bunny cage and the fact that no one ever asked her those kinda things before.

Breeder 2
2. Another breeder told me that they would cover health for the entire life of your sphynx due to genetic reasons BUT I would have to have an autopsy performed to confirm that my cat died due to genetic reasons!! I understand that is somewhat standard but the thought of me having to wait until an autopsy made me sick. She also was unable to tell me if she scanned her cats yearly for HCM nor provide me references nor her future hope for the sphynx. I felt this was someone lacked time and effort and if you are not scanning your cats yearly for HCM then who knows what they have or don't. Plus your cats should be seeing the vet at least once a year IMHO for check-ups and etc. Also, she lacked the time to place capitols in her sentences! Call me picky but this showed me someone who was somewhat lazy! She couldn't provide me with CFA registeration nor any other group. Also, I told her I want a female sphynx and am willing to wait...BUT she kept pushing her male kitten sphynxes on me (obvioulsy she is in it for the WRONG reasons). *shudder*

Breeder 3
She was very professional but I found that she seemed quick to tell me that she could gurantee the her cats do NOT have HCM. I read somewhere to be leary on breeders who can gurantee their cats don't have HCM because obviously this disease still needs further research and evaluation and also polygenetics may play a roll in this horrific disease. So this immediately turned me off because she herself as a breeder has not taken the time to read up on the fact that they still do not understand the complete facts on the gene(s) responsible.

Breeder 4
She has won my heart over.. not only is she quick to reply to me but she is an active member in the CFA (she is also on the board) and actively shows her cats. She told me she gurantees health for two years (understandable) and she was FULL of information about the sphynx and HCM. She referred me to the FINN foundation and had various links on her site to sites that raise money for awareness by selling sphynx calendars. She is open to me calling her and has made some remarks that I agree with. She told me her future wish for the sphynx was to finding a way to eliminate HCM entirely or a cure/treatment (she worded it better) and also she looks for more then just looks when breeding but also temperment.

-I asked her about placing a deposit for a kitten and she told me that she never takes deposits because who knows what will happen in those 12-14 weeks.
-She offered to give me advice about showing my future kitten.
-She was quick to give me her vet's reference.
-She informed me about the procedure with registering your cat with the CFA and how it works and what it costs (she gave me the option to register it myself IF I wanted to have my kitten's name as her CFA name).
-She cats have won various awards.

The only downside is that she lives in the states and is somewhat far from the Canadian border (I live near the border and would be willing to drive to the states) so I can't go visit her cattery. :p

But overall I am her.

What do you guys think?
post #2 of 18
Is one of the Breeders in Calif? Did the Breeders tell you when they are due to have Kittens?
post #3 of 18
Breeder #4 is a HANDS DOWN WINNER - no contest. Even if you can't visit the cattery, I'd trust her to get a quality kitten for you.

When evaluating breeders, I like to see how many champions/grands the person has and some of the pedigrees if possible. A good breeder will show their cats and have them titled. I've never bought a purebred kitten as a pet only. I always buy them for a pet/show or breeder. Any pet kittens I have are mixed breed

I also talk to other breeders and find out which are good ones and who to avoid. Breeders are a wealth of info I made 2 new Oci breeder-friends and while I'm not getting a cat from them, they told me the one I'm getting Jack from is one of the better breeders and she has quality cats and I will not be disappointed.

I think you are the first person I know of that "interviewed" breeders Very wise
post #4 of 18
I say #4. Sounds like everything my Breeder is doing.
post #5 of 18

Breeder 1

It's not unusual for kittens to be contained until they start to walk, especially if there are several litters born around the same time.
Not really surprised she said you were the first to ask so many questions, usually it's the breeders 'grilling' the new owners.

Breeder 2
Autopsy is standard in proving what happened to the cat/kitten protects both the buyer and seller. Anyone who can't or won't provide their registration details would be crossed off my list quick smart. And trying to push a kitten on you

Breeder 4
Sounds like you connect well with her. I wouldn't worry too much about not being able to visit the cattery.
I think you need to feel comfortable with the breeder, I'm in regular contact with my cats 'Granny' she's always there to give me advice when I need it. The cats are usually referred to as our babies
post #6 of 18
A couple of things that come to mind.
First thing is HCM scanning isn't done until 2 and most girls don't wait until 2 to breed but it should still be done at that point. HCM does have polygenes. I guarantee for it up to the value of a kitten and kitten replacement but each breeder is unique and perhaps their contract reflects what they are willing to do based on their experience and financial circumstance. I would rather know up front what the contract is.

Next thought is necropsy. I have a breeding friend who had a kitten buyer claim her cat died of FIP. No death report and no necropsy. I wouldn't honor it either. There are unfortunately a number of pet buyers that are running scams as well.

And my next thought is why provide all the details unless you are serious. When I get interviewed (and I do and its fine) I tell them to call me. I won't give out registration numbers and official pedigrees unless I am talking to someone referred or VERY serious and plans to show. This is why I use pawpeds so I don't have to worry about folks copying my pedigrees which I saw happen to often when we bred Poms when I was growing up.

As to the babies factor, I refer to mine this way as well but my cats are not humans and I hate to humanize them as it does feed into a cultural shift that isn't all for the good (the concept of guardian vs owner which I recommend reading this issue of the TICA trend for a great reference to what I mean).
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your help and input!

