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Breeder vs Petstore

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I recently stopped at a local pet store that was selling persian kittens for $329.00 . What is your opinion on pet stores vs breeders. Breeders tend to be a bit more expensive. Are the ones in the store pets rather than breeders or show? Thanks!
post #2 of 23
In Hawaii, our pet stores don't have the "puppy mill" or "kitten mill" reputation as the mainland stores do. I've never heard, seen or read about any type of puppy mill activity here. A lot of the animals are from local breeders, and some of them are from reputable breeders in Australia. I have family and friends who have gotten their dogs/cats from pet stores and they are perfectly healthy. Expensive, but healthy. Pet store Persians run about $500+, while Persians sold from Classifieds run between $250 (exotic persians) to $750 (traditional persians). On another note, I got Kionu from a breeder and he was anything but healthy. He had a URI, flea infestation, eye infections, runny stools, and he had not been vaccinated or neutered. I had only paid $100 for him but ended up spending over $700 on vet bills (which was remibursed by the court). After seeing the conditions he had been living in, I would've paid more if I had to. Money was not an issue at that point.

I suppose the pet store cats are pet quality rather than show quality. Most of the persians I've seen in pet stores are that of pet quality. If you are going to get a cat from a breeder, do lots of research and ask lots of questions. Make sure you get everything in writing (i.e. health guarantee, adoption contract & breed lines) and always get references. The pet store will (actually should) provide a health guarantee, breed lines, registration papers, adoption contract, and any other type of licensing your state requires.

P.S. My Mom got her Persian (Savanah) from the Humane Society. She had a mild case of ear mites, but otherwise healthy. I guess the point of my rambling is that you can get a Persian anywhere, just check around. I hope that info helps!
post #3 of 23
if you check out www.petfinder.com you can specify your area and what breed of cat you want, and it'll show you the shelter cats that are available. I haven't actually gotten a cat through it, but I plan to use it for my next cat! There might be some Persian or Persian-mixes. And that way you're saving a kitty's life!
post #4 of 23
i wouldnt get a cat from a pet shop because you dont know how it was raised. it may not be properly socialised. this counts for a lot more than you might think. Jupiter, a kitten that was born and raised by us is far more sociable than his mum Maverick who wasnt handled properly as a kitten

If you go to a breeder you can see how and where the kitten was raised. Plus a breeder would be able to answer any questions you might have on the breed.

For all you know the kittens in a pet shop could have been living in squalor and dirt until they were cleaned up and shipped of to be sold.

I personally wouldnt want to encourage pet stores either as there are pleanty of kittens in the world already and petstores encourage bad breeding and breeding for profit. in order to sell the kittens cheaply they must have bought them even cheaper which means corners would have been cut down the line eg. not fed quality food, scrimped on medical care etc
post #5 of 23
I'd only get a cat from a pet store if the pet store was having cats that were spomsered by a local rescue society. My last two cats were listed on petfinder - the first I didn't know until AFTER I saw him at the local Petsmart adoption day - but the last, Andy - I did find on petfinder. A more adorable cat he couldn't be!
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian1971
I recently stopped at a local pet store that was selling persian kittens for $329.00 . What is your opinion on pet stores vs breeders. Breeders tend to be a bit more expensive. Are the ones in the store pets rather than breeders or show? Thanks!
I would highly recommend a breeder...in fact...I would recommend that you contact a Persian breeder from this site to see who they recommend. Remember....if you have any questions or concerns about the kitten from the Petstore, you won't have anyone to ask...whereas...if you get one from a breeder..they will most likely be available to ask questions at any time. A reputable breeder will be able to tell you the history of your kitten and if you are only looking for a pet...they will require spaying/neutering (most breeders do have kittens they sell for pets and not for breeding/showing).

Katie
post #7 of 23
I'll move this to the Breeder's Corner.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
I would highly recommend a breeder...in fact...I would recommend that you contact a Persian breeder from this site to see who they recommend. Remember....if you have any questions or concerns about the kitten from the Petstore, you won't have anyone to ask...whereas...if you get one from a breeder..they will most likely be available to ask questions at any time. A reputable breeder will be able to tell you the history of your kitten and if you are only looking for a pet...they will require spaying/neutering (most breeders do have kittens they sell for pets and not for breeding/showing).

