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Info on shows and breeders please

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello cat lovers!

My name is Page and I live in AR, USA.

I am here trying to do some research before deciding on the breed/breeder I want to go with for my next feline family member. Sorry this is so long but I want to be thorough.

I show Labradors and currently have 4 Lab boys and one kitty I rescued out of a parking lot last fall. He was skin and bones and full of parasites. My intention was to take him to the vet, get him well and adopt him out to someone who wanted a kitty since I was "a dog person". Now almost a year later he is like my little right hand man. He truly thinks he is a Cat-ador.

So I have been researching different cats and have been on several breeder sites. I see things like GC, DM, NBF, SCBF, etc. I understand some of the titles, but what should I look for from a reputable breeder as far as associations, clearances, registries etc?

Although I began my search with about 4 breeds I was interested in, I keep going back to the Birmans and would love to bring one home in a year or two but want to make sure a Birman would thrive in my home.

I have a full house, but it's not a mad house. My 4 Labs and my cat all get along very well and live very peacefully. I do not allow "rough-housing" although they do play. My cat has his claws but lives happily indoors most of the time. I tried to get him to be a 100% indoor cat but he began life as an outdoor cat and I have had difficulty keeping him in all the time. I live on a little more than 5 acres and the house is very far from roadways. Every time I take the dogs out for exercise or training he HAS to come with us or he goes nuts inside. My new kitty will live 100% indoors and hopefully will never know what he's missing.

Can anyone offer me advice on what to look for from a breeder and give me your thoughts on the breed I have chosen. Do you think a Birman would be a good match for my lifestyle?


here are some pics of my crew.

First snow and winter coat




post #2 of 11
Hello there and welcome to TCS!

I am not in the US, but my advice is the same regardless of location - the best place to meet cat breeders is at cat shows. Get yourself along to a couple of shows and get chatting with people who are showing Birmans - you will probably find a mixture of breeders and people who show but don't breed - and both are good sources of breeder recommendations. If you can (I appreciate that distances can be longer than here in the UK!), visit breeders in their home - no more than 1 in a day to prevent any germs being spread from one home to another - to see how their cats react to you and whether they are happy and healthy and well socialised - I am sure that is much the same as you would do when looking for a dog and if you have visited breeders with the intention of adopting a puppy then the process is much the same

I can't advise on registries as we have different ones in the UK, but I think CFA and ACFA are US based registries, and TICA and FIFE are international registries - there is no benefit to being registered to one over another (apart from in some breeds the standard of points for a breed may vary slightly between registries, or a breed that is accepted by one registry may not be accepted in another), as long as the breeder is registered with at least one of them! Be aware that being registered is not necessarily the sign of a good breeder - speak to and meet a few before making up your mind. Don't take a kitten less than 12 weeks of age - they need to be with their mum for a bit longer than you may expect - kittens learn as much about appropriate behaviour from their well-socialised mum as from humans
post #3 of 11
I wrote a few Breeders when I started looking for a Sphynx. Then I went and met her at a Cat Show. I asked people in this site if they heard of her also and they had and said she is good. My Sphynx should be born anyday. The are due tomorrow. I was stuck on a few Breeds also before I picked a Spyhnx. They need to be 3 or 4 months before you get one.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies.

I have already decided to hopefully take an older cat. Either a young adult "washout" from a show program or a retired cat who needs a home. I know how much work it can be to train young animals because of my dogs and since I am not as knowledgeable about cats I would hope to bring home one that is already trained and socialized.

I have e-mailed a few breeders in the area and am waiting for their replies but I didn't know if some were clearly better than others to "cat people" because of the types of titles or associations they belong to.

Dog show people have sites to go to which list all dog shows in the US for the year. Is there a site like this for me to find a listing of cat shows?

Thanks again and so sorry I am asking so many questions.
post #5 of 11
Cfa has a site that lists Cat Shows.
Cat Fancy has them listed in the Mag.
post #6 of 11
I show in CFA here is a link to their website
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

I can't see any shows in my area this year. I will just call the breeders in my area and see when they show next. Since I'm not really wanting to buy my new kitty until I move into a new house it should be a year or two before I'm ready. I don't mind waiting and taking my time.

I researched my Labs for a year before finding a breeder and stayed on her waiting list for months before I brought my pup home. Waiting for the right situation was well worth it in that case and I know it will be in this case too, especially since I plan to bring the cat into a home with other animals. I just want to make sure everything is planned out and the timing is right.

Do you guys think a breeder would have problems selling a cat to me because of the dogs?
post #8 of 11
Originally Posted by Page View Post
Do you guys think a breeder would have problems selling a cat to me because of the dogs?
Not necessarily - look for a breeder that has large dogs themselves, it will make the transition easier for a kitten if they have been raised with dogs. Kittens that have never had contact may well be initially scared and take longer to settle, and a breeder who doesn't have dogs may be worried about how their precious little bundle will fare in a home with dogs... but plenty of cat people are also dog people, so if you have a chance, specifically look for breeders who also have large dogs in the home.

When you first bring a kitten home, you may need to train your dogs to behave appropriately - keep on a leash during early meetings and give 'sit' and 'stay' commands and reward when they are not paying attention to the kitten so they learn that chasing the kitten is not appropriate. Don't allow them unsupervised together until you have trained the dogs not to chase or harass - but there is no reason why it should be a problem in the long term, once your dogs are used to the newcomer
post #9 of 11
First, most breeders have contracts saying the that cats have to be kept indoors. Some do allow supervised outside (enclosure or on harness/leash) but that's not common.

A good breeder has a limited amount of litters and will monitor the females - one or two litters a year at the most. They do not let kittens go to new homes till between 3-4 months old - most 4 months old. If you find someone adopting kittens out sooner then 12 weeks old, run and don't walk!

They also include neutering/spaying and all shots and usually will have a health guarentee for up to a year providing your vet sees the kitten within 2-3 days of your purchase.

Most pet kittens are running about $600 or so price wise. Birmans are one of those breeds that markings are precise for show cats, so VERY few show cats are born - you shouldn't have too hard of a time finding a pet Birman.

I'm a nut for pedigrees and for me, I want to see a LOT of champions and grand champions in the first 3 generations of a pedigree. There are exceptions but if the cat is producing grand champions and cannot be shown itself, I'll make exceptions. You want a breeder that is knowledgable about the breed and that can be mainly thru showing and breeding to standard.

I'd start looking at the standard of the Birman so you have an idea of what you are looking at.

Try contacting some of the Birman breeders here for a kitten:
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the info.

Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
First, most breeders have contracts saying the that cats have to be kept indoors. Some do allow supervised outside (enclosure or on harness/leash) but that's not common.
If I had my way my current kitty would never go outside but unfortunately he spent all of his young life outside and when I first tried to confine him to the indoors he became incredibly stressed.

Every time Sam insists on going out I am worried that something will happen to him, but you should see him out there. He climbs trees, catches frogs and lizards, chases butterflies. He cracks me up when he plays outside.

Hopefully my new kitty will never touch a blade of grass that way he/she will never know what he's missing.
post #11 of 11
I have 3 cats that have never been outdoors in their lives (unusual here in the UK) and once they were settled in and neutered they never once tried to get out the door, in fact they now shy away from the front door because outside is not their territory. They love it here - they have ceiling height bookcases in every room, cat trees, they have me home most of the time (I have very people-oriented breeds), they have a room each if they ever (rarely) need a bit of solitude. Trust me they do not miss or need outdoors if they've never had it. You do have to be prepared to put in a little work to satisfy their hunting instinct with wand toys or feeding in a way that they can forage.... but no problems here.
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