Mew2 - I tried PM'ing you but I don't think it went through... I'll try again :p

Thanks for the input. I know I made it seem somewhat unclear as to what I wanted when I mentioned pedigree and CFA/TICA regs - what I meant was I asked the breeders if this would be provided to me once I purchased the kitty. I completely understand breeders not giving me their actual CFA number(s) and pedigrees right away. I have seen various breeders stealing pedigrees and pictures of certain cats and taking credit (so I understand that a pedigree & CFA/TICA number should be private until purchasing).

I just asked some standard questions to get a feel for how the breeders reacted and I did tell them that I was interviewing other breeders to find the right fit. Also, I gave them all specifics about myself to let them know I am a serious buyer and am looking for the perfect fit. I know breeders probably receive a million emails about such things and of course calling seems more 'serious' as oppose to an email but I live in Canada and to call X amount of places long distance is hard when I have yet to find the right breeder. I thought emailing would be the first draft of figuring out who I shall personally call. But I understand what you are saying... there are of course buyers who are scam artists so of course a breeder must be weary too - it goes both ways unfortunately.
post #8 of 18
I didnt get it. I will pm you.
post #9 of 18
I'd still ask around and get references from her buyers and other breeders. I don't know much about kittens. But I work for a top notch breeder of Cornish Rex and I have seen the horror of some who talk the talk but cant walk the walk. I come in 2 or 3x a week for 4 hrs a day as a personal assistant to this breeder. I do whatever needs to be done for the whole house.
She has 3 whole males (one caged all but a few hours 2X a day when he gets "hands on" time as she cleans cages or feeds), about 10 pets who show/ have shown/will show, and no breeder females who are caged untill they pink up and an ultra sound is done determining due date. They get caged about a week before birth to give them a chance to nest, calm down and have healthy babies. When she travels to shows I clean, feed and socialize with the animals 2x per day, every day. She pays my sons $5 a day to play with them. That's all my sons do for 2 hours, travel from room to room, playing with cats. If I see a problem I contact her vet tech and she comes in and makes a judgement call. Kittens go to KittyDayCare or if she has newborns she has her vet tech come in and babysit those cages 2X per day (yes, that means baby kittens get checked in on 4X per day). She has breeders sending her females for breeding and keeping the problem ones for kitten care. All of her animals are well socialized with humans, get regular outings, vetted from birth to adoption, shown or petted out. She's got it down. We count cats every time we leave or enter a room. Mistakes mean kittens and messes and neither of us wants that.
I'd just ask for referals. Lots of them, from both buyers and breeders. Breeders are in competition but the good ones are honest and will take the time to teach someone coming in the ropes about purchasing the best cat for their program.
post #10 of 18
As far as registration/pedigrees, when I was breeding rexes, the ones buying a kitten for pet only - they got a copy of the pedigree after the kitten was neutered/spayed. Only those that got kittens to show got registration papers (after spay/neuter).

The majority of pet owners don't want or need the registration papers if they are not showing.
post #11 of 18
Every time I have bought a cat from breeder they have given me the registration papers. The abbys were already fixed so I got those right away. The Bengal I had to give proof I got her fixed then she gave me her registration papers. This was also with my scottish folds. The only purebred cat I ever showed was the fold.

I never have sent in the papers on the Bengal or abbys because they are not show cats(but I should do this one day). I don't think I would buy a cat from a breeder if they didn't supply the registration papers whether they are show cats or pets.

post #12 of 18
Originally Posted by abbycats View Post
I don't think I would buy a cat from a breeder if they didn't supply the registration papers whether they are show cats or pets.

Why? just curious as I had no complaints of pet buyers wanting the registration papers.
post #13 of 18
Good question..

It would be like buying a Ferrari without the title. If I'm going to spend the money on a pet or show cat I like the paper to go with the cat.

It completes a business transaction between the breeder and buyer along with the contracts.
post #14 of 18
We have had a huge discussion on this very topic of registration papers and the consensus is for 750 + for a pet, the family should get registration papers. Mine get their papers within 90 days of taking their kitten home and I personally register my kittens.
post #15 of 18
just wanted to comment on the bunny cage. We have a Bunny hutch as one of our kennels. and its very nice spaciously constructed. theres two compartments so the litterbox for mom can be seperated from the birthing and kitten area. We like our hutch.
post #16 of 18
I would say breeder four.
If I went out of my way to purchase a pedigree cat, I would expect the registration papers too. I would have the option to send the papers in or not in some cases. But from a breeder standpoint if I were breeding kittens (I am not) I would provide them with the papers in every case, pet or not. They are theirs afterall and I would want the kittens I produced to be registered. I would also provide a 4 generation pedigree to each buyer.
Please PM the name of breeder four. I think I have an idea...
post #17 of 18
oh i forgot to say too, lol i think breeder four is your best breeder choice
post #18 of 18
I just wanted to add my own experience...I recently bought a kitten from a breeder I didn't meet before driving 400 miles to buy. But I had a good feeling about her and the kittens. After arriving and meeting kittens and the lady, I was so happy I trusted my gut becuaes everything was better than perfect. She probably didnt think I'd actually come down, but when I got there it was just what I expected and was very happy. So, if you feel good about breeder #4, and she sounds great, than go for it and I bet it'll be fine. Good luck!
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