Katie


Two very good breeders on this site of persians Dragonlady and Passquepersians
post #9 of 23
Well, since I am a breeder I know the costs of breeding and I have no problems motivating my kitten prices (it's not legal to sell kittens at pet stores here in Sweden). Even if it's more expensive to buy a kitten from a breeder I'm certain it's worth that extra money if you find a good breeder. That personal contact you get with your kittens breeder is worth gold. The breeder of my two Devon Rexes means a lot to me. She's helped me with EVERYTHING I've ever asked her for. Her experience and knowledge can't be priced and she shares it with me for free. She regulary visits me and my cats to make sure we're allright and she's got a genuine intrest in all the cats she breeds, no matter if they're sold as pets or for breeding and/or showing.
post #10 of 23
Not having read all the posts here...

The first thing I would have to stress is that either place has to have a good reputation.

I tend to steer away from pet shops for a very simple reason, they are purely profit oriented, while the good ones still provide an adequate level of care for their animals, they tend to stick to keeping their costs as low as possible to keep the profit margin high. To a petstore, and animal is nothing more than "stock" until they are sold. I generally prefer petstores that are either highly specialized, or that don't sell live animals for this reason.

Responsible breeders have a slightly different perspective, generally they will not breed until they have a group of buyers lined up, they breed for the betterment of the animal, not solely for the money that they make. Most breeders will admit that they don't typically turn much of a profit on the sale of their animals. Responsible breeders, also tend to have a much closer relationship with their animals, which helps ensure that they are well socialized from birth and also properly cared for. It's generally a much harder task for a responsible breeder to actually sell an animal that they have raised from birth to someone, even though they knew all along that the time would come, they do build a bond with the animal even in the few weeks that they care for them.

If I was in the position of having to choose between a Reputable Pet Store, and a Responsible Breeder, my decision would always be heavily biased towards the breeder.

Spotz
post #11 of 23
[quote=starlie]In Hawaii, our pet stores don't have the "puppy mill" or "kitten mill" reputation as the mainland stores do. I've never heard, seen or read about any type of puppy mill activity here.

Have you ever seen a piece of plywood on the side of the road advertising purebred german shepherds or siamese for sale? Or signs saying "puppies for sale-most small breeds available" Notice how the sign never gets taken down? Do you ever see ads in the paper for the same? Next time look at the phone number and keep track of how many weeks the ad runs. I bet you a lot of those ads will run year round. Puppy and kitten mills do not have big signs that say "Puppy Mill" on them. No good breeder always has puppies/kittes available at all times. For that you need multiple bitches and queens being bred on each heat giving birth at regular intervals. No good breeder has multiple breeds available at the same time and very few good breeders breed different species. Good breeders invest too much time and money into their chosen breed to even think about expanding.



"A lot of the animals are from local breeders, and some of them are from reputable breeders in Australia. "

I suspect some of the "reputable breeders" these pet stores are buying from are indeed puppy and kitten mills. I know from personal experience that a pet store chain in my province uses this particular phrase. I also suspect that any breeder that indeed was reputable, would not allow a pet store to sell their puppies or kittens. Let alone ship them such a great distance.

My previous vet clinic was asked to give some of these animals their vet check by the pet store. At the appointment the breeder (a very dirty, unkempt, woman) brought in a litter of "purebred" multipoos! They came in a very dirty carrier and had a few genetic problems. Definately not show quality, not that you can show a multi-poo! The other (dirty) carrier she brought contained a litter of very scared, dirty "persian" kittens. They looked more like DLH orange tabbies to me. Oh yeah, did I mention she breeds cats and dogs! When I mentioned within earshot of her that the kittens didn't seem very well socialized she freaked out and yelled that they indeed were socialized! "They are just scared because they have never been out of their cage before! Yeah, unsocialized- that's what I said! At the end of the appointment I overheard her discussing a future transaction with the pet store owner as she would have another litter of chihuahua puppies ready in a couple of weeks!

I personally would never trust a pet store unless they adopt out shelter pets for one of the local shelters. No good breeder would ever sell to a pet store. I did not realize the extent of this problem until I worked in shelters and vet clinics.
post #12 of 23
Relatively speaking, I paid a bundle for my two cats, which I purchased from a breeder. It has definately been a wonderful experience for me - this lady is wonderful and cares so much about her cats. She told me how she once had a lady come by to look at the kittens she had for sale who played too roughly with the kittens, and she knew the lady wouldn't make a good owner, so she had to refuse to sell her a kitten. When I was picking out my own kitten, I felt comfortable asking about temperment and habits, as well as care, upbringing, and other things. I love that these kittens are raised under foot, are alread acoustomed to baths and claw trimmings, and will come to me fully socialized and litter box trained. I am required by contract to have the kitten seen by a vet within 5 days to ensure healthiness, must keep the kitten indoors, and have him neutered. A good breeder cares so much about their cats! Typically, they breed their cats aiming for show qualities, and those cats who don't quite match up to standards are made available as pets. Just because their looks aren't perfect doesn't mean they are any less wonderful a pet!

My roommate bought her purebred puppy from a pet store, and the poor thing doesn't know how to play with other dogs, is still having slight problems with housebreaking, has no papers, and had coccidia when we got her. If you want purebred, please ask around about breeders!

I found my Birman breeder by joining an online listserv for National Birman Fanciers, and there were lots of sites online. But rescuing a cat through a store like Petsmart is great too, if that's what you'd like to do. Also, you might think about inquiring about purebred rescues or retired show cats. I was offered a grand champion purebred Birman for $100 because he was going to be retired and still needed to be neutered. In my experience, breeders like to send their retirees off to good pet homes when their time in the show ring and breeding days are over. Best of luck in your seach, I hope you have the perfect kitty soon!
post #13 of 23
I learned about puppy and kittys mills from a older wiser friend who told me a local pet store had mill pups... I was wondering how a good breeder would ship there pups accross the country to be sold in a pet store..lol..
If you want to get a pet store pup or kitty the shelter will have about the same info on them as the pet store... I got a purebred yorkie at the shelter ... and my cutie pie Zoey a bengal mix at the shelter , told she was an adult tabbie..lmao...

Do go to a good breeder if you want a purebreed kitten or retired show animal...
post #14 of 23
Never. buy. a. kitten. or. puppy. from. a. petstore. Even better, don't buy *anything* from a petstore that sells puppies and kittens. Don't give them your business. Go to a business like pet smart that is trying to help the problem instead of adding to it. Or go to a reputable breeder (besides the breeders here, breedlist.com is a good place to start).

The links below pretty much says it all when it comes to pet store animals. The first is about an Abyssinian female rescued from a commercial breeder (mill) auction in the midwest. The pet stores in NYC are full of Aby kittens, and all their cage cards say they are from Missouri & surrounding states. This cat is probably one of their mothers. The second is puppy related, but kittens and puppies go hand in hand when it comes to pet store sales. It is long, but it will give one some insight, as well as an individual's story, on this terrible business.

http://www.abys.net/NAR/abigail-diary.htm

http://hometown.aol.com/KARENKATO/petstore.html
post #15 of 23
I haven't heard of puppy/kitten mill activity here in NZ - alot of our kittens at the petshops are either from Cat shelters or breeders.
post #16 of 23
Hi Wellington

All pet store kittens and puppies in the U.S. come from breeders too. No one has a sign outside that says "kitten mill". It always makes me laugh when pet stores say the puppies and kittens are from "private breeders" and the public totally falls for it, picturing a warm kitchen with a cozy nest of kittens and their mother. Just what is the definition of a private breeder anyway? That there is a "no trespassing" sign out front so you can't go back into the barn where the cats are kept?

Kitten and puppy mills *are* breeders. They are high volume/commercial breeders. Mill is a nickname for a high volume breeder. Not all mills are terrible places. Some are very clean and well kept. However, these animals are NOT pets and are considered livestock.

The bottom line is that these cats/dogs in the high volume breeder's facility are living their entire lives in small cages and exist just to churn out kittens/puppies for the pet shop industry. When they are no longer producing, they are destroyed. Every time someone "rescues" a kitten from a pet store, an order will be placed for another to take its place (because that breed is obviously selling so well) - ensuring a breeding female's continued misery.

Pet stores don't buy directly from a high volume breeder. Brokers (such as the Hunte Corporation, Lambriar, and H&H Pets) buy kittens and puppies from various high volume breeders and keep them in a meticulous "holding facility" where they are washed and groomed to look like their particular breed. Pet stores call the broker to place an order. The pet store never has contact with the original breeder so even they don't know where the animals really come from. A teenage clerk in the pet store, making minimum wage, is only repeating what has been told to her ("we don't buy from mills, we buy from private breeders!").

I personally fell for this ruse many years ago when I bought a Russian Blue kitten from a mall pet store in NJ and was assured she was from a lovely local breeder they purchased kittens from. When I saw her papers and later did research I found out she was from Missouri, from a cattery with 400+ cats.

She was a wonderful pet, but I can't help wondering about her sire and dam who were trapped back in that cattery in Missouri. How did their lives turn out? How many of my cat's littermates remained behind as "breeding stock" themselves?
post #17 of 23
My local pet store just takes kittens in. They don't pay for them. The kittens are mixed breed kittens. I suppose if the store didn't take them, they would end up in the shelter or I don't know where. Those kittens come from irresponcible owners that don't spay their cats, but it's hardly a cat's fault that he ends up in a pet store, so, if someone wants to buy or "rescue" a kitten from a pet store, I see nothing wrong with it.
post #18 of 23
I said in my earlier post that I am NOT referring to pet stores like Pet Smart and others that offer shelter cats and other homeless animals for adoption.

I am talking about people who see a purebred kitten in a cage in a pet store, where it is selling for $900 and feel they are "rescueing" it from the pet store cage.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyG
I said in my earlier post that I am NOT referring to pet stores like Pet Smart and others that offer shelter cats and other homeless animals for adoption.

I am talking about people who see a purebred kitten in a cage in a pet store, where it is selling for $900 and feel they are "rescueing" it from the pet store cage.
The local store doesn't sell shelter cats. They sell from people who don't spay their cats and bring kittens in. If the store didn't accept the kittens, where would they go?
post #20 of 23
I am not talking about stores like the one you mention. I think it is a good thing for a store to help place kittens that would otherwise go to a shelter. Don't you agree?

However, if the store you mention is *encouraging* people to breed their mixed breed cat so they can sell the kittens, they are no better than the stores I am talking about.
post #21 of 23
Well, I'd rather see the kittens at my local shelter than in my local pet store. Very few (any?) Swedish shelters euthanize healthy cats and the shelters are full of people who love cats so I know the kittens will be taken care of at the shelter and I know that the shelters are very picky when they choose owners to their cats, I can't say I trust the people at pet stores in the same way. Actuarally, many Swedish shelters have "acute homes" for sick cats, kittens and pregnant females which means these cats don't live at the shelter, they live in an ordinary, loving home until the shelter finds permanent homes to the cats.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol
Well, I'd rather see the kittens at my local shelter than in my local pet store. Very few (any?) Swedish shelters euthanize healthy cats and the shelters are full of people who love cats so I know the kittens will be taken care of at the shelter and I know that the shelters are very picky when they choose owners to their cats, I can't say I trust the people at pet stores in the same way. Actuarally, many Swedish shelters have "acute homes" for sick cats, kittens and pregnant females which means these cats don't live at the shelter, they live in an ordinary, loving home until the shelter finds permanent homes to the cats.
It's different here in US where they euthanize cats. I don't think the pet store takes very good care of the kittens either, but they seem to find homes really fast.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyG
Hi Wellington

All pet store kittens and puppies in the U.S. come from breeders too. No one has a sign outside that says "kitten mill". It always makes me laugh when pet stores say the puppies and kittens are from "private breeders" and the public totally falls for it, picturing a warm kitchen with a cozy nest of kittens and their mother. Just what is the definition of a private breeder anyway? That there is a "no trespassing" sign out front so you can't go back into the barn where the cats are kept?

Kitten and puppy mills *are* breeders. They are high volume/commercial breeders. Mill is a nickname for a high volume breeder. Not all mills are terrible places. Some are very clean and well kept. However, these animals are NOT pets and are considered livestock.

The bottom line is that these cats/dogs in the high volume breeder's facility are living their entire lives in small cages and exist just to churn out kittens/puppies for the pet shop industry. When they are no longer producing, they are destroyed. Every time someone "rescues" a kitten from a pet store, an order will be placed for another to take its place (because that breed is obviously selling so well) - ensuring a breeding female's continued misery.

Pet stores don't buy directly from a high volume breeder. Brokers (such as the Hunte Corporation, Lambriar, and H&H Pets) buy kittens and puppies from various high volume breeders and keep them in a meticulous "holding facility" where they are washed and groomed to look like their particular breed. Pet stores call the broker to place an order. The pet store never has contact with the original breeder so even they don't know where the animals really come from. A teenage clerk in the pet store, making minimum wage, is only repeating what has been told to her ("we don't buy from mills, we buy from private breeders!").

I personally fell for this ruse many years ago when I bought a Russian Blue kitten from a mall pet store in NJ and was assured she was from a lovely local breeder they purchased kittens from. When I saw her papers and later did research I found out she was from Missouri, from a cattery with 400+ cats.

She was a wonderful pet, but I can't help wondering about her sire and dam who were trapped back in that cattery in Missouri. How did their lives turn out? How many of my cat's littermates remained behind as "breeding stock" themselves?
Hi - I know what kitten mills are, but thanks.
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